Have you ever failed at a diet? Even people who have successfully lost weight and maintained their weight loss probably failed at more than one diet before finding success. Most people do not fail at a diet because they are weak-willed. They usually fail because they chose a diet they really couldn’t stick to long term to begin with, or because they weren’t truly prepared before starting the diet. Here are five things you should do before starting any diet.
– Get yourself mentally prepared. Dieting is not easy. It’s not even easy when the food is good and there is plenty of it. There will come a time when you want to eat something that is not on your diet. There will be days when you’d rather be run over by a herd of elephants than to work out at the gym after work. Get yourself into a mental space where are okay with the foods you will eat, the amounts of food you will eat, how often you will need to exercise, and the results you are expecting to see. Consider writing in a journal now and during the course of your diet.
– Purchase the meals or ingredients you will need. The chances of blowing your diet are greatly increased if you do not have the meals or foods you are allowed to eat on hand. If you will be making your food from scratch, take the time to make the food ahead of time and freeze it. It is also important to keep snacks on hand. If you become really hungry, you are more likely to eat whatever is convenient than you are to cook a meal.
– Have a plan for challenging times. Most people cannot stay locked away in a safe room while they are dieting. There will be challenging times and situations. Office parties, holidays and big family dinners are always difficult to maneuver from a food standpoint. It will be difficult to stay on track if you are going to eat out, or going to the movie theater. There will be times when you want to skip your workout, and you need a plan in place to motivate yourself into doing the workout anyway. If there is a plan in place, you are more likely to stay on track.
– Have an exercise plan. Weight loss requires more than just eating a healthy diet. You also have to exercise. Do you have an exercise plan? If you will be doing workouts at a gym, have you set up your membership? Have you looked into any group exercise classes? If you just plan to walk for exercise, have you determined where you will walk, how often and how far? Have you purchased any exercise equipment you will need? If you don’t have an exercise plan, you probably won’t get enough exercise.
– See your doctor. This is something all experts say, and too few dieters actually do. When you inform your doctor that you are starting a weight loss program, including an exercise program, he can determine whether the diet and the exercise are safe for you, based on your individual health and physical condition. He may even be able to determine whether there is a potential for success or not with a specific diet program or plan, based on your overall health, or on what he or she might discover through blood work. If you are serious about losing weight, see your doctor first.
Dieting is hard, but you can lose the weight you want to lose, as long as you are prepared for the dietary changes you will have to make, as well as the changes in your level of activity. Being prepared before you start your diet is the key to weight loss success.