Ah, the big question.
How can I lose weight and just keep it off?
It seems that everyone thinks there is some kind of magic pill that will make them lose that winter layer of fat around their belly. Every once in a while, we see on TV the new magic pill that is the “revolution” people have been waiting for. Remember TrimSpa? Anna Nicole Smith was its spokeswoman and they ran TV ads with her saying how great it was.
You’d see her before and after and WOW you’d want to look like that.
It also made some people spend the day sitting on the toilet emptying their bowels, hah.
The fact is that nothing will ever replace good nutrition and exercise. Until we can really modify our body’s ability to store fat, we’re pretty much stuck at gaining weight if we are sedentary and we keep overeating. That sucks.
Who doesn’t want to eat anything they want and not gain any weight?
I know I want that.
But I also know that it’s not the reality so I keep that dream far away and try to concentrate on what I can do or change to make it better for myself.
Getting in the right mindset
The first thing I did when I wanted to lose weight was to get in the right mindset. What is that, you ask?
It’s the ability to tell yourself that you are going to do something and keep up with it.
It’s the ability to refuse eating certain kind of food, not give up to peer pressure when you’re out with friends. It’s also about buying the right kind of food when you’re at the supermarket and not those delicious, yummy double chocolate brownies.
Getting in the right mindset to lose weight is all about determination and self-control. It is much harder than it seems.
“Yea. If I really wanted, I’d do it. It’s just that…”
That’s pretty much what everyone says.
Just stop for a second, think about it for real. Are you going to do it, keep up with it, battle with yourself and win the fight or just give up at the first occasion and blame it on “it’s because I don’t really want to”?
To know if you are in the right mindset, ask yourself these questions:
- Am I able to start and finish things or do I always give up?
- Am I able to actively control my eating?
- Am I able to stick to a plan?
If you answered yes to all, congratulations, you’ve already won one of the biggest battle.
If you answered no to all or some, don’t worry, you’re just… normal. Like the vast majority of people. And by that I mean 99% of the population.
I remember when I was dieting a few years ago, a friend and I would call each other whenever we were about to cheat on our meals. We’d try to encourage each other to keep up with the plan we had set and to be strong. It always worked.
But that’s another story for another time.
Notice what I wrote there?
“Keep up with the plan”.
That’s the first step.
Set goals and a plan.. to follow
Just like with everything that you do at work or in your personal life, you set a goal. Whether it’s to make money, win or get better while doing something, you’re always following a set goal. You might not realize it but it’s there. In your brain.
That’s what you’ve got to do when you want to lose weight. You cannot just go at it and think you’ll succeed. It takes preparation and knowledge.
Here are a few ideas of goals for losing weight:
- I want to lose 10 pounds in 3 months’ time
- I want to fit in that dress
- I want to be healthier
- I want to lose 30 pounds for my wedding in 2 months.
With the first 2 goals, you can say that they are realistic. You can see and feel the goal. Its tangible. The third one, while noble, is considered a “weak” goal. Unless your doctor is telling you that you need to drop weight or die, losing weight to be healthier does not work. Because being healthy is different for everyone and has no set value.
The fourth one is just a bad goal. You’re unlikely to lose 30 pounds in 2 months and it would be 100% unhealthy.
So when setting goals make sure of 2 things.
First that the goal you set is attainable. It has to be realistic. No good will come out of a goal that says “I want to weight the same as when I was 15”. Not only it’s too far taken but you’ll eventually just give up.
Second, the goal you set has to be tangible. You have to be able to “touch it”. You have to be able to “see it”. If you want to fit in a dress and you can see/feel the actual dress, then it’s good and that’s positive reinforcement. It makes it much more likely for you to continue until you’ve completed that goal.
But to achieve it, you need a plan to follow.
The planning that goes into your goal of losing weight is very important. Do not try to do too much, too fast. You’ll burn yourself out. Just as with your goal you need to be able to divide your plan into smaller ones that are achievable daily or weekly. Thinking too far ahead will make you lose sight of what’s important.
Based on USDA guidelines, an inactive woman should consume between 1600 to 2000 calories every day for healthy weight management. Let’s say we are going to subtract 150 calories a day to create a small deficit.
Taking the smaller number (1600) we would now be at 1450 calories per day.
Wonder what 150 calories look like? Here’s a few example.
1 can of Coca-Cola
1 Krispy Kreme donut
1 Quaker oatmeal banana muffin
1 glass of red wine
So if you were to follow a stricter diet and needed to subtract 150 calories per day, skipping one of those would do the trick. It is that simple.
Remember, anything too drastic is not good. If you try to eat 1000 calories less every day you will fail (and be hungry all the time!).
Aim for around one to two pounds a week for healthy weight loss.
So take note of what you eat and subtract one element that is about calories and start from there. Often it’s the simple, little things that make the difference. But you have to keep doing it!
At lunch instead of taking a Coca-Cola, drink water.
Instead of putting 3 sugars in your coffee, use Splenda or even better, have it black!
And so on.
At first it might be hard because it’s a change in your routine. But it will get easier and it won’t take long. And the moment you weight yourself and see that you’ve lost pounds it will boost your confidence and your will to succeed. Which is what I want, for you to succeed in your goals. 😉
Losing weight is not easy. It never has been and will never be. But understanding what we can do and how we do things helps tremendously.
While I was trying to lose weight, I wrote down the 5 things that I found the most useful to me and put them in a short e-book.
I talk about motivation, goal setting and how working out and sports can be a part of your weight loss effort. I also included a small weekly planning calendar to help you take notes on the effort you are making. Last, there’s also a fat burning workout that you can do at home in the comfort of your living room.
You can get this e-book (which is free by the way!) by entering your email down below.
I hope you’ll enjoy!