Changing unhealthy habits is not easy and cannot happen overnight. It takes time, effort and enthusiasm.

Many excuses arise from a lack of enthusiasm. We can tire of putting in the effort to succeed. It’s certainly easier to make up an excuse for practicing unhealthy eating habits, than it is to make an effort to lose weight. It’s natural to start thinking of reasons why we can’t stick to our Diet Center program when we lose our enthusiasm.

Here are three ways to stay motivated when losing weight.

1. Think Positive

Enthusiasm plays a significant role in your weight loss success. It is up to you whether you take steps to maintain your enthusiasm, or let your energy level drop. The more energy you put towards your program, the closer you get to achieving your weight loss goals. So try to participate in activities that keep you emotionally, mentally, and spiritually positive. Set achievable goals, and participate in activities that you love and spark your interest.

2. Find a Place to Exercise Consistently

Your social environment may influence your level of physical activity. What your community has to offer may promote or discourage you from exercising. Accessibility to sidewalks, parks, or trails may prevent you from participating in outdoor activities such as walking, jogging, or bicycling. However, this barrier can easily be overcome. Consider recreational or fitness centers in your community. Many have indoor tracks, pools, exercise classes, weight training equipment, treadmills, elliptical machines, and more. You can even walk around malls. Don’t forget about your own home or office. You can always walk up and down hallways or staircases. Think about what environmental barriers may have been hindering you from being active, and consider ways to overcome them.

3. Change Your Appetite with Fiber

Several components of oats are nutritious and beneficial to one’s health. One component is its fiber. Oats are the best source of soluble fiber called beta glucan. This fiber helps lower total and LDL (also known as “bad”) cholesterol, which will help keep your heart healthy. Oat fiber also has been found to help control blood sugar levels, and may help reduce high blood pressure. Other components are the phytochemicals that also help reduce the risk of heart disease. Antioxidants found in oats may even help relax blood vessels and maintain blood flow.

Oat bran and oatmeal are also good sources of thiamine and magnesium, which are good for healthy nerves and muscles. They are also a source of iron, which is essential for healthy blood. You can enjoy them as plain hot cereal, or enjoy them on fruit, or used to thicken soups. They’re whole grains, with a whole lot of nutrition and health benefits!

4. Break Through a Plateau

Most dieters will hit at least one or two plateaus during their program. It’s natural for this to occur. The first plateau may occur as early as within the first couple of weeks. This is due to the drastic reduction in caloric intake. Many people may lose weight quickly at first, but then lose very little even if they are still following their program. This problem occurs because the scale only weighs total body weight. This means that water, muscle and fat weight are all reflected on the scale. Initial body weight loss is usually accompanied by rapid water loss. When this balances out, weight loss on the scale slows down. However, fat loss occurs at a slower rate. So even if the scale slows down, the rate of fat loss may still be the same.

Another natural plateau occurs after about 6 months or after a significant loss (at least 10%). This results from a decrease in metabolism and problems sticking to one’s program. Calorie needs decrease as weight decreases. Eventually, measures may need to be taken to boost one’s metabolism up to start shedding pounds again.

The good news is that you can break through a plateau. Continue to follow your program and track your intake. If you’ve been slacking in some areas, improve your behaviors. Don’t skip any meals! Also, stay positive. You know that hitting a plateau is a natural, temporary obstacle on your weight loss journey. You need to stay motivated to stick to your program, break through the plateau, and succeed!

At Diet Center – Cincinnati, we’re here to meet your weight loss goals. Our counselors are cheerleaders, coaches and champions, helping all of our incredible clients win at losing weight. If you want to lose the weight and keep it off for many years to come, schedule a free consultation.