What is the Secret to Effective Weight Loss?
PART 1: Goal Setting
If you have decided that 2016 is the year when you get fit, lose weight and feel great…here’s the big secret that you won’t hear anywhere else…it’s all in the planning.
You need to plan around your real life, not the one where you magically become a gym freak, juicing addict, with the will power of a super hero and no social life when you wake up on the 1st of January 2016.
The truth is, you could spend loads of money buying a meal plan, some magical weight loss tea, a gym membership and a juicer BUT if you haven’t thought about how you will fit this around your life you will fall at the first hurdle … or the first invitation out to dinner or the first time your friend says ‘shall we just get a take-away?’
One thing I would recommend spending some money on is a little notebook. That’s all you need, maybe a nice pen, I’ll leave that up to you. You could always use your notes on your phone…but I like stationary.
Firstly, before you do anything else you need to think of THREE really good reasons WHY you want to lose weight and WHY now? Write this down in your notebook. These need to be good reasons, reasons that will motivate you when the going gets tough, when the cakes are passed around at work or you are tempted to skip that spin class. Write them down and look at them regularly. You might even want to slip a photo or two in, either ones of you at your healthiest or ones of you now. This can be helpful for some people.
Secondly, give yourself a goal for the end of January 2016. Don’t fall into the trap of thinking you’ll have lost a stone or two stone or have a six pack, set yourself a realistic goal that you can stick to. Research shows that if you achieve your first goal, your confidence and drive to carry on with changes to your diet will continue for much longer. So what is it that you want to achieve by the end of January? Half a stone (7lb or 3kg) weight loss? Be able to run 3km (2 miles) without stopping? Get into those jeans that give you a bit of a muffin top post Christmas? These are all sensible goals.
You may also have a longer term goal written down on your ‘motivation to lose weight’ page. You might have a holiday to look forward to or a party that you want to look great by the summer. Long term goals are good but small, manageable, monthly goals will help to keep you on track.
I know that half a stone a month doesn’t sound like much, but if you were able to stick to it, you could lose 6stone (85lb or 38kg) by this time next year! That is loads!
So set your goals and write them down. You don’t need to show or tell anyone else. You are doing this for you.
Now you’ve decided why you want to lose weight and what your short and long term goals are, you’re ready for Part 2!