It is easy to lose your focus after you have been on a diet for a few weeks or months. The tedium of trying to make good choices day after day, combined with the inevitable cookies and cakes that seem to come your way, make it easy to lose focus and just give up. Before you give up completely, spend a few minutes refocusing on your reasons for losing weight. Develop strategies and learn new techniques that will help you continue on your quest to lose weight.
Monitor your weight loss progress. Use graph paper or a printable weight loss progress chart. A publication from the Pennington Nutrition Series recommends monitoring your weight to document your successes and put a stop to weight gain. Visually seeing your downward progress can help you stay motivated to continue losing weight. Record your weight on a weekly basis. Make adjustments in your eating and exercise if needed. In addition to keeping a weight loss graph, keep a log of your exercise achievements to track your improving fitness level.
Join a weight loss support group. The website HelpGuide.org says social support during the weight loss process encourages the participant to keep trying to reach individual goals while learning habits that can lead to “lifelong healthy eating.” Research your group’s philosophy before joining to ensure that the group’s meeting style will motivate you to continue losing weight. Online support groups are another option. Many online groups have no registration fees and offer you the ability to ask and answer questions about weight loss.
Set realistic short and long term goals. Set goals unique to you. Setting small daily goals will keep you motivated day-to-day and long-term goals will keep you focused on your ultimate objective. An example of a short-term goal is to eat within your calorie range for the day, and a long-term goal may be to compete in a 5K race. Write down your goals and what action you need to take to complete the goal. If you want to exercise five times a week, schedule the time and make any needed child care arrangements.
Keep your health in the forefront of your mind. University of Maryland nutritionist Andrea Wenger Hess says it is important to concentrate on your health rather than a clothing size or the number on the scale. When you focus on eating right and improving your fitness level, it makes staying focused on your long-term weight loss goal easier. Write down your health reasons for losing weight. Include goals such as improving blood pressure, reducing your cholesterol levels, building bone density or reducing joint pain.
Ask a trusted friend or spouse to help you stay accountable and focused.
To avoid feeling deprived, allow yourself an occasional dessert.
Train for an upcoming race or event with a friend.
Use an online tracking system to track your workouts and distances covered.
Always use a list when grocery shopping.
When eating out, check the nutritional information of the restaurant's menu before you leave home.
Check with your doctor if your weight loss stalls.