Planning Your Life Around A Weight Loss Quest
There is no easy way around it. If you are overweight or obese and you wish to shed the pounds, you will need to take massive action. That will involve major changes in your life. Most will seem inconvenient in the beginning and some will even be unpleasant. Yet, this is the price to pay for achieving something worthwhile.
In this article, we’ll look at ways you can change your life to cope with your weight loss quest. Most people, who are struggling to lose weight, try to do so while keeping their life unchanged. This usually results in them cheating on their diets or skipping workouts because they did not plan well.
Planning is essential for successful weight loss. You must know what you are going to do next. If you don’t know where you’re going, it doesn’t really matter where you end up, does it?
That is the first thing you need to do. You must plan your diet and your training regimen. Do this weekly. Planning too far ahead into the future is unnecessary because the weight loss journey is fluid.
For example, if you drop 2 pounds this week, your daily calorie requirement will change. However, if you drop 4 pounds the following week, you will not be able to consume the same calories as you did for the 2 pounds weight loss. So, plan one week at a time.
Next, you need to understand your habits. Do you tend to procrastinate the workouts?
What are your working hours like?
If you work the night shift, what time do you wake up?
Ideally, it’s best to exercise after you wake up. You will be able to get it over and done with. If you schedule the workouts after work, you may be tired or something may crop up that makes you miss your exercise session. These things happen. It’s best to wake up an hour earlier and finish your workout before getting on with your day.
Clear out the unhealthy food in your house. Do not leave temptations lying around. Most people slip-up on their diet because they have foods that they are not supposed to eat, hiding in the fridge. Your mind will constantly be tempted to eat the food. It’s just not worth the mental torture. Get rid of these foods.
Your social life will need to take a break too. This can be tough but it’s a necessary sacrifice. If you hang out with the boys once a week and you know that you’ll end up at the pub or bar guzzling beers, you should pass up on it. If attending a party means that you will be exposed to foods like pizza, fried chicken, sodas, etc. avoid the party.
Do not expect will-power to save you. Most people give in to temptation. Your friends and family may pressure you to close an eye “just for today” and go with the flow. You will just be sabotaging yourself. They have nothing to lose… but you do. Your dreams are much more important than giving in to peer pressure.
Remember, you just need to focus on your weight loss and make all the necessary changes and sacrifices till you lose the weight. Usually, this will take about 90 days. That is not too long. So, bear with it and do what you need to do. You can be more flexible with your diet and training once you are at your ideal weight.
Dealing with Diet Slip-Ups and Missed Workouts
It’s going to happen. Sooner or later it definitely is going to happen. “What’s going to happen?”, you ask.
You’re going to slip-up on your diet and eat something you know you shouldn’t or you may not do a workout that you know you should. It happens to almost all of us. How you proceed from a slip-up makes all the difference to whether you succeed in your weight loss journey or fail miserably.
Let’s look at slipping up with your diet first. When you go on a weight loss journey, it usually involves eating less than you’re accustomed to, in order to create a caloric deficit. You’ll also need to focus on eating foods that are healthy and wholesome while avoiding processed and junk food.
However, the body is already used to eating without much thought and you’re probably addicted to processed and junk food without even realizing it. Millions of people are, and when they try to ditch these unhealthy foods, they get cravings and mood swings.
The key point is to make the changes gradual. Only aim for a 500 calorie deficit daily. This is a manageable amount and you will not be feeling pangs of hunger. You may feel a little peckish but it will be manageable. If you cut your calories too drastically, you will be feeling hungry all the time and this is sheer mental and physical torture.
Changing your foods overnight causes the same problem. Your body is not used to it. Aim to gradually reduce consumption of the bad foods and replace them with good ones. If you drink 3 cans of soda daily, cut it down to 2 for a week and then bring it down to 1 can… and finally, put an end to the soda habit. Don’t just give up sodas overnight.
Problems arise when people try to do too much too soon. They make things so challenging that compliance becomes a nightmare. People aim for perfection. Sooner or later they lose the battle of wills within themselves and give in to temptation and eat a greasy cheeseburger and fries or they polish off an entire bag of cookies.
When that happens, they feel guilty and think that they have failed. They then believe that they’re destined to be fat and they throw in the towel and give up on their goal. This happens to millions of people and is the reason why so many people quit.
The first point to note when you slip-up is that you made a single mistake. You have not failed yet. You only fail when you give up. If you accidentally dropped your mobile phone, wouldn’t you quickly pick it up, dust it off and keep it safely? Surely you wouldn’t keep dropping it and smashing it because of the first accident.
In the same way, acknowledge your slip-up and move on. Tell yourself that you will be more mindful of what you eat. Ease up on your stringent diet and allow flexibility while maintaining a caloric deficit. Do not deprive yourself of too much too soon.
As for your workouts, the same mindset should apply. If you miss a workout today, make sure you do one the next day. Never ever miss more than 3 workout sessions in a row or you’ll conveniently fall off track and it will be very tough to go back.
If you dread exercising, you’re either pushing yourself too hard or you’re engaged in an activity that you have no interest in. Exercise is meant to boost your metabolic rate and increase fat burning. Your diet and caloric deficit is what really matters when it comes to fat loss.
So, take up an activity that you enjoy doing. You just want to move more and get more physical activity. If you like to swim, then forget running and swim often. Fancy rock climbing? Go do it and ditch the boring stationary bike. Do what you like and as long as you’re working your muscles, you will lose the weight.
Missed workouts and diet mistakes are not the end of the world and should definitely not be the end of your weight loss journey. It is a journey and it’s inevitable that you get lost along the way every now and then. If you stay on track and keep going despite your setbacks, you will reach your goal. That’s almost always how most people reach their goals. Keep your chin up and keep moving forward.