Second only to the age-old question, "What is the meaning of life?" comes the equally persistent question of "What is the best way to lose weight?" Okay maybe that's a slight exaggeration, but for the amount of diets, weight loss plans, exercise programs, and miracle fat burning pills that have been created it may as well be true.
Losing weight is not easy, but it is possible. Some diets or exercises certainly do work for people, otherwise there wouldn't be such a huge industry built around the subject. But this article isn't going to focus on which diet or exercise plans or better - rather here we will be focusing on a healthy mindset aimed at losing weight, so that whichever diet or exercise plan you follow will have a better chance of succeeding.
Things to Avoid When Losing Weight
Before we get into it though, there are a few things to avoid in choosing a method of losing weight. We've all seen or heard of those "extreme" weight loss shows, where people try to lose weight by following boot camp torture sessions for weeks and months on end. It is this author's opinion that not only are these unrealistic for the average person, even if someone does follow them they are likely to be susceptible to a rebound effect where much, if not all, of the weight loss is gained back once the abnormally extreme lifestyle is finished. Then, after all that work and then gaining the weight back, many people are left with the false impression that they will never be able to keep weight off and just give up. While being overweight is no doubt not a fun thing, replacing one form of suffering with another is not the optimal way towards a healthy weight. Losing weight may be hard, but it doesn't have to be that hard!
Other things to avoid in dieting and exercise are methods that you hate doing as this will decrease compliance and leave you more likely to quit. If you literally cannot stand certain exercises or types of foods in your weight loss plan, find something else. Another factor to consider is cost - more money does not mean better results, so find a diet and exercise plan that doesn't stress your funds.
Overall, finding a form of exercise you can enjoy, eating foods that will help you lose weight but not make you cringe, and staying within a reasonable budget, will greatly increase your chances of sticking with whatever changes you make in your life towards losing weight.
Tips For a Healthy Mindset
The first thing to remember in losing weight is: Losing weight takes time and patience. If you are looking for a miracle weight loss cure, not only are you probably not going to find it, you also are probably not really serious about losing weight. There is no miracle weight loss method out there - otherwise we would all know about it by now. So remember - no miracles! By keeping in mind that no magic power from above will shed those pounds for you, you will be forced to rely on yourself, which is a good thing.
Losing weight takes time and patience because there is a lot of energy stored in the excess pounds you carry. It is actually important to take time in losing weight, so that your body doesn't undergo drastic and traumatic changes, and you can adjust to the gradual changes involved in shedding those excess pounds. Burning fat actually releases toxins into your body, so there are adverse health effects involved in losing weight too quickly.
Second: Be consistent and take it day by day. Start with something you can handle - for example, maybe it is decreasing your caloric intake by a few hundred calories, and going for a short walk. Finish that one day, and credit yourself for that success, even though it may just be one small step. Repeat. As you go, you will find that eating fewer calories becomes not only habit but even feels more natural, and as your tolerance for exercise increases you may find yourself starting to enjoy it. Trust yourself to make changes as you can handle them and as they feel right to you. The diet industry would like you to think you will only find success through rules and strict discipline, but in reality you have to learn to trust yourself as well as the experts to lose weight and keep it off.
Also, taking things one step at a time involves not worrying too much about the future outcome or goal. You know already that you would like to reach a certain weight, but fixating too much on that goal runs the risk of feeling that where you are isn't good enough, and produces anxiety about failure or success. Losing weight is a challenge, so take that challenge on day by day so it doesn't become too overwhelming. You will get there in good time if you stay consistent.
Finally, avoid the temptation to criticize yourself. There may be some days where you may eat more than you would like to, or skip out on exercising. If this happens, all is not lost! Just gently guide yourself back on track, and if you want you can make up for it the next day or just put it behind you and get back to the challenge. It is too easy to be hard on yourself, and doing so increases the chance you will decide this whole weight loss thing is too much for you to handle, which it isn't.
A healthy mindset towards weight loss involves patience, finding weight loss methods that you enjoy, consistency, and a caring attitude towards yourself that won't punish you for not being perfect every day. Keeping this advice in mind, whichever diet or exercise you adopt to help you lose weight will have a greater chance of helping you succeed.