The New Year is coming up and you know what that means..
New Year’s Resolutions.
If you’re thinking THIS is going to be the year you finally lose that weight…
Giiiirl, I GOT YOU!
The sad truth is that most people who set out to reach a weight loss goal this year will fail.
But for those of us who have made it to the glorious other side of our goal..
We have a few tricks up our sleeve on how we made it happen.
I tried to lose weight for years. Failed. Failed Failed.
So what changed that I finally lost 40+lbs in just 3 months?
Here are a few things that I changed and CONTINUE to do so that I maintain my results..
1. Having a Defined Goal.
How many times have heard someone proclaim they are going to lose weight?
No set amount of weight.
No date they’re going to lose it by.
No exact plan on how they’re going to do it.
Just, “I’m gonna lose weight!”
Those people usually fail in fantastic fashion.
Sorry, not sorry.
How are you supposed to reach a goal when you don’t even know what it is?!
Most people give up on “losing weight” because they’re just meandering about and then feel like they’re getting nowhere because they don’t know where they’re going.
If you really want to lose weight, set some hard goals for yourself.
How much weight do you want to lose.
What date are you going to lose it by?
These goals aren’t set in stone.
If you need to adjust them, you can absolutely do so, but having a defined starting point will give you a concrete goal to reach for.
2. Not Only Focusing on the Scale
Aright.. let me blunt here.
There. I said it.
Weighing yourself to track your progress can be helpful…
The problem is that the scale does not tell the whole story.
The scale can go up and down for a TON of different reasons.
Just a few reasons the scale is moving in the wrong direction that has nothing to do with FAT LOSS:
- Holding onto extra water weight
- Weighing yourself at different times of the day
- Different food weight
- Putting on muscle while also losing fat
I did a whole post about this on Instagram.
In the pictures below, I weigh almost exactly the same anddd yet, look completely different:
Why? How? What?
In the first picture, I my body composition had a ton more fat.
In the second, I replaced much of the fat with muscle.
Muscle is more dense and weighs more than fat.
So, yes, the scale can be useful…
When used in conjunction with other tools as well.
We’ll get those in a minute.
3. Being Realistic.
Okay, that being said..
Let’s not make our goal to lose 20lbs by the end of the week.
A good way to get discouraged and give up early is to set a completely unattainable goal for yourself.
The general rule of thumb is 1-2lbs per week.
Now, that can vary widely based on your body and how much weight you have to lose.
But that’s what is typically “recommended”.
If you have 100+lbs to lose, you can lose a lot more much faster.
If you only have 10lbs to lose total, it will probably come off much slower in comparison.
I always tell my clients to shoot for 1-2lbs per week. If you exceed it, great! If you hit it on the head then we’re still making progress.
4. Skipping the BS.
Nothing kills motivation like not seeing results from your effort.
That’s why trying gimmicky products will set you on the fast track to failure.
I’ve seen too many people get excited at the idea of “losing weight just by drinking some miracle tea (or insert any other fast fat loss product here).”
But then they try it and it doesn’t work.
They get discouraged from trying to lose weight at all because they think they’re the reason it didn’t work.
“All the people in the ad lost weight on it, it must just be I’m incapable of losing weight!”
Those ads are lyingggg.
Not only are they discouraging, but now you’ve wasted all that time.
Trust me, just do it the old fashioned way from the beginning, it is the fastest way.
5. Drinking Enough Water.
One of the most underutilized weight loss tools is drinking enough water.
What is enough water?
Depends. But a general rule of thumb is half your bodyweight in ounces of water.
For example, if you weigh 200lbs, then you want to aim to drink at least 100oz of water a day.
There’s a lot of science behind why getting enough water helps us to lose weight.
But it also helps with appetite control and helping us to achieve that “full” feeling without stuffing our face with food until we can’t breathe *looking at you Thanksgiving dinner*.
Another bonus is that by focusing on drinking water, you will naturally cut calories that you would usually be intaking from other beverage options, such as juice, soda, or even milk.
6. Getting Enough Sleep
This is probably the most underrated weight loss tip in history.
Honestly, I was one of the people that down played it until very recently.
If you’ve been following me, you know that I do jiu-jitsu tournaments.
In some of these, I needed to cut weight in order to compete.
I’m already pretty lean, so cutting even 5-10lbs now can be difficult.
I struggled A LOT to make weight the first few times.
My last tournament, the weight basically just fell off.
You know what changed?
I prioritized sleep.
Seriously, aside from the other stuff that I had always done to cut weight, that was the only thing I changed.
Before when I needed to cut weight for a competition, I would get up at 5am, go for a run, go to work for 10-12hrs, come home and train for another 2, eat, shower, and get maybe 4-5hrs of sleep.
I cut out the morning run this last time.
I slept in.
Okay so where in the world did I get the idea to try sleeping more to lose weight?
After reading a book called “Why We Sleep” by Dr. Matthew Walker.
The short of the book is that sleep is WAY more important than I even thought before for a whole slew of general health and cognitive reasons.
For the purposes of the article though, the big takeaway was the role of sleep on weight loss and the significant decline in your fat burning ability when you get anything under 6 hours of sleep.
7. Being Prepared.
I know..this one sounds lameee.. but…
It’s one of the most effective.
Especially if you struggle with will power/motivation.
It’s simply planning ahead.
Planning what exactly?
It means having a strategic workout program.
It’s walking into the gym and knowing exactly what you are going to do that day.
It’s having a rough plan of what you’re going to eat the next day.
When you plan ahead, this is how we can incorporate things like going out and having drinks with friends.
Your brain, when given an option to choose, tends to choose the path of least resistance, for obvious reasons.
So how do we combat this?
We don’t give it a choice.
We know ahead of time if we need to workout that day, what we need to workout, and what we need to eat to fuel our body most effectively.
If you’re unsure on what the exact details of such a plan would be..
That’s where I come in and why I created exercise and nutrition plans for you! 🙂
8. Finding Balance
Here’s an unpopular piece of weight loss advice:
Eat a flippin donut once in a while.
So many people fail to reach their weight loss goal because they start out trying TOO hard.
They start out super motivated.
They want to reach their goal as fast as possible.
So they go cold turkey on anything that tastes good and try to workout every single day.
NO ONE can maintain a lifestyle like that.
Those people are trying to full on sprint through an entire marathon.
Weight loss is marathon.
Widget not in any sidebars
That’s why I’m always preaching about balance and why my weight loss plans don’t have any “off limits” foods.
You are much more likely to reach your goal if you are following a plan that is easy to follow..
Rather than going balls to the wall for a week and then quitting because it’s basically impossible.
9. They Aren’t Motivated
If you’re scratching your head at this one, let me explain..
When you see someone who stays fit and seems to live a healthy lifestyle the majority of the time..
It’s NOT because they’re super motivated.
Maybe at first.
But motivation only lasts so long.
You can use your initial motivation for getting started to build a habit,
But eventually, that motivation is going to fade.
There ARE going to be days you don’t want to get off the couch.
So how do those people keep going?
They have made a commitment to themselves.
To their health.
To their happiness.
They have decided to delay short term gratification in exchange for long term success.
Making a commitment to yourself should be no different than making a commitment to someone else.
Let’s take your job for example.
You have made a commitment to your boss that you will show up every day that you are scheduled to work, with the small exception for times that you get sick.
You don’t wake up and debate if you want or feel like going.
If you are scheduled to work and healthy, you go.
This gets us back to having a plan.
If you made a plan to workout that day, unless you are sick, you go.
10. They Get Creative.
The above being said…
I get that it’s not easy to get to that point.
I have a full list of my favorite ways to get motivated here.
But one of the most motivational things for me is seeing my progress.
I mentioned above how you shouldn’t put too much stock into what the scale is showing.
Instead, pay attention to how your clothes fit.
Take progress pictures.
Pay attention to how you’re sleeping and feeling.
When you see and feel yourself making progress, you’ll want to keep going.
I saw this post on Pinterest and thought it was a fun way to track your progress:
11. They Reward Themselves
Don’t forget to reward yourself along the way.
You don’t need to reach your ultimate goal to be proud of yourself.
Set smaller weekly or monthly goals.
When you reach them, give yourself a treat.
Try not to make it food/cheat meal related.
Think new pair of shoes, spa day, gym outfit.. Whatever floats your boat and gets you excited!
If you struggle to get started on building and keeping these types of habits, it may also be worth it to start out with a personal trainer. Here’s a good article that goes over if getting a personal trainer is worth it for you.