To lose weight, it is essential that there is not only proper commitment but an effective plan as well. Below is a helpful guide to get you started. Why wait, start today!
#1 Make a Commitment
Start by making a firm commitment to yourself. Some have found it helpful to sign a personally written contract that would include things like a goal date, the amount of weight to lose prior to that date, changes you will make in diet and a plan for physical activity.
Write down the reasons for you wanting to lose weight. Do you want to lose the weight because you want to feel and look good, wear your favorite clothes, or avoid family history conditions like diabetes or heart disease? When written down, these become a reminder for you to stay motivated and hold strong to your commitment.
#2 Measure Your Baseline & Build a Plan
It is important to consult with your doctor prior to beginning your weight loss journey. You will be able to not only have your current weight and height measured, but discuss any possible risk factors as well.
Be mindful that this is your plan personally and not everyone can be successful with the same plan. Consulting with your physician is the best first step to build and execute against a weight loss plan designed for you. Follow up appointments are good to help monitor your progression and ensure you are having a healthy weight loss.
Journal your daily diet. Keeping track of everything you eat and drink is such a powerful part of losing weight. This will keep you stay aware of what you are taking in which will lead you to avoid unnecessary eating. Plan some locations that you can do physical activity like a community gym or park to go walking so you can best plan when and where.
Consider your current lifestyle and see if there are things that may be roadblocks for you to lose weight that you can change. Various factors may come up like, do your work hours make it hard for you get involved in physical activity? Do you eat sugary foods often because you buy it for your kids? Do your colleagues bring high calorie items to the workplace for everybody? See if there are ways to avoid situations or make changes to help your journey and stay focused.
#3 Set Realistic Goals
When you begin, it is suggested to begin with short term achievable goals and focus on just two or three at a time. Examples are a 15-minute walk daily or including a salad instead of french fries as the side.
Reaching short term goals based on making small changes daily can eventually lead to creating and reaching bigger goals. Make the goals achievable. If you start with harder unrealistic goals like losing 20 pounds too quickly, this becomes overwhelming and causes discouragement.
Life happens, so be prepared that there will be times you derail from your plans. Various reasons like longer work hours, celebrations, or holidays may be a few examples, but don’t become discouraged. Instead, reflect and see if the same scenario presents itself again, is there a way to better plan and avoid a setback?
#4 Look for Information and Support
Lean on friends and family that will be supportive of your weight loss and provide motivation when needed. Making these lifestyle changes becomes much easier if you have others around you that you can rely on for support and talk to.
Other ways to stay motivated are to research and find how you can incorporate more health conscience habits, diet ideas, or new physical activities. You may also find that visiting a weight loss professional or joining a weight loss group can also motivate and help you.
#5 Check In to Monitor Your Progress
Continue revisiting the previously set up goals and monitor your progress. Evaluate which parts of the plan work well for you and see if there are others that might need some tweaking. For example, if you are having trouble in meeting your goal of going for a walk early in the morning due to work, then adjust the goal to go for a walk during your work break or later during the day when you are free. Continue rewriting your plans to what suits you best and has successful outcomes. If you are successful achieving your desired goals, then you may want to try and add additional goals or make the current goals more challenging.
When you meet your goals, be proud of the progress you have made and reward yourself. You may decide to go out with friends, take a relaxing bath or buy yourself a bouquet of fresh flowers. Doing so will keep you motivated and happy.