Starting the New Year with the goal of losing weight and getting healthy in 2019 is… AWESOME!
A fresh start at the beginning of January to re-think some of our behaviors, to start building healthier habits, and leave behind the parts of our lifestyle that aren’t serving our goals or our wellness... It’s so exciting!
Before you dive in, though, it’s important to look ahead to some of the common things that can totally kill a weight loss goal. Let’s highlight them now to avoid falling victim to their struggles later on in the month.
1) Not eating enough
We’ve been overeating for the past couple of weeks, so it is easy to rebound too far in the other direction when you start on your health kick. Eating to little leads to a cycle of restriction that results in over eating that will slow your progress in the long run. Also, when we eat too little, we become more inactive- our body’s natural reaction to having lower fuel. So let’s keep ourselves energized and feeling good with the right amount of calories so we don’t feel sluggish and crappy. That feeling is definitely NOT a necessary part of losing weight!
2) Doing only cardio
Hopping on the elliptical or forcing ourselves to start running is an easy way to get moving, and there is
nothing wrong with that. It will help you to burn more calories. However, weight training to build more muscle mass actually makes the fat loss process EASIER by increasing your metabolism, helping to regulate hormones, and so much more! So get yourself a balanced program that includes strength training and a couple cardio session a week for best results.
3) Doing too much all at once at the beginning
When we are excited about something like starting a healthy transformation, we tend to want to do it ALL right NOW! We want to overhaul our diets, jump into a new fitness program, do shots of apple cider vinegar, meditate and drink 2 gallons of water all at the same time. That is a lot for our brains to handle! It is also pretty unsustainable. It is better to lay out a plan of how to start implementing a few new habits at a time and then to build on them as time goes on. Check out my last blog post for more details on how to do exactly that.
4) Unrealistic expectations
We jump into these new goals, expecting to see immediate changes, and then get let down that things aren’t working as fast as we had hoped. Sound familiar? Yea, same here. The truth is that a healthy rate of fat loss is between ½ - 2 pounds per week. So no, if we’re doing it right, we won’t lose 20 pounds in the first month. Maybe we’ll lose 5, and that is amazing! That is progress, and it means the methods we chose are right! Celebrate the small victories, like showing up for workouts for a whole month or eating a big salad for lunch every work day this week. Those little wins will add up to long term progress.
5) Eliminating all of the foods we love
This one is a discussion in rigidity and deprivation. As soon as we make something off limits, especially if it something that you really enjoy, we want it 10 times more. It is human nature, and we shouldn’t try to fight that. Rather, we should work with it to make help us in our journey. Adopting a plant-based flexible dieting approach will help with learning and understanding how to do that in the right portions for you body and how to allow for occasional (or nightly) indulgences that actually FIT into your program. Really anything can fit, as long as we understand how that food fits in with our whole, balanced day. Read more in this Instagram post, or check out my eBook to get you started now!
6) Being inactive outside of our workouts
It is easy for us to consider being active for an hour or so while in the gym, but how much time are we spending on our butts outside of that? In the car, at work, on the couch? Living a sedentary lifestyle causes many health issues, and it brings our overall calorie expenditure for the day down. We should try to increase the activity level in other parts of everyday life, and the success of weight loss increases too!
7) Focusing on self-hate
We will never stick with anything that feels like punishment or that makes us feel bad. When we go into a fitness or diet program with only self-hate in our hearts, we resent the whole process, making it much harder to stay consistent. Instead, we need to remind ourselves, over and over again, that we are doing this because we love ourselves and our bodies. That we want to create a healthier, more fit, happier life because we deserve it. This whole experience is an act of SELF-LOVE. Taking care of our physical bodies is the best thing we can do for ourselves, not a punishment. Remember your WHY, the deep underlying motivation for your journey. At the deepest level, we need to get healthy, lose weight, and gain energy so that we can be our best selves, live our best lives, and be the best person we can be for the people we love.
So, instead of letting these deadly sins kill your weight loss before it even starts, try these things:
Set yourself a calorie range that is appropriate for your body and your goals. Track your food (I like the MyFitnessPal app) to keep yourself mindful and accountable to reach this range everyday. Prioritize getting in protein at each meal, and pack those meals full of nutritious veggies. For more info on how to build these kinds of meals, check out my free download Fat Loss Meal Building Map.
Start a balanced strength training program to build some muscle structure. That way, as you lose the fat, you will reveal a toned body with sculpted curves. Need help figuring that out? Let’s chat about it, I have several different programs that may work for you.
Plan your weight loss attack to be progressive over time. Add in new habits slowly so that you don’t feel so overwhelmed. You can lay out an action plan using the tips in this post, or I can help you do it on a free intro call.
Constantly celebrate your small steps forward, remembering that sweeping change happens slowly and subtly, but it is STILL happening as long as you are still working on it.
Find some balance in your eating with a flexible dieting approach. There is always room for a cookie, especially if you had a bunch of broccoli early in the day. The balance takes practice, so give yourself a chance to figure it out.
Find ways to get on your feet more! Maybe a standing desk, or an alarm on your phone that tells you when it’s time to get moving. Drink more water, and you’ll find yourself walking to the bathroom more… more walking is good!
Write down some affirmations that remind you of your self-love and the way you want to feel. Write them in your journal or on post its and put them places that you will see them often. Say them out loud, and practice doing loving actions all the time. Just like anything else, it gets easier.
There is absolutely no reason we can’t achieve the weight loss and healthy transformation that we are dreaming of. Keeping realistic expectations and managing our tendencies to go overboard is more important than we realize.
We can ALL do this, including you! I know you can, and I am so happy to help in any way you might need! Please don’t hesitate to reach out for help! Best of luck on your goals. Let me know how they go!