Most people that come to me asking for help in losing weight usually come with the wrong mindset. Most of them want to see the scale move FAST and at any cost... even to their health. One of the hardest battles I face in dealing with challengers is changing their way of thinking. They HAVE to shift their focus from the number on the scale on any given day in their progress, to simply making one good decision after another ---- regardless of how fast or slow the scales are moving! I received a message last night from someone on my Facebook Page and requested my help in her weight loss journey. She wanted to know why she could only lose 5-10 pounds a month on her own barely eating and killing herself with hours of exercise, and also stated that she had an upcoming Christmas party she really wanted to have some weight gone for. My heart hurts when I read these requests. We can be so desperate with desire to feel better in our own skin, but we can also go to such extremes that we end up doing the yo-yo dieting where we make some progress, but we can't keep up with the extreme so we quit after a month only to gain it back, plus some usually (since we just killed our metabolism in the process). SO, here was my dose of tough love, and a check list of the basics she HAS to do to get it done right... and long term! I LOVE working with challengers in my private groups, and it is the way I earn my living. But I also never turn my back on someone needing help and willing to do the work. But I always warn... it's not a quick fix, it's not instant crazy fast results, but it is what WORKS for the long haul... which in the grand scheme of things is what you need to focus on anyway! This was my reply to her:
- Okay... I'm about to tell ya bunches, but here's the very first thing you GOTTA do in order to ever get consistent, lasting results! Throwout the time line, and focus on each day, each decision you make! 5-10lbs a month is KILLER results.... like more than what is recommended!! The BEST weight loss is slow and steady (1-1.5lb/week). The first month you may loose more than that, but that's mostly water weight (and some fat too of course), and then it'll steady out. It took me 7 months to lose 50+ pounds, and that 7 months FLEW by, AND I wasn't living off of nuts. I wasn't taking any diet pills or living off of shakes all day. AND, I was eating 5-6 times a day of REAL foods... so didn't feel like I was dieting or starving. As I type this, I'm eating some homemade delicious clean pizza. If you go to extremes, it's immediate set up for failure... which is what you've learned along the way already! SO, try something new this time!! First, forget about the Christmas party as a "milestone" (if you make a milestone as a point of reference for your journey, you're very likely to quit after you make it to it), and focus on your choices today, and each day between now and then... wherever you're at in your journey, dress to feel your prettiest! Do your hair and make up the best possible, and go with it and be proud you've already made a whole months worth of good decisions regardless of what the scales say. AND, if you're a slave to the scale and they kill your motivation, chunk them and quit looking at them! Please trust me on that one!!!
SO... here's you a checklist to get you going!
1. Set up a free account on myfitnesspal.com ( you can sync it to a free app on a smart phone if you have one too). Set it up to lose 1.5lbs/week and stick to it! DO NOT eat less than 1200 calories a day. You'll kill your metabolism... and you NEED that metabolism for progress... so starving yourself will never get you results, and it's not healthy, and it just plain sucks to be hungry all the time. Your nutrition is KEY to your success. You HAVE to know what you're eating, or what you're not eating to get where you need to be!
2. PLAN PLAN PLAN!! I ALWAYS say "failing to plan, is planning to fail." Pick a day each week that you will plan out a full menu of foods for you and your family and what day you are going to the grocery store. Plan a week at a time and buy groceries a week at at time!!
3. Eat 5-6 small meals a day... combine a lean protein and a complex carb at every single one of them if at all possible! That'll fuel you longer, keep your metabolism rev'd up and make you feel fuller longer!
4. Set your minimum amount of days you're going to exercise a week and DO IT no excuses!! NONE!! Even if you do it half awake on a given day because it's all of the sudden 11PM and you haven't gotten it in for the day. Pick a quick workout and do it anyway! You do NOT have to work out 3 hours a day, and you do NOT have to kill yourself working out. 80+% of your body is formed in the kitchen... not while working out!! Pick a workout that pushes you without injuring you, and one you don't mind doing time and again! And just DO it!
5. Choose the cleanest foods possible! Stick to the outer perimeter of the grocery store as much as possible! Stick to whole foods... fresh fruits, veggies, meats, and cook your meals! You don't have to be a slave to the kitchen hours a day! Spend some time prepping foods up front and do quick and easy meals and snacks through the week, AND do leftovers to keep from cooking every day! When you do get foods in a box or bag that come with a label, stick to ingredient lists that are short, and have words you can pronounce... that's always a good starting point!!
6. SET goals... that aren't necessarily a number on the scale by a certain day. You can't control that number totally... you can only control each decision you make day by day and each of those decisions can get you closer or further away from your long term goals. Keep your goals health and family focused, and don't forget them! Never let your feeling that things aren't happening fast enough be the reason you quit. You never know just how close you are to "getting it"!!
7. Take measurements and pictures!!! Our minds have a way of viewing ourselves as the same we've always looked in the mirror. You'll want those measurements and pics to compare as you make it through your journey!
8. Enjoy treat meals!! Limit them (decide if one a week is okay, two a week, etc), but decide how often you'll let yourself eat some delicious treats (nothing is off limits for me when I eat a treat meal, I just don't eat ALLLL of it... I eat a normal portion and move on). Not feeling restricted long term is key to staying consistent for a lifestyle change
9. Find someone who can hold you accountable day after day until you feel like you're on cruise control! It's as simple as a quick rundown of your day to someone who can say "good job" or "don't forget your goals.... you can do this"! And, if you're interested in doing one of my challenges and me being the one working with you daily, just let me know and I will send you more info!
10. Last... NEVER QUIT! You'll have good days, you'll have bad days, the scales will go down, the scales will go up. Just NEVER stop focusing on what your goals are, and where you WANT to be and decide to adjust to help your weaknesses, celebrate your strengths and KEEP PUSHING FORWARD. NEVER QUIT!
Let me leave you with a few words.... THE BEST progress you can make in the right direction is to change your way of thinking about food and what it's for. Do not view it as the enemy, depriving yourself of the enemy to hit your goals. You NEED food. You NEED calories, and fat and carbs... all those things people cut out unfortunately when trying to lose weight! You NEED them!!! You just need the RIGHT ones! Ask yourself if the foods you are choosing are going to fuel you and make your body work and shape correctly, or are they going to hit an emotional need, or the lack their of? AND, throw out the idea of FAST results. You want REAL, LASTING results... those two things are vastly different in how you get to them, AND their long term effect on your health and your mental state! SO... decide today to do it the RIGHT way, make out your menu for the week (TONS of healthy and clean delicious recipes to choose from online... like infinitely many), hit the grocery store and try and stay out of all the processed food aisles, make your exercise plan, and start eating 5-6 small meals ASAP! Get the kids involved (my kids eat everything I eat... no dieting here), and start marking off one day after another. TIME FLIES and before you know it, next year you'll be facing another Christmas party. Will you be bummed that you tried to starve yourself and exercised yourself into an injury only to give up under all the stress and pressure and you're right back at square one next year, or will you find that you changed your mind, and somewhere along the way, you changed your body by one good decision after another! Mark my word... next year will be here in the blink of an eye. Go ahead and set your shopping day for next year's Christmas party attire, and make each day count!!