Maybe you are getting ready for an event, like a class reunion or beach vacation. Or possibly you are required by your doctor to drop a few pounds. Perhaps you just would like to slim down a bit (or a lot). Trying to start a weight loss plan requires discipline, planning and sometimes can feel like a lot of work in the beginning.
As with any habit, weight loss is similar as it takes time to build into a complete regiment. But remember: it’s not impossible, and it’s definitely not one size fits all when deciding what the best plan is for you and your lifestyle.
You may hear it all the time, “on Monday I will start”, or “on the first of the month I will start”. Doing this just prolongs the start and also adds to much buildup and pressure around the event of just starting your lifestyle change. If you end up not following through and sticking to when you wanted to start, it may lead to feelings like you’ve failed. If you really need to drop some weight for health reasons, this can make you feel like you just can’t do it over and over again, sending you down into a really dark place.
Instead, think of every day as an opportunity to gain some sort of momentum toward your goal. At the end of every day think and recap the day. What are some takeaways that worked really well, what are you proud of, what will your focus be on the next day.
Some small steps that will move you forward in a big way include:
Drinking more water – your target should be half of your body weight in ounces. For example, if you weight 150 lbs, your target water intake each day would be 75 ounces. Water can flush away fat and toxins.
Park a little farther away or take the stairs, or do both. Expelling a little extra calories every day helps. Part of the weight loss journey includes calories in versus calories out.
Don’t count calories; count fruits and veggies instead! This is a lot less demanding, plus these food options are full of nutrition. Giving your body the right amount of nutrition will help processes start operating effectively to help your body drop those stubborn pounds.
You can decide to cut yourself off after 2 pieces of pizza instead of 4. Cutting down portions is a great way to reduce calorie intake and also not lead to that over full feeling that makes you not want to move after a large meal.
Track food. Not tracking calories but tracking the actual food that you’re eating is an easy way to see what is going on in your diet. With tracking foods, try to also add smiley and frown faces after the meal to show how you felt after eating it.
Decide on an everyday mantra to stick toward your plan. Maybe it’s telling yourself why this is an important change for you. It could include watching your children and wanting to be in their life as long as you can. Or even a piece of clothing that you see in your closet each morning and it’s the mental image of the way you felt wearing it.
You will have to have some sort of tracking for deciding if you are losing weight. If you are the type of person that can build an unhealthy relationship with a scale, leading to more stress, don’t use the scale. Another option is using your clothes: how are they fitting with the changes you’ve made? Maybe your pants are feeling a little looser. Perhaps your shirt doesn’t feel like you are squeezing everything to fit. Maybe you don’t have to lie on the bed anymore to zip up your favorite pair of jeans. What is going to work for you? Remember, you want to use a technique that doesn’t end up overwhelming you or adding to the stress of managing your weight.
Weight loss is a slow and steady process. Lifestyle changes are most successful with small changes and tweaks along the way. Stop thinking about fad diets and purchasing pills and kits to drop weight quickly. These tools may work to drop the weight quickly but those pounds usually will sneak back into your life. Your body needs time to catch up and work how it is meant to.
Steady energy without crashing throughout the day, sleeping better, the overall feeling of being healthier, your skin will glow, you’ll keep the weight off long-term; are just a selection of what you will feel moving forward into a lifestyle change versus a diet.
Why wait any longer? Decide on what small change you would like to make to your life today and start simple. Don’t overthink it and don’t make any more excuses.