It is officially summertime and the living is easy. Or is it not easy? 2020 has been a difficult year to say the least. Regardless of everything going on in the world, you are living in your own body. If you are reading this, that most likely means you want to make some changes. I get you, I have been there. Summertime and I have not always had the best relationship. When I was in shape, you would find me living in a bikini until September, but when I was out of shape.. I was living with Ben and Jerry’s.
Before we go any further, I want you to take a deep breath. You can and will get this party started with losing weight. It might not happen as fast as you want it to happen. Still, it won’t happen at all if you don’t get started. Quick reminder that you are a beautiful human and not defined by how you look. That being said I understand the desire to lose weight and reach #bodygoals. You can and should strive to be your best self. I am going to show you exactly how to do it with these 10 secrets.
1.) Log food everyday for a month straight. I am not suggesting that you should always be tracking calories. However, I do see the value in doing this at the beginning of your weight loss journey. A solid month of tracking your calories will give you a good idea of the average amount of calories that you eat. Start with this method and as you integrate into your new lifestyle, start being mindful of the macronutrients you consume. If you are not sure what types of food will get you to reach your goals, check out my article “The Grocery Guide.” My Fitness Pal is a great app that is free to use. Just plug the food in and be exact with the amount.
2. ) Affirmations are a game changer. Tell yourself that you will lose the weight by following through with your plans. Be specific and be sure not to lie to yourself. If you are saying affirmations that you don’t actually believe to be true, it is not going to do you much good. Telling yourself that you are in shape when you are not is only going to keep you stuck right where you are. You want to affirm what it is that you want but also acknowledge that it is going to take work to get there. Anything worthy of achieving is going to take effort and persistence.
3.) Write down your planned physical activities for the week. I personally like to do this on Sunday and it is a relief to have everything prepared for the week. You won’t have to think about what you are going to do because you will already know. I have a fitness and food journal that I love for this. There is just something about writing down your goals and putting pen to paper. I have found that doing that keeps me accountable and makes following through much more likely. You want to set yourself up to be successful. Make the actions you need to take as practical as possible.
4.) Visualize yourself at your ideal body type or weight. How would you feel? What would that look like? What type of energy would you experience? You need to see yourself as you want to become. The more you train your brain to see yourself as that person you want to be, the more you will follow through in the present with the actions it will take to get there. It might seem absurd but this is a scientifically backed approach. Visualization (when done correctly) can increase your chance at success.This doesn’t just apply to weight loss either. A lot of successful athletes and business owners use visualization as a tool to reach goals.
5.) Track your progress. This could be with weekly weigh ins, progress pictures or trying on clothing. If you are nourishing your body, feeding it what it needs to flourish, you will feel amazing. In the beginning this may not be the case. You could be withdrawing from sugar or be anxious because you use food as a way to cope with stress. Take it as a sign that you are doing something right. It is like when someone detoxes from drugs or alcohol. They will feel awful at first but once it is out of their system everything gets better. Life gets brighter and your whole mindset changes. Give yourself the chance to feel better.
6.) Reframe your mindset around food. Food is not bad. Food is not good.
The word bad and good do not belong with food. Food can make you feel good and food can make you feel bad. Either way, it does not define you. Food can drain you of energy or it can give you energy. Don’t make it more than what it is. Food is fuel. It is the energy you need to survive.
When you overcomplicate the narrative around food you are forming a toxic relationship with food. It becomes like that borderline abusive ex of yours. You know you shouldn’t but you keep going back. We all want what we can’t have. It is human nature. Don’t do yourself the disservice of labeling foods. It is less about the food and more about you. You can and should make the choices that are right for your own body. If you want a more comprehensive look into this, I suggest checking out my article “Why Cheat Meals are a bad idea.”
7.) Be consistent. Most important thing is for you to figure out what works and keep doing it. It's about showing up for yourself no matter what. If you want to change your body, your going to have to commit to doing the work. You can either take the time to make excuses and complain about where you are right now or you can decide to be the boss I know you are. Take the actions necessary to reach your goals. The choice is yours. I was going to sugarcoat this one but if you want the answer to losing weight this is it. No way around it, you have to do the work and you have to show up for yourself every day in one way or another.
8.) Audit your time. If you are someone who says that they don’t have the time to work out or meal prep this one is for you. I am sorry but I can not allow you to hold yourself back anymore. Reality check, you do have the time. Health has not been a priority for you but it can be starting right now. You've already started by reading this. Unless you are a single mother with 3 jobs and really have no time, it is just a justification. That is not going to serve you in reaching your goals. You make time for what is important to you. You can watch entire seasons of Netflix or game for hours or you can take care of your health. If you can manage your time correctly, you can even do both. Take an honest look at what you spend your time doing and adjust accordingly.
9.) Set an exact, specific and measurable goal. For example: I will lose 20 pounds by September 1st. I will do this by working out five times a week and planning out my meals every week.
It is all about choices. Make the required sacrifices or you can stay put right where you are. I am not judging anyone for their choices. I have no issue with people watching Netflix, but if you have goals then you have to be willing to prioritize your health first. Get very specific and write those goals down. For example, feeling better about yourself is a great goal to have. You could write in a journal to track how you are feeling everyday. If your goals are leaning more towards weight loss I would suggest more measurable. That way you can see the progress and adjust if necessary.
10.) Don’t drink all your calories. I know you probably don't want to hear this but you wanted answers, so I am going to give them. This is a very simple solution you can start today that can make a huge difference. Those eight dollar coffees are filled with sugar and empty calories that have no nutrients. Other high calorie drinks include soda, juice, sweet tea, and even energy drinks or vitamin water. You really want to be careful and take the couple extra seconds to read the food labels and see what you are actually consuming. Even products being advertised as healthy can still be filled with empty calories.
It is a waste of calories because you are gaining nothing from these beverages and racking up calories. Meanwhile, your body is starved for real nutrients. Do your best to stick to water, tea and a cup or two of coffee. Don’t overdo it with the cream and sugar. I highly recommend almond milk and stevia ( zero calorie natural alternative.)
I hope this list helps break it down for you. I really want you to reach your weight loss goals. It will lead you to be happier, healthier and more successful in life. Remember how you do one thing, is how you do everything. My biggest transformation was actually not the weight itself but all the mental baggage that I was carrying along with it. Allow yourself to become the person who you are meant to be. Don’t doubt yourself and know that millions of people have done it before you. Anything is possible if you just believe!