I’ve read the book 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen Covey several times. Every time I read it, Covey makes me think about how modeling behavior on proven, successful models helps in a lot of areas–including weight loss. For example, rather than come up with a unique way to teach my children a new math concept, I first try using a proven method. Not that I ignore technology though, because I make use of some pretty awesome apps. When it comes to weight loss, it is easy to feel disappointed in your progress. However, if you think about it, taking advantage of proven techniques that work–no matter your dieting philosophy, your gender, your weight loss requirements, or your age–can help you move from being disappointed in your weight loss to satisfied and proud of your accomplishments. After all, why constantly reinvent the wheel? That being said, you do need to find an eating and exercise regimen that fits your lifestyle, but there are certain techniques that I have found work in almost every circumstance. Stop feeling disappointed in your weight loss, and commit to using these techniques to move from disappointment to satisfaction. I came up with a list of seven techniques you can use to help avoid disappointment in your weight loss efforts no matter what diet you are following.
1. Stay positive.
Weight loss does not happen on its own or in a straight line. There may be times when your weight loss comes to a screeching halt or you are just not as committed as you want to be. This has happened to me quite a few times. One key technique for avoiding disappointment is to focus on the positive and not allow slip-ups or a lack of progress make you quit.
2. Do some form of exercise every day.
Part of the reason you might feel disappointed in your weight loss effort is because you are not burning enough calories. Do like I did, and commit to at least 15 minutes of daily exercise. The more fit you become, the longer your sessions should be.
3. Eat something in the morning.
Eating in the morning is an important technique for the majority of highly successful losers. I readily admit to not being a breakfast lover, but I do eat something healthy by 10:00 a.m. I find that eating something in the morning helps me avoid overeating or binging later in the day.
4. Understand that portion control is key.
I was really bad at controlling my portions until I realized that controlling portions equaled controlling calories. Over time you will find yourself developing a keen eye for the right amount of your favorite foods.
5. Stick with basic, whole foods.
You may know people who have lost weight using prepackaged diet meals or expensive programs, but I wonder how many of those people were not disappointed with their results over the long term. Stick with basic, whole foods, and avoid eating processed diet foods.
6. Be deliberate when tracking.
When I was disappointed in my weight loss results, it was often because I ate more calories than I needed. It is way too easy to stuff several handfuls of nuts in your mouth or think that the fun pack of M&M candies doesn’t really count. (Not that I ever did that…) I experienced the most success and the least disappointment when I took the time to track my calorie intake. It doesn’t matter what app or technique you use–just pick one and stick with it.
7. Deal with emotional eating issues.
This is huge and something that must be addressed for success. If you have a substantial amount of weight to lose or have been overweight for a long time, there are likely some emotional issues surrounding food that you need to deal with. Ask yourself what emotions drive you to eat and then develop strategies to cope with the emotions without relying on food. If you don’t, you will likely find yourself staying disappointed with your lack of progress.