Search     |     Share     |     Blog     |     My Food Diary     |     Login
Healthy eating and exercise for life

Reality Guide to Weight Loss

Perhaps they should make a reality show about losing weight - now there's a real challenge! As anyone who has been on a diet can tell you, it's easy to fall off the bandwagon and say "to heck with it!" Or maybe you begin to think that all this work just isn't worth it. It's easy to let those thoughts creep into your mind. You get on the scale and find you've gained a pound over the week, despite all your efforts. Or, maybe you haven't lost any weight after a month. You go to dinner with a friend and he gets the "Super Duper Chocoholic Brownie" dessert while you munch on the fresh fruit plate. Not to mention, he's thin and trim and has never had a weight problem.

If thoughts of abandoning your weight loss efforts are lurking, don't let them take hold or take root. Read on for the Survival Guide to Weight Loss!

Dump the "on-again, off-again" mentality

If you're looking forward to the day when the weight comes off and you can eat everything you want, think again. The day will come when you finally reach your weight loss goal, but if you start eating everything in site, the day will also come when you are back to square one. Losing weight and obtaining a healthy weight is about making lifestyle changes. Try to change your mentality and realize that the changes you are making now will be with you for good (if you want to maintain your weight loss). If you're unhappy with the changes you are making and feel dissatisfied, it's time to reevaluate those changes. If you're unhappy now, you certainly won't stick with those changes over the long term!

Make a mental (happy) note

Losing weight has a lot to do with your attitude. You've got to believe in yourself and believe in your goals to make it work. If you're negative, it will affect your success (or lack thereof). Work on becoming more positive. Look at the benefits this weight loss will bring you … reduced risk of chronic disease, more energy, etc., – not to mention you'll probably feel a lot better about yourself.

Don't try to move mountains

When you first begin your weight loss journey, you may be very excited and "rarin' to go." But some of this excitement may wear off as reality sets in. That's why it's important to set small goals first. Disappointments can be a real setback, so don't set yourself up for failure. For example, if your high school reunion is coming up in two months, it's unrealistic that you'll lose the 30 pounds you want to take off. (Remember, you didn't gain 30 pounds in two months, so you won't lose it either.) However, you can expect to lose between four and 16 pounds (over the course of a two-month period) - which will most likely make you look and feel better. You can work towards your goal of losing 30 pounds over a longer term.

Go ahead and splurge

Making healthy lifestyle changes is not about deprivation. And, chances are, if you do deny yourself you'll end up overeating more often. If you're at your favorite restaurant and love their chicken fingers and fries, go ahead and order them. However, maybe you should consider eating half of what you normally eat. Split the other half with a friend or take the rest home for another meal. Remember that a "splurge" is something you don't do all the time, so make sure you keep it that way!

Realize you will have setbacks

It's reality time. When it comes to your weight loss plan, you should realize that you will have setbacks. You may find that you regain a pound here or there on your road to weight loss. Or, you may find that the weight comes off immediately, but shortly afterwards you hit a plateau and it takes a few weeks before you lose weight again.  Tip: Use the Modify My Calorie Plan tool to double-check your "daily calories to lose weight" goal.

Whatever your setback, realize that it is not permanent and it's something almost everyone experiences when trying to lose weight. The important thing to do when you have a setback is to reevaluate your priorities, find out what is working and what's not and recommit yourself to your goals.

Remember, use the tools and tips to your advantage. If you’ve had a great week, post your survival guide tips on the message boards. Or, if you need some help, let everyone out there know!