Technically speaking, losing weight is just a matter of burning more calories than you take in each day. It sounds simple enough, right? Unfortunately, it doesn’t always feel that way. There are going to be days when you feel too busy, too tired, or downright uninspired. It happens to all of us. When we look at the difference between people who succeed, and those who struggle, we notice something interesting. Successful people often have strategies in place to overcome obstacles, allowing them to keep heading in the right direction. This plan for getting to your ideal weight (and staying there) will give you some insight into the steps that you can take in order to be successful, long term!
Make the Decision to Change.
The first thing that you have to do is make the decision to change. I’m not talking about just starting another diet and exercise plan. I mean, truly and wholeheartedly deciding that this is the time that it’s going to stick. A healthy lifestyle does not have an end date. Once you make the decision, follow-through.
Once you’ve made the decision to change, you need to visualize how you’re going to get where you want to be. Even the world’s best athletes envision themselves performing perfect techniques, a strategy that primes their body for success. You can do the same by visualizing how you want to look and feel after weight loss. If it helps, post inspirational pictures or phrases around the house.
Debra Atkinson from “Flipping 50” had some great ideas on how to be successful and maintain a healthy lifestyle, long term. Check out Debra’s response below:
“Start thinking about yourself as someone else. We get very comfortable thinking of ourselves as someone who always diets, struggles with weight, has a hard time losing weight, or always regains the weight. If you keep that pattern of thinking, you will.” She went on to say, “You’ve got to begin thinking (and acting) like the person that you want to become. It is then that you will see consistent transformation that’s permanent.”
This step cannot be emphasized enough. Setting weight loss goals that are unrealistic will inevitably end in failure every single time. It is absolutely imperative that you set specific, measurable, attainable, realistic, and timely goals if you want to be successful long term.
We asked Dr. Alex Robles from “The Whitecoat Trainer” what his best tip for long term success is, and this is what he had to say,
“The number one best strategy to maintain weight loss long term is to take your time. We are bombarded with diets and programs that promise things like “lose 30 lbs in 30 days” or “get six-minute abs,” which feeds into an immediate gratification mindset. These programs may work for you, but the manner in which you lose the weight tends to use drastic, unsustainable, and uses unrealistic methods. Once you stop doing the program (which is inevitable), you will regain the weight.”
So what is it that we need to do to keep this from happening? Dr. Robles says, “Instead, you need to focus on a stepwise methodical approach that takes it slow. You should aim to lose no more than 1% of your bodyweight per week. This means you may only lose 0.5-1.5 lbs per week and that’s okay. If you do it using methods that are sustainable, you are more likely to keep doing it for the rest of your life…and keep the weight off long-term.”
Create a healthy environment.
Once you’re in the right mindset, you can begin taking action. You probably will need to do some house cleaning to set yourself up for success. Clean out the pantry and refrigerator to get rid of any unhealthy, calorie-laden, and processed foods that may be lurking in the back. Once you’ve cleaned out the kitchen, hit the grocery store and stock up on plenty of nutritious, whole foods. If you’re going to be exercising at home, be sure to clear out a designated workout spot so that you never have an excuse not to follow through!
You already make it a habit to schedule things that are important to you, don’t you? Why should your health be any different? Along with meetings and appointments, put your workouts on the calendar. This will not only remind you to get your workout in, but making a commitment to yourself ahead of time will also hold you accountable! If you need a new exercise program, we have plenty to choose from!
The term “dieting’ often has negative connotations attached to it. That’s why we like to use the phrase, “eating mindfully,” instead. When the munchies strike, ask yourself: “Am I genuinely hungry?” If the answer is “no,” drink a glass of water and then go for a walk or read a book! After a while, you’ll become more in-tune with what your body actually needs, verse what it wants at the moment. Making small healthy choices now will add up to huge results later!
Track Your Food, Exercise, and Progress.
Building self-awareness is a key weight loss strategy. Keep a food journal and exercise diary. In the food journal, answer questions like: What did you eat? How did it make you feel? Was it worth it?
Your exercise journal should be very similar. Ask yourself things like: What exercises did you do? Did they feel easier than the last time? Were you able to complete more reps, lift more weight, or run farther? Keeping track of your past is just another way of learning how to make healthier choices the next time!
When it comes to tracking progress, we don’t just want you to weigh yourself. Weight can fluctuate up to several pounds per day! If you want to weigh yourself, do it once per week at the same time each week. Aside from the scale, some other methods of tracking progress include circumference measurements, how your clothes fit, and of course, how you feel! Maybe the scale hasn’t changed much, but you have way more energy than you used to! That should be considered a win!
It can be tough to reach and maintain your ideal weight all by yourself. While you’re the one who must put in the majority of the effort, it is still highly recommended that you team up with a like-minded friend. We like to refer to these friends as “accountability buddies.” Having someone who knows what you’re going through and can encourage you to work harder is absolutely priceless.
Maintaining your ideal weight can only happen with lifestyle change. All too often, we shed pounds, do a victory dance, and dive right back into bad habits. Make this time the time that sticks: do that weight loss victory dance (you deserve it!), but then dive right back into those healthy new habits you’ve learned.
Start your new healthy lifestyle, today!
Living a healthy lifestyle does not have to be complicated or difficult. We hope that this plan for getting to your ideal weight – and staying there has proved that! Take it one decision at a time, and you’ll never have to start over!