Do you want to lose weight but have no idea where to start? It's not surprising really. There is so much conflicting information being shared from different sources, it's easy to become overwhelmed. And when your standing at the bottom with a large mountain to climb you can feel intimidated and uncertain.
So in this article I give you a step-by-step plan to help you get started on your weight loss journey today!
Step 1 - Assess
Start by making a thorough assessment of where you are now. You will need to be 100% honest and the more detailed your assessment is the better. Grab a notepad and pen and write down...
Be compassionate with yourself as you do this assessment. The idea of this exercise is not to shame you or make you feel bad, but to help you get a really clear understanding of where you're starting from.
Step 2 - What is your WHY?
Ask yourself why you want to change. Simply saying "I want to lose weight" isn't enough, you need to dig deeper and get to the real reason. Are you worried that your health is deteriorating? Do you want to feel more confident? Are you concerned your partner doesn't finds you attractive? Do you want to rock a bikini on the beach next summer? It doesn't matter what your why is as long as it is really meaningful to you. The more meaningful your why is the more powerful it becomes so when you're six weeks/three months/six months into your weight loss journey you can keep reminding yourself of your why.
Step 3 - What have you learnt?
Chances are you've tried to lose weight in the past. Maybe the diet lasted 2 weeks or perhaps you stuck with it and lost weight but have since put it on again. Rather than see previous weight loss attempts as failures, view them as lessons learnt.
- Did counting calories make you obsessive over numbers or did it help you plan your meals better?
- When you cut certain foods out of your diet did you find it easier to manage your cravings or did it make your cravings worse?
- What were the reasons you stopped following a particular diet?
There's a quote that's attributed to Albert Einstein...
So be 100% honest with yourself. What has worked well in the past and what hasn't?
Step 4 - What is your goal?
Be specific with your goal. Do you want to lose 3 inches from your waist, lose 2 stone or maybe fit into your favourite size 14 jeans.
If you goal is a big one that is going to take some time, break that down into smaller, more manageable goals. Our brains enjoy quick rewards so setting smaller goals that slowly move you closer to the big goal will give you some quick wins and help you stay motivated.
Change in any area of life is HARD but if you follow these four steps first before actually changing anything, you will be set up for success.
Step 5 - Take action
Imperfect action is better than perfect inaction.
Pick one thing that will take you a step closer to your goal. Perhaps you....
- have a veggie omelette for breakfast instead of cereal
- go for a 15 minute walk every day
- go to bed half an hour earlier
- Reduce your portion sizes
- cut out alcohol Monday-Thursday
- swap soft drinks for water
These are just a few ideas. Pick something that will be easy for you to change right now because when you chose something easy to start with you stimulate change and once you start seeing progress you will feel more motivated and empowered.
There is no reason why you can't start your weight loss journey right now. The timing will never be perfect - there'll always be a holiday, birthday, wedding, Christmas etc., learning to navigate these events is all part of the journey. Weight loss doesn't have to start next Monday - you can start TODAY.