If you’re like most people, after making the decision to get on with your weight loss, you’re antsy to see results.
It’s totally natural to be excited about these new changes — you’re ready to move forward, full steam ahead, that’s a great sign.
But, before you dive into your new program, consider the following tips. These are some of the main areas people fall down on when they try to lose weight.
1. Create a food menu
Like most things in life, having a game plan is vital. And, weight loss is no different.
Always start your week by figuring out what meals you’ll have ahead of time, and then prepare a grocery list that will guide you in what to purchase.
When you stock only healthy foods in your home, it’ll be so much easier to stick to your program.
2. Get a workout buddy
Looking for a way to stay motivated? Nothing beats having a workout buddy by your side to make you show up to each and every session.
Find someone who has similar goals as you do, and a similar workout plan. When you know someone’s counting on you to show up, it’s so much easier to get yourself going and to that workout session.
3. Clean out your cupboards
As much as you hate to part with it, try your best to clean out your cupboards and get rid of any foods that just don’t fit into your plan.
While it can be difficult to say goodbye to your favourite brand of cookies, if you do, the temptation to satisfy your craving will be reduced ten-fold.
4. Get some new music
If you’re finding it harder and harder to get pumped for your workouts, find some new music to load on to your MP3 player.
Whether you’re into fast and upbeat, or something more “clasical”, a selection of new songs can really get you working hard again.
5. Try a new cardio class
If there’s one aspect people have a hard time sticking with, it’s cardio. To prevent cardio boredom and eventually dropout, try some of the new fitness classes at your local gym.
Whether it’s power yoga, kickboxing, or some other variation, it’ll get you burning calories and enjoying your workout sessions again.
6. Get online support
If you find you don’t have people around who encourage you to stay active and eat properly, turn to an online support group.
These groups are a fantastic way to get encouragement to stick with your goals, and to find other liked-minded individuals to share the process with.
7. Make food substitutions
If you’re dealing with massive food cravings, consider finding some fast food substitutions.
For example, if you feel like you’ll die without some ice cream, consider a cup of natural yoghurt instead (freeze it if you prefer). Want a big plate of spaghetti? Consider spaghetti squash with some tomato sauce for a lower carb version, which tastes really great, too.
By making smarter choices that fit into your diet, you can kill the cravings and stay healthy at the same time.
8. Educate yourself on calories
if you want to succeed with weight loss, check out the calorie content of the foods you’re eating — I’m not saying examine every morsel you put into your mouth, but it’s good to have some idea of what calories you’re taking in.
So, start reading nutritional labels (particularly for those foods you routinely eat), so that you become more aware of what’s in the foods you’re eating.
9. Buy new workout gear
Some people find getting new workout gear extremely motivating.
Perhaps you need a new pair of running shoes, a new sports bra, or something else that makes your workout more enjoyable. If that works for you, go for it!
10. Create a journal
One thing that helps people when they try to lose weight is to create a journal.
In your journal try writing about any thoughts or feelings that hold you back, things that help you lose weight, and also about the results you’re seeing.
By getting it out on paper, it helps prevent stress and obsessing over the whole process.
11. Back away from the TV
Those who spend their time watching TV each night are far more likely to battle a weight problem.
So, find some other activity to do instead, such as grabbing a coffee with friends, or taking up a new hobby.
12. Add 10 minute walks
While getting a good cardio workout in a great, don’t think you have to hit the gym to get in a good workout.
Ten minute walks throughout your day can really aid your weight loss, and are a great starting place if exercise isn’t the norm for you.
Try to get a 10 minute walk in during the morning, one at lunch, and one in the evening following dinner.
13. Get your partner involved
Do your best to get your partner or a close friend involved with your efforts.
It’s going to feel easier to stick with your program if you have some support, and even more so if they’re working towards a similar goal.
14. Try one new recipe each week
One very good way to cure dietary boredom is to try at least one new recipe each week.
By doing this you’ll reduce your chance cheating on foods that aren’t nutritiously sound just because you’re bored with your current eating routine.
15. Swap coffee for green tea
If you typically start your day with a cup of coffee, swap this for green tea instead.
Green tea provides numerous health benefits, and is thought to help speed up the metabolism, which is great for fat loss.
16. Toss the scale
If you’re still suck on using the scale to determine your weight loss progress, it may be time to abandon that forever.
Weighing scales are a poor way to gauge success because they don’t tell you whether what you have lost is fat or muscle weight.
Instead, use the mirror as your guide, or start using a tape measure. If you really want to know how you’re progressing, get a body fat assessment taken.
17. Try an early morning cardio session
If you aren’t doing early morning workouts, make it your new mission to get in some early morning cardio training.
By getting it out of the way at the start of the day you’re less likely to put it off, and it’s a great way to begin the day, as you feel fired up to stick with your new healthy habits.
18. Add more fibre
Eating lots of fibre rich foods helps slow down your digestion, and keeps you feeling satisfied for longer.
Toss some blackberries onto your morning bowl of oatmeal for an easy way to add another 5-10 grams of fibre.
19. Expect hurdles
If you’re constantly expecting perfection from yourself and your diet you’re going to find it’s difficult to stay on track.
Instead, try to come up with some fast solutions that you can turn to should a hurdle arise. This will allow you to deal with it properly.
20. Cut out all processed foods
If there’s one group of foods you should avoid, it’s processed foods.
When you remove all packaged foods from your diet, you’re sure to see weight loss benefits.
21. Freeze some food portions
If you’re busy and don’t have much time to cook, cut down your meal prep by making a batch of healthy foods on the weekends, and then freeze some in containers for later.
Soups, stews, and stir-fries all work well for this purpose, and will make meal time a breeze later in the week.
22. Try incline walking
If you’re not a big fan of running, a great alternative that will help you burn calories fast is incline walking.
This is the perfect way to get your heart rate up and your muscles working, without the high impact nature of running.
23. Get in some healthy fats
Do you avoid healthy fats because of the calorie content? If you do, it’s time to get over this.
Start taking in more healthy fats such as olive oil, flaxseed oil, nuts, seeds, and fatty sources of fish. These will improve your blood cholesterol profile and stabilize your blood sugar levels, without hindering your weight loss efforts.
24. Take an active vacation
Far too many people let the weight creep on when they go on holiday because they feel they can’t stick with their eating plan and workouts as they should when out of their normal routine.
Instead of kicking back and forgoing exercise on your next vacation, why not consider a few active pursuits? Mountain climbing, surfing, cycling or simply walking around looking at the sights, are all great ways to get active and burn some calories.
25. Don’t shun night-time snacks
If you feel true hunger at night-time, a snack is not going to completely derail your progress.
If you plan for it, choose something healthy, and are sure to include it in your total calorie intake, there’s no reason why you can’t have a healthy snack, without gaining weight as a result.
What are your fat loss tips? I’d love to hear from you, too…