Weight loss is on the top of many people’s wish lists for Christmas, and it is a major New Year’s resolution for many others. Unfortunately, it remains on the lists year after year, but a healthy weight is often never reached.
That’s because wishing and hoping for a magic diet or solution doesn’t work — but making permanent lifestyle changes does.
With the right motivation and goal-setting, weight management can be easier than ever before. Taking responsibility for actions taken towards diet and weight control is the first step. It is not something that can be left up to someone else. Each individual controls their own ability to succeed at weight loss.
Short-term solutions do not offer long-term benefits. It takes a commitment to a better lifestyle for weight control to become a natural part of life. Since it takes 21 consecutive days for an action to become a habit, the best advice is to start with a 21-day commitment for healthier living and managing a healthy diet. It also requires the use of a well-defined plan with goals and milestones for measurable success.
The Mind-Body Connection
Yoga enthusiasts have long known that there is an intensive connection between the mind and body. This powerful connection is one of the secrets to long-term lifestyle changes. Capitalizing on the mind and positive thinking to help control the foods consumed is an effective way to begin making lifestyle changes for the long-term. People who use their minds to control what they eat are the ones who succeed at adhering to a healthy diet.
Motivation comes from within each person and when the mind controls the actions of the body, it can do great things. Rather than giving in to temporary cravings and desires for a “quick chocolate fix,” consider using the mind to make decisions and create goals. By using the mind to reinforce positive thoughts and establish weight loss goals, it is much easier to maintain a healthy diet.
The mind can help a person create a road map for weight control that is long-lasting and effective.
Goal Setting Keeps the Diet Plan on Track
Use the mind to create goals for both short and long-term steps along the way. Decide what changes are needed and how to most effectively make lifestyle changes — and then commit them to paper. Include interim milestones along the way towards more important goals and recognize achievement of those milestones. They will become important motivators along the journey towards permanent lifestyle changes.
Short Term Goals
Include short-term goals and milestones such as the following:
- Drink six to eight glasses of water daily.
- Add one fresh vegetable to lunch and dinner meals.
- Eat a piece of fresh fruit in the early afternoon.
- Lose one to two pounds in seven days.
- Walk five to 10 minutes four days per week.
- Journal about activities and foods consumed each day.
These are measurable, short-term goals that help individuals stay focused.
Long Term Goals
Now, create some longer-term goals that are also measurable, such as:
- Eat five fresh fruits and five fresh vegetables daily.
- Add 12 grams of additional fiber to each day within 60 days.
- Lose 20 pounds in three months.
- Join a gym or other organized activity group.
- Drop two sizes in clothes within two months.
- Purchase a new outfit after succeeding at the three month goal.
- Transition to organic or natural foods for 80% of daily dietary intake.
Goal-setting is a major step in the process for weight loss. It is a powerful tool when it comes to establishing and maintaining a healthy diet. The mind can help the body control what is consumed and it can be a powerful motivator for long-term lifestyle changes that have a positive impact on weight management today and in the future.
Use the mind to continually reinforce the goals and milestones.
Establish Measurable Goals
Start setting goals by establishing achievable, measurable short term goals. Then build up to longer-term goals and be sure to include success milestones along the way. Celebrate each milestone as it is achieved. Just including additional ounces of water in the daily consumption of liquids or adding one vegetable to lunch and dinner is a success.
When seeking information on how to set goals for weight loss, look within the mind — and the body will follow. Write down what is important, create goals that work, and drive towards the long-term objective of weight control.