So, you’re ready to do this. The diet, the exercise, the chicken and broccoli, the whole thing.
You are So. Freakin. Ready.
That was pretty simple, no?
Making the decision to lose weight is the easy part. It’s actually losing the weight that is hard.
Once most of us reach the place of being ready to lose the weight we want it like NOW. We are ready to go all in, balls to the wall, let’s-do-this-thing already.
Slow down, sister. Not so fast.
If you’re going to do this, for real, and make it stick, there are some things I want you to know.
These are the five things I tell every woman who wants to lose weight.
- Start small. If you try to do it all at once, you’re going to end up feeling overwhelmed. Pick one thing you can focus on at first. One thing that’s going to make a difference. It could be getting your workouts in, or giving up soda, or eating another serving of vegetables at each meal. Not all three. Just pick one. Focus solely on that, and once that becomes a routine then move on to the next thing on the list.
- Plan your meals. If you want to lose weight you’re going to have to know what foods you’re eating and how much. You can no longer rely on restaurants, packaged meals and drive-throughs. In order to successfully lose weight you need to control most of your food. How it is prepared, the portion size and the ingredients. This means you have to put some time into planning ahead and knowing what you need to have with you and what you’ll be eating. That extra time will pay off big in faster, more dramatic results.
- Move more. Yes, exercise is important. Exercise is a great way to lose weight, but exercise alone is not going to cut it. Get up, walk around, be more active, do things around the house, play with the kids, take your dog for a walk. All of these things are great, wonderful healthy habits, that are going to not only help you lose weight, they’re going to make you feel good, and they don’t take a lot of extra effort once you’re in the habit. If you’re someone for whom physically exercise feels very difficult, just start with walking. Don’t just go to the gym, move more all day long.
- Sleep better. Sleep first, everything else second. It doesn’t matter how good you are on your diet, or how much you are exercising, if you’re not sleeping well you’re not likely to have good results long-term. Sleep is the step that starts everything else in motion. If we don’t sleep enough our cortisol levels are elevated, and cortisol is our stress hormone which tells the body to hold onto body fat. We’re also tired which means we tend to crave more sugary less nutrient dense foods, which is why you might find when you’re really tired you have a harder time resisting those donuts at the office. And lastly if you’re not sleeping and you’re tired, you’re not going to be as motivated to go to the gym or move much. Sleep is absolutely imperative, so if you want to lose weight you have to be sure you’re getting good quality sleep.
- Be patient. You didn’t put the weight on overnight and it’s not going to come off overnight. Unfortunately, it’s actually a lot easier to put the weight on than it is to take the weight off. So even though you’re ready and you want it like yesterday, you’re going to have to put in time and effort consistently for a long time and probably longer than you maybe thought you would. The time will pass anyway, so you might as well take it slow and let it happen without getting frustrated or giving up because it’s not happening quickly enough.
If you’re trying to lose weight, start small, plan some healthy meals, get moving as much as possible, get to bed on time and stay there for at least seven hours each night.
Do that every day and don’t worry about anything else, then be patient and trust the process.
That’s the secret to long term sustainable weight loss.