Before you tackle the obvious culprits-diet and exercise-you'll need to address your mindset. If you have a negative attitude, it's going to be reflected in your efforts to lose weight. Don't think of your weight loss journey as something to be endured-instead, think of it as a new experience, one that's going to change your habits and transform your life for the better.
It's also important to remember that what works for someone else might not work for you. Instead of choosing a pre-packaged package or plan-possibly one of the biggest weight loss mistakes-consider what's going to work for youon a physical, practical, and psychological level. A huge 95% of people who lose weight using a pre-determined plan only regain it all within two years, so the most time efficient way to approach your weight loss is to do it right the first time-and that means considering what best fits your lifestyle and needs.
When you devise your strategy for losing weight, don't forget to develop a motivational toolkit. Think about what's motivating you to lose weight, why you need to make these changes in your life, and how they're going to benefit you. It's easy to start your healthy life journey full of motivation, but things can quickly go astray. Suddenly, you've gone from being an enthusiastic, inspired go-getter into being a demoralised, indifferent mess. Yes, some things will go wrong-it's inevitable. But it's much easier to get through the tough times if you've built up your motivational tool kit before you need to open it up and dip inside. Think of it as like a bank account-the more you deposit at the start, the more you have to withdraw later on.
Staying motivated depends on mixing up your approach to food and exercise. Many people quickly get bored with their weight loss efforts because they fall into the same monotonous routine of diet and exercise. But eating the same things and doing the same activities day in, day out not only quickly stops having an effect on your body, but on your mind-it makes you bored, and then you give up. Losing weight isn't about finding a 'quick fix' that lets you return to your old habits once you've lost a few kilos-it's about changing your old habits for good. So keep on finding new foods, new recipes, and new exercises to keep yourself engaged.
It's also important to keep yourself informed-lack of education is another common pitfall when you are trying to lose weight. Remember the expression 'knowledge is power'? Well, it applies to weight loss, too! Arm yourself with as much information about nutrition and exercise as you can, and consider what motivates you and helps you succeed. If you don't develop appropriate behavioural strategies for success to help you on your weight loss journey, you won't get very far. Think about how you succeed in other areas of your life-for example, your career-and apply them to your weight loss. Your environment affects your weight loss as much as anything else, so consider how you can combat any negative external forces that could slow your progress.
Not being prepared is another reason so many people fail to lose weight. A bit of planning and preparation will go a long way, particularly where food and exercise are concerned. Plan your meals, pack healthy snacks and lunches to take with you to work, and schedule time in your day to exercise. Keep yourself on track by creating an accountability method-either weigh yourself weekly, set aside an old pair of jeans to try on regularly as a way of monitoring your changing shape, keep a food diary or even organize a regular check in with a weight loss professional.
Now that you know the most common weight loss mistakes, you're all set to avoid them as you begin your weight loss journey. Have fun-you're about to change your life!