- Write it down. Recording your daily workouts lets you revel in your success. After a month of hour-long walks, for example, you may have covered 100 miles - the equivalent of walking from Mumbai to Pune. (For further motivation, you could also record the improvements you feel as you start shedding pounds and rereading them when you feel discouraged.)
- Keep a food log. Before starting to change your diet, keep a diary of everything you eat for a week or two, including when and where you ate it, whether you were hungry and how you felt at the time. Diaries provide a realistic picture of where you need to cut back. Diaries can also help you identify situations or states of mind that trigger overeating.
- Curb your impulses. Are you eating because you`re bored, sad or anxious? Try to distinguish those motivations from true hunger and attack the under lying problem.
- Increase your contact with other people. For example, taking a class or doing volunteer work can also take your mind off your weight, provide some gratification to replace the chocolate cake and perhaps help you expand your network of supportive friends.
- Go for good taste. Look at the switch to leaner foods as a chance to find new, tasty things to eat, rather than as a punishing deprivation. Buy some low-calorie cookbooks, experiment with herbs and spices, sample exotic veggies, fruits and grains, so that your meals become an exciting event.
- Eat often. Studies show that the long-term losers tend to eat an average of five times a day. Consuming small, frequent meals helps keep hunger at bay. Some evidence suggests that light, frequent meals may even boost people`s energy level and improve their mood; that may help them stick with their diet.
- Forget all-or-nothing. As with exercise, so it`s with food restriction. If you`re eating 3,000 calories a day, may be it`s not realistic to try to cut back to 1,500 calories, or even 2,000 calories. Maybe it makes more sense to acclimate yourself to weight loss by cutting out only 200 to 300 calories at first. By cutting out 200 calories daily (the equivalent of one plate rice and a cup of tea), you`ll lose about 20 pounds in the first year (more if you walk a little, too).
- Don`t aim for perfection. If you slip up and splurge, don`t despair and chuck the whole effort; in the long run, an occasional lapse won`t matter at all.