five_simple_trics2We live in a world that’s always touting the ‘Next Best Thing.’ A brand-new fitness craze here; A miracle weight loss cure there. It’s easy to fall prey to celebrity endorsements, million dollar ads, and miraculous before and after transformations. Those campaigns have their place, and in some cases, might show instant results, but the problem with the “instant” is that results can vanish almost as quickly as they became a possibility.

Diets take hard work and dedication. The concept is easy enough to say, but executing is a whole other story. While it’s true that many succeed, it’s also true that many more struggle to stick to a weight loss plan. Temptation lurks everywhere. Television commercials, billboard ads, internet marketing campaigns and word of mouth works great for advertisers, but for dieters, they can wreak havoc on your motivation. But despite all the obstacles we face, weight loss experts, medical practitioners, and those who’ve successfully lost weight the right way – through hard work and dedication – know that there are five simple tricks which help people stick to their weight loss goals.

1. Exercise. Of course, you’ll want to consult a physician before starting an exercise routine, but after you’ve gotten the all-clear, make exercise – any exercise – a part of your daily routine. Be realistic. If you’ve never run a day in your life, you’re not going to complete a marathon tomorrow, but you may be able to walk a block. Small steps in the right direction are better than making no effort at all.

2. Take inventory. Look at your lifestyle and your environment. Are they conducive to meeting your goals? Are your cabinets filled with unhealthy options? Are you still using your treadmill as a clothing rack? Is your family on board with the changes you’re making? If not, explain that what you’re doing is for you and ask for their support. Chances are they’ll want to see you succeed and might even be inspired to join you.

3. Write down your goals. Be specific. What is it you want to accomplish? In what time? Detail step-by-step how you plan to get there. Studies have shown that people who write out their goals are more likely to succeed because they have something for reference when their spirits dwindle or when life gets tough. Give yourself mini-goals along the way. You’ll love checking those items off as you make incremental improvements daily.

4. Ditch the scale. Muscle weighs more than fat. Measure your accomplishments by assessing the way your clothes fit. If you do all the above, you’re sure to lose inches along the way. Soon, it will be time for a new wardrobe.

5. Reward yourself for small achievements. Small tokens can be great motivators. For example, if you meet your first goal, why not buy that book you’ve been dying to read or treat yourself to a new blouse? Pat yourself on the back for a job well done.

By Ava Mallory