1) Get your head in the game! Weight loss doesn't happen without dedication. You have to have the mindset to get it done. I've said in the past that motivation for me is like a light switch ... when it's on it is ON. Even though motivation is one of the key things you need ~ you also need patience, understanding, time, and willpower. You have to make a commitment to yourself and stick with it.
2) Track your progress! Tracking keeps you honest to yourself. Without tracking you can sabotage yourself into overeating. For example, tell me EVERYTHING you ate on Friday off the top of your head, not so easy right? Also, there are tons of apps out there that you can quickly track or you can do it the old fashion way of writing it down. Find what works for you and do it daily. Also, as a rule I normally track my whole day in the morning. Breakfast, Lunch, Snack & Dinner. This also keeps me in track. I can budget out my day and make changes if things arise or when you get home from work late there's no digging through the frig or cabinets to find something ... I already know what I am going to do when I get home.
3) I exercise at least 5 days a week. In the beginning it was hard to keep going, but once you get into a rhythm and make it part of your day you actually look forward to it. Also, you reap so many rewards from exercise (not only weight loss). I now sleep better at night, I am in a better mood at work, I have more energy, I get less headaches and stress levels are down. Also, find what exercise is best for you, finding something you enjoy also makes it easier to do each day.
4) Eliminate the extras! This can be a lot of things but first off let's think about this picture. So you are dying for a burger. Okay fine...have one...but you don't need the fries and the shake too. It was the hamburger you were craving. Also, maybe skip the cheese.
5) Avoid Trigger Foods! For me, I can go like centuries without eating sweets...until I have something sweet then I am eating everything and anything sweet not bolted down. So I just avoid them. It's hard don't get me wrong especially since our firm has "cake day" the last day of each month to celebrate birthdays...sometimes it is super hard to say no so to keep the willpower up...I have the emails informing us of "cake time" go straight to my deleted folder and I avoid the kitchen like the plague until I know that cake is gone.
6) Moderation! The thing that makes Weight Watchers successful is that they tell you that you can eat anything you want you just have to use portion control and count it. So let's just say you HAVE to have that trigger food. Eat it! Enjoy it! But be accountable!
7) Get comfortable in the kitchen. Okay so you want that burger and stuff...make it at home. It will be better for you and most likely taste better too. For example, a few weeks ago Paul and I went out for breakfast. I got a pancake and sausage. The sausage was okay but the pancake had no flavor. As I was eating it I thought, this isn't even worth it (the points) because it doesn't even taste good...so I stopped eating it. This past weekend, I made breakfast at home...basically had the same stuff but healthier versions and it tasted a million times better than that restaurant food. So I gladly ate it all and counted it.
8) Find a support network! Whether it be friends or family, you need to have people that support you. As I have mentioned, I have joined Weight Watchers and attend the meetings (where I got the tips for the blog post) but I also have a lot of people around me that support me. Friends and family and even co-workers. When you find this support network ~ connect with people that you will truly believe when they give you compliments. You know sometimes it's easy to pass off what our moms say...I mean she's our mom! Embrace compliments and encouraging words don't let your inner negative voice (or even outer negative voice for some) diminish your praises.
9) Eliminate liquid calories! Okay I never thought this would have to be said but don't drink soda! Okay I know diet soda is not great for you but have you ever looked at the calories and carbs on a non-diet soda...OMG! This goes for fruit juice too...don't drink juice as a drink...eat the fruit and drink water!! There is so much sugar added to fruit juices that it is ridiculous how much of your caloric intake you waste on drinking them. This goes for Starbucks too...take your favorite drink and look up the nutritional information (here) ... bad right. Well the great thing about Starbucks is you can order just about everything your way. For example I used to be addicted to Soy Caramel Machiattos...okay so let's say I got a venti because I never understood (until now) why people ordered the smaller drinks ... so that would be 300 calories, 7g of fat and 48g of carbs. OUCH! So now I drink a Grande (because weirdly a grande and a tall are the same points) Soy Sugar Free Caramel Latte...190 calories, 7g fat (soy - can't drop the soy lactose intolerant) 18g of carbs! Big difference. Also, moderation is key. So maybe I don't need Starbucks like 2 to 3 times a day or heck even EVERYDAY. That's probably another reason why I sleep better - less caffeine to no caffeine per day.
10) Forgive Slip Ups! We all have moments of weakness so don't beat yourself up. Track it and move on with your life. When I have a moment where I give in to something. I will track why I wanted that food, how I felt when I was eating it and how I felt afterwards then I move on. I write all of this down so next time I can go back and look at what I wrote and remember ... oh yeah I thought I really wanted that but in the end ... it didn't really taste as good as I thought it would. Or if you have to write...it was great, I loved it and what the heck it was just this once....you still stay truthful to yourself so that everyday isn't a slip up day.
11) Set Goals - short term and long term! When you decide that you want to lose weight - what is your ideal weight? That is your long term goal. Now break it into smaller goals, 5 pounds, 5%, 10%, etc.
12) Reward yourself. Once you make it to one of your goals - reward yourself! The reason I like Weight Watchers is because of the rewards. Why do you think we got gold stars in elementary school? It was a reward for doing something right. And it was a visual to see how well we have done. My weight tracker has a star on each weigh in because each time I've weighed in I've lost. During the week, there's always that thought in my mind...if I don't do what I am supposed to do...there might not be a star on my tracker this week. It seems kinda childish but it works.
I got all these tips from my meeting on Saturday, but for the most part you need all of these tips for success. Some of them work in combination with each other and some can stand alone but before you can do any of these you definitely have to get your head in the game because without that ... you're just setting yourself up for failure and there really is no reason you can't succeed!
If any of you are trying to lose weight and need a buddy to chat with ... contact me any time! I am here for you! We can help each other stay on track. Or if any of you want more info about Weight Watchers...feel free to ask.