Before you start dieting

You already know that you weigh too much, and it has gotten to a point that it has serious negative effects on your life.

You want to go on a diet (good for you!).

ln order to maximize  your chances of success, you can make some preparations before you start dieting. Think how you prepare for important things in your life. For example, when you’re looking for a new job you first make sure to write a great resume, you brush up on your interviewing skills, you network to get more leads.

Taking dieting seriously and preparing for it will increase your chances of long-term success.

Mental Preparation:

  1. Picture yourself thin. This will help you focus on the end goal. If you were once thin, hang up these pictures of yourself around the house.
  2. If you’re not doing that already, start dressing nicely and taking good care of yourself. Start feeling good about how you look, and you’ll believe you are worthy of all the effort involved with dieting.
  3. Start thinking as a thin person. Mostly, that you need to eat only when you’re hungry, don’t worry about not having the opportunity to eat when you get hungry, don’t be afraid of being hungry.
  4. Make a list of why you want to get thinner. List everything that you will gain by losing weight (and not just the obvious – that you’d look better and be healthier. Think of everything, such as that you will feel more outgoing, do more things, will probably live longer, and much more). Hang this list in strategic places, such as on the refrigerator.
  5. Know that you will face some breaking moments, and prepare yourself on how to respond. Read more here – Let’s Stop Fooling Ourselves.
  6. Find out if you’re an emotional eater, and think of the strategies to deal with it – Emotional Eating.
  7. Choose small goals that you will celebrate. If you want to lose 40 pounds, plan to focus on losing only 5 pounds at a time. Plan how to reward yourself on every 5 pounds that you lose, and not with cake of course  😉
  8. Think about when do you eat the most, and find other things to do during that time. For example, If you mostly eat junk when you’re watching TV in the evening, decide that you will start exercising at that time instead or join some class.
  9. Be realistic. Healthy weight loss can take longer than you might expect.  Even if it is realistic to lose 1-2 pounds a week,  there will be weeks that you plateau, or even gain a little weight. Expect this, and you will not be disappointed when that happens.

Practical Preparation:

  1. Choose a diet that you will follow. There are so many choices available, so read about the different suggestions and see what makes sense to you.
  2. Prepare an exact menu for at least one week. You don’t want to start thinking what you need to eat when you’re already starving.
  3. Do some shopping, and make sure you have all the ingredients you need to prepare your food. It’s even better if you can prepare some food in advance.
  4. I strongly recommend getting a food scale. This will help you measure the exact portions that you’re eating, eliminating the guesswork. I have this scale, but there are so many other options as well.
  5. I also strongly recommend that you write down everything that you eat. This will enable you to make sure  you’re still on track and not straying too much. Find a platform that can help you with this task. If you have a Fitbit device, you will be able to use their platform to log what you ate (and your exercises as well), but there are plenty of other available apps, such as MyNetDiary.
  6. If you have some food  laying around that is not supposed to be included in your diet, throw it away. It’s harder to resist temptation when it’s right in front of us.
  7. Plan how to incorporate exercise into your routine. You can start by getting a good pedometer and setting a goal of walking 10,000 steps each day. Omron’s pedometers are known for their accuracy, I personally love this Fitbit.
  8. Consider joining a weight loss group or working with a dietician or personal trainer. Many people can benefit from the structure and motivation that these options offer, not to mention that they help to adopt healthy lifestyles.
  9. Think if you will benefit from sharing with others that you’re dieting. Some people will enjoy the moral support that they receive whereas some will experience it more as pressure and even nosiness.

Plan ahead! This diet could be life-changing  for you, it is important so it makes sense to treat it as such.

Do you have other tips? I’d love hearing from  you!