One of the main reasons why we abandon our goals almost as soon as we start is that the initial goal is too often completely unreasonable! We hope to lose too much weight in too little time and often get discouraged before we even start. It’s therefore essential to set one or more small, reasonable goals. Begin by establishing a timeline – for example, the last few weeks before the end of the year – then set a reasonable weight loss goal, such as 4 to 6 pounds for the next month.
While having an achievable goal is a good start, it’s also important to establish even a simple strategy to set little challenges for yourself as your diet progresses. Evaluate your eating habits and make a list of the things that aren’t working for you. For example, if you snack between meals, you can decide to avoid snacks 6 days per week, and if you really feel like it, you can replace high-calorie snacks with healthy snacks, such as a small piece of cheese and a few nuts, a piece of fruit, or a little applesauce.
Do you never eat breakfast? Choose to change this habit. As soon as you wake up, hydrate yourself with a big glass of water, then start your day off right by giving yourself some fuel that will let you last until lunchtime without snacking on a muffin from the cafeteria or a croissant from the bakery! Try to eat some protein in the morning if you can, such as an egg or a piece of cheese, a hot beverage, and some fruit to fill up on vitamins!
Are you eating too much in the evening? Try rebalancing this meal by avoiding rushing into your food. Start your supper with a soup or by eating an apple accompanied by a glass of water half an hour before you sit down at the table.
Are you not eating enough fruits and vegetables and too much pasta, rice, or bread? Try to eat one balanced meal each day by including only vegetables and proteins and avoiding starches and sugary desserts. Stick to this new habit 6 days a week.
To motivate yourself, therefore, evaluate and choose a bad habit to change and stick to it for a few weeks. Most often, we get used to it and our brains will end up integrating it fully into our daily lives. After three weeks, you’ll already notice a change, and you can add a little new challenge, then another, etc.
Remember that completely changing your diet all at once will completely discourage you, because it’s too restrictive. Changing your eating habits should be done over time!
Moving, sweating a little, making your muscles work (even with simple activities) is always more enjoyable as a group. Insert a new activity that you want to discover or that you’re already familiar with into your weekly routine. For example, take a walk on your break with a colleague, go walk your dog with your spouse, forget parking and walk to work in the mornings, run your errands on your bicycle, sign up for an activity like yoga or Zumba with your best friend, etc.
By bringing someone with you, you’ll motivate each other and you’ll benefit yourself while having fun.
By tackling small goals every three weeks, you’ll gradually change your habits and lose weight slowly but sustainably. At the end of each period, make a little assessment and adjust your goals if necessary, then reward yourself! Yes, treat yourself!
For example, if your last goal was to eliminate starches from your dinner for three weeks, you’ll certainly have lost two to four pounds during this period. Go treat yourself to a new pair of pants, a T-shirt, some perfume, or something that makes you happy. Then start a new goal.
You’ll notice that you’ll lose those extra pounds easily and, above all, you’ll have fun regularly making these little changes that, after a few months have gone by, will be integrated naturally into your daily routine.
In conclusion, calmly evaluate your eating habits and your type of physical activity, then, based on your abilities, set some small goals to be achieved over a long period. Besides losing weight, you’ll gradually adopt a healthier lifestyle.
A little tip: If you don’t know where to start, take the problem that’s bothering you the most and, if necessary, break it into two or more steps to tackle the challenge more easily!