This is by no means an exhaustive list but it is a start and should help you find success on your weight loss journey.
Most people look at losing weight in a very straightforward manner when they first get started, calories in need to be less than calories burned. Technically speaking this is true but there is so much more to the process that few people talk about to ensure you really end up meeting your goals.
1) Don’t go at it alone
In previous articles, we’ve discussed the benefit of using a food journal to act as an accountability tool but we should take that a few steps further. With any goal, you’ll find that you have high motivation at first and can rely solely on that but eventually, it will dwindle and you’ll need to rely entirely on your dedication. Having a strong support system of like minded folks on those days that you aren’t feeling particularly motivated is crucial in helping you move forward. Sometimes all it takes is a bit of outside motivation or accountability to keep you pushing forwards and prevent you from calling it quits before you’ve met your goal.
2) Don’t fake it until you make it
Again, while it’s technically true that to lose weight you need to burn more calories than you are putting in, it’s not as simple as it sounds. You need to learn about your daily burn, what you’re eating, the exercise you are doing, and more. On top of needing to know this information, you are going to need to track it all too because if you track you are more likely to be successful and maintain those results for years to come.
3) Keep a food journal
In the last blog post we discussed this in a lot of detail so I suggest you head over there and read it but as a quick reminder let’s go over a couple of points. To understand how much or how little you consume you have to take note of it! Attempting to remember all this information won’t work out and you’ll miss so many of the nuanced details that are vital for helping you make a plan moving forward. Having a plan forward based off of past and current data that’s working for you is one of the top keys to your success.
4) Be ready for your life to change
Losing weight and maintaining your new lifestyle is exactly that, creating a new lifestyle! We all love the feeling of getting quick results but that’s not what this is all about. We are looking to make enough marginal changes that are sustainable so you can enjoy your new body for the rest of your life, not just the next 2 to 3 years. In fact, studies show that most people (80%+) that lose weight actually end up putting it all back on plus more within the first 3 years because they didn’t make sustainable long-term changes (1). You’re going to need a perspective shift when it comes to food and fitness. It will be tough at first but by utilizing the aforementioned tips you should have a solid foundation to build off of and forge a new lifestyle that you are happy for years to come.
- Three-year follow-up of participants in a commercial weight loss program. Can you keep it off?