Have you ever lost 10lbs then gained it right back? Or started a "diet" on Monday only to have failed by Friday? I'm sure you've tried low calorie, low carb, meal replacements, diet pills and about any other magic get skinny quick scheme just like the rest of us! My guess is, to this point, none of it has worked, hence you stumbling across this page.
What I've found is that people are impatient and irrational when it comes to wanting their results and how they are going to achieve them. Let's be realistic this time around. If you're losing more than 2lbs per week, you will end up putting it back on... you are probably in complete calorie restriction and your body will not be able to keep up this lifestyle. Continue to remember why you're here- to lose the weight a keep it off.
The right way involves patience, support, understanding, hard work and trust.
1. Change 1 Habit at a Time
Statistics show that if you change 1 habit at a time your success rate will be 80% or higher. 2 habits drops down to 30% and if you try to change 3 habits or more you have a mere 10% chance of success. If you're motivated and determined to reach your goals, choose a habit that will make a bigger dent (but only if you're up for the challenge!). I recommend starting with a habit that will challenge you but that you can succeed with. Sitting down and talking with a Nutritionist or RD will help you to discover where your barriers are and a good potential starting place. There are a few things in which almost everyone needs: more veggies, less processed food. If you aren't mentally ready to start giving things up, simply start with adding veggies to every meal. This will soon become second nature and that is the time at which you will want to work on a new habit! You're already on your way to a new you! If you're intrigued by this idea, I'd highly recommend the book Switch.
2. Set a Realistic Short Term Goal
When it comes to fitness and health, most strive for too much too soon. I wouldn't recommend going from the couch to marathon training, but couch to 5k is completely doable- and many people are doing it! Be realistic... If your schedule only allows you to make it to the gym 3x a week, set your goal to make it those 3 times! Don't say you're going to go to the gym EVERY DAY (no one actually does that)... you're setting yourself up for failure instead of success. The book Switch explains in detail why and how SMALL CHANGES = BIG RESULTS in the end!
When it comes to weight and trying to get it off, research has found that stress (emotional, physical, nutritional) holds on to weight like a person falling off a cliff holds on to the ledge. Stress can be one of the biggest barriers in controlling your weight. If you discover you're doing a lot of things right, yet not reaping the benefits of weight loss, take a good look into the stress buckets in your life. Are you getting 8 hours of sleep? Are you recovering from workouts? Are you eating micro nutrients and taking your vitamins? Are you learning ways to manage stress at home and in the work place? How is your gut health? Make sure to look at the big picture when trying to achieve your goals- it doesn't always come down to diet and exercise!
4. Support System
"They" say (whoever "they" are) that if you want to be successful, surround yourself with successful people. Did you climb the corporate ladder by hanging around friends that cared more about partying than they did about making a living? No! If you want to lead a healthy lifestyle, surround yourself with people who wish to do the same. The gym is a great place to meet these like-minded people! Also, it's important that people know your goals and your intentions so they don't try to sway you off track (although, be prepared, people who aren't succeeding themselves don't always want to see you succeed either!). However, the more people are aware of your goal, the more support you will have! As long as you take it seriously, they will too.
5. Eat Breakfast Upon Waking
Putting your body through a 15 hour fast day after day (from dinner until lunch) will lead to your metabolism slowing down and fat storage accumulation. Also, those who don't eat breakfast tend to over consume (due to being ravenous) by the time dinner rolls around. Speed up your metabolism today by shifting your meals. If you're not hungry in the morning, you more than likely over ate the day before, probably at dinner time. If you shift your dinner time to earlier and consume less, you'll find your appetite raring to go by breakfast time. Strive for protein and fats at breakfast, this will stabilize blood sugar throughout the day and minimize cravings! If you're in a hurry, smoothies filled with vegetables, little fruit and protein are always a quick and easy option!
6. Become Habitual
It's hard to eat healthy and stay active if you don't abide by some kind of routine. This is how you all the sudden find that you haven't been to the gym in weeks or you've been eating out every night. Take a look at the week ahead and get a good idea of what days you will be able to fit in exercise and schedule a date with yourself and your tennis shoes. Put some kind of menu plan together so you have an idea of what you'll be eating. I promise if you eat out every night, it will be very difficult to achieve your goals.
7. Take a Lunch
The more you eat out, the more you will struggle with your weight. When you eat at a restaurant, keep in mind, they have one goal in mind: Make it taste so good that you come back again. We all know the more butter, oil, sugar, condiments you use, the tastier the meal gets. But with that comes excess sugar, calories, fat, etc. If you truly want to live a healthier lifestyle, you're going to have to focus on cooking more, eating out less. Packing a lunch is easy, convenient, money conscious and much healthier! Start there. Visit my Meal Prepping 101 post for steps to simplify your new healthy lifestyle! If you're really serious about this, I'd suggest investing in a good lunch box. My 6-pack innovator lunch box is big (I can pack 12+ hours worth of food in there!), organized and keeps my food fresh and cold all day long... by my best experience for taking lunches on the go!
8. Quit going on "Diets"
The definition of diet to me is, "Follow an extreme plan that you will be able to maintain just long enough to get to your goal weight, then revert back to everything that led you to become overweight in the first place". A diet has a big, fat date at the end at which you've reached your goal and can go back to eating the way you were before. At risk of being the bearer of bad news, those eating habits that you slowly return to are the same eating habits that packed on 30lbs. If you want to lose weight and keep it off, quit doing extreme diets. Practice on creating good habits that you are able to maintain for life. Revert back to Step 1. This is exactly why to focus on creating HABITS!