Anyone who has ever done it knows that dropping pounds can be a challenge. Numerous obstacles can stand in your way, from lack of time to injuries, to a simple dearth of motivation. So before you embark on a weight loss journey there are a few important things to keep in mind. Here are 10 things you should consider before trying to losing weight.
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What worked for someone else might not work for you
Just because your cousin or office mate swears by the calorie-torching powers of spinning, the toning genius of Pilates or the weight loss miracle she found by eating paleo or vegan doesn’t mean the same system will work for you. Before you jump on a weight loss bandwagon you need to consider your likes and dislikes, your personality and what makes you tick. Everyone’s weight loss journey is different just as every person is different. In order to be successful you’ll need to tailor your weight loss plan to what works for you.
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Your environment makes a difference
What surrounds you might not seem important when it comes to weight loss, but it is. Make your home and workspace conducive to weight loss. This might mean ensuring you have healthy snack options at the office so you can resist the break room treats, setting a timer to remind you to get up and go for a quick walk in between assignments or meetings, clearing your cupboards of unhealthy items so you won’t be tempted to overeat or having some at-home fitness gear on-hand (kettle bell, jump rope, etc.) to squeeze in quick workouts. The easier you make things for yourself the better your chances of success.
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It’s about diet and exercise – they work together
You can cut calories all you want, or log a ton of time on the elliptical, but those two scenarios need to work in tandem if you’re serious about losing weight. Try these tips to make working out a lot easier if you're having trouble getting back to the gym.
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Having a plan is essential
You know what they say: either have a plan or plan to fail and that theory is no different when it come weight loss. Before you start trying to lose weight, figure out the specifics that will be making that happen, such as going to the gym three nights a week, taking the dog for extra-long walks on Sundays, prepping healthy lunches for the week, etc. The more prepared you are, the more likely you are to actually lose weight.
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Too much, too soon is not the way to go
If you think of losing weight with an all-or-nothing mentality, you’re setting yourself up for failure before you even begin. Losing too much weight too quickly isn’t healthy and since you won’t be able to maintain that pace, you’re likely to gain back any weight you lose. Also know that it’s OK to have days where you don’t adhere to your diet or don’t go to the gym. Simply do the best you can rather than beating yourself up. A negative attitude won’t help you but being your own personal cheering squad no matter what kind of day you’re having will go a long way towards keeping you on track.
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It can’t be all about image
We know, it would feel amazing to buy a pair of jeans two sizes smaller, or wear that dress you love from 10 years ago. But long-term weight loss success has to be about much more than how you’re going to look. Make this journey about living a healthier lifestyle and being the best version of yourself you can be, rather than just about how you’re going to look in a bathing suit next summer.
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Having coping strategies ready is important
Knowing your triggers and go-to excuses and having strategies in place in advance will be hugely important if you want to succeed. Does stress make you reach for the cookie jar? Find some alternate ways to ward off those feelings that don’t involve eating. Do you often tell yourself you’re too busy to exercise? Work it into your schedule in advance so you’ll go to the gym rather than blow it off.
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A support system will be integral
Losing weight might feel like a solo effort. After all, you’re the one on this journey. But your chances of success increase if you have a support system to lean on when you need it. Whether it’s a weekend workout buddy, a person you can call for extra motivation or a friend who has gone through it and who can provide much-needed advice, having people in your corner can help immensely when it comes to long term success.
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A food diary will help you
A huge part of achieving weight loss success is knowing what you’re putting in your mouth and truth be told, most of us consume more than we think we do. Keep a notebook with you at all times or use the notes function on your phone to keep track of everything you eat, even that bite of a friend’s doughnut. Having a clear idea of what you’re eating and when will make it easier to stay on track.
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Working out can take many forms
If you already know you hate the gym, don’t go. Why torture yourself with something you’ll have to force yourself to do? There are numerous ways to burn calories that don’t involve ever setting foot on a treadmill. Think about things you enjoy doing and make them the core of your workout routine, whether it’s swimming, hiking, riding your bike, walking or dancing.