January is slowly coming to an end, but I hope your motivation to realise your New Year's resolutions isn't. Losing weight is always very high on the list of goals we want to achieve. Some people would love to lose 2-5 kilos. And with a bit of luck and strong will, they will probably succeed in a few weeks.
However, there are also those who need to lose, as much as 10 or 20 kilos, or even more. A journey like that is neither short nor easy. It also often includes ups, downs, plateaus, and setbacks. So how can it be accomplished?
I am sure you have seen some stories of heroic triumphs going viral across the Internet. The stories with catchy headlines such as, “Amazing Mom With 5 Kids Finds Time to Hit the Gym” or “Spectacular 50 Kilos Weight-loss With Common Sense Tactics.” These were not miracles, and these people did not find a magic pill. They merely used sensible tactics to reach their goals:
1. Treat Yourself as a Human
To make mistakes is human. And the truth is, willpower is not an endless supply of magic beans. You will probably find a stressful situation you can’t seem to manage. You may binge while you are all by yourself or in front of everybody at a celebration.
The key is to forgive yourself. Remember, that it happens to everybody. One bad day doesn’t mean you are failing or that you have worked for all this time for no reason. A cheat day or wavering in your willpower only says you are human. So be prepared and expect it. And after it happens, move on and get back on track immediately.
2. Set Manageable Goals for Your Weight Loss
A 20 or 50-kilo loss is very impressive but not by any means unattainable. However, we have to remember that reaching goals strengthens your motivation. So if you want to stay on track with weight loss, break it down into bite-sized nuggets.
Plan to lose about 2 to 4 kilos a month since a rate of 0.5-1 kg each week is considered healthy and sustainable weight loss. Anything more than that is a celebration. But anything less is still a victory. The important part is you are setting manageable goals with healthy ideas about what your body is most likely capable of supporting.
3. Find A Weight Loss Motivation Buddy
Weight loss, in particular, is easier when you decide not to do it alone. A workout buddy is a big help. You can, for instance, diet at home with your partner. Or you can join a weight loss program/group, and hire a nutritionist or a physical trainer. The larger your support group, the better. You will feel more obliged to continue as you don't want to fail in front of many people. They will also help you stay motivated in moments of weakness.
4. Break the Plateaus
Time passes, you do the work, and it really pays off: you have lost 5, 7, or even 12 kilos. You keep things going, but you are not able to shake anymore. It all stops working. The diet, the cardio, the strength training seem to stop being of any value. Your journey has plateaued, and you find yourself a little bit hopeless all over again.
Power through a plateau by getting out of your rut. Often in weight loss, we find ourselves in routines for workout and food. So change your routine by taking a different or extra fitness class, or adjust your protein ratio. Shocking your system is one of the most effective ways to work through a plateau.
5. Make Your Biggest Changes Small Ones
The best ways to make your weight loss stick involve small sustainable changes you don’t even notice. Drinking flavoured waters instead of soda during the day and with meals is one suggestion. Another is using smaller plates when you eat. The next – skipping desserts, or eating a little fruit instead of a cake. All of these examples are small sustainable changes that help you stay on track with weight loss. And most important, these small but profound habit alterations ensure long-term weight loss success. Because the best changes are the ones, you can stick to for longer than 6-12 weeks of your weight loss plan.
I hope the above hints will give you ideas and solutions to some of the issues you may have (or you will) faced. And thanks to them you will be able to achieve your goal. Fingers crossed 🙂