1. Lower your expectations on how quickly weight loss will occur. We are all different metabolically, socially, medically. It will be slow for some, faster for others. Be patient.
2. Motivation. None of us wake up motivated to eat better or exercise more. It’s an effort. Realize the effort is worth it. Start some sort of exercise. Don’t expect yourself to “want to do it”. Just do it, and you will feel better afterwards.
3. Be willing to change. No one ‘diet’ is necessarily going to work for everyone. You need to find out what works for you. Be willing to experiment and change. Your stress levels, hours of sleep, friends and family, will all impact on how you eat and exercise. Be willing to adapt to your life situations.
4. Stop feeling frustrated. Stop looking at the scale. You won’t necessarily see change day by day or week by week. Our hormones that affect metabolism and fluid retention will distort our efforts. Some weeks will go well, others, in spite of great effort, will show few results. Ignore the scale. Keep doing exactly what you are doing. Next week will be better.
5. Sleep. This is so important. If you are up late watching TV, or sitting on your tablet or smartphone, you’ve messed with your circadian rhythm! Weight loss will be hard to achieve. Learn proper sleep hygiene and stick to this. Proper sleep is at the core of achieving good metabolic function.
6. Stress. We all have it. Learn simple techniques to lower this. Mediation is excellent for this. Learn some simple techniques. If you are incapable, then long walks or some sort of movement will alleviate tension.
6. Sun exposure. A simple yet important lifestyle habit. Get outside. If you can, even if it’s cool, sit outside and get proper sun exposure, ideally 30 minutes daily. This helps metabolic functions and it is excellent for the psyche.
7. Morning routines. Get up 15 minutes early and develop a positive morning routine. Make tea or coffee, sit and write down what you are grateful for; what challenges you face for the day and how you will deal with them. Write down what you hope to achieve. This simple routine will improve your attitude and your mindset for the day (read Tim Ferris’s ‘Tribe of Mentors’—almost all successful and happy people have a simple morning routine).
8. Movement. Do not let one day go by without some sort of movement. A walk at noon. Step ups on a stair at home. 15 squats or pushups. Anything. We are so sedentary. Movement is necessary for health. Do something. 1 minute or 5 minutes; consistency is what is important!
9. Learn. Don’t let your mind become inert. We watch TV or sit on our smartphones as a distraction. How about one TED talk per day. Learn more about climate change or how our brains work, or simple methods to improve memory or relationships. Whatever topic interests you—but don’t let a TV program destroy your brains craving for new or expanded knowledge.
10. Learn to be yourself. What others think is unimportant. What is important is feeling good about who you are. Your weight doesn’t define you. Your empathy, knowledge etc. is the real you; learn to accept yourself and realize you and I are always are on a trajectory of growth.
Never allow yourself to be discouraged. Those that stick to it and never give up are the ones who achieve their goals.