|Photo: R.A. Navarrete
You may have been excited and compliant with your weight loss program, exercise routine or diet a few months ago, but recently you got off track. So how do you return to losing weight again?
First, select the best weight loss program for your individual needs. What have you tried in the past and failed? Choose something different. Or what has worked in the past? Do it again! Don’t just try the latest craze or a diet that your best friend swears by.
Second, find accountability. You can’t do this alone because it is too hard. You need someone to help you, especially during your moments of temptation. It can be someone you look up to, someone you relate to, or just someone who wants to help. It can also be a support group such as in Weight Watchers. Check in for accountability at least once per week, and be honest about your struggles. Without someone to hold you to your commitment, you could easily give in or give up. Call this person when you need motivation to resist overeating.
Third, exercise! Do not neglect this part of your weight loss program. It is just as important as eating right. Make exercise a habit in your daily routine by planning it into your day. It must become a priority, and that should never change (even once you achieve your weight loss). The cheapeast and easiest form of exercise is a walking or jogging program. Other convenient alternatives are workout videos or exercise equipment. But I don’t recommend spending money on equipment or a membership unless you are committed to exercising consistently.
Fourth, remember that changing your lifestyle is permanent; it is not a yo-yo diet. The best way to lose weight and keep it off is to do so at a slow and steady pace. The healthy habits you form during this process should last forever. The same components that help you lose weight will also enable you to maintain your new, healthy weight. For example, if eliminating sodas and desserts has helped you to lose 20 pounds, don’t add them back into your diet except on rare or special occasions. It initially takes willpower to say no to junk food or to say yes to workouts, but it will become a habit with time. Remember that on January 1, everyone says no to sweets. Be the person who still says no in June, October, or even December!