Making drastic or highly restrictive changes in your eating habits may help you to lose weight in the short run, but those restrictions can be hard to live with permanently. Similarly, your program of physical activity should be one you can sustain. Rethink your definition of "weight-loss success" to include an enjoyable, comfortably maintained and sensible eating program along with regular activity.
If you equate success with fast weight loss, you'll have problems maintaining your weight. A "quick fix" attitude almost always backfires when it comes to weight maintenance. It's smarter—and healthier—to set a series of smaller, achievable goals while you make new eating habits and activity patterns second nature.
Goals should be clear, not too broad, and should answer the questions how, when, where and why. Your goals should help to set your course of action.
Goal-planning is all about doing your research, plotting your course, making a step-by-step plan with deadlines, setting short-, mid- and long-term goals and putting your goals into an estimated overall time frame.
That means not saying simply, "I'm going to lose 25 pounds," but devising a thorough plan of attack, complete with strategies for dealing with all potential stumbling blocks, and then tracking your progress consistently and thoughtfully. It means planning what to eat and how to deal with foods that you find irresistible. We all have "slip prone" situations and temptations; goal-planning helps us handle them.
Part of your plan should be incorporating physical activity into your schedule, and figuring out how to make sure you get to the gym on those days when you're less likely to have the time or inclination to work out. Workouts increase the chances of reaching your weight loss goals and decrease the chances of slipping up. In addition, studies show that people who develop the habit of regular, moderate physical activity are most successful at maintaining their weight.