Any endeavor as important as losing weight requires that you have a solid plan in place before you start. You may think that choosing a diet is enough, but the diet is only one part of it. You don't need to make a very complex plan, but you need one that includes techniques for handling the issues that will come up.
You want the process to go as smoothly as possible. You don't want to be thrown off guard by roadblocks you didn't anticipate. You want very much to succeed and making your own clear, specific plan of action will get you there. Here are the five critical areas you need to incorporate into your plan.
1. Choose a diet
Choose a diet you believe in, one that you are confident will work for you. Take into consideration your likes and dislikes, your own particular health needs, your lifestyle, and your schedule. A good fit between you and your diet is essential to success.
2. Choose a way to exercise
Exercising while dieting is important. It gives people a real boost. It feels good to start exercising along with dieting. Again, a good fit between you and any exercise program is a must. You may decide to take on a formal exercise program at a gym, you may use a DVD to exercise with at home, you may want to walk, run, or bike.
It is now known that the biggest health benefits come from just a little bit more activity. A minor increase, such as an extra ten minute daily walk, climbing a few flights of stairs, even exercising one or two days a week for thirty minutes can go a long way.
3. Cope with stress
Stress can be a major roadblock to diet success. Think of your past diet attempts and try to remember when stress threw you off course. Could you have used a pre-planned way to get through that stress? If the answer is yes, now is the time to think about what you can do at those most stressful times. Make a detailed plan if you think it will help. You can have escape routes, plans to get away from the stress, plans to rest so you have more strength to push through the stress, ways to circumvent the stress or lessen it. The more you can plan for those difficult times, the less likely it will be that you go off your diet in order to deal with .
4. Keep your diet effort top priority
While you are in the serious stage of dieting, you need to tag it with great importance. Develop a plan so that sticking to it is the first thing on your mind each day. Even if other parts of your life get short-changed for a while, give the diet all you got. It's worth it. A half-hearted attempt will not result in success. You need to throw yourself into this diet effort fully, giving it all the time it needs and all the energy it needs. The payoff for this will be reaching your goal.
5. Handle your negative thinking
Look back over previous diet attempts and try to remember if you had thoughts such as "I'll never do it", "I don't have what it takes", "I can't change". This kind of negative thinking and low self-confidence will come up for you, especially if you've experienced such thoughts before. There are many ways to plan for these low moments, and plan you must if you are to keep them from ruining your diet.
First of all, have in mind someone supportive you can discuss these ideas with. Bouncing negative thoughts off a trusted person will make them more manageable. Another powerful tool against negative thinking is to read as much as you can about weight loss, about people with weight-loss problems, experts' advice, and studies related to changing eating patterns. In this way, you'll begin to see that you are not so unlike other people with this problem. You can counter the negative with more positive ideas.
Make a good plan of action, your own effective plan. Keep a list of all the techniques you want to use in different situations so they're ready for you. This plan of yours will give you the confidence and the methods you need to attain the weight-loss goal you set for yourself.