As you embark on your weight-loss journey, you will face many ups and downs. At some points, you will feel motivated and energetic and at others, you will feel like giving up. You will come across different situations that will determine your willpower. You will have to make decisions at each of these circumstances that will either take you one step closer to your weight-loss goal or will make you end up where you started. You need to plan ahead and be prepared for these decisions by creating new routines, habits, and rituals, which will enable you to make the smarter choices automatically. Conforming your mind to always make healthy decisions is not an easy task. It will take some time and a lot of willpower. You need to be patient and need to go easy on yourself. If you are persistent, you can experience positive changes and eventually, willpower will not even be an issue. Here are some decision points you come across on a daily basis that will determine your weight-loss success.
1. Grocery Shopping
When you go grocery shopping, you will be determined to shop for green vegetables, whole grains, and fruits. But as soon as you step inside the grocery store, it is difficult not to give into the unlimited, unhealthy, but delicious, choices. Get a hold of yourself and buy the food you are supposed to be buying, not the ones you are used to buying. You can even have a healthy snack before you shop for food so that your decisions are not driven by hunger.
You may have made up your mind to eat healthily, but it is much easier to have sugar-laden cereal or to skip breakfast entirely. If you want to keep your weight in check, it is important to eat a healthy breakfast in the morning. Plan one day ahead what you are going to eat, and where you are going to eat it. If it helps, prep for the meal one night ahead so that you don’t skip breakfast due to a time crunch.
When it comes to lunchtime, you may end up choosing unhealthy foods simply because you are hungry, you enjoy eating with your friends or colleagues, or the cafeteria or restaurant you go to has too many choices. The best way to make sure you eat a healthy meal is by preparing your lunch at home and bringing it with you. You can try a variety of different recipes so that you don’t end up being bored.
Most people eat healthy breakfasts and lunches, but when it comes to snacking, they give up. Who wants to eat nuts, seeds, and fruits when you can have a bag or chips or a delicious bagel? Since this is one of the most difficult decisions you have to make, you need to decide what you want to have and keep your fridge and cupboard stocked with only those items. It is impossible to make the wrong decision when you don’t have any other option.
5. Dining Out
When you have your meal at home, it is easy to stick to your diet because you have more control over what goes into your mouth. But dining out is a part of life and when you decide to eat out, you want to eat good food and enjoy yourself. With a little effort, you can be in charge of what you eat in restaurants too. Study the menu before hand and plan what you are going to eat. Always choose the healthier options on the menu. If you had planned to dine out before hand, then you can limit your calorie consumption throughout the day so that you don’t cross your calorie limit at the end of the day.
It is not enough to watch exercise videos or write “exercise” on your to-do list and never exercise in real life. You need to get into your workout clothes and just go with it. Decide what exercises you want to do and where you will do it. Choose a time of the day that best fits your schedule and when your willpower is strongest. You can even play a fun sport you enjoy. Finding workout buddies will definitely give a boost to your willpower.
In order to lose weight, it is not enough to eat healthily and exercise regularly. You have to sleep well each night. If you do not get enough sleep at night, you are bound to feel stressed the next day and the hormones that regulate your appetite get disrupted, leading to poorer decisions. When you go to bed, switch off all the lights and put all your distractions away. Try and get at least 7 to 8 hours of sleep each night in order to feel energetic and motivated each day.