When you decide to go on a weight loss diet plan, there is always some conflict between your long term weight loss goal and short term gratification. You know - that dessert you just can't resist, the three o'clock low when you need a sweet, etc.
The psychology research shows that your intent to reach your long term weight loss goal is not enough. You must plan out in advance how you will move toward your weight loss goal. You need to be specific in your planning and address when, where, and how you will take steps to stay on course.
When you do your advance planning, you are making the route to your weight loss goal easier. You'll be able to put in less effort.
Let's say you've started a great new diet plan and you're very excited about it. Let's also say that you are going out to dinner at a very good restaurant on Saturday night. The hardest thing would be to just go to the restaurant and try to deal with the food, your feelings, your friends, your diet, all on the spur of the moment.
The way to simplify the situation and come out still on the diet, is to make specific plans that exactly fit the occasion. For example: if there is no food on the menu that is diet food, I'll ask for a half-portion of whatever I choose. Also, if there is no fruit on the dessert menu, I'll ask if they could possibly get me some fresh fruit. Then too, if I start to feel like I absolutely must not pass up the chance to eat something delicious, then I'll recognize this as sabotaging myself and I'll excuse myself and go to the ladies room. There I'll remind myself of how much I want to be a weight loss success story. If my friend starts pushing at me to forget my diet just for tonight (like she always does), I'll be prepared to say, "No, I'm really doing it this time. I'm determined."
You see how it goes?
You can pull it off. When you are not prepared, any of these scenarios - and many more like them - can throw you. It's usually too hard to come up with what to do right on the spot.
It's true that you can't prepare for every conceivable situation, and there will be things that pop up unexpectedly. But there is a lot you can think about beforehand, and plan, plan, plan your strategy accordingly. Sticking to your weight loss diet plan becomes much less of a struggle this way.