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Five Ways to Stay Motivated During Your Diet

You have been on diets before. You probably have lost weight. But sometimes, it's tough to stay focused and on track. What's been missing from your efforts? It is possible to lose weight in a consistent way and keep the pounds off.

Perhaps in addition to a solid diet plan, there are some other aspects you have overlooked. It's important in any of your efforts to have motivation and drive to achieve your goals. Dieting is no different and with a few changes around your excitement for the task, you can get to your target weight.

1. Make it fun
Tired of the same foods on your regimen? Do the meals seem boring and repetitive? Try a new recipe that makes sense with your plan. Spices and herbs don't interfere with most diet plans and can add a lot of flavor to the same ingredients. If you are cooking just for yourself, don't settle. Make Tuesday a special occasion. You're going to be eating for the rest of your life. Make it enjoyable.

2. Have a goal
It's easy to get lost without a map. You can get easily sidetracked if you have vague weight loss goals. If you tell yourself, "I'm going to lose a few pounds before that event," you can fall off your plan as quick as a trip to the coffee shop bakery. Don't settle for losing 10 or 20 pounds if your target weight is 40 or 50 pounds away. If you lost the first few pounds, you can get to your goal by continuing what you've been doing.

3. Get help
You can also get lost if you refuse to stop and ask directions. Most tasks are easier if we recruit help. This can be family, friends, or coworkers. Help does not mean everyone in your life will eat the same as you. But asking for support on difficult days is important. Letting the people in your life know what you are doing will give you that extra push when you need it. Getting help can also take the form of enjoying people ask, "Have you lost weight?"

4. Ruin your wardrobe
Part of the excitement of losing weight is finding your clothes get loose-or, finding that last year's jeans actually fit now. One way to reinforce your efforts is to set aside some funds for every pound you lose. Put away $5, $10, or whatever amount feels right and when you hit that goal, go shopping and replace your ill fitting old clothes.

5. Enjoy the extra energy
As you lose weight, you'll feel better and likely have more energy. Do something you've been putting off. Or, take the energy and become more active as you had been in the past. The increased energy as you lose weight lets you do more and increasing your activity level only moves you closer to your weight loss goals.

Take what you know about your body and turn it into a plan that works for you. Sometimes, it takes a complete direction change to get to your goals. Other times, some fine tuning can turn a good plan into a success.

Anthony J. Burlay, M.D. is a Board Certified Psychiatrist and Author of The Foundation Diet: Your Body Was Designed to Eat, a plan he created after losing and keeping off 50 pounds. Learn more at


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