This is the first in a series of posts I’ll be doing over the next couple of weeks all having to do with weight loss, diets, eating appropriately, and losing weight the correct way. Stay tuned for more on how you can slim down, firm up, and watch the numbers on the scale fall.
No matter what diet or exercise or other program you follow to lose weight, there are certain things you or anyone can do to aid weight loss, improve chances of success, make the program more sustainable, or even just maintain current weight. Some of them may seem common, while some may be completely new to you. These are totally suitable for any program, any level of ability or physical activity, and no matter whether you subscribe to the eat more to weigh less or low fat or low carb or exercise more philosophy, these work for every scenario.
6 Tips to Help you Succeed on any Diet
I. Establish your commitment
- How committed are you?
- Why are you doing this?
- How do you want to feel?
- How do you want to look?
- Are you sure you’re personally committed? Or are you just doing it because you think you should lose 20 pounds, or because someone told you to?
- Is this something you’re just trying out?
- Are you actually going to do this?
- Do you really want to lose weight? Or have you allowed yourself to become defined by and thus identify with your weight?
Before you even start (or now if you’ve already started), establish within yourself that you’re truly committed and absolutely dedicated to reaching your weight loss goal.
II. Ensure accountability
Tell someone, anyone, everyone that you’re trying to lose weight. Tell them how much. Ask them to join you in your daily weight loss activities. Let them keep track of your mini ups and downs. Choose someone you trust that won’t judge you: close friend, spouse, partner, coach, parent, even an anonymous stranger online.
Ask that person to hold you accountable. Do weekly weigh ins. Or even daily recounts of your food journal (see #3).
If #1 is you being responsible for yourself, #2 is asking someone else to verify #1. Be held accountable for your progress.
III. Chart your Food Intake
Chart food intake, bowel movements, and daily weight to understand the correlation between those factors and improve weight loss efforts. The clear format, forced conscientiousness, and reflection can make a huge impact on unrealized habits like emotional eating, TV watching-snacking, mindless eating, quick bites, snacks on the run, and especially liquid or other hidden calories you may not realize you’re consuming. You can also pinpoint causes of weight gain, constipation, indigestion, or anything else that might be causing discomfort.
It also makes you think: ‘is it worth it to eat this if I’m going to have to write it on my chart?’ When you record everything you eat, you’re far more conscious of it.
Download a blank food chart here (Right click, then select Save As, to save the Word doc to your computer).
Alternately, some people prefer to take pictures of their food before they eat it–also very effective to get you stop, look, and reflect before eating.
IV. Use Appetite Suppressant Points
Chinese medicine has established points on both ears as effective in suppressing appetite, which can be helpful when you’re on a reduced calorie diet, quality food isn’t available, or you just don’t have time to eat.
Pinch this point on both ears for 30-90 seconds about 10-20 minutes before a meal or when you feel uncharacteristically hungry to reduce appetite and manage portion size when eating.
Locate: The tiny flap just in front of the ear–pinch the flap, squeezing the front and back on both ears.
V. Drink Water in the Morning
Specifically, drink a large glass of warm water in the morning. This moistens the bowels to help empty them, clears toxins, and opens lymph to reduce water retention. It’ll also help calibrate your appetite, so you know what real hunger is and what is thirst or cravings.
Perhaps the easiest item on this list, so just do it!
VI. Visualize your goal.
What is your goal? Why? Write it down. Remind yourself of it daily. Do you believe you can actually accomplish your goal?
Visualize your goal. Visualize yourself in that body. Visualize how you’ll look, feel, dress, interact, and how confident you’ll be. Perceive yourself already living in that body. If you can’t imagine yourself already there, how will you get there? How will you know when you got there? This is your ideal you. This is your future you. Believe it, see it, feel it, and make it your reality. And do it multiple times per day.
What did I miss? What would you add to this list? Anything that you’ve found effective?
Photo courtesy of Flickr user: alancleaver_2000