Losing weight and keeping it off is no easy task. Most weight loss attempts end in failure and burn out because people try too much too quick, set unrealistic goals, or lose motivation by day two. Increase your chances of success by implementing these 5 tips!
Don’t just remember your “why”, write it down.
We all have a reason why we want to lose weight. Whether it’s to get in shape for the summer, look good for an event, or more serious reasons like mine – to have children and reduce meds. We all have a driving factor that inspired us at the start of our journey to get out of bed, choose that salad over the burger, and drop our first bead of sweat in a work out. The only thing is, those reasons soon get pushed to the back of our mind as the reality sets in that we will not achieve all of our weight loss overnight. I mean, I worked out today and drank a smoothie for lunch – why the hell am I not skinny yet?!
Well, it doesn’t work that way. Most weight loss attempts end in failure (sorry, but it’s true). To increase your chance of success, write down your “why” what is it about losing weight that is driving you? What do you want to feel that you aren’t feeling now because of your weight? Why is that goal so important to you? What lit that fire in you? Write it down. Post it on your bathroom mirror, at your desk, on your phone. Keep that “why” in the forefront of your mind. Couple that why with your goals as well (see tip #4) for even greater success!
Failure to plan is planning to fail. What steps are you realistically ready to take to reach your goal? Saying I will drink smoothies for 3 months and work out 2 hours a day if you’re a full-time executive with 3 kids just isn’t realistic (or maybe it is you superwoman you!). Know your schedule. Know your life. I know that waking up each morning to cook a home cooked meal for myself and my husband is out of the question. Sure I could do it one day….maybe even two…but every day? Not likely. What I can do instead is prepare our meals the night before so that we can grab our home cooked breakfasts and eat them either on our way to our jobs or at our desks. I know that coming home after a long day at work cook a meal is often the last thing on my mind. To make it easier for me to stick to dining in at home each day, I take time to plan my meals in advance for the week and pre-prep them so they can all be cooked in 30 minutes or less. How can you make it easier for you stick to your goals? If your goal is to walk one mile each morning – have your shoes and workout clothes ready, your headset ready, and even set your alarm to your favorite work out song so it will blast you awake and put you in the mood for a workout.
Stay motivated through others.
This was a tough one for me but very important. When I am on a weight loss journey (yes I’ve been on many), I would always compare myself to others and their success. “Oh, this person lost 200 pounds by following low carb and exercising 3 times a day, I’ll need to do that.” Then 3 days later I would see a new article “Oh this person lost 100 pounds eating only vegan foods”. Then I would try that. It was an expensive and discouraging race to constantly find what someone else did that would work for me. I would buy new food, new gadgets, and then try a plan and when it didn’t work as fast as I hoped, I would ditch it and try another.
What I’ve learned now is that there are dozens of ways to lose weight but only one way to keep it off – consistency. I no longer look for those who have made drastic changes like eating cabbage soup for a year, joining weight loss programs that rely on shakes for all meals, or who work out for hours on end. There’s no way I can keep that up for the next 40 years of my life. Hell, even one year of my life. So I look for others who have stories of weight loss success, those that have kept it off, and those that strive for an overall healthy lifestyle. I look to them for motivation that they stuck to a healthy plan and not only lost the weight but kept it off. I look to them to remind me that anything is possible with focus, determination, and a plan. Most of the stories involve making small changes and continuing even though there is failure or setbacks. They kept pushing. That’s what I look for, that’s what motivates me. I follow many people on social media that have lost weight and kept it off. Find motivation in others, let them motivate you then one day you can motivate those on their own journey.
Write down what it will take to reach your goals
Before I set out to conquer any goal in my life – whether it be obtaining my degrees, starting a blog, teaching, or now weight loss – I not only write down my goal but I write down what I need to do each day to reach that goal by my deadline. If I need to walk 10, 000 steps a day that means I need to walk 1000 steps every hour I’m at work plus 500 steps in the morning and 500 steps at night. 9 hours x 1000 steps = 9,000 steps. Plus 500 steps in the morning and night, well that extra 1000 gets me to my 10k step goal.
If my goal is to lose 10 pounds by the end of the month, that means I need to lose 2 pounds a week. One pound is the equivalent of 3,500 calories. To lose 2 pounds I need to create a deficit of 7,000 calories a week or 1,000 calories a day. The best way for me to do this is by reducing my daily caloric intake and adding in enough activity to equal a deficit of 1,000 calories a day. So maybe shaving off 500 calories from my basal metabolic rate and then doing enough activity to burn 500 calories. Calculate your BMR here and remember to consult your doctor or nutritionist to make sure those changes are right for you. Once I know how my calorie amount for each day, I then plan my meals and activity accordingly to reach that goal. Write down everything! Post it prominently in multiple places so you always know what steps you need to take.
You can’t hit a target if you don’t aim.
Find an accountability partner
This one is the hardest. Finding someone who can support you and you support them, someone that will not sabotage you (no, “Hey you deserve it, get that large caramel frappe”), someone that will create friendly competition and cheer you on when you reach your goals, not secretly wish you failure. Finding an accountability partner can be incredibly beneficial and being one to someone else can create a friendship and bond that will truly last. If you don’t have someone in your life right now that can be a support system and accountability partner for you, turn to groups online. There are multiple Facebook groups that I am in that support weight loss and where people share their victories. Join them and root on others and allow them to root for you too. Check in with them. Provide motivation. Let them know when you’re having a hard time staying on track. Get someone in your corner rooting for you when it’s hard for you to root for yourself? Then, return the favor.
Now that you have these tips, which ones can you implement today? Right now?