Who says you can't teach an old dog new tricks? I was thinking about the phrase "dog days of summer" and like all things it got me thinking about weight loss and what lessons old Rover could teach us.
You don't have to roll over or sit up and beg. Here are 12 dieting tips to find your motivation, train your mind, increase your willpower - and to get you best of show at the same time!
In my book, Awaken the Diet Within, I dedicate an entire chapter to the benefits of rewarding yourself as you meet the goals that you have set for yourself. My first goal was to avoid eating ice cream for one week. If successful, my reward was a manicure. Two weeks... a pedicure. Three weeks... a trip to the art museum. You get the picture. Small rewards for reaching my goals. Human dog treats, so to speak!
2. Don't ignore good behavior
Don't ignore the positive behaviors that you are making and the insights and awareness that you are building. Those are equally - if not more important - than the readings on the scale, yet we give far too much credence to the scale!
3. Do not reward undesirable behavior
Absolutely not! If you fall of the wagon and eat something that is unhealthy, do not reward it or allow it to cause you to overeat for the rest of the day, waiting for the proverbial tomorrow to arrive and signal the start of the new dieting day.
4. Do not punish desirable behavior
Think of this as going into deprivation mode. In the past, you may have associated dieting with deprivation. Don't do it this time! Realize that by following the healthy lifestyle that you are now embarking on that you are doing great things for yourself and that the unhealthy ways of the past were in fact, depriving you of optimal health! Punish the bad; praise the good!
5. If you are not serious about enforcing a command, don't give it
If you are not ready to start this journey, don't. Wait awhile. Figure out all of the reasons WHY you want to change. But once you step foot on the path of self-improvement, do so with the intention of adhering solidly to your new way of life. Make no excuses and accept no excuses!
6. Develop the proper use of timing
Timing is everything! Use your time wisely. Don't kid yourself into thinking that you don't have time to work out or that fast food is your only option. Plan your time and optimize it. If you are not taking steps in the right direction each day, doing actions that will get your to your goal, or are worrying about what may lie ahead rather than creating what WILL lie ahead... well, then you are wasting time! Your timing couldn't be any better than right now to get started!
7. Interrupt the behavior pattern you want to change
If you keep doing the same things that you have always done, you are going to keep getting the same results you have always gotten. Enough said.
8. Social interaction
Get a buddy and maybe a mentor, visit a weight loss chat room, etc...You don't need to be on this path alone. There are a lot of us traveling it! Make it fun and don't allow yourself to feel lonely! If you want a friend, first be a friend to yourself!
9. Proper exercise
Your body will respond so well to regular fitness. Start slowly and do as much as you can do depending on your health and fitness level. I can assure you that if you just start moving, it will be easier each time... and soon it will even be fun!
10. Safety and security
Don't fall for fads or gimmicks. Choose your approach wisely. Make sure you are eating a nutritional diet - and get a physical!
11. Food, water and shelter
The basic human needs! We need food, but we don't need Twinkies. We need water, not Coke... not even Diet Coke. We need shelter, not a mansion. Get your priorities straight!
12. Training leads to skills; practice makes perfect!
Keep reading positive books, listening to motivational tapes (visit me at www.JuliaHavey.com for some great ones!) and reading your Diet-To-Go newsletters! You will learn all of the skills you need to succeed!
Now, go bark at the moon and get busy!
Julia is the author of the bestselling weight loss books, Awaken the Diet Within (Warner Books) and The Vice Busting Diet (St. Martin's Press). She has been endorsed by Oprah's Dr. Mehmet Oz and Dr. David L. Katz! Having lost and kept off 130 pounds, Julia not only offers effective advice, but she knows firsthand that her advice works! Learn more at http://www.ViceBusting.com