An estimated 45 million Americans are on a diet at any given time, and chances are every single one of them has strayed from their plan, failed to reach their goal or thrown in the towel completely at some point.
But that doesn’t have to be the end. You can start again anytime you decide to. It’s not easy, but here are some tips to help you get back on track with your weight loss plan.
You’re not a bad person
Everyone makes mistakes or fails at something. The difference is what you do with that mistake or failure. Beating yourself up will not solve anything and will likely make it worse. Learning from it, however, is the key to moving forward.
Don’t make the same mistake twice
Take a step back to find out where things went wrong. How did one little slip up lead to another, and another and an eventual plunge down the proverbial slippery slope? Figure it out and then focus on solutions.
If you don’t pinpoint the problem and make adjustments, chances are you will find yourself here again.
Is part of your challenge a hectic daily schedule that has you turning to convenience foods for meals and snacks? Make the time to be prepared. Plan your meals for the next day the night before.
Or, even better, read up on weekly meal planning to see if it will work for you. Spending a few hours one day a week to prepare your food for the next seven days can be a game changer in what you eat and in how much time you have each day.
It’s much harder to grab something from the vending machine when you know you have veggies and dip or other healthy snacks conveniently packed in your lunch bag. You may find you have more time for sleep or exercise since you don’t have to stress about meals each day – each of which will help you reach your goals.
When it comes to movement, every little bit helps
Is exercise bringing you down? Maybe the gym isn’t for you, but that doesn’t mean you can’t add more regular movement to your day.
Park in the back of the parking lot. Set an alarm to periodically get up from your desk and walk once or twice around the office. Waiting for your kids to get done with practice? Get out of the car and walk around. Consider scheduling time to return phone calls while you’re walking around the block or on a treadmill.
All those little movements add up. And, the more you move in little ways, the more likely you are to start moving in bigger ways.
Celebrate the little victories
Did you say no to the doughnuts a coworker brought in, not once, but multiple times as you walked by them throughout the day? That is an accomplishment! Reward yourself for that and other small victories with something that won’t sabotage your weight loss efforts. That could be flowers, a new book, a bubble bath – fill in the blank. You deserve it!
Recognize that it really is a journey
There are no quick fixes when it comes to weight loss. While the science is simple – calories in versus calories out – implementation is complicated and different for each person.
It takes a shift in outlook, mindset and behavior – a true lifestyle change. That cannot be done overnight, but it can be done. Give yourself time to figure out what works best for you and your lifestyle and go for it.