Most people will regularly say they need to lose weight. Many of these same people start one or more weight loss program each year. However, few of them give any thought to whether they are actually ready to begin such a program.
You may be thinking that anyone who wants to lose weight must be ready to start a diet. If they weren't, they wouldn't want to lose weight in the first place, right? Being ready to start losing weight requires that one be in the proper mindset or it is nearly impossible to achieve success. By having the proper mindset, or attitude, toward weight loss it is much easier to maintain the motivation necessary to stick with a program.
So how does a person know if they have the mindset required for success on their weight loss plan? The first step is to make a list of all the reasons for losing weight that matter to the person who will be losing the weight. Good reasons for losing weight for one person may not carry enough meaning for someone else to make a difference.
Once a list has been made, the potential dieter needs to decide how important these reasons are. If they fall in the "would be nice" category they are probably not strong enough to provide any motivation for staying on a plan for very long. However, if they represent a dream or something the person has always wanted, there is a better chance of reaching the necessary level of motivation for a successful weight loss program.
If the reasons are valid and meaningful, the next step is to set some goals. Normally a goal for someone wanting to lose weight will be "I want to lose weight" or "I want to lose thirty pounds." While this may be a good start, it is not nearly specific enough. An overall long-term goal might be "I want to lose thirty pounds in six months." When a big picture goal has been set it is time to break that goal down into smaller pieces and set sub-goals.
Setting smaller, more manageable goals will result in a greater likelihood of success. Each sub-goal should be in writing and list specific results to be achieved, the steps necessary to be taken and the time frame required. Goals should be reviewed at the beginning of each day as a reminder of what needs to be done and they should also be revisited at the end of the day to verify that everything was accomplished.
Momentum will be gained with every success realized from reaching the sub-goals which will result in continued motivation. Having goals and putting them into a written plan provides both a roadmap and a sense of accountability for someone on a weight loss program. Be sure that any weight loss program you consider includes a motivation component. While diet and exercise are certainly important and must be addressed as well, having the proper motivation is a preliminary requirement for expecting success with a new weight loss program.