First and most important, how is your health? Be sure that you are up to whatever plan you put in place. If there is any question about your body’s ability to handle the rigors of a specific diet regimen, especially if the program involves exercise, it is of vital importance that you consult with a physician before starting. Dieting is about improving your health, not ruining it.
Be realistic. Don’t fall for hyped up claims made by some diet promoters. The fact is that on any safe and sustainable diet plan you will lose somewhere between one and two pounds a week, three if you are able and willing to engage in extended periods of strenuous exercise. Almost no-one can sustain an extremely low-calorie diet. Eating less than 1200 calories if you are a woman, or 1500 calories if you are a man, will likely lead to muscle loss, which is counterproductive.
Take your time. Before you start that diet take the time to do some research and find a program that looks right for you. Don’t jump on the latest thing just because everybody else does. If that diet is one that you won’t be able to sustain, say if it leaves out a food group that you just can’t do without, then it would be best if you never even start. You don’t need to have a diet failure haunting your next effort.
Be prepared. If a diet plan has specific requirements, say a certain brand or type of food, make sure you have an ample supply on hand before starting. If you need a journal or a new scale, get one. If it is an option, remove all temptation. Clear the cupboards of your guaranteed slips. Putting all the pieces in place from the beginning will increase your chances of success.
Set small goals. A diet that has a goal weight loss of more than just a few pounds will take quite a while. Instead of having one huge goal and waiting to reward yourself until it is reached, break that goal into smaller milestones and celebrate each one. You will deserve it, and reaching those goals can do wonders for maintaining motivation.
Get ready for disappointment. You will have off days or weeks. That is virtually guaranteed. They happen to everyone and in every diet. Be ready for them. Disappointment and discouragement can torpedo your motivation. Figure out how you are going to deal with them before they happen.
Be positive. You can do this. Believe it.