Doesn’t sound fun or instantly gratifying, but it’s the best way to achieve true vitality. This is always a hot topic this time of year, as people make resolutions, receive offers of discount fitness memberships, and see lots of svelte, fit bodies on every media outlet possible.
Here’s my stance:
Trendy diets, deprivation (i.e. skipping meals and/or radically changing food choices), extreme regimes, hyped solutions for weight loss most likely won’t work for the long-term…at least they haven’t for me. That being said, I do try to see if I can learn any valuable tips from new research, fitness strategies, etc.
The fundamentals of healthy eating are pretty widely known, but putting them into practice is an entirely different matter. It’s most likely common knowledge that we should be eating 5 servings of veggies and 3 servings of fruit a day, but do we really do that? Some may not know that a protein serving should be about the size of a deck of cards. How often do we exceed or fall short of that? Yes, whole grains and complex carbohydrates are best, but in our busy society, the quick and easy processed kinds are much more convenient. Sugar, sugar, sugar…it’s in nearly everything we purchase from the store. That ingredient, alone, contributes significantly to weight gain and retention. It’s so darn good! Again, I’m not into deprivation, because I think comfort is so important in life! I love my chocolate and tortilla chips.
A simple start to healthy weight loss:
- Buy a good-quality scale, but please don’t use it too much! Weight naturally goes up and down, and too much focus on weight can create pitfalls.
- Make or buy a calendar or journal. This will be useful for setting daily and weekly mini goals. One of the most powerful exercises you can do is to also WRITE DOWN EVERY BIT OF FOOD AND DRINK THAT ENTERS YOUR MOUTH EVERY DAY FOR ONE WEEK. You might just surprise yourself.
- Figure out what 10% of your body weight is. Just put a decimal place after first two digits. This amount of weight loss can significantly improve your health.
- Set a specific date in the future that will provide for 1-2 pounds per week of weight lost. That’s the SAFEST and most sustainable rate. If you’re very overweight, it might be a bit more at first because of water weight lost initially. So, for example, say I need to lose 10 pounds, based on the 10% calculation (I’m actually lessening that actual amount for my weight, just to ensure some initial success for myself). I would then divide that by 1 or 2 (for pounds lost/week), and set my target date for 5-10 weeks from now. Maybe I’d shoot for 8 weeks as a midway point and to allow for some off days.
So, if I weighed 165 pounds. I would put a decimal after the 6: 16.5 pounds would be 10% of my weight. I set my goal at 10 pounds, just as a starting point.
If I divided 16.5 by 1 or 2, my safe weight loss range target date range would be 8-16 weeks or 1-2 months to achieve the goal. Again, for the lower initial goal of 10 #, my date range would be 5-10 weeks.
I like to give myself plenty of time, so that if I do lose more in one week, then maybe I’ll have cause to celebrate earlier! It’s always important to set yourself up for success.
- Set your goals in writing. 75-95% of people who write down goals achieve them! Make them S.M.A.R.T. goals: Specific, Measureable, Attainable, Realistic, and Time-bound. More on this later.
- Start learning about how vegetables and fruits benefit your body. I mean how the specific vitamins in raw, organic, whole foods are actually processed inside and out by your amazing machine! No need to change anything at this point, but look up one color of each/day, for example.
Stay tuned ….