As with any long journey, when it comes to losing weight, the first steps are the hardest. Sometimes we get so overwhelmed by how to begin, that we never start at all. You probably know you want to slim down, but it’s difficult to know how to get there.
As an award-winning bariatric medical doctor, Jan McBarron, M.D. understands that dropping pounds is no easy task. Here, she’s outlined a couple tips that will help you kick off a successful weight loss regimen.
Find a Friend
Everything’s better with a friend at your side. If you’re struggling to find motivation to start losing weight, turning your efforts into a group activity is a great way to get started and stay dedicated. Because many fizzle out before even beginning, Dr. Jan McBarron of Duke and the Doctor cites finding a friend to exercise with as a great way to increase success rates.
Besides adding an element of fun to your workout, having an exercise companion also makes you more accountable. If you have someone to report your goals and successes to, you’re more likely to stick to your plan and follow through.
Set Achievable Goals
When it comes to goals, bigger isn’t necessarily better. Dr. Jan McBarron has her patients implement effective, sensible goal setting. That doesn’t mean you need to scale-back your desired results; it simply means you should divide your goals into bite-sized pieces. For example, if you need to lose twenty pounds, break your weight loss goal plan into increments of five pounds. This helps you recognize and celebrate your own progress and allows you to stay energized and motivated.
Trash the Junk Food
If you don’t have it, you can’t eat it. If junk food is present in your home, then the temptation to chow down on will always be there, too. Instead of hoping you’ll have the constant, unwavering self-control not to eat unhealthy food, it’s better to toss it out entirely. It only takes ten minutes of determination to clear your pantry of potato chips, candy, and other fat-inducing trash foods. In their place, stock your pantry with fruits, vegetables, and whole grain snacks. Once the temptation is gone, you’ll be forced to eat healthier.
Design a Rewards System
Our brains are wired to respond to rewards. If you’re wanting a sure-fire way to start a successful weight loss program, start by designing a reward system. While snacks like ice cream or another treat might be the first to pop into your mind, you should instead incorporate a non-food-based reward. Treats such as purchasing a new workout outfit, getting a pedicure, or going to see a movie can serve as effective, small rewards to keep you motivated and moving forward.
Dr. Jan McBarron of Duke and the Doctor knows how easy to get caught up in the planning process and never actually start. It’s tempting to put off weight loss endeavors for the new year, or next week, or after the holidays. These measures which are aimed at creating “fresh starts” are just procrastination methods. The bare truth is that if you want to lose weight, the time to start is always right now.
While it’s good to make a weight loss plan, develop a workout regimen, and design an optimum diet, these can all come as developments. The best time to start shedding those pesky pounds is always to jump in and do it now.