For many people losing weight is not so much the problem as keeping it off. You may find that you have the willpower to stick with your diet and reach your target weight. But although you feel great having achieved your goal, somehow the weight always creeps back on.
The fact is to lose weight permanently you need to make permanent changes to your lifestyle. After all your lifestyle made you overweight – so if you don’t change that lifestyle you’ll get right back to your overweight state no matter how much weight you lose.
1. Set your standards
Decide right now to stop putting up with the standards you’ve set for yourself so far. Is how you treat your body and how you spend your time really how you want to live your life? Are you satisfied with how you are looking after your health? with the food you eat? with your energy levels?
You don’t have to put up with a flabby out-of-condition body, junk food and lack of physical activity. You can have a life where you eat delicious nourishing food all the time, where you have plenty of energy, a sparkle in your eye and a spring in your step and where you are toned, fit and healthy.
Decide right now to raise your standards and play in a new league.
2. Squash your limiting beliefs
You may want to change your lifestyle but you’ll never succeed unless you believe you can. Failed diets and abandoned exercise regimes (and maybe you’ve had many of those) can destroy your confidence in being able to make changes. But actually all you need is the right strategy and anyone can succeed at making quite far-reaching changes without backsliding.
If you’ve not succeeded before you just haven’t found a way to make changes which is right for you. It doesn’t mean you can’t ever succeed.
Start by imagining yourself living to your new standards. How will you look, how will you move and how will you feel? Become comfortable with these images so that they will feel less and less foreign to you. The more you use your imagination the more you start to accept in your subconscious mind that this could be a realistic future for you and it will give you the motivation you need to make changes.
3. Make changes stick
We all have a comfort zone which consists of everything that we are used to in our lives. To make permanent changes that you are happy to stick with forever you have to expand the things you are comfortable with.
The problem with standard diet and exercise regimes is that they ask you to make huge changes all at once – they have you stepping miles away from your zone of comfort.
If you are happy making drastic changes – go ahead. If you can stick with it you’ll lose weight quickly and permanently.
But chances are you’ve tried this – probably many times – and although you start out with great intentions you just can’t keep those changes up. It’s no wonder – because they work right against human nature.
The secret of making changes permanent is to expand your comfort zone gently. Make one or two small changes and get used to them before you try and change anything else.
Only you will know the scale of the changes you’re happy to make and how long you’ll need before those changes feel like part of you. Research suggests it needs about 21 days to form a new habit.
If you create new healthier habits one after the other in this way, the weight loss will follow automatically. And because you have become comfortable with each change you will lose that weight permanently too.