Have you reached the point when you work hard then, harder, but are still not losing weight? This is a common problem for many people. Don’t fret the small stuff. You need to visualize the new you, stick with your goals, be positive and reward yourself for positivity and hard work, and never quit.
Contrary to popular belief, weight loss is not permanent. If you do not believe it, weigh yourself every day for 10 consecutive days, each morning before breakfast. You will note that your weight does indeed fluctuate. Not by multiple pounds, but often, plus or minus 2-3 pounds. You are dynamic and so is your weight. In fact, the only way to maintain the same weight each day is to do the same amount of exercise, east the same number of calories and, well, you get the picture. The goal is to keep the big weight load off. Below are 10 tips that will help you do that. Make them a habit and you’ll be the new you that you wish to be.
Use the 10 tips below to help you stay motivated on your journey to permanent weight loss, especially when you’re not losing weight. But don’t just read them…do them.
1. Use Creative Visualization to ‘see’ the New You:
• What does the new you look like?
• Can you envision yourself on the beach in a new bikini or swimsuit?
• What are your goals to get to the new you?
You need to be able to envision the new you, like a movie in your mind. Like goals, write down what you want the new ‘physical’ you to look like. Then, make concrete small-step goals to get there. Every journey begins with the first step and, small steps are best as you start down the new path. For example, how much do you wish to weigh? Every goal has an important place in the plan.
2. Create a list of why? Why do you want to look like your vision?
The why is all important because it will help you to create reachable goals. List all the reasons you want to lose weight and live a healthy lifestyle. Post you list where you can see it every day – on the fridge or your desk. Review it constantly so that you maintain your focus and stay motivated. Just like your bathe each day, review your list daily as well – this will help you stay motivated.
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3. Think about Now versus the Future
This means you can remain the same physical you or you can become the new physical you. Which would you rather be? The same physical you requires little effort, the new physical you, requires goal, a plan and much work. But, the new physical you will be more rewarding, and you’ll be glad you put in the effort. Think about time. In one year, with no effort, you’ll be the same as now, maybe even heavier, more out of shape, but likely, still unhappy about how you look. Or, in one year, you can have a better physical you. Regardless of your choice, one year of time will have elapsed regardless of what you do.
• How will I feel in one year if I take now action? What will I look like? How will my health be impacted?
• If I make a plan, set my goals and work at my future me, how will my life and health be impacted? Won’t I be happier? What is most important personally about the new you?
4. The Importance of Losing Weight?
Over 95% of the illness and disease we have is related directly to nutrition. Likewise, increases in diabetes within the U.S. especially, have skyrocketed as the amount of sugar consumed per person has increased. Weight gain is directly linked to sugar consumption because sugar depresses your body’s natural fat-burning metabolism. Thus, eating healthier becomes a no-brainer. If you will eat healthy, weight loss becomes easier for most. And, as you lose weight, you become less susceptible to high blood pressure, diabetes, and many other ailments. Also, by losing weight, you’ll become naturally healthier and likely happier. Then, if you indulge occasionally, you won’t feel so guilty.
5. Set Realistic Goals
We all want to set a goal for how much weight we want to lose, but to do that successfully you must set behavior goals instead of weight loss goals. As an example, suppose you desire to lose 20 pounds over the next three months. How will you accomplish that? A wise way would be to set the goal and make a plan for achieving it. For example, set a goal of exercising three times per week for 20-30 minutes and combine it with eating more vegetable instead of breads and pasta. This way you’re focusing more on being healthy, which will naturally spill over into your weight loss goals. You have much more control over your behavior than you do the number on the scale. And, it is a change in eating habits that will ultimately get you where you want to go. As mentioned before, take small steps, i.e., small goals that you can accomplish. Setting a very large goal, makes it more unattainable and therefore, makes you more likely to fail.
6. Reward Positive Behavior
Reward yourself for achieving personal behavior goals. You are more likely to keep doing something if it’s followed by something you want. For example, I promised myself when I lost 20 pounds that I would buy that new pair of shoes I wanted. The number of rewards is endless and last time I checked, a new pair of shoes didn’t have any calories that would affect weight gain. Rewards can often help motivate one to continue efforts, even if you haven’t lost weight. You should note that when you begin exercising, you will naturally increase the density of muscles. This usually results in a slight weight gain, but you have burned fat and you will likely note that, although you have a little more weight, you can wear a smaller size dress or jeans. So, in a more definite way, focus on losing fat instead of just weight.
7. What is your Definition of Success? You may want to change it
Change the way you think about success. One of my favorite definitions of success is – the accomplishment of one’s aims, purposes, or goals. Thus, success can mean several things to you. In terms of fitness it could be:
• Being able to run 2 miles non-stop
• Chores and work feel easier to do, etc.
• Do not consume any fast food for one month
• Exercising consistently for three weeks – this will help make it a habit
• Feeling better overall and feeling exuberant about life
• Feeling stronger in your muscles
• Noticing changes in the shape of your body
• The ability to exercise 40 minutes instead of 20-30
8. Keep a Journal
If you want to be successful, you must have a plan that you hinge your goals onto. Get away from the PDS’s, smart phones and computers. Make this very personal. Purchase a small, hard bound journal and a pen. Keep them with you all the time. Write down your plan in your journal and check off each successful step you accomplish. Also, write about the foods you’re eating, exercise times, etc. A paper journal can be kept in your purse and or gym bag, on the seat of your car, etc. Start a journal and keep a tally of any and every success you deem important as you begin your new journey to more permanent weight loss. Examples include:
• Foods you eat each day
• Amount of time in the gym and what exercises you did: reps, sets, weight load, time, etc.
• Goals you reached and how
• Obstacles you overcame that initially plagued you
• Physical and mental feelings/changes you may notice
• Positive changes other people notice about you: tighter looking, bigger biceps, etc.
Set aside about 10 minutes each day to reflect on your goals and how you’re doing with them. And, when you fill up your first journal, get another and continue your journey. It is the small successes that will help you drive forward and help you to keep your passion.
9. Self Evaluate
One of the many things people do wrong when attempting to lose weight is to set an unrealistic goal of 20-30 pounds in one or two months. Not only is this unrealistic, it is also unhealthy. A good goal is 1-2 pounds of weight loss per week. And, it generally takes up to 2 weeks to notice the loss without weighing daily on a scale. Let’s look at an example. Susan wants to lose 10 pounds. Given that 10 pounds represents 35,000 calories, it’s not likely to be lost in a week or two. It is the combination of exercise and food intake that determine how much you will lose. This is the short answer, but it is more complex. Losing weight is a matter of energy balance. Food is the energy in and exercise is the energy out. If you have more energy out than in you’ll lose weight, conversely more energy in than out means you’ll gain weight. Thus, the best way is to eat healthy and exercise. Do it well and the results will surprise you.
10. Don’t be a Scale Watcher
All or our clients are forbidden to weigh more than once per week. It is like the adage ‘watch the pot, never boil’ type of saying. Weighing yourself each day will frustrate you and because the body is dynamic, you won’t notice a change that quickly anyway. Once per week is sufficient, even once per 10 days. Your body is ‘smart’ and constantly adjusting to new routines and food regimens you may put it through. Set your goals, write your plan, and get started. The weight will take care of itself it you just follow your plan.