You know you want to make a change. You want to see what life is like without extra weight on your body. When I was heavy, I’d think about losing weight every day. I’d skip meals, I’d just drink liquids all day. I tried different quick diets. Nothing worked until I changed my eating habits. I quit eating out, I ate more salads and less red meat. I had to plan out the food I was going to eat that day. Count the calories and then find other things to eat that had no calories like celery. And who knew but celery is really good for you. Celery or scallions are an example of foods with no calories that are really good for you. And there’s lot more. Use the internet to find the good foods you want that aren’t just filler, but foods that add value to your diet. And you don’t have to eat them plain, you can use yogurt or a soft cheese to add the flavor you want. Nuts and seeds are also great snack food and your adding good carbs to your diet.
Lose fat not muscle. Planning can get you psyched up about new things to try or doing things you enjoy. Here are tips to help you make a plan. Daily planning will help you stick with your plan.
Think about what you’ll need to stick to your healthy diet everywhere you go: home, work, church, favorite restaurants. Sometimes that’s going to mean packing your own food. You won’t always be able to find food you want to eat. I carry a small backpack or sometimes a sling. If I bring a Greek yogurt with honey or fruit and a bottle of water and maybe an orange or apple, that’s lunch. I prefer the greek yogurt, it’s more filling and has more protein, but a wedge of cheese ( no processed cheese) and fruit with a bottle of water is just as good.
You might think about changes you could make in your kitchen to make it a place you wanted to be. Maybe more color a bowl of fresh fruit, maybe a new cutting board for chopping vegetables you could keep in the fridge ready for snacks or salads. If all the fixing are ready to go, you can through a salad together in 5 minutes.
Plan for the family and friends you’ll see that day. There will be people who are happy to support you in your weight loss. And there will be people against you — not so supportive. You may already know who they are. Some people won’t give up old habits and don’t understand why you want to.
If your goal is to loose 10% of your body weight, for example, and your family is a little overweight and thinks that’s o.k., you might have a problem convincing them losing weight will be good for you. My parents were my biggest problem. Being from a different generation, they think being overweight is healthy, of course today we know that’s not true.
Think of each person you spend time with in your daily life, and ask yourself these questions to set up a game plan:
• How much do you want to share with them about your efforts?
• What kind of obstacles do you expect from them?
• What kind of help do you hope they’ll offer you?
Think through the best way to talk with them about what your doing. Don’t be afraid to be specific about what helps you and what doesn’t? I had to tell my Mom, “when I come for dinner, don’t bring out the dessert until after I leave, o.k.
I personally think that talking about diets or losing weight with others is like talking politics. If you know that this person is like minded and has the same goals then fine, discuss problems or successes but if your not sure about their views on diet or healthy eating then I just don’t bring it up even to relatives. You’ve got a long, winding road ahead. Even with help and support, the buck stops with you.
What can you do to set yourself up for success?
For instance, are you worried that you can’t meet your goal? Now’s the time to identify and sort out those feelings.
Tip; don’t set big goals. Take one week at a time. Three pounds at a time. And be sure to reward yourself, but don’t make the same mistake I did. Don’t reward yourself with food or a Latte. Reward yourself with new clothes, or maybe a movie.
Often most people fail to lose weight because they didn’t really have a good reason for losing weight. Some people become discussed with the way they look and simply want to look better or more attractive. As part of your preparation, ask yourself: Why do I want to make changes? Your reason will be the motivation when it’s linked with a strong emotional state. Instead of simply “wanting to lose weight,” the reason could be “because I want to have more energy” or “not be in pain.” Take time and do some soul searching and find the real reason for wanting to lose weight. “Rather than focusing on the weight you want to lose, focus on the feeling you want to have. As you begin to feel better about yourself, the weight will come off,” says Erik Hajer, a Boston-based fitness and lifestyle coach. Be honest with yourself, it doesn’t have to go any farther than you. You might write it down and keep it were you see it everyday. I put a reminder on a post-it on my bathroom mirror so every morning it reminds me of my goal.
Expect some curves in the road:
It happens slowly and over time. The path to change most likely isn’t a straight line. One day you might be plugging along, committed to your new healthy lifestyle, then you have a stressful day or two at work, or yoga class is canceled — and zap! Your motivation is blown.
At times like this, you have to think about how to adjust your schedule to stay, or get back, on track. With me, I would lose track of my goal when I had an injury. I’d exercise too much, thinking that was the way to lose more weight, but actually my body wasn’t prepared for strenuous activity so I’d pull a muscle or worse a ham-string and be laid-up for weeks, and there goes my perfect plan of losing 3 pounds a weeks. Just like everything else in life you will have set-backs, so just know there coming.
Count on the fact that you’ll lose your way. Accepting that you may go off-road sometimes can help ease your anxiety if it happens.
“We’re so quick to punish ourselves when we veer off the pathway,” says Sofia Rydin-Gray, PhD.
When it comes to personal goals, she explains, “we’re usually not so rational. We expect our journey to be a straight path — and when it’s not, we beat ourselves up or just quit altogether.”
To help her clients have a less emotional response, she suggests you talk to yourself using the same tone as a GPS voice.
Your GPS is completely objective and doesn’t blame you. It’s programmed to know that you’re going to make mistakes and redirect you. If the new route doesn’t work, it offers you another way.
Rather than judge yourself for a completely understandable detour, “use your energy to get back on the right road,” Rydin-Gray says.
When you practice doing that, the amount of time you stay off-road will get shorter and shorter. Eventually, you will get to the point when your habits feel natural.
When I was first starting to lose weight, I didn’t tell anyone. If I was eating with others, I’d make an excuse for only eating a little. I was a calorie counter, so I could taste anything in small quantities. I was eating 1500 calories a day. Until I learned what was the right thing to eat, I would eat too many carbs and not enough protein. After a few weeks I lost weight but I also lost strength. I was always tired. Then through trial and error I found the right foods I needed to give me energy to workout and live a normal life and still lose weight. It took me a while to figure it out but you have to eat to lose weight and you have to increase activities to burn calories and retain muscle. 1500 calories was good for me, I just needed to eat the right foods that added up to 1500 calories.