Many people get involved in some form of activity or exercise as a complementary way to support a weight loss diet plan. Having been involved in physical fitness, yoga, and martial arts training for many years I have trained with hundreds of people, many of them looking to "get in shape" or "lose some weight". While this is often the primary reason people start a new physical fitness activity, it has given me the opportunity to see what works and what doesn't when people attempt to follow a weight loss diet plan. Here are some key factors in success or failure when trying to lose weight and get in shape.
Define A Specific Goal - Most people tell themselves they "feel fat and want to lose weight" or "want to drop 10 or 20 pounds" but that's really not a weight loss goal. You need to be specific and define succinctly what you are trying to do that is constrained by time and the amount of weight you are targeting. A much more achievable goal is to say "I want to drop 15 pounds in the next 4 months". By providing a dimension of time and defining the specific amount of weight you are looking to lose you give yourself targets to reach and work for. By doing this you are increasing the chances that the weight loss diet plan you choose can succeed. Pick A Diet You Can Enjoy - This is obvious to me but that's not always the case for many people. I am always stunned when someone wants to try the "Cabbage Soup Diet". Will you lose weight on it? Probably, but only temporarily. There is nothing enjoyable or sustainable about that type of dieting approach. A "diet" is often viewed as restrictive, as if something is being taken away from us. It shouldn't and that is an unfortunate consequence of how the media and advertisers have portrayed weight loss. Let's all assume we understand that cheeseburgers and pizza aren't showing up in the daily menu category. There are plenty of dietary choices that are healthy and can be incorporated into a weight loss diet plan you can enjoy. Workout With Others - When choosing an exercise to do that supports the diet and exercise plan you decide to pursue you will have infinitely more success if the activity is either a team sport (e.g. basketball) or involves working out in a group setting such as martial arts or yoga, or you have a friend you can work out with (weight lifting, running, etc...). Most people aren't disciplined enough to pursue a regular physical fitness routine. Having a friend or group that is there to hold you accountable make a significant difference in the physical fitness aspect of your success. Drink Water - From my perspective, a weight loss diet plan that emphasizes drinking a lot of water as part of the overall approach will always be more successful than plans that simply ignore this aspect of weight management. The benefits of drinking water are substantial. If you are hungry (a danger zone for eating empty calories) drinking a glass will help you feel full. Water hydrates your body and has the notable benefit of flushing toxins out of your system. Toxins come from the food we eat and make us feel sluggish. When we are sluggish we eat more and work out less.
Losing weight is a challenge for most people, but it can be done. Embrace fitness as part of the overall weight management program you follow. No matter what diet or exercise program you choose, these four simple steps will go a long way in helping you to successfully follow a weight loss diet plan.