You are committed to a healthier lifestyle and you have made the conscious decision to lose weight, or at least make some effort to do so. You have been advised by your doctor to follow a healthy diet and exercise program and you are determined to succeed.
You have heard of the famous “80/20 rule”: For every “20” you eat, you should eat an “80”, and you know what? There is some scientific research that supports this concept. For example, eating 20 grams of sugar per day for just two weeks may increase your chances of becoming overweight by 17%—and that’s just the sugar in sugar drinks!
So, how long should it take to lose weight? That depends on you. How many kilos have you decided to lose? How much weight have you already achieved? Are you prepared to follow a healthy diet and exercise program to the letter? How much time do you have to accomplish your goal?
The Importance of Setting Achievable Goals
In order to lose weight, you need to set achievable goals. You should set short-term and long-term goals, and you should weigh them against each other. For example, you may decide that in the next six months you will lose two kilograms—and that’s an acceptable goal. But if you follow the “80/20 rule” and eat only healthy food, you may end up losing more than two kilograms. So, it’s important to set a goal that you will be able to maintain, even if you follow a less than perfect eating regimen. It’s also important to set milestones along the way to measuring your progress. For instance, after you have lost two kilograms, you could weigh yourself again and decide that you have reached your goal. Or, you could decide that two kilograms is not enough and that you want to lose four or five kilograms. Setting a goal that is too high may create anxiety and stress, even if you are motivated to lose weight. But setting a goal that is too low may also be ineffective—after all, why should you be aiming to lose a lot of weight if you think that two kilograms is a lot? Setting a goal of two kilograms or more can also feel a bit obsessive, especially if you have more than one kilo to lose. If you are not used to focusing on small goals, such as two or three kilos, then it may be hard to set a goal that is any larger.
An Eye On The Overall Picture
In addition to setting smaller and larger goals, it’s also important to keep track of the big picture. It’s easy for your mind to be distracted by the little things in life, such as what you are eating or whether or not you are making progress toward your goal. So, in order to keep things in perspective, you need to focus on the big picture—e.g., the number of kilograms you want to lose and whether or not you are on the right track to achieve your goal. To complicate matters, there are likely to be fluctuations in weight as you go through life. For example, if you were born and raised in Australia, you may find that you have more or less mass depending on the season. Remember: You are not doing anything wrong; you’re just a bit overweight. So, it’s important to keep your eye on the big picture, establish healthy habits, and be aware of when you are being distracted by the little things in life.
Make A Plan
In order to lose weight, you need to make a plan. While it’s nice to have big dreams and visions for the future, these sorts of things are very hard to achieve if you don’t have a clear roadmap to follow. If you want to be able to lose weight, you need to be committed to following a plan and sticking to it. Developing and following a plan takes some of the uncertainty out of weight loss—at least, it takes some of the uncertainty out of following a plan that doesn’t work. So, make at least a brief plan, detailing what you need to do to achieve your goal—e.g., what diet you will follow and how much exercise you will get. Developing and following a plan takes some of the stress out of trying to lose weight—at least, it takes some of the stress out of following a plan that doesn’t work. You can also use this plan to help you measure your progress and know when you have reached your goal weight.
Make A List Of Pros And Cons
In addition to making a plan, you need to make a list of the advantages and disadvantages of losing weight. While there are many advantages to losing weight, there are also a number of disadvantages to consider. For example, if you follow the Australian diet, you will lose a lot of sodium—something that is important for your body’s health. But, since most people in Australia have very high blood pressure, you may find that following this diet is making you more prone to heart disease. So, it’s important to consider both the advantages and the disadvantages of losing weight—and you should make a list of them. You can also use this list to help you weigh the advantages against the disadvantages when it comes time to make a decision.
Evaluate The Rewards And Stressors
Once you have made the decision to lose weight and have set a goal, started a diet, and begun to exercise, you need to consider the rewards and stressors associated with these changes. It is easy for your body to get used to a new way of eating and to start enjoying the rewards of healthy living, such as feeling energized and having more self-confidence. But, change is hard, particularly if you are not used to making changes in your life. So, it is important to take time to evaluate the rewards and stressors associated with changing your diet and getting more exercise. When you are undergoing this sort of change, you may experience a lot of stress and anxiety—even if you are doing everything “right”. So, consider evaluating how you are feeling and whether or not this is something that you can live with. If you have a lot of anxiety about losing weight, it may be hard to stay focused on your diet and exercise program—at least, it may be hard to do so without experiencing occasional setbacks. Remember: Just because the weight is coming off does not mean that your body image issues are not still present. It may be hard to accept that you are actually improving your health, as opposed to just being able to fit into smaller clothes—even if that is what you want! So, take a little bit of time to reevaluate, both the advantages and the disadvantages, and make a decision that is right for you. When you do this, you will find that even though it can be stressful to make changes, particularly if they are not made with the support of your family or friends, the rewards more than outweigh the stress. Make sure that you are comfortable with your decision and, if you are still unsure, then consult with a professional who can help you weigh the options and make a decision that is right for you.
Monitoring Your Diet
In addition to setting a goal, making a plan, and starting an exercise program, you should also monitor your diet. It is easy for your mind to get distracted by the little things in life, such as what you are eating or whether or not you are making progress toward your goal, so it is important to be aware of what you are consuming. The simplest way to do this is to keep a food diary—i.e., note what you eat on a day-to-day basis and see if you can identify any trends. This is particularly important if you are trying to lose weight because, as you may have guessed, food diaries do not lie. If you want to know what sorts of food you are specifically consuming, as well as how much of it you are consuming, then keeping a food diary is the simplest and most effective way to do this. If you want to lose weight, then simply focus on what you are eating and try to cut back on the amount of calories you are taking in—e.g., by avoiding foods with added sugar and eating more fruits and vegetables. This should not be difficult for you, as the overall Australian diet is quite healthy. Unless you have an underlying health condition that is contributing to your weight gain, then it is likely that avoiding the above foods will result in you losing weight—at least, for the first few months.