It’s easy to set personal goals and make a plan for healthy weight loss. But sticking to your plan over time is another story. Envisioning a new lifestyle is fun, creative and inspiring. Following through, day after day, with physically taxing exercise and a revamped diet (without your favorite comfort foods) can be dull, draining and discouraging when you don’t see an instant change. Here are our five favorite shortcuts that can help you get focused and stay on track with your weight loss progress.
Shortcut #1: Keep it out of sight, keep it out of mind
It’s much easier to curb your cravings if they’re not staring you in the face every day. Clean out your cupboards and refrigerator, throwing out all those packaged, processed and unhealthy foods. Never mind if the box of cookies is only half-eaten; get rid of it. Hurry past your personal food triggers in the grocery store by averting your eyes as you pass (especially near the checkout stand!).
Get into the habit of shopping at farmers’ markets where you can buy fresh produce and locally sourced meats and dairy. Or, subscribe to a healthy meal delivery service to stock up your pantry without confronting grocery store temptations.
Shortcut #2: Set both long- and short-term goals
When starting a weight loss program or making healthier eating choices, make sure your goals are realistic. Know that your progress might not necessarily make itself obvious in the immediate future but rest assured that it will show itself over time. Hold yourself accountable by asking friends to check in with you about your gym attendance and healthy eating habits.
Get inspired and personally motivated (and hold yourself financially accountable) by booking a retreat at a weight loss resort to personally work with nutrition and exercise experts to keep your motivation level high.
Shortcut #3: Get spiffy once a week
Take some time to feel positive about your looks. It’s easy to get discouraged when you spend much of your time mentally condemning yourself for how you look and feel. Set a date with a loved one, co-worker or friend to dress up and go out. Remind yourself that you don’t have to be a certain size or weight to feel attractive and be important. Sprucing up your makeup, hair or outfit can give you a boost of confidence and remind you that you’re valuable, exactly as you are.
Shortcut #4: Surround yourself with like minds
Learn about healthy weight loss, meet inspirational speakers and connect with people who understand exactly what you’re going through by booking a retreat at a luxury weight loss resort. Not only will you overhaul the way you look at your body, you’ll learn new physical exercises, mental affirmations and mindfulness techniques to keep you on track when you’re back at home.
Shortcut #5: Congratulate yourself as often as possible
Stop condemning yourself and start congratulating yourself on how far you’ve come, whether you’re one day into the process or one year along. Recognize your accomplishment when you make a new food choice or drag yourself to the gym on a rainy day. Switch your thinking from “I’m not yet where I want to be” to “Yay me!”
Staying on track to achieve healthy weight loss requires an ongoing commitment to yourself and your goals. In the end, just do it. Though it sounds simple, it will likely be your biggest hurdle. By practicing the shortcuts above, you can smoothly transition toward more helpful habits that keep you headed in the right direction for the long term.