Whether you want to lose 10 pounds or 100, successful weight loss methods are fairly basic. Focus on making weight loss a priority while getting back to basics through slow and steady loss, food journaling and self-motivation.
Get back to basics. These days, the amount of diet advice available can make weight-loss confusing. Should you carbo-load or restrict carbs? How about a juice cleanse or the next big celebrity-endorsed diet supplement? Before you waste your money on diet hype, get back to the basics. Weight loss basically comes down to two simple formulas: You need to burn more calories than you consume to lose weight, and each pound of body fat equals 3,500 calories. If you cut 250 calories each day and burn the equivalent of 250 extra calories each day, you should lose 1 pound per week.
Aim for slow and steady. Fad diets may help you shed pounds fast, but they don't give you the tools you need to keep it off, and therefore the results aren't sustainable. Experts at the Cleveland Clinic suggest that people who crash-diet through major calorie restriction are likely to gain all the weight back, whereas individuals who lose weight slowly and steadily through proper diet and exercise tend to keep it off.
Keep a food journal. A food journal is a handy weight-loss tool that helps you hold yourself accountable. The trick to a successful food journal is complete and total honesty about what you're eating, including portion sizes. You can also keep track of your workouts here. Jotting down how you feel before and after eating can help you determine negative patterns and overcome emotional triggers that cause you to overeat or choose the wrong foods.
Make weight loss a priority. Given the option, many overweight Americans would likely choose reaching their goal weight over winning the lottery. Losing weight is consistently cited as a New Year's resolution in America, and yet every year, we keep getting fatter. If you want to lose weight, you can't just wish for it or talk about it; you actually have to make a strong commitment and then … just do it! Making your weight loss a priority might mean cutting back on responsibilities at work or dealing with financial or relationship issues in your personal life first. If you want to increase focus on your weight loss, you need to make room by decreasing your focus on other areas of your life.
Define your motivation. Having clearly defined reasons for wanting to lose weight is important. What they are is entirely up to you, but they should be things that motivate you on a personal level and focus on both short-term and long-term goals. A short-term motivator might be losing weight for your high school reunion, whereas a long-term motivator could be having more energy to play with your grandkids. Write your motivators down on sticky notes and keep them around your house, car or office for those times when you need a reminder.