Starting a Diet – Tips for Success Before You Begin

by May 19, 2014

Many of us have started a diet in the past. We’ve cleaned out the cupboards of all the unhealthy choices, loaded up our water bottles and begun to lose the weight we had been carrying around for years. Once the high of this new project has worn off, a few weeks into it, our motivation begins to flag. We suddenly hit a plateau in weight loss or become bored with steamed vegetables and what feels like mundane food options, we’re tempted by our favorite dessert and give in. After giving into our cravings a few times we often become defeated and jump right off track.

You can begin any diet with the best of intentions, doing all of the right things to prepare yourself, but the only way to successfully lose weight and keep it off is to change your perspective. Lasting weight-loss isn’t a quick process, it takes time, energy and determination. With the right psychological perspective your chances of success are greatly raised.  ShapeWell has done the research for you, here are tips to ensure your in the right mindset before you begin your diet.

Set Realistic Goals For Your Diet


If you begin your diet with unrealistic goals you are certain to feel dejected and give up. Before you even clean the junk food out of the house set yourself a realistic goal.

You are much more likely to succeed if you set smaller goals for changing your lifestyle, such as setting a goal to drink the suggested amount of water for weight loss, losing 5 pounds or another attainable benchmark. Focus upon your health and making sensible eating habits and you will begin to see results which over time will add up to bigger goals.

Take It Slow

Dieting is all about making real lifestyle changes, making long-lasting lifestyle changes doesn’t happen overnight.

If you are undernourished, fatigued and irritable there is little chance any changes you are making will survive the test of time. Remember that optimal rate of weight loss is on average 1-2 pounds per week and pace yourself for the length of this journey.

Expect Roadblocks

We all begin a diet with a perfectionist attitude, this is a positive thing in intention but when faced with the reality of giving into a craving or plateau this attitude can sabotage our weight-loss efforts.

If we get down on ourselves because the scale isn’t moving or we’ve enjoyed a “treat”, many of us throw up our hands and give up. Realize that there will be road blocks along the way and don’t give into the urge to binge. When you slip up, don’t give up because tomorrow is a new day.

Use the Buddy System

There’s nothing like having someone as a partner to keep your motivation going. Find someone with similar goals and commit to each other to be supportive. When your spirits are lagging turn to this person for accountability and clarity.

If you don’t have any friends who are readily available there are groups like Overeaters Anonymous and other online support groups, seek them out and set up your support system before you begin.

Reward Yourself

Dieting isn’t a walk in the park.  You’re working hard making life changes and it’s not always easy. Small non-food related rewards can provide positive incentive to keep going.

Set out rewards for yourself before you even begin.  If you’ve set 5 pounds as your first goal why not get a pedicure to celebrate when you reach it? Attaining your goals is progress and should be recognized as such, you’ll find that these motivate you on the tough days.

Set Your Long Term Plan

Ask anyone who has lost a significant amount of weight simply to gain it back and they’ll tell you they wish they’d set a maintenance plan. Healthy eating is not a short term fix, you’ve got to make long-term changes and stick to them.

Do your research and find out what is the best long-term plan for yourself, by setting this up before beginning your diet you will be prepared to stick to your healthy habits once you’ve reached your end goal weight.


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