You decide that this is your time to lose weight and immediately you wish you started last year. You have decided that you are fully committed, 100%. You want the weight off in an instant, you want to feel better about yourself and your overall health.
While the good news is that you’ve conquered the biggest step with commitment, it is best to be realistic and realize that there aren’t any quick fixes to losing weight and changing your body. But, you can immediately start to reap the benefits and feel better about yourself as soon as you dive into a new program.
Here are some secrets to kick start that new plan into gear to achieve the body of your dreams.
1. Make a plan: To plan ahead makes you much more accountable in your daily efforts. To see things in writing as opposed to just in your head makes the task at hand much clearer. Logging your food can be one of the best tools when trying to lose weight. Guesstimating what you are eating could actually be making you gain weight.
Sit down and take the time to plan out your meals for the day or even better, the week ahead. It will give you a much clearer picture of what you are eating and how much, as well as give you the opportunity to buy your groceries accordingly. Plan all your snacks and meals. You will find yourself eating healthier options and sticking to your goals. Having food ready all the time whether it be in the car, work or anywhere on the go, limits the opportunity to reach for junk when you are hungry.
2. Make your diet flexible: On the most effective plan you are allowed to eat all types of foods as long as they fit into your customized budget. You don't necessarily have to cut out all junk food in order to lose weight. In fact, I encourage you NOT to. I tell my clients to carve out a portion of their day for a treat or two. Nothing should be off limits, otherwise you will feel deprived and want it even more. We all want what we can't have, so affording yourself something to indulge in will keep you more accountable throughout the week.
3. Plan for exercise: Whether it is in the gym or working out at home, if you have a plan you are more likely to follow it rather than winging it. If you take classes, put it in your schedule. If you lift weights, write out what type of exercises and how many reps and sets you will do. Carve out 45 minutes to an hour of your day. Make sure your exercise goals are realistic - if you can't make time to exercise 6 times a week then don't. You will just end up disappointed in yourself and wanting to give up.
4. Build muscle: While cardio is heart healthy and should be incorporated into your weekly routine, it is strength training that will actually be able to help you change your overall physique. The more muscle you can preserve and build, the more calories you will burn while resting. The more calories you burn, the more weight you will be able to lose.
5. Slow and steady: Keep in mind that losing weight is not a quick fix. Aim to lose .5-1% of your body weight each week. Losing weight at a slower pace ensures more long-term success. The last thing you want to do is gain the weight back and negate all your hard efforts. Slow and steady wins the race.