To make any diet and fitness plan successful, you need to be committed to it. Only with a right mind set can you reach success. To prepare yourself, you need to know what stage you are in before you can move on the next stage of your diet. It might not be obvious but it is there.

The First stage is pre-contemplation. You do not see yourself as being over weight. You do not feel like changing yourself. Only strong pressure will lead you to seek help. But then you would resist and just be demoralized as you see your own situation as hopeless.

Second is contemplation. This is where you acknowledge that you have an over weight problem and start to think of a solution. But you are not willing to perform that solution. You would just brood over it, knowing what actions to take to make a change but never ready to do so. You will procrastinate about performing the solution.

Third is preparation. You’ve finally decided to do something about your overweight problem. You move on from brooding about your problem to realizing your solution. You would also start to think about the future where you are slimmer and feeling much healthier. But at this stage you are not fully resolved yet. You would still have second thoughts about the solution as it requires you to change your lifestyle.

Fourth is action. You start to take action in losing weight. You would start choosing the food you eat and do some form of exercise every day. It is the first step in achieving your targeted goal.
You should always set goals when losing weight. If you don’t set your goals, then it’s very possible that your whole dieting plan might not go the way you imagine it.

“If you fail to plan, you plan to fail”

List the following:
• What is your current situation right now? List all your eating habits, food preferences, everything that could affect your weight loss. Working out, etc

• What is the reason you want to lose weight? This could be an upcoming event, summer, or even for a certain special someone. List the single BIGGEST reason you can think of.

• What are the benefits you get from your weight loss? List AS MANY as you can. It can be health, better energy, admired by partner, etc. This should be your main motivator.

• Your Goal. "I want to lose XX lbs of weight in XX days" - Write this in bold and make it really sink in. I would personally say that setting a goal of more than 10 lbs per 2 weeks is not realistic, especially if this is your first attempt at a goal like this. Be realistic. You must write "I want" not "I wish"

Write everything down and look at that paper every day. Put it in a place where you can see it. Once you see it every day, you will constantly be reminded of WHY you do this and what the benefits are.

BE PERSISTENT ONCE YOU TAKE ACTION BECAUSE IT’S NOT GOING TO BE EASY

STEPPING OUT OF YOUR COMFORT ZONE:
If you see yourself making excuses rather than STARTING a diet that is effective, you should think about why you don’t really want to lose weight. You must be able to step out of your comfort zone and as Nike’s famous slogan goes JUST DO IT!

The final step would be maintenance. You need to keep the momentum going that you have in the action stage. If at anytime you lose your commitment or support, then you would fall back to any of the previous stages.

So the final stage is the most important stage in your diet plan as you need to keep your commitment going for a long period of time. There are several methods you can use to keep being committed. First is to make a list about the reason why are you doing this in the first place. Look at the list daily to remind you of your goals. Do not have negative thoughts in your mind. Words like “never” or “depriving” should not be in your vocabulary. Rather than saying “never”, you are just having desserts “occasionally and in moderation”. And so the word “deprived” can be replaced with the word “choosing” as you choose to skip chocolate cakes.

Visualize in your mind your future slim self doing all the things that you always wanted to do. This visualization will strengthen your motivation to commit to this plan and be the desire to succeed. Do this visualization daily, every time you wake up and anytime of the day you feel your commitment is weakening.

Who to Approach When You Want to Lose Weight
Now that you’ve decided you want to lose weight, you should include some other people in your weight loss journey. These people can help you with many aspects, including choosing your diet plan, setting your goals and encouraging you along the way.

o A Therapist: Some people know they overeat, and how unhealthy it is for them as well, yet can’t seem to stop their overeating no matter how hard they try. Many of these people eat for emotional reasons like loneliness or unhappiness and will try to hide their hurt and other feelings with food.

People that do this should seek the council of a therapist or other professionals trained in this specific matter so they can get the proper support. In some severe cases, it will take checking themselves into a specialized clinic designed for this purpose so that their nutrition and exercise can be closely monitored.

o A Dietician: A dietician will have a wide range of knowledge that can help you to understand your body and to help prepare a food plan that will fit your particular needs, because in most states and countries it is required to get a medical license before they can become a dietician.

Their goal is to help you eat healthier, and in turn you can lose weight. Because of this, dieticians are set apart from anyone who promotes a fad diet because they are not necessarily nutritionally sound for you. A dietician will also help you to figure out how many calories you need to consume in a day and to balance your intake of all the various food groups that you should be eating from.

o A Physical Trainer: The majority of people have never learned to exercise properly. A physical trainer will ensure that you do, and will push you to attain your goals, and can also help in the process of setting your goals. They will oversee your exercise routine in a gym, giving you both cardio and strength based exercises to follow.

The main goal of a personal trainer is to see to it that you get fit, and they also educate you on how to do that properly for yourself. Each person is different in their needs, and a personal trainer can adjust your training program to fit you just right. Over the course of the weight loss process, both the physical trainer and the dietician may give you advice in changing up your diet and your workout routine as you begin to gain more muscle tone to help support your new muscles.

o Friends and Family: When starting your weight loss journey, you may want to let friends and family know what you are doing so that they can be supportive of you. It always helps to have people you know and trust that stand by your side in any endeavor.

You can even have a friend, or your spouse, keep you accountable to them and stop you from sneaking any extra snacks or sweets, or to motivate you to keep on your exercise regimen. You will likely be more successful in the end if you have someone alongside you (even over the phone if they are long distance) who will help encourage you when you are reaching your goals and to help push you when you start to struggle. Then, when you do reach your final goal (or even mini goals throughout) you can celebrate your achievements with the ones you love.

Persisting Through Failure
If you want to commit to losing weight, then you need to be able to persist through failure. Everyone who has accomplished something of note has struggled with failure at one or more points in their ascent. The difference is they didn’t quit when it got tough, persisted through it and learned a lesson.

“When the going gets tough, the tough get going”

Those are the two keys in dealing with failure. You must persist and learn.

If you slip on your diet, or miss a day of exercise, don’t fret about it. Don’t let it derail you. Push it from your mind. Focus on all your positive days, not the one slip up. Remember it is all about living a healthy lifestyle, the more good days add up and before you know it bad days become few and far between. But the trick is to keep going and push through the bad days. Treat it as a cheat day and move on. This is how you persist, failing for a day is OK, just don’t let that day stretch into a week and then a month.

You have to accept failures as natural and develop a tough mental state to deal with them.

The second step is to learn from your mistakes. Quite often learning from your mistakes will be more efficient than learning from your successes. When you fail, treat it as a lesson learned. it is just like in business, when you fail at something, you learn the things that don’t work. This is the same with weight loss. If you have slipped off your new diet every time you drink, then maybe you avoid drinking. If you realize that every Friday you miss out on exercise because of a late work meeting then reschedule your workout.

“I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.” – Thomas A Edison

Failure is natural part of life, along with death and taxes. You can’t avoid it, and even if you could you wouldn’t want to. Your life’s lessons are learned through your failures along with your successes. Don’t fear failure, persist through and learn from it.

Buddy System
One of the best things you can do when you are tying to lose weight is to add some accountability to your routine. How do you do that?

The buddy system.
Having a buddy to try and lose weight with is a great motivator. You will feel more accountable to reach your weight loss goals when you are actually sharing them with someone. They can also be helpful because the person is someone that can relate to you about struggling to lose weight. You can share your triumphs in joy, and your setbacks in support.

If you are working out regularly a buddy is invaluable. They can change a boring walk or jog into an exercise slash therapy session. A hike in the wilderness is always more fun with a friend along! If you are into weight lifting it is also nice to have a buddy. You guys can challenge each other while at the same time providing encouragement and practical help like spots on heavy lifts.

It is sad to say but in this day and age, you can probably find yourself a weight loss buddy in your group of friends. if you can’t, don’t panic you can always do it virtually online as well. You could find a friend on Facebook that is losing weight and work with them. Having Facebook chats and sharing progress pictures on Facebook.

There are also many web forums and sites dedicated to linking weight loss partners up virtually.

The bottom line is this – if you want to lose weight working with a friend can provide motivation, support as well as the always important accountability. Find your weight loss buddy now!

Why Maintaining a Daily Schedule is Critical
The next step in planning your weight loss goals is to set up a daily schedule for yourself. You need to decide when the best time for you to exercise is. For instance, if you are not a morning person, getting up two hours earlier than you are used to is probably not a good plan because you are likely to miss many mornings.

At the same time, if your job causes you to work late into the evenings frequently, scheduling your workouts for after work is not a wise idea either. You can also schedule out your meals, including the times you eat each day, and schedule out what your meals will be. The best thing to do is to schedule them out for a week at a time, and make a list and stick to it, so when you go shopping you will not be as tempted to impulse buy or stray off of your diet.

o Keeping Yourself in Check: If you have a specific schedule to follow, you are more likely to stick to your goals by writing everything down in a journal or other recording device like a smartphone. But, if you do miss a scheduled workout, or have an extra snack, you can keep note of it and vow to do better the next time.

o Knowing What You Are Doing Each Day: Having what time you are supposed to be doing your workouts or eating your meals written down can keep you in the know ahead of time, and in this way you can schedule things around your workout times, rather than scheduling over them and just missing workouts altogether. This can be easy to do, and if you start doing this, it will eventually snowball into increased times where you are missing your workouts, until you are thrown off track completely.

o Lose More Weight: By keeping yourself on a schedule, you will tend to lose more weight in the end because you will be likely to not miss any workouts (or very, very few in the long run). If you keep going back and forth and missing your workouts, or skipping a meal and confusing your body’s metabolism, you will have a much harder time maintaining a steady rate of weight loss.