Determine WHY you want to lose weight- Clearly write it down somewhere and look back on it often. Try to go more deeper than just the number of pounds that you want to lose. May you want to lose weight to get off medication, to be able to have more energy to play with your children, improving your self-confidence, etc.
Set realistic goals & expectations- When it comes to weight loss, it is advised to not lose more than 2 pounds per week because when we start to lose more than that, it becomes unhealthy. Work on setting small goals throughout your journey to make hitting them more manageable, and when you do, you’ll become more motivated.
Track your progress- You can take pictures, use an app to track your weight, use a notebook, use a spreadsheet on your computer, or maybe you have your own health Instagram account to track your progress. Whatever it may be, looking back on how far you’ve come will be very motivating throughout your journey.
Focus on non-scale victories- Many people can become unmotivated once they stop seeing the number on the scale go down. However, there are many other ways that we can see progress such as your clothes feeling looser, having more energy, being able to control what you eat, clearer skin, being able to lift heavier weights, etc.
Don’t let your mistakes derail your efforts- Drop the “all-or-nothing” mindset. Just because you overate one day doesn’t mean your whole week is messed up. Instead, re start the next day, eat normally, and DON’T restrict yourself. Take each slip-up as a learning opportunity.
Avoid fad diets and detoxes- Fad diets and detoxes often promises quick results and they tell you to remove a certain food or food group in order to lose weight. Don’t waste your time. Instead focus on eating a balanced diet, exercise, and learning how to heal your relationship with food.
Get an accountability buddy- It's a lot easier to give up on your goals when you haven't told anyone about them. Talk to your accountability buddy weekly and let them know what your goals are for the week. If you want to step this up a notch go public and create an Instagram account or start blogging!
Uncover your emotional obstacles- When you feel like emotional eating, tune in with yourself and write down what emotions you’re feeling and what may be the cause of it. When we start evaluating our emotional eating triggers, we can try to solve the main issues to minimize the reoccurrence.
Think and talk positivity- Take the time to listen to the voice in your head, is it encouraging you to reach your goals or is discouraging you? If you find that your inner voice is negative, replace the negative thoughts with positive ones. For example, instead of saying ,”Oh man, I overate again. I can't lose weight, it’s just too hard!” replace it with “OK, so I ate a little more than I intended. No worries, I’m human and tomorrow I will resume normally.
Ban the idea of banned foods- People who restrict themselves from certain foods often have a hard time controlling impulses around food which leads to binge eating on it. Allow yourself to have what you’re craving keeping portions in mind.
Don’t compare yourself to others- All bodies are different. Many people in our photo shopped world believe that there is a specific way that we should look to be beautiful which is usually not realistic. If it isn’t realistic, it’s not achievable or maintainable either and it can easily lead to dissatisfaction.
Find an exercise that you actually enjoy- Just because all of your friends love CrossFit doesn’t mean you do too. Finding a workout you genuinely like will make you much more likely to stick with it overtime!
Get professional help when needed- This may mean finding a registered dietitian who can help you to fix your relationship with food or an exercise physiologist to teach you how to exercise properly. Many people also get professional help for the accountability.
Sign up for a class or race- Having some concrete activity to do or an event to work towards keeps you training and keeps you motivated.
Set yourself up for success- Keep ready-prepared chopped veggies and healthy snacks on hand for when your on the go, schedule your workouts on your calendar like you would any appointment, and keep unhealthy food out of sight if you know you often binge on it!
Think of weight loss as a journey, not a destination- Weight loss is about much more than hitting your goal weight. Once you reach that weight-loss target, you may not feel incentivized to keep up your new healthy lifestyle habits. Think of weight loss as a journey and to get there, you’ll want to find healthy foods you love eating and workouts you enjoy versus ones that you think you “should” do.
Rework your environment- Replace that bowl of hard candy on your desk for fresh fruit so you have something nutritious to snack on during the workday.
Reward yourself, but not with food- When you reach a goal, celebrate! Instead of using food you can pamper yourself, get a new outfit, plan an adventure, go to a play, concert, or a sporting event.
Don’t expect miracles in days- Remind yourself that Rome wasn’t built in a day, but part of it was! Small changes lead to major results… be patient! Without it, you might find yourself making decisions that lead to short-term results but long-term disappointment.
Get educated- Between what you hear on TV and read in the news, eating right can seem like a real challenge. But it doesn't have to be. Follow as many registered dietitians as you can on social media and read their blogs because after all, they are the nutrition experts.
Hi, I'm Maryann Walsh
I’m a Registered Dietitian & Wellness Expert. I have helped thousands achieve their nutrition and wellness goals while still being able to live their lives and enjoy the foods they love!