Let's be honest. Losing weight is hard. Your average person is continuously trying to lose between 15-20 pounds. Me. I am that average person. I have been consistently saying I want to lose 20 lbs for the past year. Not only do we want to lose the weight we want to keep it off for good. Sometimes we put to much pressure on ourselves and feel like we have to cut out EVERYTHING to see the results. The key is to establish healthy habits that will assist in losing weight and keeping it off.
No, I am not on a diet. I am making a lifestyle change
To lose weight, the first thing we want to do is go on a diet. Assuming if we follow a strict meal plan for 30 days, we will then see a drastic change when we step on the scale. Going on a "diet" is an automatic set up to immediately fail. Diets are meant to be temporary. If you want to lose weight and keep it off, you can't have a temporary fix for a permanent desire.
Instead of thinking about going on a diet for a specific time frame, think of it as changing your lifestyle. When you shift your mindset from a time frame to a lifestyle, it removes the pressure of the restriction that you placed on yourself. Instead of following a specific plan, make a conscious choice to get a healthier alternative. If you are a person that loves soda and has to have one with every single meal, try replacing the drink with a naturally flavored sparkling water. I recommend the "Sparkling ICE" brand. It comes in a variety of flavors. I guarantee that you will find at least one flavor that will change your world.
Don't step on the scale
Have you ever felt like you have been putting in a lot of hard work at the gym and eating "healthy" you are excited to step on the scale, and it shows that you have only lost one pound? Our overall weight will fluctuate throughout the day. It's so many things that can affect the number on the scale. This is why allowing the number on the scale to be the determining factor if you are successful or not is not the ideal way of tracking your progress. At times it can be more discouraging as a posse to encouraging. If you are making healthy alternative lifestyle changes and incorporating at least 15-30 minutes of exercise, the weight will come off. For the first six months, pick one day out of the month to weigh in. After that, put the scale up to avoid the temptation. The last thing I want is for you to get discouraged while you are in the process of changing your life.
It’s All About The Balance
When transitioning to a healthier lifestyle, it doesn't mean you have to give up your favorite meals. You can still have cookies, chips, and ice cream. It's called having balance. If it's pizza day at your job and you have a slice. Don't feel bad. Don't beat yourself up. Realize that it's okay to mess up. Monitor what you eat for the rest of the day. The most important thing is always to remember that tomorrow is a new day, and you can start over. Enjoy that slice of pizza because at the end of the day nobody is perfect. I promise eating the pizza that one time is not going to do as much damage as you think.
Your big why!
Figuring out why you gained weight is key to shifting your lifestyle. To maximize your weight loss, you want to dig deep to try and understand the reason for the weight gain. It could be health reasons or personal reasons. This may open up old wounds. If you feel like you can't do it on your own, then I strongly suggest therapy. Therapy is sometimes looked down upon, but I genuinely recommend it. It allows you to sit down with a neutral person, and it gives you the support you may need to face your past, get through it, and live in your truth.
Understand Portion Sizes
Growing up in a black family, portion size is the last thing we are taught. Just because it is on your plate doesn't mean you need to eat all of it. The goal is to never eat to the point that you are stuffed. Eating the correct portion size will prevent you from eating overeating. If you aren't sure what the portion should use your hand.
A healthy lifestyle is created in the kitchen. You will see more results with what you put in your body. You don't have to kill yourself or spend hours in the gym to reach the goal you have for yourself. 80% of losing weight and keeping it off is what you put in your body. The other 20% is working out. When dealing with your everyday life, some may not have time to go to the gym every day. That doesn't mean you can't lose weight. Control what you put in your mouth and try and do at least 2-3 30 minute sessions a week. Walk around your complex for 30 minutes. The point is to get your heart rate up. You don't have to put a lot on yourself.
To close it up, you don't have to put so much pressure on yourself to lose weight. You didn't gain the weight in one day, so you aren't going to lose it all in one day. Avoid diets at all costs. Understand that to get where you want to be; you have to change your lifestyle. Never judge yourself by the number you see on the scale because life is all about balance.