Daydreaming about the body you’ve always wanted won’t get you any closer to reaching your weight loss goal. Many of us have been at a point in our lives where we are wanting to better our health, physically, mentally, and improve our self-esteem. The hustle and bustle of today’s society makes it challenging to stick to healthy eating habits and a scheduled fitness routine, believe I’ve been there and can totally relate. When seeking weight loss is all about what you eat, staying consistent, staying active, and not cheating on your plan. Below are tips that I have found to be successful for my own weight loss journey and my fellow peers. The following will help you make your weight loss journey a reality and no longer a far-fetched dream.
1. Find What Motivates You
When it comes to motivation, each person is different. What motivates one individual, may not motivate another. Some people also need more discipline and motivation to complete and succeed in their weight loss goals than others. Finding what will motivate you, what inspires you, and ignites that inner fire. Your inner drive and determination are the key components that will keep you motivated to work hard, stay focused, and succeed with your weight loss plan.
2. Make a Dream Board
I’ve found it very helpful to write out my goals or make a dream board, visually showing myself what I want to accomplish. I have found it to help me stay motivated when I can see and read what I’m wanting to accomplish every day. Before I leave for work, I have notes on my fridge, and on my door that I read before I leave. This helps me start off the day in a positive mindset, making it easier to stick to my meal planning and regular exercise routine.
3. Change Your Diet
The word diet can bring on some negative thoughts and restriction of some foods can lead to binge eating them later on. What I tell my clients is to focus on fueling your body properly. Pretend your body is a machine, would you fill it full of cheap oil and neglect it? Absolutely not! This would lead to the machine not working correctly or not work at all. Our bodies are the same way.
It is important to fuel our bodies properly with the proper nutrients, vitamins, and minerals to make our bodies run as efficiently as possible. What I’ve found to work best with clients is to focus on a meal plan with low carb intake, moderate protein, and lots of vegetables. What I’ve found success with this meal plan is your body will be burning the protein and fats as its main source for energy, as opposed to using carbohydrates. This will cause a leaning effect and overall fat loss in the body.
4. Track Your Calories & Log Your Meals
Keeping track of your calorie intake and what your eating is a great and essential tool used to help weight loss clients stay on track. I’ve found clients who thought they were doing a wonderful job only to find out they weren’t losing any weight or worse, had gained weight. This is where writing down your calorie intake (calories consumed), calorie expenditure (calories burned), and your meals (what you ate & when) will help you stay on track and also give you a guide to look back on to adjust if need be.
I recommend for weight loss that adult men and women stay around 1200 calories a day, with moderate exercise at least 30-45 minutes a day for optimal results. Following this recommendation will leave the body calorie deficient at the end of the day, which is needed in order to lose weight.
5. Stay Hydrated
Staying hydrated is just as important as exercise and eating right when it comes to a successful weight loss plan. It is recommended that a person drink 8-12 glasses of water a day for the body to stay properly hydrated. When the body becomes dehydrated, it can wreak havoc on your body. Dehydration can lead to increased body core temperature when exercises, causing your body to lose more water and electrolytes through sweating.
It’s important to stay hydrated, especially when exercising to prevent dehydration and to keep body fluid levels normal in order to keep the body core temperature in a normal range. Staying hydrated also plays a factor in controlling hunger between meals and flushing out toxins build up in our bodies. Drink your water, it’s good for you and your body!
6. Make Time to Exercise
Due to our crazy lives and packed schedules, it can be hard at first to stick to a regular exercise routine. This is one that takes work and dedication from one’s self to schedule a time that will work the best you and they believe they can stick to. The more regular and consistent you are with your workout plan, the better results you will see.
For weight loss, I recommend incorporating cardio activities at least 3 days a week to start for a duration of 30 -45 min a day. This will start conditioning your body, strengthening your muscles, and building up your cardio endurance. Along with your cardio, I recommend starting a full body basic weight training program. This will have you conditioning your muscles, increasing strength and range of motion along with accelerating your calories burned each day.
For a full bodyweight training program, I recommend starting off with the following machines:
Upper Body: Chest Press, Pectoral/Deltoid Fly, Lateral Pull-Down, Seated Row, Bicep Curl, Triceps Extender
Lower Body: Seated Leg Press, Seated Leg Curl, Seated Leg Extension, Seated Calf Raise, Leg Adduction, Leg Abduction
Abdominals: Seated Abdominal Crunch, Torso Rotation Machine, Abdominal Glider (Lower Abdominals)
7. Find a Gym Partner/ Exercise Group
If your finding it challenging to stay motivated on your own, finding a gym buddy or taking part in fitness classes could be an easy solution to keeping you motivated. Having a workout buddy does really help with keeping morale up and helps keep the workout fun and tends to go by faster. I encourage clients to find a workout buddy not only to keep themselves motivated but to help their friends and loved ones live a healthier life.
Exercise groups or group fitness classes offer a wide variety of benefits. When taking a class, you have a knowledgeable instructor assisting and teaching you along the way, other people with your similar interests and thoughts in mind and the atmosphere with the music and positive reinforcement is enjoyable and great for building confidence in people new to the gym life.
8. Commit 100% to Change
If you are serious about changing your lifestyle, losing weight and becoming healthy, then your commitment level to the process needs to be 100%. I tend to find clients that say their serious about losing weight and try to adapt to their new lifestyle but end up going back to their old routines and bad eating habits. If you are serious about change and you want to better yourself, then you need to rid your life of temptations that will be counterproductive to your success. I have also found that having a good support system at home and around you will keep you motivated, and help you reach your weight loss goal.
9. Track Your Progress
Keeping track of your progress is a great way to make sure you stay on track to reaching your weight loss goals. Its also an effective way to motivate and keep a record of your weight loss journey, reflecting how far you’ve come since and the progress made. I recommend keeping a food & exercise journal, writing down your meals for the day, the calorie intake of each meal, and the exercise expenditure you’ve done for the day.
Keeping track will also show you if there are changes that need to be made to your exercise and meal planning. If you realized your results have slowed down, your weight loss decreased or you’ve stopped losing weight, then your records will show you that its time to switch up your exercise and meal planning. A Plateau is when the body’s metabolism and expenditure levels stabilize, which will cause no further gains in muscle strength or increased weight loss. To break through a plateau phase, an increase in exercise expenditure, and a re-adjustment of calorie intake is needed, to confuse the body, helping with weight loss again.
10. Believe in yourself
All your hard work and commitment to living a healthier lifestyle won’t last long if you don’t believe that you can do it. It will be that thought in your head that will always stay a dream and never become a reality. Self-image and self-esteem have a big role to play when it comes to weight loss. I know more myself when I was at my heaviest, I pretended like there was nothing wrong and had the mindset that I would be unhappy with my body for the rest of my life and I would “learn” to love it.
This is so far from the truth. In order to accomplish your goals, the right support system, and you supporting yourself and believing you can do it will make a night and day difference with the results you will see. If you get overwhelmed and hit challenges throughout your weight loss journey, remind yourself why you are doing this. You are pushing yourself hard and focusing on a healthier lifestyle so you can go out and enjoy life and feel good doing it.
As you prepare to start your weight loss journey, I hope you realize that it does take a lot more than the idea to make it happen.
There will be ups and downs and can leave you in a whirlwind of emotions. This process is challenging but just as rewarding. Once you find your path and a routine that works for you, then all you need to remember is what I’ve posted about. These 10 tips are meant to help you through those challenging times while our body is transforming into a better version of your true self. I continue to follow these steps as well.
Even after reaching my own weight loss goals, these steps keep me in shape mentally, physically, and to make sure I don’t undo all my hard work. There is no quick fix, your weight loss journey should be interpreted as a lifestyle change, not just as a diet. Once you start seeing changes in your energy level and body changes, you will start to see mental changes. You’ll begin to think differently, see the importance of yourself and your health. The healthy changes you made on day one will slowly become a part of your normal, daily routine, leading you to reach your weight loss goals.