Consider following these six strategies from the Mayo Clinic for weight-loss success in 2014.
1. Make a commitment
To stay committed to weight loss, you need to be focused. It takes a lot of mental and physical energy to change your habits. Set a start date for your weight loss and then begin.2. Find your inner motivation
“What's going to give you the burning drive to stick to your weight-loss plan? Make a list of what's important to you to help stay motivated and focused, whether it's an upcoming beach vacation or better overall health. Then find a way to make sure that you can call on your motivational factors during moments of temptation,” the Mayo Clinic advises.3. Set realistic goals
“Over the long term, it's best to aim for losing 1 to 2 pounds a week, although initially you might lose weight more quickly than that if you make significant changes — just be sure the changes are health supporting. To lose 1 to 2 pounds a week, you need to burn 500 to 1,000 calories more than you consume each day, through a lower calorie diet and regular exercise,” according to the Mayo Clinic.4. Enjoy healthier foods
Healthier foods mean fewer calories. Eat plant-based foods, and cut back on salt, sugar and fats. Go online and look for healthy recipes that sound good to you. There are literally millions of options out there that will help you fall in love with eating healthy.
5. Get active, stay active
"To lose weight, you must burn more calories than you consume. Because 3,500 calories equals about 1 pound (0.5 kilogram) of fat, you need to burn 3,500 calories more than you take in to lose 1 pound. So if you cut 500 calories from your typical diet each day, you'd lose about 1 pound a week (500 calories x 7 days = 3,500 calories)," according to the Mayo Clinic.
By becoming active, you can bump up the calorie-burning process. Movement can help burn off the excess calories you can't cut through diet alone. And don’t think of it as exercise. For example, boost your routine by walking instead of driving. Take the stairs instead of the elevator. When you do drive, park far from your destination. Find the activities that you most enjoy. It’s never to late to learn to dance, play tennis or join a softball league!
“Studies show that people who maintain their weight loss over the long term get regular physical activity,” according to the Mayo Clinic.6. Change your perspective
“It's not enough to eat healthy foods and exercise for only a few weeks or even months if you want long-term, successful weight loss. These habits must become a way of life. Lifestyle changes start with taking an honest look at your eating patterns and daily routine," the Mayo Clinic advises.
“You likely will have an occasional setback. But instead of giving up entirely after a setback, simply start fresh the next day. Remember that you're planning to change your life. It won't happen all at once. Stick to your healthy lifestyle and the results will be worth it."