Motivating yourself to lose weight can be a very, very difficult process. It took me years to finally throw down the gauntlet and commit to changing myself for the better. Looking back, it’s one of the best decisions I’ve ever made. My self-confidence, while still on the low side, has increased dramatically. My overall energy level is extremely high, especially when compared to just 12 weeks ago, when I was 40 pounds heavier and still downing BK Stackers on a regular basis. I’ve still got a ways to reach my end goal, however, I couldn’t be happier with my current status. To help you on your weight loss journey, here are five tips that I used to get where I am today.

Give Up Fast Food

In order to have consistent weight loss and change your lifestyle, you will have to go cold turkey on fast food. Now that’s obviously going to be difficult living the college lifesyle, however, if your only excuse for eating terribly is that you have no time to eat properly, you’ll just continue to spiral down a vicious hole. Making simple changes like this at the beginning of your diet will help you lose a lot of weight with little to no effort.

Eat Less

Don’t let people who tell you that you’re not eating enough discourage your diet. The fact is, if you’re overweight, you’re either overeating or you’re eating only the most unhealthy of meals on top of very little physical activity. For some of you, it could a little of both. That was my problem and cutting down on my food intake and making better eating decisions were what really helped me when it came down to losing that first chunk of weight.

Small Meals and Lots of Water [Only Water]

This is a big one and will make a huge impact at the beginning of your diet. These small meals will help stimulate your metabolism while also helping to decrease your overall appetite to the point where you’ll eventually find larger meals incredibly more filling than in the past. On top of that, drinking more water and in contrast, cutting out soda and other sugary drinks, will also benefit your appetite. I found that cutting out even diet soda has helped my food cravings and made my body feel much better over the course of time.

Keep a Food Log

Now, you could use an app or a website to house your food log and help encourage you to keep it up. However, I’ve found that keeping your own log, whether written or in a text document, is simply more motivating. You’ll find yourself having to look up calorie counts and write them down yourself instead of having them automatically calculated. I think this way of logging helps invest yourself more into your weight loss journey.

Take Exercise Nice and Slow

The worst thing you can do for yourself when you’re just starting to get serious about exercising is to overdo it and burn out. You don’t need to go out and attempt to complete P90x or Insanity right away. Making time for a simple walk or jog will do wonders for body. As long as you’re committing yourself to your diet and you’re getting regular exercise, you don’t have to kill yourself. The weight will come off. Once your endurance is built up and you’re properly invested in the journey, that’s when you should start to step it up and perhaps hit the gym or try a popular exercise routine.

Image Source: Martijn Van Dalen