There is a reason weight loss is at the top of the priority list for so many people. Weight loss plans have become a business rather than a solution. If you have tried all the diets and found they either do not work as well as the advertising claims or that you end up so ravenous you stuff yourself with anything you can get your hands on, you are among millions - especially if you are a woman.
The truth of the matter is that women generally burn fewer calories than men and have special challenges such as hormones and lifestyles that do not necessarily fit with typical weight loss plans.
To lose the weight, you have to train your brain.
Ten Tips for Getting Started on a Permanent Weight Loss Plan
1. Don't start out thinking that changing your diet and establishing a workout habit will be easy. Too many believe the hype about fast and easy weight loss and then end up derailed when they hit the hard part. Recognize that changing your lifestyle will not be easy. Know that there will be times it will be difficult and be prepared to get through it. "Difficult" does not mean "impossible". Know that if you slip and fall, you don't have to give up. Be prepared to get back up and continue on.
2. Start right now. Go for a brisk walk and think about the changes you will make. Know that with every step, you are speeding your metabolism and burning unwanted fat. Resolve that you will make this first walk count. Plan your walk or other workout for tomorrow while you are exercising.
3. Do not tell yourself you will not be able to have your favorite foods. In fact, it is easier to stick to a diet and fitness plan when you know that every couple of days, you can have a serving of your favorite ice cream or eat a delicious cheeseburger on the weekend. Deprivation -- even the THOUGHT of deprivation can have you running for the fridge. That is human nature and you are human after all.
4. Choose a plan that makes sense. Crash diets or diets that insist you give up an entire food group should not be considered. Balance is the key to steady weight loss.
5. Enlist support from friends and family who will not sabotage you or make you feel like you are under a microscope. You need to feel encouraged -- not tempted or bullied.
6. Look for a workout partner but don't feel you have to have one. Studies have shown that those who work out with a friend or loved one tend to stick to the routine longer. However, if you are a loner or you have difficulty finding someone that is reliable, don't feel you have to have company to exercise. Exercising alone can give you time to clear your head.
7. Don't be obsessed by the scale. After your initial weigh-in, do not get on the scale for at least one week. When you know that you are doing what you need to do to lose weight and get healthy, a weekly weigh-in is just right for keeping you motivated.
8. Plan to vary your workout routine and choose one or two activities that are new to you. Get a dance workout DVD. Buy a step. Take up kickboxing. It is likely that you will prefer one workout over the rest and will keep that as your regular routine but throwing in different activities will keep you from getting bored. It will also have a cross-training effect on your body and help you get fit faster.
9. Use the power of visualization. It works for athletes and other professionals and it works for weight loss as well. See yourself succeeding and let yourself feel the satisfaction. You might see yourself completing a marathon, wearing a particular style of dress or simply walking into a room with confidence. Telling your mind that you are successful at weight loss will instill a "slim" mindset.
10. By all means, get a physical and talk to your doctor before starting any plan. Your doctor can tell you if there is any exercise you should not be doing or if a particular way of eating may be harmful to you. Make your weight loss plan work for you and your body.
The most important piece of advice for weight loss is to never give up. One slip does not a failure make and you are capable of getting back on track. Don't put all your hopes in the latest diet craze. Trust yourself to know what works for you.