There are lots of shortcuts when it comes to losing weight and keeping it off. Fad diets claim that their detailed plan will help you lose weight the fastest, but at what price? Apply these rules for healthy living, and learn how to keep your weight off for good!
Become a Weekly Goal Setter
• Studies shows that those who focus on small weekly goals can more easily achieve long-term targets.
• Focus on immediate achievements rather than ones that will be accomplished well into the future. For example, losing 2 lbs. this week is more realistic to follow through on than setting a goal of losing 20 lbs. by the end of the month.
Set Realistic Expectations
• Be honest about what you can expect with a weight-loss plan. Use a food diary to chart everything you eat for a week’s time, and then modify it to lose 1 to 2 lbs. a week. That means you’ll need to decrease your daily caloric intake by 500 to 1000 (eating no fewer than 1200 calories per day).
• Be specific about your goals. Write down goals in food journal, and list them as affirmations where you can see them. Place encouraging statements and goal reminders on your bedroom mirror, laptop, etc.
• Focus on the here and now for weight loss. Don’t focus on what you can’t achieve but what you will achieve today, tomorrow and for the rest of the week.
Commit to Exercising the Same Time Every Day
• Pick one time of the day to work out, and commit to that time each day.
• Studies have shown that exercising first thing in the morning increases your motivation to eat clean and healthy, and sets the pattern in place for you to consistently exercise the rest of the day and week.
• Exercise increases endorphins, the brain chemical that elevates your happiness and productivity on the job.
Learn How to Overcome Hitting a Plateau
• When your weight loss and/or strength gain stops after a few weeks of seeing progress, that’s a plateau. Everyone hits one sooner or later so it’s no big deal, but it can be tricky to get past without losing motivation.
• Avoid plateauing by increasing your intensity with cardio. Up the amount of time you’re running, hiking or jump roping, and try interval training techniques.
• Add variety in your workouts. If you’re used to running every day for a half hour, take a hot yoga or one hour Zumba class instead for one day a week.
Make Exercise and Eating Right Part of Every Day
• Breakfast is the most important meal of your day. Load up on protein, complex carbs and fiber.
• Lunch has to get you through the afternoon and evening. Fuel up on leafy greens, lean meat, nuts, seeds and legumes.
• Dinner should be the lightest meal of your day. Lots of steamed vegetables, lean meat and baked seafood.
Commit to Self-Care as Part of Your Morning Routine
• Self-care – Put your needs (health, wellness, clarity) as the first priority in your day.
• Meditate for ten minutes (or longer) – Connect to yourself, relieve stress, improve breathing and become part of the big picture of your life, the world, your community.
• Move – Walk in the neighborhood, take a spin class, do yoga in your backyard or bike ride to work.
• Vision Board – Put together a visual tool for manifesting your ideal life and body. Use images of the activities you want to do and the lean physique you dream of having.
Change Up Your Routine with Group Classes
• Focus on changing up your workout with 3 group classes a week.
• Zumba, Spin, Pilates, step, kickboxing, lifting and dancing alongside an instructor can burn up to 1,000 calories in a single class!
Surround Yourself with Support
• Join a runner’s group at your gym – Being with positive people with similar goals can increase your bond, and the competitive edge will help you to lose weight more quickly!
• Find an online support group – Connect with others who are working to lose weight.
• Read testimonials, weight-loss recipes that worked for others, exercise programs to try, and more.
Stop Skipping Meals!
• Eat a balanced breakfast – This will speed up your metabolism for the rest of the day.
• Focus on protein and fiber for each meal. This nutritional boost will allow you to burn more fat during your workout.
Don’t Weigh Yourself Daily
• Staring at the number on the scale every day can give you a false impression.
• Weigh yourself first thing in the morning – but only once a week – for an accurate representation of weight loss.
The Bottom Line . . .
Losing weight for good is a realistic possibility as long as you go about it the right way. Eat in moderation, set goals, and expect realistic outcomes for yourself. Keep yourself in check and put your needs first every morning, and you’ll have an easier time keeping the weight off for a lifetime.