Your Weight Loss Guide for 2007
Here are 10 action steps to help you achieve the weight loss goals you desire.
1. Set Small, REALISTIC Goals
Too often people make statements like "I need to lose 75 pounds this year" or "My goal is to go down 6 dress sizes."
When you set large goals, they often seem unobtainable and it feels like you're staring at a long, uphill battle. So after a couple weeks of seeing minimal results, you give up and go back to your old habits.
However, when you set smaller goals (2 pounds this week, 5 pounds this month, etc.), they seem more obtainable and you are motivated to keep going when you see results.
It's OK to want to lose 50 pounds, but just take it a pound at time and break up your big goal into several smaller ones.
2. Make It a Priority
Everyone wants the perfect body but it really comes down to becoming mentally tough to do the work. We all know we have to watch what we eat and exercise, but if you are not motivated enough then you simply won't do it.
This is going to sound very "Oprah-esque" but it's true. One of the keys to being motivated is to love yourself enough to make being fit a priority.
Let's face it, you know when you're not eating right or exercising enough so why are you making bad choices? Why are you sitting on the couch watching TV instead of exercising? It's not that you cannot physically walk to the treadmill or drive to the gym, right?
It's all about priorities.
Weight loss is 90% mental and 10% physical. In order to succeed you have must up your mind to not eat the junk food and choose healthier foods.
I hear from people all the time who are too busy to exercise and while that may be the case in some instances, most people simply do not make it a priority.
Surely you can find 20-30 minutes in your day to jog in place or pop in an aerobics tape, or anything that gets your heart moving for 30 minutes.
You don't have to go to a gym to workout. There are plenty of things you can do in your own home to get that blood pumping.
3. Eliminate One Bad Habit Per Week
This sort of goes with tip #1 when it comes to setting realistic goals. Sometimes its difficult for people to just cut out their bad eating habits altogether.
Just like smoking or drinking, eating bad foods can be an addictive habit. So to expect yourself to quit cold turkey is asking a lot.
Start off by setting one goal for the week. For example, you can decide to cut out all soft drinks from your diet and drink water only. Continue to eat as you normally would, and focus on that one goal.
Will you lose a lot of weight during this time? Probably not. But the point is you've accomplished something and at the end of the time period you will feel proud of yourself and motivated to set another goal.
When you've accomplished that goal, reward yourself with a gift or treat yourself to your favorite dessert and then set a 2nd goal for the next week or two.
As I said before, weight loss is more mental than physical so when you notice that you are setting goals and achieving them, you are saying to yourself, "I can do this" and that is a very important statement for continued motivation.
4. Keep Junk Food Out of the House
I've heard people say things like, "I can't stay out of the cookie jar.", or "That piece of cake just kept calling me." But the truth is, if that food wasn't in the house, you wouldn't be tempted to eat it right?
Make it easier on yourself. Leave the junk food out of the house and buy healthier snacks such as fruit, nuts, veggies with low fat dip, etc.
5. Give Yourself One Day of Freedom
I've said this before in other articles on this site but I cannot stress it enough...
It is a must that you still treat yourself from time to time. If you completely deprive yourself of the foods you love, you'll get bored and run the risk of going back to your bad habits.
Choose one day of the week where you can eat anything you want. Of course you don't want to overdo it, but you should always have your one day of freedom.
It gives you something to look forward to and it's also a nice reward for eating healthy the rest of the week.
6. Buy 1 or 2 Books You Can Reference
It's good to have a few books around you can refer to when you need advice or suggestions. But don't overwhelm yourself with too much information or it can get confusing.
The Abs Diet Book is one of my favorites. It's not just for people who want a flat stomach, it's really a great guide to eating healthy and maintaining your weight.
If you think about it, in order to flatten your stomach you have to lose weight all over. So even though many books and resources may say things like "for your abs", they are ideal for total body weight loss as well.
And if your goal is to work on toning your abs, you are going to need a solid guide like Mike Geary's The Truth About Six Pack Abs.
Mike is a licensed trainer and this book provides pictures that show you how to perform the necessary strength training exercises to achive that toned, sculpted look.
It's important to remember that cardio burns fat, but strength training exercises actually tone your mid section.
7. Seek Advice From a Phycisian or Trainer
Everyone's body is different. What works for someone may not work for you due to differences in gender, age, metabolism, weight loss goals, body frame, medical conditions, etc.
Talk to your family doctor or fitness trainer to get specific advice for your individual needs.
While the information on the Net and this site can get you started in the right direction, you should still seek individual advice before you begin any kind of weight loss program.
8. Eat Breakfast... Everyday!
I know it's tempting to skip a meal because you think you're missing out on calories. True, you are, but you're also crippling your metabolism.
Eating within one hour of rising kick-starts your metabolism and allows your body to burn fat at a more efficient rate. If you don't eat and hunger kicks in, your metabolism becomes very sluggish and is not as effective.
You've heard the phrase "Breakfast is the most important meal of the day." There is great truth to this, so make sure you follow that advice.
9. Be Careful of The Low Fat Claims
We live in a world with tons of products claiming "low fat", "no trans fat", etc. While this is a good thing, you also have to watch out for sugar and sodium intake.
Read those labels!
Just because a food is said to be "low fat", that doesn't make it healthy. Boxed and canned foods are often loaded with sodium and people often forget or do not realize that you need to watch your intake when trying to lose weight.
The same goes for sugar. It's so tempting to think you're doing OK with a glass of kool-aid because there is virtually no fat but don't forget sugar can make you gain weight too - so watch your intake of this as well.
There you have it! Nine weight loss tips for the new year that you can use to meet your goals. I can almost guarantee that if you follow the above guidelines for at least a month you will see some results.
Of course they will vary depending on your age, weight, metabolism, gender, how well you stick to it, etc. But the weight will come off.
Just remember, weight loss is about permanent healthy eating habits and consistent exercise. If you are yo-yo dieting, you are ruining your body's metabolism.
Stay focused, don't give up and of course, keep visiting www.flat-stomach-exercises.com.