Your weight loss success depends largely on your willingness to take on the challenge. If you take the leap before you are ready, your weight loss program may fail at the first hurdle.
Knowing that you need to make changes in your life and actually making them are two different things.
Use these questions to assess your readiness to lose weight.
Are you motivated to make long-term changes in your lifestyle?
Successful weight loss depends on making permanent lifestyle changes, such as eating healthy, lower-calorie foods and including physical activity in your daily routine. This may represent a significant departure from your current lifestyle.
You may need to revise your diet to eat more whole grains, fruits and vegetables, for example. It will be important to eat a variety of healthy foods. You also need to find time for physical activity, ideally at least 30 to 45 minutes – or more – most days of the week.
Find your motivation and focus on it:
Your true motivation is the best guarantee of success, but what is it? To make these changes first ask yourself why you want to lose weight, all these changes for:
- have better health,
- a better appearance
- feel better about yourself
- better shape
- start a new love story
Have you identified anything in your life that may be distracting you from your weight loss goal?
If you are dealing with major life events, such as marital problems, work stress, illness or financial worries, you may not want to add the challenge of revising your eating habits and time spent on food. Perhaps it is better to wait until the right time to start your weight loss program to limit the risk of failure due to external factors that are too heavy.
Do you have a realistic picture of how much weight you want to lose and how fast?
Achieving and maintaining a healthy weight is a lifelong process. Start by making sure your weight loss goal is safe and realistic, like losing 5 percent of your current weight.
Aim to start losing 0.5 to 1 kg per week until you reach your goal. This means that you burn 500 to 1000 more calories than you consume each day through diet and exercise.
You can lose weight faster if you change your habits significantly. Be careful though. Radical changes that are not sustainable are unlikely to be effective in the long term.
Have you resolved the emotional issues related to your weight?
Emotions and food are often linked. Anger, stress, sadness and boredom can trigger emotional eating. If you have a history of eating disorders, weight loss can be even more difficult.
To prepare for challenges, identify emotional issues related to eating.
Do you have support around you?
Any weight loss program can be difficult. You may face moments of temptation or discouragement. Having someone around you to offer encouragement can help. If you don’t have friends or loved ones you can rely on for positive help, consider joining a weight loss support group.
If you want to keep your weight loss efforts to yourself and not tell anyone about it, it will be more difficult. But maybe you are ready to be responsible to yourself: Make dates with yourself then. Briefly about:
- – regular weigh-ins
- – monitor your diet
- – tracking your physical activity
Have you really taken on the weight loss challenge?
If you don’t have a positive attitude about weight loss, you may not be ready. And if you fear what’s to come, you may be more likely to find excuses to get off course.
Instead, try to look at your new lifestyle and stay positive. Focus on how good you will feel when you are more active or when you weigh less. Imagine celebrating all the successes along the way, whether it’s enjoying a new food, completing another workout or shedding your first few pounds.
If you answered yes to most or all of the questions
You are probably ready to make lifestyle changes that will support permanent weight loss. Get started on healthy eating and regular physical activity, starting today!
If you think you need help, see a dietitian or join a reputable weight loss program. If you have a significant amount of weight to lose, you may benefit from follow-up with a therapist or obesity specialist.
If you answer no to more than one of the questions
You may not be ready to start a weight loss program right now, and that’s OK. Explore what’s holding you back and confront those obstacles.
Consider seeking the help of a professional weight loss tracker to help you deal with any roadblocks. Next, you need to reassess your readiness for your weight loss program so that you can get off to the best possible start.
Ready, ready, go
If you can’t answer all the questions with a simple yes or no, but generally feel positive and confident about your answers, consider starting now.
You may never have definitive answers in life. Don’t let this rob you of a chance to reach your weight loss goals.