The journey to physical fitness has always been painted as one with fraught with suffering and pain but it doesn’t always have to be so.
Losing weight isn’t something you can simply will yourself to do, like getting out of bed in the morning. Rather, it’s something that happens when you do other things, such as eating less and moving more, consistently over a period of time and there are simple ways to lose weight and enjoy the process at the same time.
- Eat real foods: Certain processed foods are made with ingredients that are addictive and would make you want to eat more than you need to. It is often best to consume healthy, home made meals that you enjoy. If you have been eating some of these addictive processed meals, give your taste buds time to get used to the taste of real food again.
- Eat meals you enjoy: Choose your foods and plan your meals as if you were offering them to someone you really want to please. Modify your favorite meals with smart substitutions, and make your meals more nutritionally balanced.
- Enjoy the meals you eat: Eat slowly and savor your foods. Give your taste buds a chance to enjoy themselves, and give your body a chance to send out those “I’ve had enough” signals before you’ve already wolfed down more than your body needs.
- Use a small plate: The same amount of food will look like more when it’s on a smaller plate. According to research, you can “trick” yourself into feeling satisfied on less food this way, even if you know it’s the same amount of food.
- When you run across temptations, take a short time-out before you decide what to do. Ask yourself how you think you’re going to feel after you eat whatever it is that you’re craving. Then, ask yourself how you think you’ll feel after you decide not to eat it. Choose the feeling you most want to have.
- Forget “exercise” and think “accomplishment”: You might find it more motivating to think in terms of what you want to accomplish each day. That could be any number of things, from lasting a minute longer than you did the previous day or lifting a bit more weight, even if you’re just getting started. Just make sure your daily accomplishment goal is realistic for where you are in your fitness journey.
- Reward yourself for each accomplishment: If you manage to do what you set out to accomplish that day, give yourself a non-food reward. Like say, a day at the spa or a present. This strategy can also give you something pleasant to think about when you’re in the middle of your exercise session.
- Pick the types of exercise that make your life easier and better: Examine your own lifestyle and determine if there are ways you can find exercises that fit your schedule and your personality. You’re more likely to keep coming back if it’s not a hassle that makes you miserable.
The best way to help yourself lose weight permanently is to put your willpower into finding meals to eat and activities to do that you enjoy for their own sake. It’s the pleasure and rewards you’ll find in those foods and activities that will get you to do them consistently now and continue doing long after you hit your goal weight.