Do you think it’s easy to lose weight? If you listen to the weight loss industry, read magazines/books/articles, shop in health food or supplement stores, you have read about or been told how easy it is–just take this pill, follow that diet or buy this piece of equipment and the fat will just disappear. In fact, we spend over billions each year on weight loss products and services and yet we’re still overweight. So with that being said, is weight loss really that simple?
The idea behind weight loss is simple–burn more calories than you eat. This can be accomplished by replacing a couple of sodas with water and adding 20 minutes of walking each day. Sounds simple…and it is. If it’s that simple, why can’t we seem to do it?
There are a number of factors that contribute to our weight gain that you already know. But it’s not just about finding time to exercise or choosing the salad over the burger–it’s about genuine commitment to make healthy decisions every day….REGARDLESS of what’s happening in your life. If you’re not ready to make some changes, losing weight will be hard. I have come up with 10 things you’ll need to look at in order to get yourself in the right mind set and on the right track to weight loss!
1. Your Attitude. If you’re only on a health kick to lose weight or look a certain way, it will be hard to lose weight permanently. Why? Because, what happens if you don’t see results quickly enough? You give up. Weight loss is a great goal, but unless you have something else to motivate you, what’s to keep you going if the scale doesn’t budge? It takes time to lose weight–how will you motivate yourself in the meantime? Find more reasons to be healthy–having more energy, dealing with health problems or wanting to live longer to be around for your kids. Those are some awesome reasons, if you ask me. We will all have moments of weakness, when we fall off the wagon, miss a few workouts, etc, but we must pull ourselves back up and start over again! It doesn’t always have to be an all or nothing approach! Tomorrow is a new day! Oh and I totally love this quote….
2. Your Workouts. If you don’t workout consistently enough, it’s hard to lose weight. Yes, it’s possible to lose weight through diet alone, but you’ll likely hit a plateau. You don’t need to spend hours in the gym, you only need to set up a reasonable workout schedule that you can follow each week. It’s not about killing yourself with workouts–it’s about finding something you like and that you’ll continue with for the rest of your life. You have to be willing to be more active on a regular basis–not just for a week here and there. Having a personal trainer or a workout buddy is a great way to hold yourself accountable!
3. Your Eating. I can’t emphasize this enough! Weight loss is 80% nutrition and 20 % exercise! TRUST ME! I used to be the person who was convinced that I could eat whatever I want as long as I workout hard everyday. THAT DIDN’T WORK! I get best results when I really pay attention to what I am eating and avoid any foods that will not help me reach my weight loss goals. This woman and her book totally changed my thoughts about healthy eating and the importance of nutrition…if you aren’t familiar with Tosca Reno (the Eat Clean Diet Queen) I highly recommend you check out her selection of awesome cook books 🙂 She is Canadian!
Changing the way you eat is another thing you’re going to have to do for long-lasting weight loss. You need to be willing to replace unhealthy foods with healthier choices–every single day. This might mean:
- Keeping a food journal
- Spending more time in the grocery store reading food labels
- Spending more time preparing meals
- Saying no to extra portions
- Making conscious choices about what you put in your mouth.
For permanent weight loss, you need to pay attention to what you eat and make good choices more often than not. Maybe a structured diet eventually ends, but healthy eating never stops…there will never be a time when you’re done eating healthy. You might feel you’re sacrificing the good stuff (pizza, fast food, etc.) and your life won’t be fun if you can’t have those foods. Guess what? You can still have them…just not whenever you want. Are you ready to make these changes? Are you ready to stop giving your body the most convenient thing available (and often the most fatty) and, instead, spend time planning what and when you’ll eat? Because that’s what it takes to get healthy…permanently.
4. Your Lifestyle. If you want a healthy life, you have to be willing to change how you live. It most definitely doesn’t mean changing everything overnight, but simply being open to new ways of doing things. Some things you might need to change for a healthy life are:
- Daily Routines. You may need to get up earlier to prepare your lunch or squeeze in a workout, use your lunch hour for exercise or go for a walk after work instead of watching TV. Are you willing to do this?
- Limits. You might need to set new rules for yourself limiting how much TV you watch or how long you sit at the computer. You’ll need to pay attention to how you spend your time and where you’re out of balance so you can add more movement.
- Your Pantry. I’m the kind of person who will eat an entire bag of Doritos or cookies if they’re in the house (I’m dead serious!) That means I don’t keep them in the house and if someone brings them home, they must hide them. If you want to be healthy, you may need to get rid of those foods you just can’t resist.
- Your Schedule. If you’re not willing to sit down and change the way you live each day to include exercise, time to prepare meals and time to nurture yourself with sleep, it’s hard to lose weight!!! People use busy schedules as an excuse not to be healthy…are you one of them? If you’re not ready to take responsibility for the schedule you’ve created, it will be hard to lose weight. I hear this excuse A LOT and I could use it as well but I choose not to! The results are worth the extra effort 🙂
5. Your Surroundings. Sometimes, you can’t control the things around you. At work, you may be surrounded by temptations–donuts, vending machines, invitations to eat out for lunch, etc. That’s just one thing you have to deal with…but what about your home? Surround yourself with things that will support you in your efforts to get healthy. That might mean spending your hard earned money on a personal trainer, setting up a corner of the house with workout equipment or instead of watching mindless TV a few nights a week choose to do an exercise video. Set up an environment that encourages those healthy choices and reminds you of them!! Always having a fridge and pantry full of healthy groceries is a guaranteed way to make sure you are making healthy food choices everyday!!
Check back later in the week for Part 2 where I will be completing this list with 5 more ways to make your journey to a healthier lifestyle a little less overwhelming…
What changes are you going to make today to make sure you are set up for success?? Are you as dedicated to your goal as you think you are?? If you really want something, stop dreaming, set a goal and start DOING IT!