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Summer Weight Loss & the Power of Positive Thinking

Summer is a great time to have fun, but it's also a great opportunity to work on your health. Learn how to make summer weight loss goals and use positive thinking to your advantage.

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Summer is a time for pool parties, picnics, and other fun activities. But it is likewise a time most make weight loss goals to feel comfortable and confident.

Find out the most effective ways to make goals and how positive thinking works to your benefit.

Setting Weight Loss Goals

Goal setting is a key component when making a weight loss plan. Identifying and creating goals helps drive thoughts into actions, therefore leading to results.

And while making big summer weight goals is admirable, it is important to be realistic about your progress. Besides, "I want to lose weight" is generic and broad. How exactly do you want to lose weight and what areas are you aiming to work on? Is there a set amount of weight you want to lose?

Making SMART goals can be the most effective way to meet targets, as studies show they increase the greatest compliance. SMART stands for specific, measurable, attainable, realistic, and timely:

• Specific: Generic goals may diminish proper focus and needed efforts to achieve them. So specific goals should be clear and precise. Aim to answer the questions of who, what, when, where, and why?

• Measurable: A measurable goal is essential to track progress, set targeted deadlines, and keep you motivated. Identify "how much?" and "how many?" to make goals measurable.

• Achievable: Though goals should be challenging, they still should remain achievable. Answering, "How can I accomplish this goal?" helps identify resources and tools needed to achieve goals. It also surfaces potential barriers that may need to be overcome.

• Realistic: Goals should be realistic, within reason, and honest. Consider all abilities and commitments needed to acquire expected goals as well.

• Timely: Goals need target dates and times to keep you progressively moving towards it. A set time frame helps one prioritize everyday tasks, keeping desired goals on the forefront.

If your long-term goal is to lose 10 pounds, break it up into short-term goals. Losing more than two pounds per week is often not advised anyways unless recommended and supervised by a health professional.

Healthy weight loss occurs best when dropping weight slowly, steadily, and sustainably. That being said, make mini goals to progress towards a larger goal. Using positive thinking is also an integral piece of successful weight loss.

Weight Loss Positive Thinking

We all have those weight loss barriers in the back of our minds. "My scale will never budge," or "I will never be able to run a mile." But you can achieve personal goals by being brighter and more positive about your own summer weight loss barriers.

The goal is to discipline yourself to rethink and rephrase negative thoughts. Below are a couple of examples on how to turn negative thoughts into more positive thinking.

Negative thinking: My scale is working against me.

Weight loss positive thinking: My scale does not define me and I have the power over it.

Yes, the scale can be useful for tracking progress. However, it should not define and dictate your attitude regarding weight loss. What's more, you have to give yourself credit when it comes to having control and power over weight loss.

So instead of hating the scale, learn to use it as a tool. Or if you dread the scale, look to other methods to track progress. These include taking body measurement and progress pictures. Gauging levels of energy and confidence is likewise valuable.

Losing weight is really about being in control whether it be over the scale or other tracking progress.

Negative thinking: Me? Run a mile? Yeah, right…

Weight loss positive thinking: I CAN run a mile… But at my own pace!

When it comes to exercise, many people think that they have to see immediate results from their summer workout plan. However, go at your own pace when it comes to exercising. If pushing too hard and fast, the body may not be able to keep up. The mind can become distressed and overwhelmed, too.

So instead of taking the mentality of a fast-paced personal trainer, ask yourself some key motivating questions. For instance, wonder "What would give me the will power to stay off the couch?" One way to motivate yourself is to actually put your workout clothes on. This will give you the visual image you need in order to motivate yourself to exercise.

Also if new to exercise, make a small goal to walk 10 to 15 minutes. As stamina builds, alternate between walking and light jogging. A larger goal would progress to 30 minutes of jogging as you feel stronger.

Include body weight exercises to strengthen both the lower and upper body as well. Including a strength training plan can help synergize your goal to run a mile while lending other health benefits.

Truly, taking small steps can increase motivation about exercise and enduring a healthier lifestyle in general.

Written By Sydney Lappe, MS, RDN. Published on November 07, 2012. Updated on August 08, 2019.

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