A Guide to Succeed on Any Healthy Eating Plan

Steps for Success:

Diets are difficult. They are difficult to live by day in and day out. The weight is difficult to keep off once you have hit your goal. Diets don’t work. However, you can choose an eating plan that changes your behaviors and becomes a lifestyle. This too is difficult in the initial stages, but becomes part of your daily life when you form the correct habits.

I’ve always had difficulties sticking to a diet; mainly because they are trends or fads and are strictly regimented. I’ve tried every diet fad invented and failed at every one. I found success once I chose the right eating plan that fit my life and my goals.

There are a few simple steps that, if followed, will allow you to succeed:

Step 1 – Research:

This is the most difficult and important step. I spent countless hours researching every plan that I could find. I took time to understand how they all work, the pros, the cons and how well they fit into my life. For example, I knew I couldn’t do Atkins as, being a member of an Italian-American family, there was no way I could give up pasta. I also couldn’t do Body-For-Life as I didn’t have the time to prepare six meals a day.

The time you invest on research is well worth it. Too may times I jumped into a diet that I quit two weeks later. Take a few hours, days or weeks to research eating plans to find the right fit for you.

I chose to be a calorie counter and I made up the lost research time in the third week, when I ordinarily would have quit a fad diet.

Step 2 – Prepare:

Get your house in order. This will give you the best chance at success. Throw out any tempting foods in your home. If it’s in the house, chances are you’re going to eat it.

Go to the grocery store and get your first week of food. You will know what to buy from the research you did in Step 1. After the first couple of weeks, you will tune your grocery list to foods that you like and that work for your body and your schedule. The exercise of tuning your grocery list is never ending. After I saw some weight loss success, I started trying new things. Some worked, some didn’t. But I had fun with the experiments.

Step 3 – Focus:

In order for anything to work, you have to work at it. I had laser-like focus on eating right and losing weight and the results showed. There were weeks when I gave only half effort and that was reflected on the scale. If you want something, you have to give it everything you have.

Step 4 – Consistency:

When people ask how I lost weight, I tell them that I was consistent. This is probably my best weight loss tip. Similar to step 3, consistency is the key. If you only workout one day a week, you probably won’t see any results. If you only eat right two days a week, you’ll probably gain weight. You must be consistent to get the results you want.

I was stuck in a rut, some call it a plateau. I couldn’t figure out why I wasn’t losing weight when I knew I was eating right. I looked back at my log and found that I was straying off course on the weekends. Every day counts, so be consistent.

Step 5 – Track:

I’m not going to lie, this gets tedious. But it’s a tremendous resource in eating right and losing weight. When the scale wasn’t giving me the numbers I had hoped for, I was able to look back at what I did to see why. Cause and effect. It’s a powerful tool in the weight loss struggle. I also use my log to see foods I like and foods I didn’t like. I used my log to tweak my grocery list and to chart my progress.

It’s cool to look back in time and see where I had been and what got me to where I am. It also helped me chart a course for the next leg of my weight loss journey.

Step 6 – Understand:

Take time to listen to and understand your body. Look at your log to see why your body is changing. React to the things your body doesn’t like. Your body is the greatest indicator of your success. I lost weight quicker once I understood how my body works and what works for my body.

Also take time to understand weight loss in general. Read weight loss blogs, health sites, exercise sites etc. With understanding comes knowledge. The greatest piece of knowledge that I learned is that weight loss will not happen overnight. Once I understood that, I was happy with losing just two pounds in a week. As the old saying goes: “How do you eat an elephant?” .. “One bite at a time.”

Step 7 – Repeat:

I followed these steps with every diet/eating plan I tried and I failed at almost all of them. If you fall off track, head back to step 1 and start over until you find what works for you. You only fail if you give up and throw in the towel.

This is also a step to follow if you hit a short-term goal and are looking to hit the next milestone. My first goal was to lose 10 pounds. Once I hit that, I looked back at these steps and focused on my next goal of losing 20 more pounds. When you find something that works for you, keep doing that thing!

Find what works for you and go after it!

 

Guest blogger Jon Luciano, who blogs at www.extreme-workout.com, woke up one morning and decided to make a change. He’s lost 52 pounds (and kept it off) since February 2010 through healthy eating and regular exercise.
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