24 Tips to Get Started on Your Weight Loss Journey
Losing weight and getting in shape can be daunting. These days there are so many programs, diets and people who think they are experts. Which diet are you supposed to pick? Which exercise program should you do?
24 Tips To Get Started On Your Weight Loss Journey
You can change your body by making small changes over time. Here are my top tips for getting started!
Make A Plan
Preparation is key! Sit down and write your goals. Where do you want to be a year from now? How many pounds do you want to lose? How much do you want to be able to bench? How many miles do you want to be able to walk/run?
Be super specific so that you can track your goals! For example, saying you want to “tone up” is not a measurable goal. Rather, you could say you want to lose 5 pounds and lose an inch off your arms.
Once you know your goals, come up with a plan to achieve those goals. For example, if you want to lose 5 pounds, maybe you want to track your calories. Whatever method you choose- make a plan and prepare yourself to stick to it.
Meal plan and meal prep
Take time to meal plan and prep! Once again, being prepared is truly half of the battle. For more information on how I specifically meal prep, click HERE.
Take before pics and measurements
Before pictures and measurements give you a way to track your progress without relying on the scale. The weight you see on the scale does NOT tell you the full story! Take pictures from a few different angles and measure yourself. This is definitely NOT something you want to skip!
Drink your water
We hear all the time that we should drink more water. But why? Water fires up your metabolism, hydrates your body and helps keep you fuller longer. Water also supports so many of our basic body functions, like flushing out waste, lubricating joints and regulating body temperature. Aim to drink half your body weight in ounces of water. For example, if you weigh 150 pounds, you should focus on getting at least 75 ounces of water per day.
Eliminate Processed Foods
Do your best to shop on the outside aisles of the grocery store. If it comes in a bag or box, do your best to avoid it. Some processed foods that you should avoid are: candy, cookies, chips, white bread, white rice, doughnuts, pastries, french fries, fried foods, etc.
Add In Fresh Foods
Enjoy fresh fruits, veggies and meats! Add color and variety to your plate and enjoy. There is also nothing wrong with buying frozen fruits and veggies!
Find A Support System
In order to succeed, it’s best to have a support system. Find a friend, family member or significant other. Let them know that you are embarking on a health journey and may need support. Keep that person updated on your progress. When you doubting yourself or thinking about splurging, give this person a call. Support is so important!
Keep A Food Journal
Track what you eat! Often we have no idea how much we are actually consuming. A bite of your kiddos mac and cheese, a handful of sugary cereal, and licking off that spoon of batter all adds up. Especially when you do these habits daily! Start writing down everything you eat. You can track your food using pen and paper or on your phone! My favorite way to track is by using the MyFitnessPal or LoseIt app. Keeping a food journal also helps you troubleshoot when you reach a plateau.
Set Reminders In Your Phone
Starting new habits can be really hard. If your days are anything like mine, sun up til sun down is a bit of a blur. To keep myself on track, I set reminders in my phone to remind me to drink water, get up and move at work and to make sure I’m tracking my food.
Get Enough Sleep
Sleep is such an important part of your overall health. Those who sleep less than seven hours per night are more likely to have weight issues and other health problems. The National Sleep Association recommends adults get 7-9 hours of sleep per night.
Start An Exercise Regimen
If you’re new to exercising- keep it simple! Find something you like and get your body moving. This could be biking around your neighborhood, walking your dog or chasing your kiddos at the park. Just find something that gets you moving and make it a habit.
Stay Out Of The Kitchen
Hanging out in the kitchen is basically like an invitation to snack for me- EVEN when I’m not hungry! I keep myself out of the kitchen after dinner. Out of sight, out of mind!
Keep Yourself Accountable
There is so much power in staying accountable with a group! I love being able to check in with my friends and see how they’re doing or to ask them if it’s REALLY worth it to eat that chocolate cake. Also, it’s way more fun to do get healthy with friends!
If you don’t have friends that are wanting to make a healthy change, I would encourage you to meet new people on Instagram! When I first started my journey to better health, I created an Instagram account, posted all my meals and met so many friends that kept me accountable online! There are so many weight loss communities and people in your shoes both on Instagram and Facebook.
Plan For The Unexpected
Plan for the unexpected! Carry an extra protein bar or protein shake in your bag, keep some protein bars and almonds in your car. You never know when you will get caught in traffic or have to stay late at work and be so hungry that you’re tempted to drive through McDonald’s to calm your gurgling stomach.
Set Goals With Deadlines
Keep track of your goals from step 1 and set goals with deadlines. Repeat your goals and write them out daily! Our minds are so incredibly powerful! Visualize where you want to be and picture that every single day. When setting goals, make sure your goals are specific and measurable.
Did you know that less than 1 percent of Americans actually spend time writing out their goals? YOU have the power to change your life and it truly does start with goal setting.
Know That You Are Worth This
Change is hard, but know that you are worth this. Taking care of your body and your health is worth the temporary struggle. You are worth this!
Plan For Cravings
If you typically crave sweets after dinner out of habit, plan for that! I love to make these healthy peanut butter cups for moments when I can’t resist my cravings! I don’t feel guilty AND I get to satisfy my sweet tooth!
Keep Sugar-Free Gum On Hand
Sometimes I find that I’m not hungry, but I just want to snack. When I know I’m not hungry, I grab some gum. Pick a sugar-free gum to keep your mouth busy. Bonus tip- if I eat before going to an event or party, I’ll pop some gum in before I walk in the door! That way, I am less likely to take the gum out of my mouth in order to snack and graze.
Don’t Drink Your Calories
Just say no to drinking your calories! Stay away from juices, soda, alcohol, etc. Focus on water and EATING your calories- not drinking them! I stick to water, black coffee and green tea!
Manage Your Stress Levels
Manage your stress levels! When your body gets stressed, it produces a hormone called cortisol. When cortisol is present, your blood sugar drops and in turn, your body begins to crave sugary and fatty foods. Find ways to help yourself unwind- like going on a long walk outside, taking a bubble bath, reading, etc.
Focus On Portion Control
Measure your food, use a scale, and make sure you are eating the correct portion size. Pay attention to the serving size on packages.
Think Of Swaps For Your Favorite Unhealthy Foods
Rather than giving up your favorite foods, find healthy alternatives! For example, instead of pasta use zucchini noodles. Instead of white rice, choose brown rice. Instead of cake, make a healthy mug cake. Every Saturday I post Smart Swaps! These are my favorite swaps that you may enjoy.
Peel and Chop Your Veggies and Fruit
Simply buying veggies and fruit doesn’t mean that you will eat them. Set yourself up for success by peeling, chopping, washing and bagging your fruit and veggies. This helps when you’re rushing out the door and need a snack or come home starving!
Stay the course and stay committed! It can be easy to fall off the wagon, but make sure to brush yourself off and jump back on.
I hope these tips help you feel prepared as you start your weight loss and health journey! What is your biggest challenge to starting your journey?
What questions do you have in regards to weight loss? Drop your questions and comments below!