With adult obesity impacting more than a third of Americans, it’s no wonder dieting is such a popular trend. Unfortunately, most diets are destined to fail. The cause lies in their temporary nature. Forget about dieting in the traditional sense, and instead use these tips to make lifelong changes that will help you melt excess weight away and keep it off for good.
Reframe Your Efforts
Diets are known for their temporary effects and predictable bounce-back. Most people who “go on a diet” put themselves on a restrictive regimen that’s only meant to last for a set period. Once they’ve completed their designated number of days or hit their weight goal, dieters tend to return to their previous habits — and their previous weight.
If you want to get diet results that last, you need to approach it not as a “diet” but as a lifestyle change. Keep it firmly in your mind that this is a long-term adjustment to your lifestyle and not a temporary course of treatment that will end when you’ve lost weight.
Aim for Feel-Good Strategies
Image via Flickr by Claricethebakergardener
Avoid anything that feels like a major sacrifice or terrible discomfort. Aim for weight loss strategies that will make you feel good. Identify forms of physical activity that you enjoy. If jogging on a treadmill sounds like torture, don’t do it! Try dance, swimming, yoga, or hiking. Get your friends involved so your workouts double as a fun social outing. Work up a sweat playing with the kids or your dog. It’s easier to stick with your changes when you find strategies that make you smile.
Track Your Results
Keeping track of your results is an effective way to motivate you to continue with your plan. You’ll find a wealth of smartphone apps that can help you with the task. Pair them with a wearable like a Fitbit for effortless fitness tracking, or make a habit of logging in a few times a day to keep up with your latest accomplishments.
With the right selection of apps, your Apple iPhone 6s can become your most powerful fitness tool. Its large Retina HD display and powerful A9 chip will make it easy to use fitness apps. Make sure you’re working with a carrier like T-Mobile that will give you plenty of data as well, so you can use data-heavy features to track your runs or update your stats even when you’re not on Wi-Fi. Make sure you note not only the obvious changes, like pounds lost, but other advances as well. Improving your diet and fitness routines can also improve your mood, sleep, and complexion. Look for these benefits for added motivation.
Make One Change at a Time
Don’t aim for a complete lifestyle overhaul in one day, or even one week. Add your weight loss strategies one at a time, and give each new habit a few weeks to take hold before you add another. If you’re trying to quit a favorite vice, such as caffeine, allow yourself to step down gradually.
Keep in mind that some changes can make you feel worse before you feel better. If you consume a lot of sugar, you might experience withdrawal symptoms such as anxiety, headaches, and insomnia when you first quit. Stick with it until you begin to reap the benefits, like increased energy, weight loss, and clearer skin. Once you’re comfortable with one change and seeing real benefits from it, you can move on to the next one.
Find Satisfying Replacements
It’s difficult to stick with a lifestyle change that feels like a punishment. Steer clear of anything that screams deprivation. Don’t focus on what you’re getting rid of, but rather on what you’re replacing it with. Find satisfying replacements for unhealthy habits, such as a delicious morning smoothie instead of a sugary cup of coffee, or an exhilarating Pilates class after work instead of an hour of television.
With the right approach to your weight loss strategies, you can kill the dieting curse and create lasting change. Sticking with your new lifestyle can help you improve all aspects of your health with lasting advantages that range from more muscles to a better mood and beyond.