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Mind Over Matter: How Your Attitude May Affect Your Weight Loss

Jan 17, 2008
Though diet and exercise are certainly important factors in any weight loss plan, a positive attitude is what makes such lifestyle changes possible. As evidence that one's mental state is just as important as physical activity when trying to lose weight, many people have already found that it is much harder to make the lifestyle changes required for weight loss if you don't believe those changes can happen. To help you mentally prepare for a long term weight loss plan, here are a number of tips to get you thinking about how a positive attitude can help you reach your weight loss goals.

1. Set realistic goals for yourself

When you start trying to lose weight, try to remember that you are making a lifelong change. Weight loss results may not come as quickly as you hope sometimes, but try not to overdo it or become discouraged. Rather, focus on short-term goals that you can control - like your daily exercise - and establish more long-term goals for weight loss.

2. Envision your future self

One way to help you focus on your weight loss goals is to think about how you will look and feel when you meet your weight loss target. However, this mental exercise should not make you feel discouraged or unhealthy about your current self. You should simply try to think about the opportunities that a healthy lifestyle will provide you in the long-term.

3. When it comes to exercise, do what you enjoy

As you try to lose weight, you should focus on activities that you enjoy doing, rather than forcing yourself to complete unwanted tasks. If you love the outdoors, consider taking short walks a few times each week, even if it is just to the end of your block and back. If you simply enjoy watching TV or movies, you can view your programs while doing chair exercises or simple bicep curls with light weights. By devoting your energy to activities that you get pleasure from, you will be more likely to remain positive and committed for the long term.

4. Feel confident

Being able to maintain self-confidence is often one of the most important factors affecting the success of weight loss. Hence, you should do your best to think of yourself as a healthy and active person. Remind yourself that each day you remain serious about losing weight will make you look and feel better.

5. Find a friend

Many people considering new weight loss plans don't take action because they simply don't know how or where to begin. To help overcome that road block, consider asking a friend or family member to join you in the journey. By sharing your weight loss goals with another, you will both gain valuable support and motivation.

6. Look for different ways to measure your success

When it comes to losing weight, everyone has different goals and visions of success. Yet, one of the best tips for everyone to follow when trying to measure weight loss success is the most simple: avoid the scale. While you will certainly want to measure your actual weight loss, weighing yourself every day can provide deceptive results and put a damper on your positive attitude. Instead, try to focus on how you feel as you begin losing weight. After a few months following a weight loss plan, you might find yourself able to participate in a certain activity that you never thought you could complete or notice your clothing fitting loosely. Use these simple triumphs as markers of success and think about new goals as you go forward.

7. Reward Yourself

When you meet your long term weight loss goals, try to reward yourself in a healthy way. If you are able to keep a potential reward in mind when thinking about weight loss, you might gain enough motivation to work through even the toughest days. On the other hand, if you aren't meeting your goals as quickly as you hoped, it is important not to beat yourself up. Rather than getting discouraged, simply continue with your weight loss plan and know that your diligence will eventually pay off.

In short, when trying to lose weight, you should devote as much energy to creating a positive attitude as you do to your diet and exercise. When you begin your weight loss program, don't be discouraged about having to start your physical activity program slowly. Instead, realize that your stamina and health will improve little by little each day as a result of your commitment. Most importantly, in the early stages of your weight loss, try to cultivate a mental attitude that will help you reach your weight loss goals. Over time, if you utilize some of the tips outlined here, all of your hard work will add up to significant weight loss.
About the Author
Carole S. Guinane, a Chief Clinical Officer writes articles about obesity and weight loss for New Hope Today
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