Preparation is the key to your summer weight loss goals.
Summer will be here before you know it which means many women will take a long look at shedding some of the unwanted weight that was gained through winter and possibly through this past year’s quarantine.
An important part of weight loss success is in the mental preparation.
Before you start any new plan you should establish what you think will work for you both emotionally and physically. What will keep YOU motivated and help you reach your goals?
Here are 7 steps to consider before you start any weight loss journey:
1. Set realistic goals.
Set realistic, specific goals. Remember, there isn’t one magic plan that works for every person. Determine what you believe will keep you motivated and set short-term goals to help you make small yet important steps.
2. Stick to your commitment.
Recognize in advance that losing weight, strengthening and toning your muscles or any other physical goal you have, is not going to happen over-night. Most get discouraged when the results don’t happen as quickly as they want and the commitment they made from the beginning fades.
Be 100 percent committed to your goals, so there’s no indecision about what you want to accomplish.
If you run into problems with staying true to your commitment—maybe you discover that your diet is unrealistic to your lifestyle—take the time to examine why. Then make positive changes to stay on track.
3. Mind your motivation.
Before you start, ask yourself, “what is my true motivation in reaching my ultimate goal?” Make sure it’s for yourself and keep that motivational mindset with you every step of the way.
Determine what motivates you short-term and create non-food rewards that will help you stay on track.
4. Be accountable.
Just like our individual plans of action may be different, how we hold ourselves accountable should be also. For some, tracking their weight on the scale on a weekly basis keeps them in line. For others, that same action could lead to negative thoughts and feelings of failure if that number doesn’t match what they wanted it to.
Determine what will hold you personally accountable. Here are a few ideas:
- Accountability partner
- Monitor how clothes are fitting
- Monitor how you’re feeling – healthier?
- Body fat calipers (through a trainer)
- Body fat scanning (through a scanning app)
5. Find a meal plan that fits your lifestyle.
Planning out your diet in advance should incorporate how you live your life, the foods you enjoy as well as your daily schedule. While your plan most likely will involve a calorie deficit it should also incorporate a balance of all nutrients.
Cutting your calories too low will likely lead to a overindulgence, loss of muscle, extreme sleepiness and a very quick end to your weight loss plan.
Do your homework and find a plan that will work for you and help you reach your personal goals. Remember, don’t look for the quick fix.
6. Plan your exercise attack.
For some, exercises is a dreaded word. For others, they can handle the exercise but, can’t stand the balanced nutrition. If you avoid exercise at all cost then you haven’t found the right activity yet.
If you can find an activity you enjoy, the negative mindset you had will soon become positive. You’ll see exercise as a reward, not a punishment.
Adding even a short bout of daily exercise to your routine will make a big difference in your health, weight, and well-being. You’ll reach your goal weight faster and have more success maintaining it if you include exercise in your routine.
In addition, exercise boosts mood and improves self-esteem, both critical for helping you stay on track. Exercise provides a stress buffer, so you’re less susceptible to emotional eating.
7. Be patient.
I prefer not to set a goal date when it comes to weight loss. Here’s why…say you’re goal is to lose 10 pounds in 4 weeks. You do everything according to plan, are feeling great, clothes are fitting better, you’re feeling healthier and yet…you lose 7 pounds. Many will see this as a failure. I see this as a roaring success!
Just stay the course, celebrate your victories and ultimately you WILL reach those goals.