Setting Yourself Up for Success
Set reasonable goals
Some of the main deterrents to following through with weight loss are unreasonable expectations. If you set goals which are unrealistic or unattainable, you’ll more likely be frustrated than motivated.
- Talk with your doctor or a professional (like a trainer) before you begin your journey to find a realistic and healthy weight for your height and age.
- You can expect to safely lose up to 1 kg a week. Though it may not seem like much at first, it adds up over time. Safe and healthy weight loss happens over a longer period of time, and a realistic schedule will help you to spread out your goals accordingly.
Make allowances and rewards for yourself
Limit treats, but don’t eliminate them entirely. If you deprive yourself of some of your favorite things, you might overindulge later. Learn to live with the foods you love, rather than avoid them entirely.
- And as for rewards, don’t just think big picture. You need rewards for those check points, too. Have you exercised every weekday for two weeks? Great – reward! Lost that first 5 kg? Awesome – reward. It can be a nap, a day of shopping – whatever would motivate you to keep going.
- There’s always punishments, too. If you miss a workout, that’s 5€ put in the jar that’s going toward your husband’s/son’s/best friend’s beer fund. No excuses!
Log your progress so you can see how far you’ve come
If your weight loss is necessary for your health, it can be useful and motivating to compare your stats as you go along. Write down your diet and workout goals to come face to face with the hard work you’ve put forth. It’ll feel really, really satisfying.
- Your daily weight can fluctuate due to water retention. Instead of basing your progress on daily weigh-ins, pick a set day and time each week to log your weight. Then, add the cumulative numbers of your weigh-ins and average them at the end of the month. This will offer you a more realistic showcase of your progress.
- Muscle weighs more than fat, so a scale may not always reflect the progress in your level of fitness. If you feel comfortable doing so, take photos of yourself on a monthly basis. Pictures can provide a great visual motivator as you consider your progress.
Start a blog
Whether it’s just for you or you actually have readers, starting a success blog can give you a feeling of commitment – heck, you have an entire blog dedicated to the thing, so you better not slip up! And if people do read it, it’s a great forum for support!
- What’s more, read the blogs of others! There are thousands of great success stories floating around on the web to keep you going.
Expect and accept setbacks
Being a perfectionist when it comes to weight loss is definitely not ideal. You’re human – we all are – and setbacks are going to happen. The Chocolate Factory is going to have free samples eventually, work will make you stay late and miss that workout, and Susan will come over with a gallon of Ben & Jerry’s after her boyfriend breaks up with her. These things are normal – they will happen. Know it and accept it. It’s fine.
- Setbacks aren’t the problem – it’s getting back on the track that is. Missing a workout is fine; it’s when you end up missing a week when it becomes an issue. So when a setback happens, do yourself a favorit and make a point to get right back up. Stay conscious of what you’re up against so you can fight back.
Remember that numbers aren’t everything – weight loss is only the beginning!
Though it’s tempting to base success entirely on your actual weight loss, feeling positive about the changes you’ve made overall, rather than just your changes in weight, can be a huge motivating factor.
- Don’t be too hard on yourself. Whether you fall behind in your workout schedule, or indulge in an unplanned ice cream cone, little hiccups along the way are natural and to be expected. If you feel you’ve slipped up, accept the fact and continue as planned with your weight loss routine.
- Keep in mind that your health, physical and mental, are the most important motivating factor in the process. Losing weight is one benefit of a fit and healthy lifestyle but so is a more energetic outlook!
Be proud of your accomplishments
Tell your friends and family when you’ve reached your goals, or completed a task that you’re particularly proud of. As you share your milestones, you’ll be more likely to set new ones. And you’ll get to celebrate openly!
- Be proud of your accomplishments, no matter how small. Losing that last 5 kg is an incredible feat thousands are failing at as we speak. And remember – just improving your fitness is great for your health, your quality of life, and the quality of the lives of those who care about you.