If you’ve ever started a diet you know how hard it is not to cheat. Staying motivated to keep with a diet is not an easy or simple endeavor. It takes hard work, dedication, discipline and consistency. It can be tough starting.
However it is a little easier if you focus on making the right choices and decisions. Maintaining your motivation requires diligence at all times paying attention to your food and exercise habits and learning how to make the right choices with what you eat and what you do throughout the day. Even though it’s hard and you don’t want to, you will have to encourage yourself, bargain with yourself and trick yourself into maintaining that motivation.
When you first start out its very important to set goals. These goals can be pounds lost, inches lost, change in clothes size, or even how many or how long you can exercise for. Goals should be both short-term and long term. The short term goals should be measurable and fairly easy. It’s easier to maintain your motivation if you feel like you accomplished something on a regular basis. The last thing you want to do is set an unrealistic goal that you will undoubtedly fail at and become frustrated with the diet. Your long term goal should be your ideal weight or size. Short term goals are the small motivators to keep you going but the long term goal is necessary to push yourself beyond what you think you can handle.
Many people start exercise program and diets that are unrealistic for their lifestyle. The last thing you want to do is set a goal that is impossible to even start. Pick a diet that fits with your current habits. If you love to watch TV, then pick a few exercise DVDs to work out with. If you enjoy going out with your friends, encourage them to go for walks rather than meet at the coffee shop. If its too complicated to count calories, consider a meal replacement diet. There are many weight programs out there to help you lose weight. Pick the one that will be the easiest to follow.
Track your progress
Start a body diary at the beginning of your diet. Take a “before” picture and track your weight and inches on a weekly basis. This way when you get frustrated that this diet isn’t working, you can look back and see that even though it doesn’t feel like you have made progress, the numbers will show you otherwise and give you the strength and resolve to continue to your big goal.