Losing weight for me used to be a continuous losing battle over the years. The five strategies below helped me finally meet my end goal of losing over 50 lbs:
You will never be happy if you continue to search for what happiness consists of. You will never live if you are looking for the meaning of life.
1. Find the Right Reason to Lose Weight
I know this seems ridiculous, but please listen. We live in a society where we continuously compare ourselves to others. It’s not something that can be helped. It’s just human nature; however, losing weight is not about being like or looking like other people. You will need to accept the fact that you may not look how you want, even after you lose the weight. Instead, ask yourself this question.
Why do you want to lose weight?
If your answer only involves comparing yourself to others, it could be a short journey. What I have found works best is to compare yourself to your past-self and, regardless of the outcome, be proud of what you have accomplished.
2. Time Management
Again, this may seem silly, but proper time management is one of the most important tips to losing weight. Before managing my time, I would get easily distracted. I would also find people to partner up with that were just as unmotivated as I was. This would ultimately lead me to not exercise. Finally, I decided I had enough. I was ready to take the next step myself. What I found useful to me was to start blocking out my calendar, setting up time schedules for myself and being consistent. You can set a timer on your phone, and when you hear the alarm, force yourself to complete that task and stick to your schedule.
After I found a good way to manage my time, it was still difficult because I had to keep myself motivated. That was the hard part, telling myself to go to the gym, telling myself it was time to exercise. As soon as my routine became more repetitive, it was easier to maintain. Another way to stay motivated is to make sure your dreams and goals for your body and weight are at the forefront of your mind. If you aren’t thinking about it often, then it may not be that important to you. As a way to remind yourself, you can write your goals on a post-it note and put it on the refrigerator so that you can read it every day.
Remember to be consistent. The moment you stop being consistent, you stop your routine and you have to start all over again.
3. Don’t Be Afraid to Try Different Things
When I first started going to the gym, it was intimidating. I was scared and lost. Know that you’re not alone. There are people you can speak with, YouTube videos you can watch. You need to try all different types of exercises. I used to think that I would HATE weightlifting. I thought that was for people who wanted to get ripped. I didn’t want that, I only wanted to lose weight. It’s one of my favorite exercises now and I’m glad I gave it a chance.
Lifting weights is for everyone! It is far better to find an exercise that you enjoy, and at a weight intensity that you are comfortable with, because you are more likely to stick with it rather than dread it.
4. Be Aware of How Much Energy You Spend
This one can be confusing and a little difficult to explain. On average, a person walks about 4000 steps a day and burns about 1800-2000 calories overall. Most of these calories burned are just from your body maintaining itself. The calories you eat that you don’t burn get stored as fat. When you don’t realize how many calories are in food, it’s easy to overload on them. Believe me, I’ve done this for years. It’s not about eating salads or skipping meals. It’s about understanding which foods are higher calories then others and how much energy you burn in a day. If you would like to understand more, I go over it in my video here. Plus, I will explain more on the next step.
So, if you’re asking, “what should I do?”, you could exercise more and eat lower calorie dense food. Foods that are low in calorie density have high volume, and very low calories compared to most foods that take up the same amount of volume. Some examples are fat-free Greek yogurt, and spinach. I like eating around 1500 – 1800 calories a day. To keep myself from gaining weight, I would make sure to walk about 10,000 – 15,000 steps a day. When most people think about burning calories, they think about jogging or running, which are great. However, if you aren’t at that level yet, it’s impossible to do it for a very long time. Walking has been extremely helpful for me since it is not too difficult to walk for long stretches, and it’s also a good way to improve cardiovascular health.
5. Eating Habits (Not Diet)
I LOVE food! I love eating at restaurants and fast-food places. Now is that healthy? Not even a little. So instead of giving it up all together, it’s best to lessen the amount of high calorie dense foods you eat. These are foods that are very high in calories but take up only a small amount of volume in your stomach. Some examples are foods with peanut butter, butter, and oils. I ended up cooking more at home, and I learned that not only can I make food taste delicious, I can make them with less calories.
Diets are not meant to be temporary. Most diets fail, because they’re too extreme, and the food doesn’t taste that good. Think long-term, or even forever. If you’re spending a month on a 1000 calorie diet. There is no way you will sustain it, and you will go back to your original way of eating where you eat 3000 calories a day, but only burn 1800. This is called yo-yo dieting because of the dramatic ups and downs. These extreme diets are emotionally and physically exhausting, and will lead to more weight gain. This happened to me multiple times and it was extremely frustrating. Now instead of going into a diet that I hate, I have new and improve eating habits and I love the meals I eat.