Don't Start a Diet Unless You've Done These 3 Things

Don't Start a Diet Unless You've Done These 3 Things

With so many diets in the media and online, it can be easy to dive into a regime with the intention of losing a fixed amount of weight in a set time. However, without laying a bit of groundwork, you may find that your resolve weakens, and you end up heavier than when you started.

1. Set Specific Goals

If you don’t know your destination, it’s almost impossible to get there. Goal setting is important because it helps you focus on how and why you want to lose weight.

A goal needs to be:

Specific. This means you have to be clear about what it is you want to achieve. Instead of saying, I want to be fitter, it is more helpful to say, I aim to walk 5km three times a week.

Measurable.  If you can measure your goals, the easier it will be to know if you have achieved them.  If you specify that you plan to walk 5km three times a week, it’s easy to know whether you meet your target.

Attainable.  Are you being sensible about your goals? If you work six days a week for twelve hours, would walking three times a week be achievable?

Realistic. Given your current status, is your goal relevant? If you live in a very cold or hot climate, would walking outside be realistic? If not, how could you make it more realistic?

Time based. Setting time-frames for your goals is important, as it will help you clarify what you are trying to achieve. Once you’ve established time frames for your goals, measuring progress becomes a lot easier.

2. Consult Your Doctor

Before you start a diet plan, it’s advisable to get a full health check-up. Find out your Body Mass Index and ask your doctor what would be a healthy weight for you.  Do you actually need to lose weight for the sake of your health, or is it more about how you look? Ask what kind of exercise program would suit your current level of fitness and health – this can always be revisited as you progress. If you’re on any medication, check with your doctor if it may affect your diet in any way.

Take some body measurements besides your weight.  Your waist measurement is particularly important, as a high number can mean that you are susceptible to high blood pressure and cholesterol, type 2 diabetes and heart disease.

Having basic blood sugar, blood pressure and cholesterol testing done can provide a starting reference point, enabling you to set goals that are measurable and specific.

3. Enlist Support

Tell your friends and family about what you plan to do. If possible, think of specific ways they can support you. Even simple things like saying not to buy sweet things can be very effective.

Perhaps in your community, you can find a support group, or find a forum online where you can meet others who are also embarking on a weight loss journey.  Having people to share both your difficulties and successes with can keep you on track in the short- and long-term. 

CATEGORIES: Health, Diet, Tips, Weight Loss Tricks, Motivation, Weight Loss Goals