When you’ve decided it’s time to lose some weight, it’s easy to picture where you’re wanting to be when you reach that finish line at the end. Feeling strong, healthier than ever, and of course: looking amazing and turning heads!
And you might even have a good idea of the process you’ll need to follow to get to that point. But what we all neglect in this whole journey, is the beginning. For all the articles on weight loss, you’re hard-pressed to find any on what to do before.
Prepping yourself and your mind beforehand is just as important to achieving success as the methods you use along the way. Successful sports teams or businesses don’t get that way without planning in advance, after all.
Now, with that being said, let’s get into the 5 steps you must take to lose weight so that you’ll have the right mindset and all the tools you’ll need to hit the ground running!
Accept Your Past
Before getting started, the first step you need to take is to forget about your past. What has happened, has happened. So quit worrying about it now, because keeping it on your mind will continue to give it power of you and cause doubt.
Don’t let the mistakes or poor choices you’ve made previously prevent you from making the right decisions from this point forward. There is literally nothing that says “this is how I used to eat, so I can’t possibly change anything about it.” Nothing.
It’s time to quit worrying about what the old you did, and start celebrating the new mind frame you’ve chosen. The fact that you’re reading this article right now already means you’ve changed, and is something to be celebrated. Which brings us to…
Pat Yourself on the Back
Whether you’ve got a few pounds or a more significant amount to lose, it all happens one pound at a time. Whatever your goal may be, don’t get too wrapped up in where you want to be at the end of the road.
Lost your first couple of pounds? Resisted the high-calorie treat in the break-room? Awesome! Give yourself a healthy reward, and feel good about yourself because you’ve done great, and weight loss no matter how big or small happens bit by bit, not one massive loss at the end.
Focusing too far into the future will make things seem more distant, and place the responsibility of everything it will take to reach your goal all on you at once. When you pay too much attention to the totality of everything, it’s easier to just say “what’s one more week before starting?”
Set Small, Realistic Goals
Set yourself up for success by focusing more on your small, short-term goals rather than your overall weight loss goal. You’ve probably already got a number in your head on where you’d like to eventually be — now break that down into smaller goals.
Make each small goal along the way be immediate and easily achievable. Achieving goals once a week, or a few times per month, will give you a confidence boost and keep you on track, whereas more long-term goals can be more easily forgotten.
Here’s two tips for setting weight loss goals that will highly increase your chances of success:
- Keep positive. Goals like “I will eat a healthy lunch every day this week” get you into a more optimistic mindset than something like “I will not eat fast food at lunch this week.”
- Write them down. Studies have proven you are 42% more likely to achieve your goals when you have written them down. And this means with pen and paper, not your smartphone.
Know Plateaus or Setbacks Will Come
Weight loss plateaus or setbacks are something that everyone experiences, no matter how dedicated they are or how much they’ve been blessed genetically. Any honest person with experience in these things will tell you that and has been through it themselves.
So when you inevitably experience them along the way, don’t fret — just accept that it’s part of the journey. Don’t throw up your hands and say “I knew my body just wouldn’t let me do it” or anything of the sorts. Just stick to your plan and keep plugging along.
No successful trip is a straight line with no hiccups along the way. It’s a zigzag, with constant adjustments and determination to stay on track. Apollo 11, which transported the first two men to ever walk on the moon, was off course 97% of the time!
Make Getting Started Easy
Going to the gym, heading out for a walk, or eating a healthy meal at lunch are all great decisions that will help you reach your goal. But they can also be pretty darn daunting if you’re not used to making these kinds of decisions.
Make things easy on yourself by removing as many barriers as possible to the right choices. It’s easy to skip the gym when you have 10 to 15 minutes to think about how you could just do it tomorrow while you’re gathering your things together at home.
But when you pack your gym bag or set everything out the night before it’s much easier to just seize on that moment of inspiration that says “time to go!” Next thing you know, you’re out the door and on your way to a healthy new you.
Setting yourself up for success in this way can be done in many areas. Avoid making bad lunch decisions during your work week by planning and preparing a week’s worth of healthy meals on Sunday night, for example.
Just do whatever it takes, so that making the right decisions becomes as easy as possible. Before you know it, the right decisions will be second nature and doing anything otherwise will seem ridiculous and actually be the hard part.
And if you’ve still got some confusion as to what types of foods should actually make up those meals — don’t worry, you’re not alone. No one was born knowing these things, and it’s without a doubt the most daunting part of beginning a weight loss program.
But nutrition researcher John Barban has long focused on studying how to most effectively answer these questions, with a particular focus on the natural differences between how men and women’s bodies respond to diet and exercise.
John recently started emphasizing 5 common vegetables that when added to a woman’s diet significantly increased their metabolism (which, in turn, rapidly speeds up weight loss) regardless of their lifestyle or body shape.
He explains it better than I ever could, so if you’d like to learn more you should watch this video that explains all you need to know. He goes into the 5 veggies at about the 1:05 mark of the video, so go watch now and he’ll make it all clear for you.
Now that you know everything you need to do to prep, the only thing left to do is get started! Good luck, and make sure to pin this in case you’d like some reminders at some point in the future. 🙂