Becoming a successful dieter does not happen overnight. It takes time, persistence, dedication, consistency, a plan of action and a firm commitment. Not everyone can be a successful dieter. Some people are successful for only the short term while others can “take it off and keep it off.” Successful dieters know there is no “quick fix” that can take off twenty pounds in two weeks; there is no miracle diet pill that substitutes for cutting out certain foods or cutting down on calories; and there is no way success can be achieved by dieting for a few hours at a time. To become a successful dieter takes effort.
Becoming a successful dieter takes self-discipline
Successful dieters know that losing weight cannot happen overnight. Even when drastic measures are taken such as gastric bypass surgery or liposuction, dietary restrictions are required. Losing weight is a daily drudgery. The successful dieter does not follow a diet plan all day long then binge for an hour. The successful dieter knows that dieting is much like an athlete training for a competition, practicing every day of the week, with an eye toward self-improvement. Self-discipline in controlling food intake and following an exercise program, every single day, is mandatory.
Becoming a successful dieter means cutting certain foods from your diet
Successful dieters know that they can’t eat everything they want to eat and still lose weight. They know that the first thing they need to do is change what they have been eating that caused the weight gain. For some, this means cutting all sugars from the diet, for others all breads or foods made with flour. Some cut back on fats. Still others cut back on everything they eat and only monitor their calories. Each person must choose the foods they need to avoid.
Becoming a successful dieter demands self-honesty
Successful dieters are always aware of the foods they are eating all the time. They do not sit in front of the TV and eat snack foods then wonder why they do not lose weight. They are able to admit to themselves when they have gotten off track, when they have binged and when they need to take themselves in hand. They do not make excuses. They make changes.
Becoming a successful dieter requires self-monitoring
Successful dieters monitor themselves by keeping a food diary to track what they eat, how much they eat, and when they eat. They will either write it down on pieces of paper or have their “diet diary” handy in the form of a daily log where they can write down whatever they have just eaten. Others find computer programs particularly helpful to keep a record of what exactly has been eaten. This way, when the inevitable plateau occurs, an examination of those records might provide insight into what is going on.
Part of self-monitoring includes getting on the scales regularly. For some a daily weigh-in helps to keep them on track whereas others choose one day and time a week to weigh themselves. Others simply pay attention to how their clothes fit. The key is regularity and consistency and an honest awareness of weight fluctuations.
Becoming a successful dieter means watching your calories
Successful dieters know that they cannot eat unlimited amounts of any food and lose weight. They have learned which foods make them want more and which foods satisfy their hunger. They have discovered the amount of food they can eat in a day without gaining weight. Keeping track of calories in a food diary is a helpful tool for monitoring progress. Just how many calories a day is needed to maintain weight, gain weight and lose weight? Each person’s caloric requirements are so different, influenced by gender, age and physical activity. An overweight, sedentary, older woman will not need as many daily calories as a much younger, physically active man. One size diet does not fit all dieters.
Becoming a successful dieter is a process.
Successful dieting takes time, it takes commitment, self-awareness and honesty. No one can lose your weight for you unless you are being tube fed. Successful dieting means achieving dieting goals. Whether you need to lose twenty pounds or two hundred pounds, the process is the same: patience and diligence. Nothing that is worthwhile achieving will happen overnight. Successful dieters have “been there, done that.”