Losing weight isn’t as much a matter of knowing what you should be doing as it is the ability to stick with a diet. If you’ve ever tried dieting, then you know that the main challenge isn’t necessarily in deciding what you should do. It’s not giving up or “cheating” on your plan once you’ve found it.
That said, being able to stick with a diet is easier said than done. After all, it is a matter of breaking old habits and establishing new ones. Anyone who has ever tried to break an old habit or learn a new one can tell you that it’s a challenge. In the case of dieting, you’re trying to do both at the same time.
Still, being able to stick with a diet isn’t impossible. You just need to know the right tricks and strategies.
The following are some of the techniques people who successfully build new habits and adhere to a diet frequently follow:
· Don’t go overboard – Anything that seems extreme is not a good idea. It’s not something you will be able to keep up over the long term and therefore won’t give you the chance to stick with it. The Cabbage Soup Diet, Cookie Diet, Banana Diet, Grapefruit Diet, Atkins and anything else you know you won’t keep up over the next few months let alone the rest of your life should be an automatic “no.” The same goes for the majority of detox fasts. If you’d be too embarrassed to speak to your doctor about it or if you know he or she would try to talk you out of it, then you know, deep down, that this is not the right option for you.
· Understand your motivators – Get to know what keeps you driven and focus on it regularly. Looking better isn’t enough for most of us. What is your true motivation? Avoiding cancer, diabetes and heart disease? The desire to be healthy to watch your child grow up? Honoring yourself and your right to live a long and healthy life? Whatever it is, visualize it and do it often – particularly when you’re tempted to go back to your old ways.
· Take on your habits gradually – Don’t try to flip your entire life on its head. Instead, add new habits gradually. Challenge yourself in smaller steps and take them one step at a time. Every week, add a new one. This can include drinking water instead of sugary sodas. Perhaps it will mean eating a bowl of fruit and vegetables instead of candies or chips. Take it on gradually and keep adding to your efforts. Be proud of yourself and celebrate your achievements.