Calories in must be less than calories out — that’s the basic rule of dieting.
But there’s more to losing weight because more than hunger often motivates people to eat. So how can you find effective motivation to change your eating habits and lose weight?
Try these five keys to weight-loss success.
- Monitoring your diet and exercise efforts is job number one to stay the course. Choose the method you’re most comfortable with, from pen and paper to an online journal or app. Be sure to include daily food intake, exercise output and your weight changes.
- Accountability is crucial. That’s why regularly checking in with a weight-loss coach can keep you on track, especially if he or she provides personalized feedback. Yes, this is an expense, but one that could be offset by smaller grocery bills.
- Be part of an in-person or even an online weight-loss group for the social benefits along with the opportunity to share tips.
- A weight-loss group may also provide you with another essential — a structured plan to follow. This should include diet and exercise specifics, plus behavior modifications to help you break any specific habits that led to your weight gain.
- Above all, when you’re choosing a diet to follow or a program to join, make sure it’s tailored to your needs, tastes and goals. If it doesn’t feel right or fit into your schedule, you’ll have a hard time sticking with it.
There’s no single strategy for weight loss. Though cutting portions is a must, these other steps are what enable you to shift your focus away from habits that led to weight gain.
To choose a safe and successful weight-loss program, visit the U.S. National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases.