Many people would love to lose 5 pounds, but there are those who need to lose as much as 30, 50, or even 100 pounds. A journey like that is not short nor is it easy and often includes ups, downs, plateaus, and setbacks.
So how can it be accomplished? You’ve seen the stories of heroic triumphs plastered across the Internet, social media, talk shows, and infomercials, the ones with amazing headlines such as, “Amazing Mom With 5 Kids Finds Time to Hit the Gym” or “Spectacular 100 Pound Weight-loss With Common Sense Tactics.”
These are not miracles, these people did not find a magic pill, they used sensible tactics to reach their goals.
1. Remember That You Are A Human
To err is human. The truth is willpower is not an endless supply of magic beans, you run out and at some point and fall off the wagon. You will find a stressful situation you can’t seem to manage. You may binge while you are all by yourself or in front of everybody at a celebration.
The key is to forgive yourself. Know that it happens to everybody and one bad day doesn’t mean you are failing or that you have worked for all this time for no reason. A cheat day or wavering in your willpower means you are human. Be prepared and expect it, the key is to move on and get back on track immediately.
2. Set Manageable Goals
A 50 or 100 pound loss, while impressive, is not by any means unattainable, but reaching goals renews your motivation. If you want to keep your weight loss on track, break it down into bite-sized nuggets.
Plan to lose about 5 to 10 pounds a month (as about a one to two pound loss each week is considered a healthy and sustainable weight loss). Anything more than that, is a celebration. Anything less is still a victory, after all, you didn’t gain! The important part is you are setting manageable goals with healthy ideas about what your body is most likely capable of supporting.
3. Find A Buddy
Weight loss in particular is easier when you decide not to go it alone. A workout buddy is a big help. You can diet at home with your spouse, join a weight loss app or program, and hire a nutritionist or a physical trainer. The bigger your support group the more people’s energy you have to draw on, and the more consistently you feed off that energy and camaraderie the better off you will be.
4. Break the Plateaus
Wow, you are doing the work and it is really paying off – you have lost 10, 15, even 25 pounds. You keep things going, but you can’t seem to shake anymore. It all stops working, the diet, the cardio, the strength training seems to stop being of any value. Your journey has plateaued and you find yourself a little bit hopeless all over again.
Power through a plateau by getting out of your rut. Often in weight loss, we find ourselves following routines for our workouts and our eating. Change your routine by taking an extra or different workout class, adding a strength session to your week, or adjust your protein ratio. Shocking your system is one of the most effective ways to work through a plateau.
5. Make Your Biggest Changes Small Ones
The best ways to make your weight loss stick involve small sustainable changes you don’t really notice. Flavored waters instead of soda during the day and with meals, smaller plates when you eat, skipping dessert, or eating a little fruit instead of cake are all small, sustainable changes to keep your weight loss on track. Most important, these profound habit changes ensure long-term weight loss success.
The best changes, the ones that make the most difference, are the ones you can stick to for longer than the 6-12 weeks of your weight loss plan. So go for it!