How to Continue Your Weight Loss Goals Even After the Summer Months
by Dr. Jack Singer
It’s easy to get motivated to start a weight loss plan at the beginning of the summer. Many people, motivated by the sunny weather and excitement that summer brings, resolve to get in shape over the summer months. With the summer comes a new beginning and new enthusiasm.
After a while, however, it can be difficult to maintain the same high level of motivation you need to keep going. When the motivation of an upcoming vacation or looking your best in a swimsuit is no longer in front of you, you can easily get discouraged and fall back into old habits. And with Thanksgiving and Christmas feasts and parties being so much a part of the holidays, it is easy to give up and give yourself permission to start over again in the New Year.
Instead of giving up, choose success. Stick to your weight loss and fitness goals even after the swimsuit season with these tips and tricks:
1. Take baby steps. After you’ve been on a diet for a long time, you might feel like giving up if your ideal weight still seems far off. Instead, break your large goal up into tiny pieces. Seek to attain small objectives every few weeks or so. This way, you can reward yourself along the way and stay on track.
2. Work on maintaining weight. Instead of thinking in terms of dieting and weight loss, seek to maintain a healthy lifestyle. If you’ve been dieting for a long time, give yourself a break and try to focus on nutritional changes that you can maintain for the rest of your life.
* Weight maintenance is an excellent alternative to “giving up” because you maintain the progress you’ve already made instead of yo-yo dieting. You’ll still feel like a success every day when you look at yourself in the mirror.
3. Splurge. Even when you’re on a strict diet, allow yourself to indulge in a moderate amount of your favorite foods every now and then. You’ll experience fewer cravings and stay on track that way.
4. Control your portions. You can eat healthy, but if you’re eating too much you can sabotage your chances of losing weight. Just watch the amounts you’re eating. If you’re still hungry after a small portion, wait 15 minutes and see if you’re still hungry afterwards. Often, you’ll feel full after that time has passed.
5. Watch what you drink. Pay attention to how many calories are in the drinks that you consume. If you’re drinking lots of soda, coffee, or other sugary drinks, these calories can add up quickly. If you drink lots of water, you’ll be less hungry and have more energy. You’ll also avoid the crash that comes from those sugary drinks.
Weekly Weigh In
If you’ve become accustomed to weighing yourself every day, consider stepping on the scale less often. When you shift your focus from the number on the scale to your level of physical fitness, you’ll make wise decisions without the added stress that the scale provides.
Remember that if you’re working out, muscle weighs more than fat. The scale is only one indicator of how you’re progressing on your fitness journey. Do your clothes fit better? Do you have more energy? Are you receiving compliments about your appearance? Focus on those things and weigh yourself less often.
Above all, be kind to yourself. Set yourself up for success by focusing on the reasons why a fit body brings you joy. A compelling reason will drive you forward, and small steps will keep you moving forward. Small steps and healthy decisions will help you to maintain or regain the motivation you had at the beginning of summer.
I am also available for phone consultations with athletes around the U.S. and in-person visits with athletes in Southern California. Call today toll free at 1-800-497-9880 for a free 20 minute telephone consultation with Dr. Jack Singer.
Jack N. Singer, Ph.D.
Certified and Licensed Sport and Clinical Psychologist
Diplomate, National Institute of Sports Professionals, Division of Psychologists
Diplomate, American Academy of Behavioral Medicine
Certified Hypnotherapist, American Academy of Clinical Hypnosis