GUIDE: 3 Simple Weight Loss Tips For Your First Week of Dieting

By on July 12, 2013
So you’ve finally committed: You’re going to start losing those pesky pounds you’ve gained over the winter. Unfortunately, you know the statistics are against you–according to research, an overwhelming 95 percent of people fail diets.

So how can you tip the odds in your favor? According to Kathleen M. Zelman, R.D., a nutritionist and contributor, it’s all about making it easy–and fun.

“When the diet is too difficult in the first place, sustaining it long term will be almost impossible,” says Zelman. “Factor in boredom, and all it takes is one misstep to cause a dieter to give up.”

Although it may not seem like a serious issue, boredom and difficulty are top reasons why people quit their diets–and a reason why you should make it a priority. For easy weight loss, here are 3 tips to get you through your first week of dieting:

Tip #1: Make Small Changes

As the old saying goes, slow and steady wins the race–and if you’re dieting, it too applies here. Experts say the biggest reason why people fail diets is because they want to change so many things at first, such as learning to count calories, starting an extreme fitness program, and trying to eat as clean as possible. While it’s an admirable effort, it’s likely to lead to diet burn out.

“Make small, gradual changes instead of totally revising your eating habits,” says Zelman. “Try a new change each week, and build upon your success.”

What you can change: As Zelman suggests, aim for a gradual change in your eating habits to make it easier to make the adjustment. While changing one bad habit every week doesn’t seem like a big deal, it adds up over time–better yet, you won’t feel as deprived.

Tip #2: Don’t Set Specific Goals

Experts tell us the best way to lose weight is to have a goal in mind–such as a weight goal, a fitness goal, or even specific body measurements. But being too specific with your goals could undermine your success, according to a study published in The Journal of Consumer Research.

The study, which evaluated how weight loss goals impacted a person’s weight loss, found that those who set specific goals were less likely to re-enroll in a weight loss program.

Those who set high-low range goals, however, were more likely to stick with their program.

“High-low range goals influence consumer goal reengagement through feelings of accomplishment, which itself is driven by the attainability and challenge of the goal,” say the study’s authors.

What you can change: Instead of promising to lose 3lbs by the end of the week, get looser with your terminology. Vowing to lose 1-3lbs instead seems to strengthen a person’s resolve–and it’s probably more attainable.

Tip #3: Get Out of the Dieting Mindset

When it comes to weight loss, it’s easy to get into the rigid diet mindset–thinking we must completely adhere to our program and count every calorie that goes into our mouths in order to be successful. However, being too rigid with your diet habits is associated with a higher BMI, according to recent research.

Rigid dieting habits can also lead to unhealthy behaviors, such as added stress, poor self esteem, and a bigger temptation to indulge in disordered eating habits. So what do you do?

What you can change: First off, don’t stress your diet–the more you stress out, the harder it is to lose weight. Secondly, think of dieting as a healthy lifestyle change and lose the rigidity; you’re trying to change yourself, not lock yourself into a miserable program.

Readers: What are some other tips you use to stay committed to your diet?

How to Stay on a
Specific Diet Goals Make You Less Successful (Study) –

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