You can lose the weight you have always wanted if you set your mind to it! Are you ready to take the necessary steps to achieve the body of you have always wanted? The biggest obstacle you have to address is actually your self-discipline and will power. And sticking to a simple plan!

You may have fallen into a cycle of bad daily habits. It starts with eating a diet full of bad fats, simple (white) carbs and processed foods. It is these types of foods that make you feel tired continuously. Because your body has been sucked of the energy you need to maintain a healthy lifestyle, you don’t feel like working out. So what’s the end game? You end up with no or little will power to change and you feel terrible and hopeless. But wait. There’s hope! You can make the changes necessary if you want to lose those extra pounds. You first have to work on building the willpower and create a simple program to make it happen.

1. Don’t Wait For Something Negative To Happen.

Your will power is inside of you and you don’t want something bad to happen in order to expose it. We’ve all heard the stories about someone suffering a terrible trauma, such as a heart attack, and how that life event brings about a permanent change in their habits. You don’t a bad thing this to happen to you in order to get you motivated! The time is now.

2. Pay Attention To Your Portion Size.

This is one tip that can allow you to start small. It’s hard to work on your change if you’re trying to go from one extreme to another. Decide that tonight you’re still going to enjoy the same food that you would normally eat – but this time give yourself a smaller portion size. One trick is to use smaller plates so the plate visually appears full. And don’t go for seconds. Eat slowly. Its well known it takes 20 minutes for your stomach to tell your brain its full. If you eat slower, then you have consumed less food before the signals get sent. And don’t forget to drink water before dinner.

3. Give Yourself A Cheat Meal (or two). Every week.

It’ll be an easier change for you if you allow yourself some time to adjust once in a while. Tell yourself that next Saturday evening you can enjoy that pizza for dinner or that ice cream for dessert. You’ll be less likely to toss in the towel knowing that you can eat some pizza next Saturday instead of “never.” But don’t follow your cheat day with another one, and then another one. And don’t turn it into an all day pig-a-thon. Remember rule 2, cheat, but cheat smartly.

4. Take Pictures of Yourself. Before you start.

You can motivate yourself to lose weight by taking some self-portraits. We usually don’t have the best idea about how we truly look until we see ourselves in a photograph or even a mirror. You may not recognize the changes. Keep a picture with you and look at it when you feel like giving up. Update your photo often and compare them as you start to drop the weight. Visual clues of change will make you feel good and keep you motivated.

5. Make A Grocery List. And stick to it.

Write down all the foods you enjoy eating, then decide whether or not these items are healthy or not. Chances are there are at least some healthy foods that you actually enjoy eating – such as fruits and vegetables. Make sure you start buying these foods for your home and eliminate the unhealthy choices. Go to the grocery store on a full stomach. Walk through the junk food aisle and purposely do not choose anything. Leave the store with good food. You will feel better!

6. Exercise. Consistently.

Adding exercise to your routine can also be a daunting task if you try to jump in too fast. Nobody is telling you that you need to join a gym and engage in rigorous workouts if that’s not your style. You’ll actually be surprised at how energized you can feel just by taking a 30-minute walk, three times a week. Just be consistent, and build on it. And remember, lifting weights will help you lose weight. And build strong bones.

7. Set Small, Achievable Goals.

No matter how you decide to approach your weight loss, it’s important to start with small goals and remain in a good mood. Doing too much, too fast will only set you up for failure. Instead, set small, manageable goals like one pound per week, or walking 3 times a week. These goals are perfect. Thinks about it, losing 1 pound a week is the same as 52 lbs a year. That’s a lot of weight! By focusing on the smaller, more attainable goals, you’ll actually see results far more quickly. And you will stick with the program!