75% of the developed world is overweight. And the weight loss industry is worth billions of dollars. But, there is really one key to successful weight loss - Motivation.
Diet plans, exercise, and healthy foods are all important for weight loss. But, without motivation, any long term diet plan is doomed to fail. The weight is going to come back. The problem is that motivation is not that easy to come by. And certainly not that easy to keep. Everyone tends to be motivated at the start of any fitness plan.
You join a gym and buy a bunch of fruits and vegetables. The stock up on supplements and swear to your self that this time, you are going to lose the weight. And then keep it off. But, a couple of weeks (or days) later, you are back to eating the way you used to. You no longer have time for the gym. And you are spending your exercise time on the couch.
The good news is, motivation for weight loss can be simple. Not easy, but simple. You just need to set a goal and plan, reward yourself for the successes, and forgive the failures. In order to be motivated, you need to have a goal. It is not enough to just say that you want to lose some weight. Or to eat healthy. Or even to go to the gym every day.
You need to be specific. Write down your goal, whatever it is. And be specific about it. "I want to lose 1 - 3 pounds per week, for the next x months, until I am down to my ideal weight of x". Remind yourself of that goal every day.
Next, you need to reward yourself consistently for meeting your goals. If you are trying to lose 100 pounds, and you have only lost one, it might not seem like that big of a deal. But, if it was one pound last week, you have met your goal. Reward yourself, with something other than food. Only you can decide what that reward should be. It doesn't have to be much, especially for the smaller goals. Maybe just allowing yourself and extra 10 minutes for a nice walk. Or skip washing the dishes that day.
After you have met your weekly goals for a month, maybe you can buy yourself a new outfit. In a size that wouldn't fit you before. It's up to you. The key is to reward your self with something that is not going to damage your weight loss goals.
Finally, and this is the big one, you need to forgive yourself when you slip. Maybe you actually gained a couple of pounds this week. Or you couldn't resist that burger at the fast food joint.
You need to recognize it, and then let it go. Many people see that extra pound, and then give up. And the next thing they know, they have 10 extra pounds. Think of it this way. You are a Shepard, and you made a mistake and left the gate open. And one of your sheep gets eaten by a wolf. Are you going to give up and let the rest of the sheep get eaten? Or, are you going to close the gate and save the rest of the sheep?
That comes from a Chinese proverb which I am not going to go into here. But the same principle applies. Little slip-ups should be recognized and forgotten. Use the fact that you recognized the mistake as motivation that you are growing in your commitment.
If you can continue the cycle of motivation, goal, reward and forgiveness, you will find more success in any legitimate diet or weight loss plan you choose. Without the motivation however, it doesn't matter how great of a plan it is, it is doomed to failure.
Set your goals, starting right now. Write down what exactly it is you want to accomplish. And then go for it. Reward yourself for your weight loss success, and move on from the set backs. Motivation is the key to success in all things. This is especially true for weight loss.