Want to lose weight? We all do, right? It can be a daunting task sometimes, not knowing where to start. Should you sign up for a program? Go get another book? Throw away all the food in your cupboard and fill it back up with wheat germ and celery? Nope! Let’s make it easy! Losing weight doesn’t have to be so complicated all the time. Here are the first five steps you can take to get started on your way to success.
1.Take a good look at yourself.
No really, I mean a good honest assessment. You have to know where you are starting out in order to know where you want to end up, right? Take a before picture. A lot of times, the before pictures are what really keep people going when the going gets tough. Take a starting weight, some measurements. How do you feel? Low energy? Tired? Sad? Depressed? Or just sick of being fat? Write this down and mark it day one, so on day 30 you can look back and say,”Oh yeah, I remember that, I feel so much better now, I’m glad I started then.”
2.Set a goal.
It can be a mini goal. It doesn’t have to be the whole goal. I’ve talked about this before, but it bears repeating. When I first started, my goal was huge! So was I really, so that only makes sense. I needed to lose just under half my body weight. I didn’t want to think about that though, so I started thinking about losing 50 pounds. Then I started thinking about getting down to a certain weight I hadn’t seen in a really long time.
Find motivators that work for you. Set that goal and start talking about it every day. Make a note on your mirror and read it to yourself every day. 100 times a day if you want. “I am so happy and grateful now that I have reached my goal of losing ___ pounds and am at my goal weight of ___ pounds!” Say it in the present tense, like you’ve already done it. This is rule number one in affirmations and positive thinking. I didn’t invent that, it really is true!
3. Make some small changes to your daily routine.
You don’t have to reinvent the wheel at first. You don’t have to overhaul your whole life on day one. Add in more fresh foods. Add in fruits and vegetables. Cut out junk calories like sodas with sugar or candy. Eat less fast food and more meals at home. Take walks.
Pick one or two or three or four of these things and commit to them. There’s no need to cut your portions down to a fourth of what you were eating before, or start measuring out salad dressing with an eye dropper. Cutting your calories too drastically at once will often backfire.
A lot of us have issues with our hunger signals. We may never feel full or satisfied. This is due to our hormones being out of balance. As we lose weight, and our bodies get used to us eating the right kind of foods again, these signals will start to improve. Until then, it’s like an uphill battle to fight. This doesn’t mean we are weak willed or lazy. It just means we need to understand why it’s so hard for us to eat small portions of food and be satiated at first. It will get easier!
4. Find ways to make these changes easy for yourself and do-able.
Set yourself up for success by doing things like: Shopping for healthy items so they are on hand when you get hungry. Cutting the fruits and veggies up before you put them away so they are prepped and ready to go. Planning easy and yummy meals that you actually want to eat so you aren’t tempted to say forget it and hit the drive through. Packing the snacks in your purse so you aren’t tempted to hit the vending machines. Keeping a fridge full of bottled water so you get enough hydration and don’t get thirsty for soda’s and crave sugar. Scheduling time to take your walks. Making plans with family or friends to go walking.
5. Stick with your new plan and your small changes for 30 days.
Then determine how well they are working for you and what you’d like to change. Implement some more small changes that will get you closer to your goal. Did you add in lots of fresh veggies? Great! Maybe it’s time to cut out some processed foods. Maybe eat less white carbs and more whole grains. Or less refined carbs overall. Switch from white bread to wheat bread to sprouted grain bread. Then maybe less bread! Look at your self again. Take another picture and some more measurements. How do you feel? Read what you wrote last month and write yourself another note for next month. Continue on toward that goal!
Weight loss is a long term commitment, but it’s a lifestyle change, not a fast fix. Lasting weight loss only comes from sticking to healthy habits for the long term, so the best way to make sure you stick with these changes is to get used to them slowly, not to force yourself to eat or behave a certain way.
If you have any other ideas for getting started, I’d love to hear them! Let me know in the comments.
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