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Weight Loss

When to Start a Diet

Bathing suit weather is back and you may be wishing you had stuck your New Year’s Resolution to lose some weight. Don’t be discouraged! Here are some strategies for getting kicking off a diet and sticking with it:

Pick a start date that has positive significance for you.

You might choose the day you met the love of your life, got your dream job, or closed on your first house. Attaching the start of your weight loss regimen to a time that changed your life for the better can evoke powerful associations that keep you motivated.

Don’t Pick a start date tied to celebrations with food and drink.

While a date with positive significance is great, avoid picking an occasion that typically involves celebrating with foods and beverages you shouldn’t be consuming now such as birthday cake or champagne. Alcohol can weaken your resolve!

Don’t wait until summer is over.

You may bet temped to give up on being beach body ready and simply keep putting off your diet until fall. Big mistake! You’ll be heading right into the holidays that come one after.

Avoid starting your diet during stressful times.

If you’re coming up on the anniversary of the loss of a loved one or a time when your workload increases such as when a key colleague goes on vacation, wait until the stressful period passes. However, try not to overeat or load up on junk food and sweets while you’re waiting for calmer times. Simply be as prudent as possible and then your diet in earnest when you’re a little more relaxed and more capable of self-control.

Choose the right day of the week to start your diet.

You may want to avoid starting on a Saturday or Sunday. For most people, those are days of relaxation and beginning a diet then can feel like punishment. Wait until Mon-day, the start of the work week for most of us.

Designate your start date as a special day.

Once you’ve decided on the exact date, designate it as “My Successful Diet Kick-Off Day.” Then mark your calendar to inaugurate this brand new special occasion, and you’re off and running! You can also celebrate the anniversary year by year as you continue to eat for optimal well-being and the maintenance of a healthy weight.

Create a diet journal.
Before your start date, create a journal in which you’ll keep track of what you eat and how much weight you’re losing. Online programs for this purpose are available, but many studies have shown that journaling by hand actually increases the benefits because the process of writing with a pen engages parts of your brain that involve learning and memory. Based on those studies, you might decide to go low tech and buy an old-fashioned bound journal.

Here’s to a slimmer and healthier you once and for all!

Sondra Forsyth is Co-Editor-in-Chief of ThirdAge.com. This article is adapted from her most recent book, “Candida Cleanse: The 21-Day Diet to Beat Yeast and Feel Your Best.”.

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