5 Tips to Keep Your Mental Health in Shape as You Diet
Losing weight and going on a diet can be quite challenging! As someone who has lost over 50 pounds, I will share a bit of my "dieting wisdom" with you.
1. Throw Out that Scale! Of course we all want to keep track of our progress, but stepping on that scale everyday isn't the way to do it. In fact, it can keep us from focusing on what we really should be focusing on. A preoccupation with what the scale reads can cause us to become dependent and depressed. Instead, keep close attention to how you feel--lack of energy and tiredness could be an indication that you are failing to loose weight in the healthiest way. On the other hand, increased energy could be a sign that you are becoming healthier. Focus on what your body tells you--monitor how clothes are fitting you. This is a much more positive way of monitoring your weight loss. Save the scale for regular doctor's checkups or occuasional, periodic use.
2. Set Realistic Goals. Trying to "loose weight fast" is often times not only impractical, but also dangerous. Set goals that you know can be feasibly integrated into your daily routine. Not only are quick weight loss attempts often difficult to maintain, but they can also be hazardous to your health--causing you to ruin your metabolism and rapidly regain the weight as soon as you stop your diet.
3. Expect Fallbacks. We all have our bad days. Being hard on yourself for breaking your diet and falling back on your weight goals is part of the process! Frustration can make it even harder to get back on track. Instead, look forward and decide ways in which you can be more dedicated to your goals. Keeping a journal can help.
4. Praise Yourself Often. Remember, attaining your weight goals is just as much a mental process as it is a physical one. For this reason, it is important to keep yourself motivated. Think of ways to positively reward yourself. For example: get your nails done or have a guys-only night out. There are all kinds of ways to pamper yourself without spending too much money. Be creative!
5. Be Open with your Doctor. If you are struggling in acheiving your goals, don't keep trying to do it alone! Contact your doctor. He/she may be able to help you customize your goals or refer you to a nutritionist or other professional trained to help patients mentally and physically stay on track when loosing weight.
Above all, remember that loosing weight does not mean foregoing fun and ignoring what your mind and emotions tell you. In fact, paying attention to your mental state can ultimately mean far better results. Forget about the scale, be realistic, reward yourself, and, if needed, seek professional assistance. With the right mindset, you will already be well on your way to reaching your weight loss goals!
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