Weight loss is a tough obstacle that does not seem to have a positive end in sight for many. This was definitely the case for me when I started my weight loss journey back in middle school. I know that I started this way too early and what I really should have done was become proactive towards living a healthier life rather than focusing on weight loss. But, alas, weight loss was my focus.
I truly struggled with the losing part of my plan. I was, of course, following in the footsteps of my mother. I would start one diet, not see any results and then give up. I did this many times over several years.
Starting and stopping a multitude of diets is what is referred to as “yo-yo dieting”. You have probably been there yourself. You find the new and latest diet that is supposed to help you lose weight in 1, 2, or even 3 weeks simply by making one small change to your diet by adding a pill, drinking a shake, or only eating a certain food each day. You then find yourself a few weeks later still at the weight you started at or only one to two pounds lighter. So you quit, telling yourself that you are just destined to fail at weight loss.
It is time to start changing this process and the way you perceive weight loss. You do not lose weight by simply making a choice or changing one thing. Successful weight loss is the result of making many small choices consistently, on a daily basis.
Losing weight is like learning a new skill. Just like any new skill, you have to study, practice, learn, and repeat. You will also need to learn a few other smaller skills to help you master that skill. You must continue this process over and over until you have successfully mastered the new skill.
Think about learning to ride a bike. To learn how to ride a bike you need to study. This part usually involves watching someone else and listening to them explain the basics. Then you need to practice riding. You will fall and get bruised a bit, but you don’t give up. Instead, you get up and try again. This time you focus on learning the smaller skill of balance. You practice a few more times, while trying to learn the skill of pedaling. You study, you practice, you fall, you learn, and then you repeat.
Weight loss is very similar to this. When you join a new weight loss program or purchase a new weight loss product, you are not going to be successful just because you purchased the program or product. This is where it becomes tricky because it tells you to do this one thing, whether it’s to take a pill, drink a shake, or eat a certain food but it does not tell you about the rest of the process. This is why you are in a constant yo-yo dieting pattern.
There is so much more involved in the weight loss process. You need to treat it like a new skill and go through the learning process to discover what works best for you. The good news is that you have already done a lot of research, or studying, along the way. What have you learned? Here’s just a few of the things that you may have learned!
- Changing one small thing is not going to cause weight loss.
- Making one small choice is not going to lead to weight loss.
- You cannot lose weight by simply taking a pill.
- Weight loss does not happen overnight.
- There is much more to losing weight than just “wanting” it.
Here are things that I have learned that will help you:
- Weight loss needs a consistent effort.
- You need to make several decisions.
- Keeping a record of your food and exercise helps.
- It is not all or nothing.
- Every small action you take towards your goal helps.
- Remaining conscious of your decisions will help keep you on track.
- Having room for failure is a good thing.
The best way to keep off the “yo-yo dieting” roller coaster is to make a conscious decision to lose weight and make a consistent effort toward that decision. This involves making many small decisions each day that lead toward your ultimate weight loss goal. Some days you may feel that you have “slipped” on your diet but do not let that distract you from your ultimate goal. You want to lose weight in a healthy way while living your life. It is okay to have slip ups now and then, just give yourself a way to get back on track.
Use this list to help you practice your new weight loss skills on a regular, consistent basis:
- Exercise regularly – it’s best to workout 3-5 days per week so that you can burn off that unwanted fat. One way to achieve this is to set up a workout time in your schedule and stick to it. Start out with 10-15 minutes and build from there.
- Eat a healthy diet – add healthier food choices to your meals. Try substituting whole grains for processed carbs, or water for soda. Make yourself accountable with a chart.
- Do your research – use books, the Internet, or a support group for finding new and interesting exercises and meals.
- Make yourself accountable – set yourself a daily goal and stick to it. Track your success on a chart, share with a friend, or find yourself a weight loss coach that will hold you accountable.
- Give yourself flexibility – every day is not going to be perfect. Do the best that you can each day. If you miss a day of exercise, or eat that fried Twinkie, it is not the end of your success. Instead, have a plan in place for the next day that will get you back on track for your success.
The choices you make each and every day are crucial to your success. When it comes to dieting, everything you do each and every day can lead you to another failed attempt or make you a success.
Make a conscious decision to stay consistent with your weight loss goals on a daily basis and break away for the “yo-yo dieting cycle”. When you do this you will begin to see the pounds melt away. Are you ready to break the cycle?