I told you a few months ago about my major diet endeavors (posted here), but this was really just scratching the surface of my diet failures. The truth is, I've had WAY more than 3 diets in my lifetime. I'd go through periods of time where I'd start a diet on Monday, and give up by Tuesday afternoon. Or I might make it a whole week on a very stict diet and then give myself a "free meal" only to have that meal turn into a "free weekend" and then eventually my diet has all but disappeared.
Other times, I'd make it a month or more and lose 10-15 pounds, drop a pants or shirt size, and really feel better about myself. Yet, even with this success, I'd eventually lose my focus and the pounds would come back without warning.
I know I'm not the only one who has done many of these things. In fact, I'd guess that a majority of overweight and obese Americans go through the same struggles. Because of this, I've come up with 3 things that I've done to ensure that my weight loss plan doesn't fail:
1. Tell as many people as you can about your diet: family, friends, your fast food drive through attendant...anybody that interacts with you on a daily basis should be in on your plan. Make sure you're very specific. I told some of my coworkers who I occasionally eat lunch with, "Yeah, I'm drinking only water now. Oh, and by the way, I don't eat bread anymore." So, what do you think would have happened if I had ordered a coke at our next lunch or a club sandwich? I'd hear about it... Never just say "I'm on a diet" or "yeah, I'm trying to lose weight", because there aren't any specific things for others to keep you accountable to.
2. Make yourself weigh-in every week, no matter what. I know that weight isn't always a good indication of health, but if you are severely overweight or obese, your weight has to come down before you can be healthy...even if you're gaining muscle at the gym, the number will eventually drop, letting youn know that what you're doing is effective.
Very few people weight themselves every week, and watch the number go up and up without making a change to turn it around. What does happen a lot is that people stop weighing themselves and thier weight goes up and up, but they're in denial, so instead of changing, they assume that they are probably ok and continue to a much more unhealthy weight.
The truth is that seeing those numbers on the scale every week will spur you on to continue losing weight.
3. Throw away(or donate) your baggy, oversized clothes. Don't give yourself a safety net to eventually gain the weight back. After I lost my first 50 pounds, I made a trip to the Salvation Army and donated all of my 3XL shirts. What would have happened if I gained the weight back? There would have been some serious pain in the monthly budget, or I'd look really silly in some seriously tight shirts. Either way, I made it really inconvenient for me to gain back that weight. Recently, I hit the 80 pound weight loss mark, so I did another closet clean out making sure that there is absolutely no way I can go back to even last month's weight, let alone last year's. This will make a big difference in your mindset.
Ok, so those are my three suggestions for sticking to your weight loss plan. What are you doing to stick to your plan? Please leave a comment below.