With all of the information out there, I’m pretty sure you have a decent idea about what needs to be done in order to lose weight. Bottom line? Eat healthy foods and exercise. This sounds simple enough, but for many people it’s a struggle. The struggle most people face isn’t in knowing what to do, it’s doing it. Passing up certain foods; having the will to say no; getting motivated enough to get dressed and actually go to the gym. This becomes particularly difficult when faced with self-sabotaging thoughts like “Go ahead and eat it. One time won’t hurt you”, or “You’ve been good all week, you deserve to reward yourself”. This type of self-talk in an indication that your mind is working against you, not for you. So how can we change these thoughts?

Commitment. There really is no way around this if you want to look and feel healthy and fit. I’ve compiled a few practical tips that will help you keep the cookies out of your mouth and will push you to the gym while your mind is scrambling to find all sorts of reasons why you can’t or shouldn’t (so much for loyalty). It comes up with some good ones too, doesn’t it? The good news is, very soon these actions will become habit and you will no longer view it as a struggle, but as a refreshing way to live.

1. Put the food away. Do not leave food out in the open unless it’s fruits and veggies. Believe it or not, this one little step will enormously impact your tendency to overeat and spare you the guilt feelings that follow. I’ve been in numerous houses where cookies, cakes, bags of potato chips – you name it, are left out in the open (on the counter, on top of the refrigerator, etc.) This is a huge no-no. Put it all away and out of sight. After a meal, wrap up the leftovers immediately and put them away. Do not allow them to linger on the stove or table. The old saying “Out of sight out of mind” bears some recognition here. If your first thought after reading that was “Yeah, but they also say absence makes the heart grow fonder” then you’re riding the super sabotage train and need to take a time out to get your mind back on the right track! Though we should never beat ourselves up when we have moments of weakness, we should still be firm with ourselves. Get over any Betty Crocker mishaps and move forward, but don’t use that as reasoning to continue to indulge either.

2. Stay out of the kitchen. Unless you are in there for a specific purpose, do not gravitate to the kitchen. It’s where the food is. Start spending more time in the living room, outside, wherever. But unless you’re in the kitchen to prepare an actual meal or make a cup of tea, get out. Harsh? Maybe. But it will keep the cookies out of your belly. That is if you’re still buying those things. I hope not.

3. Call a family meeting. I have found that those with children or large families have a more difficult time losing weight than those who do not. Especially, if you’re the honorary chef. This calls for a family meeting. Let everyone know of your intent to eat healthier and lose weight and allow them to get involved in your success. Make and take suggestions on how this can be a win-win for the entire family. Better yet, make it a family project. Seriously. Making healthy meals for the entire family is the preferred route because it allows them to benefit from the same healthy foods and habits. However, if for some reason the family plan is not doable right away, and they are insisting on your famous apple pie, some provisions will have to be made for you.

4. Change your perspective. Look at losing weight as a self-health project and lifestyle change rather than a look-good project. Each day you will become healthier, stronger and your body will run more efficiently, gaining more and more energy along the way. Let's not forget, you'll look great! The benefits to losing weight the right way are long term and far outweigh any short term efforts. Healthy looking skin, slower aging and more energy are just a few of the benefits to better health. Changing one's lifestyle to include foods such as fresh vegetables, fruits, lean meats (or no meats, which I prefer) and whole grains along with regular exercise will heal more than just your body; it will heal many areas of your life. I promise.

5. Get your gym bag ready the night before. There is something to be said for preparing in advance. When I get up in the morning, my gym bag is staring me in the face and ready to go. It’s just a matter of me slipping into my gym clothes and hitting the door. Well, I stop to brush my teeth first, of course. Take your shower at the gym, it saves time. But please, don’t forget to pack the flip flops. You can never be too sure about whose bare feet were there before you.

6. Visualize. I use visualization in all areas of my life and I believe it to be one of the most powerful and effective methods of manifesting a desire. Visualize the body that you want, and visualize it exercising at peak levels- repeatedly. For instance, picture your desired body running a marathon. When you visualize, you must place yourself in that moment and allow yourself to feel all of the emotions of it, as if it were actually happening. This is powerful. Do it daily. Pretty soon you will find yourself craving healthy foods and exercise. No kidding.

7. Exercise early. This may not be possible for everyone since work and family schedules are different for each individual, but if possible get to the gym first thing in the morning. If need be, wake up an hour or so earlier. It’s well worth it. Not only will you get it out of the way but you will have outsmarted your excuse-making mind. Also, it won’t be a source of stress all day (the anticipation) and you’ll start the day with your fat burning furnace on high and mucho energy! As an extra bonus, your evening will be free to relax. I highly recommend this.

8. Buy foods that you can snack on. Find healthy foods that you really like and use them to snack on when you feel yourself losing control. I like crunchy snacks, so for me it was baby carrots. Of course, I would have preferred the potato chips (okay, I like salty, crunchy foods). Nonetheless, grabbing the carrots kept me from grabbing the potato chips. It was a little disappointing in flavor and texture at first, but eventually I began to prefer them. Yes, it’s true. I would dip the carrots in salsa (which has no fat for you salsa lovers). This replaced the salty cravings. Get creative. There are a lot of healthy snacks to be discovered, but be wise. There are a lot of misleading labels out there. Try sticking with fresh foods. Processed foods are never the right choice.

9. Get enough rest. You should get 7-8 hours of sleep at night. Do your best to make this happen, not only for your overall health, but also to ensure that you will have enough fuel for your workouts. Also, lack of sleep causes hunger. It’s hard enough having to stay out of the kitchen and pack a gym bag before bed. Why push it?

10. Cook in advance. If you are going to cook separately for your family, prepare your meal in advance. This will ease the temptation to eat what you’ve prepared for them. Again, the best scenario would be to include your family, promote change and incorporate healthy foods into their diets as well. As a parent of course, you can insist. They’ll love you for it later. As for significant others, I’ll just leave that to you.

Weight loss is an ongoing struggle for many people, but it really doesn’t have to be. Once you've made a mental commitment to become healthy and fit, it won’t be long until you are reaping the rewards. Soon, it will become a state of mind rather than a task so hang in there! It is well worth every effort you make.

You can do this. You have an amazing amount of power inside of you to be successful in anything you set your mind to. Make it happen!

* If you have any health issues , please check with your doctor before incorporating any changes in your diet or exercise routine.

Author's Bio: 

Danielle Pierre is an entrepreneur, published author & certified life coach.

You can contact Danielle at danielletpierre@gmail.com