Wondering how to stick to your weight loss plan? The reality is many of us experience a disconnect between what we know and what we know how to DO. Here’s some advice from Nutritionist Nonie De Long.
Tips About How to Stick to Your Weight Loss Plan
1. Set action steps
Hands down, the top reason why we fail with our nutrition plans is that we have all this theoretical knowledge but it hasn’t been broken down into a step-by-step action plan that we can move through confidently.
Breaking big tasks into doable steps that are spaced out appropriately with reinforcements is really important when making any lifestyle change. It helps us by not only giving us a road
Slow and steady is the best way to ensure the changes we make are going to stay with us year after year. Even if we can do five things at a time and we know the steps and rush through them, we risk overwhelming ourselves and burning out. Then we fall back into old habits one day and let everything slide. Small, doable steps that we can stack make a huge difference in our ability to achieve our goals.
2. Ditch the all-or-nothing thinking
The second most common reason we fail in our lifestyle and nutrition plans is all-or-nothing thinking. If we have a bad day and don’t follow our diet that day and don’t expect and prepare for that we either: a) don’t know what safe cheats are or b) mistakenly think we’ve failed.
As soon as we feel we’ve failed, all sorts of unnecessary negative emotions and self-talk start to enter the equation. But emotion has no place in food. It is important to learn how to remove the judgment and attachment to foods so we can experience the freedom of making decisions based on health criteria instead of forfeiting our power to choose via emotional reactions to our day or our perceived failures.
3. It’s Not About Willpower
Many of us mistakenly think lifestyle changes come down to willpower. We feel we must white-knuckle through it and live without ‘insert foods’ for life. We imagine we will be forever craving said food and wishing for it.
We stop ourselves from starting because we feel it will be too unpleasant a process or, if we do start and this is our mentality, we measure progress via a scale instead of measuring it by how vibrant and healthy and free we feel with food. We try to tell ourselves the scale is a good enough reason to deprive ourselves of the foods we desire.
The point is to be free of food addictions and compulsions to make healthy lifestyle choices on a regular basis – and to enjoy them! Over time, as we know what those choices are and how to prepare them to be pleasing to us, our taste buds actually change.
The things that used to be delicious and tempting to us aren’t delicious and tempting any longer. The treat we used to savor is now sickeningly sweet and can even make us ill to consume. New things excite our senses.
4. Be Consistent
Another reason we fail in our nutrition plans is being inconsistent.
When we’re inconsistent we are always starting things but never getting the results we would achieve if we stuck to it. That is true of anything. And we’re putting in more effort! To get results from any effort we need to be consistent with it. With nutrition this means we need confidence in the steps we’re taking and some assurance that yes, these are going to pay off. Yes, results are going to come. A nutrition professional is the best way to ensure this.
5. Don’t Yield to Social pressures
Social pressure can come from a big, close-knit family or group of friends. If we’re the only one trying to change our lifestyle it can be very difficult in this case because we’re going to be continually invited to places where tempting foods are served!
Plan for and prepare dishes that are appropriate that can be brought along to ensure the get together is enjoyable for all and also a success for the person with the nutrition goals. Review restaurant menus to help us make a plan for what to order. She can also help us better understand how to share with our friend or family group in a way that garners support.
Another suggestion I have to help with this is to invite a friend to join us on our health journey. Bringing a friend along creates mutual support and benefit and can help us stick to our goals when we feel weak. It motivates us and helps us feel less alone in our changes.
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