Everywhere you look on the internet you’ll find advice on losing weight. There will be good advice and (very) bad advice. Sometimes it’s hard to weed out what you should actually listen to. Here are the top five things that have helped me through the past year, and may help you as you just start out:
TAKE BABY STEPS
You’re probably really excited about the prospect of being healthy. You should be! It is really exciting to imagine yourself living a healthy lifestyle. After all, it’s what we all want, right? I doubt any of you sitting on the couch 50 pounds overweight because that’s the life you’ve imagined for yourself. However. Despite your inclinations to make ALL THE CHANGES(!!!), try setting a few small goals for yourself each week, and add to them gradually. Going all in works for some, but for others it can leave you feeling overwhelmed and like your end goal is impossible. Logging all of your food intake, even without any dietary changes, is a good starting point. It eases you into the lifestyle change and helps you see the areas of your diet that need to be addressed.
CHOOSE METHODS THAT WORK FOR YOU
While weight loss is a much desired side effect, the overall goal should be to lead a healthier life. You’re not going to reach that goal by crash dieting, because it’s not sustainable. Neither is going on a grapefruit diet if you hate the taste of grapefruit, or giving up pizza if it’s your favorite food. Diets (and I mean that in the sense of what a person eats, rather than weight loss diets) are incredibly personal. Everyone eats differently, exercises differently, and just lives differently. Tailor your plan to your life and make it something that you can genuinely see yourself living with for the rest of your life. What works for me may not necessarily work for you. I calorie count– almost obsessively. That works for me, and I can see myself doing it long-term. Calorie counting may be frustrating to the person next to me, however. She may see it as too much work and she prefers to just cut her portions in half and eat more nutritious foods—that’s okay, too. You’re much more likely to stick with something if it’s enjoyable to you!
BE KIND TO YOURSELF
We are all human. We are not perfect and we will make mistakes. I repeat, you WILL make mistakes. You will eat something that probably wasn’t the most nutritious option, or maybe you’ll even binge. You have to forgive yourself. This is a long journey—it’s the rest of your life, really. You can’t beat yourself up for not being perfect every day. Teach yourself early to get up, brush off your pants, and keep going. Don’t look at these mistakes like they’re “slip ups,” think of it more as just life. Life is imperfect, and that’s okay.
DRINK MORE WATER
I know that I’ve already talked about this, but water is your best friend when you’re trying to lose weight. Read my last post (and enter the giveaway while you’re at it!) to learn more about the benefits of proper hydration. It’s great for your overall health, but drinking more water truly does help you to eat less and curb cravings. Keep a bottle next to you and use it as a tool to help you stay on track.
DON’T LET THE SCALE INFLUENCE YOUR MOOD
Not only is the number on the scale JUST a number, but it’s a number that’s measuring more than just your body fat. It will fluctuate, and for so many reasons! Muscle gain, water retention, undigested food! Remember to look at the overall trend rather than each individual number. Fridays are my official weigh-in days, though I step on the scale every morning. This morning my weight was only .3lbs lower than last Friday. Looking at my food diaries and the exercise that I’ve logged, I know that I should be down at least two pounds. I know that this weight isn’t fat, and that it will come off eventually. I’m going to keep eating well, drinking my water, and going on. That’s it. I saw the number, said “meh,” and went about my day. If you stick to your goals, the weight will come off.
What’s the best tip you can give to someone just starting out?