Read these 10 Behavioral Weight Loss Tips tips to make your life smarter, better, faster and wiser. Each tip is approved by our Editors and created by expert writers so great we call them Gurus. LifeTips is the place to go when you need to know about Weight Loss tips and hundreds of other topics.
There are many strategies you can employ to take control of your eating behaviors. Below you'll find a list of tips that may be beneficial to you. If one strategy doesn't work that is fine just move on the next one. The more techniques you have at your disposal the greater your chances of success.
One way to avoid food triggers is by controlling your environment. This means making an effort to minimize your contact with food at home, work, and in the car. The more time you are exposed to food the greater your chances are of binging or snacking when you may not be hungry in the first place. Limiting the number of high risk situations will make it easier for you to lose weight. Here are several ideas to help decrease your exposure to food.
You probably start losing weight with some predetermined goal weight in mind. Whether you intend to lose 20, 40, or even 50 pounds you must determine if your goal is even realistic. Goals are important because they give us direction and a way to measure progress. Most people, however, set their goals way too high so when they do make progress it seems almost insignificant. Realize that your goals must be attainable. Don't set yourself up for failure by establishing unrealistic goals.
As part of the goal setting process you should develop long and short term objectives. Long term objectives can be achieved by reaching your short term goals. For example, let's say you have been very inactive and set a goal of exercising five times per week. Going from being totally inactive to five days of exercise is unrealistic. To successfully accomplish your objective, first set an initial, more realistic, short term goal of walking two days per week. Once you feel comfortable with this level of exercise progress to three or four days per week. It may take several weeks or months to get to your target exercise level so be patient. Using this goal setting technique increases your odds of achieving success.
Record keeping is an essential ingredient for weight loss success. You can learn a lot of things from your records. The more detailed your records are the better. Keep track of what you eat, how much activity you get each day, and weekly weight. It may seem tedious and time consuming but record keeping does facilitate weight loss. Most successful weight losers cite self-monitoring as one major reason for their success. Self-monitoring will help you in several ways.
Increased awareness of current habits
If you've attempted weight loss in the past you are probably familiar with the weight loss plateau. This is the time when your weight loss stops or you remain stagnant. It can be very frustrating. You may have to work through several plateaus before reaching your final goal. Unfortunately, there is no magic potion that will restart your weight loss. Overcoming a plateau may require tweaking of your diet or physical activity in order for weight loss to continue.
Look at your diet to see if you can cut calories further. Be aware that cutting calories below 1,000 per day is unsafe and isn't recommended unless you are medically supervised. The problem is that achieving adequate nutrition is difficult when consuming fewer than 1,000 calories. Another option to spark weight loss during a plateau is increasing your physical activity. Try challenging yourself once a week with an extra mile or a couple of hills to shake up your routine. It will make a difference. As you fight through your plateaus keep reminding yourself of the wonderful progress you have already made. Don't give up, even though you may not be where you want right now. By staying positive you can work through plateaus and continue your weight loss progress.
How motivated are you for weight loss? Are you truly ready to make a permanent lifestyle change? Readiness is an extremely important consideration before initiating a weight loss attempt. Your chances of success are greatly reduced if you are only mildly interested in losing weight.
As you think about readiness, remember that it is actually easier to lose weight than it is to keep it off. You should be in this for the long term. Carefully examine the sacrifices you will have to make to succeed. Ask yourself if you are ready to devote the time and energy required over the weeks, months and years to come.
Other readiness factors that should be considered are your attitude towards physical activity and your current support system. It is important that you are willing to not only change your eating habits, but also become more active. Having a support network to provide the healthy environment for weight loss will be beneficial. Ultimately it is up to you. If you are highly motivated to make a permanent lifestyle change, then your chances of success are good.
The lifestyle changes necessary to achieve weight loss can be difficult. You are faced with many daily decisions that affect weight. Don't expect to be perfect all of the time. Try as you might, there will be slip ups every now and then and you are going to fall off the “diet or exercise wagon”. The guilty feelings you have when you lapse do not have to cause a total relapse. Only a string of lapses actually lead to relapse.
Relapse is where you fall back to your original unhealthy behaviors. You shouldn't see your weight loss efforts as an “all or none” proposition. This type of thinking causes you to give up after only a few mistakes. Your lapse is just a minor bump in the road, something that is easily overcome. More important than the lapse is your reaction to it. Maintain control, honestly assess your feeling about your lapse, and realize that it will not seriously affect your weight loss momentum. While you are trying to make healthy behavior choices, if lapses occur stay positive and get back on track right away.
Negative self-talk is very common for those trying to lose weight. Negative thoughts can greatly affect your ability to make successful lifestyle changes. Statements like, "I can't control my eating" or "I hate to exercise" can ruin your ability to make progress. Having frequent negative thoughts can actually trigger overeating or cause you to be less active. Identify times when you commonly engage in negative self-talk. Think about what you say to yourself and how it affects your weight loss progress. Stop the vicious cycle of self-defeat by increasing your positive thoughts.
Try this: Make a list of all the negative things you say to yourself. Next to these statements, write some positive affirmations to counter your self-defeating thoughts. The more positive statements you can come up with the better. Put these positive self-messages into practice anytime you catch yourself having negative thoughts. Immediately replace your negative thoughts with positive ones. Be patient, with time you can wipe out your negative thoughts and continue with your healthy lifestyle.
Losing weight is all about changing your behavior. To successfully lose weight, you must substitute your current habits of poor eating and sedentary lifestyle with a more healthy lifestyle. When you are trying to lose weight, focus on behavioral goals, not outcome goals. If you set a goal of losing 20 lbs., it won't happen unless you first change your behavior.You can’t control how much weight you will lose each week, but you can control your behavior! Set a few goals related to your eating and exercise habits behavior that are keeping you from losing weight (such as spending too much time watching television). You will be amazed at how much progress can be made by consistently achieving your behavioral goals. You may be setting yourself up for failure by saying, “I’m going to lose 3 lbs. this week." Instead, concentrate on behaviors such as increasing physical activity, eating less junk food and dining out less.
As you are probably aware, motivation is one of the most difficult issues to contend with during weight loss. Most people are highly motivated in the beginning but have trouble maintaining motivation over the long term. The best way to stay motivated is to recognize all that you have accomplished so far. Think about the positive lifestyle changes you've made and give yourself credit for them. Try not to lose the momentum you have gained since you began your lifestyle makeover. It is also helpful to look at other benefits you've received besides weight loss. Do you feel better about yourself, have more energy, or maybe a decrease in blood pressure?
Another way of keep yourself motivated is to create visible signs of your progress. For instance, if you enjoy numbers you could post a weight graph or body measurements in areas around the house. Usually the bathroom mirror or the refrigerator door is the most popular locations for posting data. You can also record activity milestones by logging your exercise mileage towards a particular vacation spot. You might even consider taking an actual vacation to this location when you reach this exercise goal. By providing a visible record of your accomplishment not only helps you stay motivated but allows others to congratulate you for the progress you've made.
The final way to maintain motivation is to change up your eating and exercise routine.