Losing weight and keeping it off is not easy. If it were, you probably wouldn’t be reading this article.
I’m going to describe some strategies that will make it more likely that you will be successful when you decide you are ready to lose your excess weight. I don’t think it’s helpful or healthy to keep repeating strategies that have not worked for us or most other people in the past, so you may be surprised to read this article. It’s not a quick and easy answer to one of life’s more complex common dilemmas.
So, what is the best healthy way to lose weight? Read on and I’ll give you some strategies and tactics that will improve your chances of success over almost everyone else who has ever tried to lose weight in the past.
What do you want?
This is really about setting your goal. We have previously looked at how to estimate your ideal healthy weight and waist size, so it may be that you already have a weight goal in mind. If not, reading the previous post will help you find your healthy weight range so you have a goal you are working towards.
It’s important when we set a goal that we think about our goal in the right way. We are setting the goal because it is something we really want aren’t we?
What do you think are the chances of success in achieving a goal if you’re doing it because you should do it? Higher or lower than if you want it? What about a goal you need to achieve? Higher or lower than if you want it?.
If you want to be successful in achieving your goal, wanting to achieve the weight you have set as your goal is vital. Telling yourself you should lose weight or that you need to lose x pounds is much less likely to work. Wanting to do anything is very different from feeling you should do it or you need to do it, or even you must do it.
Losing weight and keeping it off is not something that most people find easy and it is not instant. You are likely to be changing habits and behaviors that you may have had all your life. Are you more likely to achieve your weight loss goal if you don’t really want to?
Are you going to be able to sustain all the good decision-making you will need to lose your excess weight if it’s something you think you should do, not something you really want to do?
Similarly, what about saying to yourself that you need to lose weight? It still says it’s something you think you ought to do.
Feeling obliged to do something is not the same as wanting it! It doesn’t matter that you know it’s a good idea to be lighter, if you don’t want it for yourself, you’re much less likely to make it happen.
You need to be specific about your goal, so your mind knows what you are working towards. For example I would like to weigh x pounds, I want to lose x % of my body weight (so my surgeon will replace my arthritic knee), I want to lose 10% of my body weight (so my physician doesn’t need to start me on medication to control my blood pressure, or to lower my risk of Type 2 diabetes).
Your goal must be measurable. Picking a goal weight makes measuring quite straightforward as it needs bathroom scales. If you are aiming for a particular waist measurement, a tape measure will do the trick. If your goal is to fit into clothes you have expanded out of, those clothes are your measuring tool.
Write your goal down
There is ample evidence that setting a goal is important. Newer evidence from Neuroscience tells us that writing that goal down is even more important.
Put that piece of paper somewhere you can see it frequently. Perhaps you could take a picture of it and use it as a screensaver or a background screen. Stick it on your bathroom mirror or inside your locker door. Keep a copy in your purse or wallet. Read it often. Focusing on your goal will make you more likely to achieve it.
Why do you want it?
Why you want to achieve your goal is the reason that you will keep going when it would be easier to go back to doing what you always used to do. Why needs to be something important enough to you that it keeps you focused.
Why is really the key to achieving your goal
Perhaps you can hardly walk anymore because of your knee pain and you want to lose the weight your surgeon has told you will help make a success of the operation and your recovery.
Perhaps you want to be able to play with your grandchildren and it’s impossible if you can’t get up and down from the floor or you get too puffed to run around with them.
Perhaps you are sick of having a wardrobe full of clothes you can’t fit into and enough is enough!
Maybe you want to plan a trip where you will be walking in the heat, or swimming, or skiing and it won’t be nearly as easy or nearly as much fun if you’re carrying your excess baggage with you every step of the way.
Keep your reason in the front of your mind too
Whatever your big reason is, hold on to it. It is very important to you and keeping it in your head, or on a note on your bathroom mirror, or on the screensaver of your computer will help keep you going when you just might not feel like it.
What and Why
So, we’ve looked today at setting your goal and the reason you want to achieve that goal. We’ve also discussed why it’s important that you have these ideas firmly in your head and in front of your face before you start to take any further action.
By having a definite goal and a reason why you want to achieve it you are already setting yourself up for more success than most other people who say they want to lose weight. And very importantly, the focus those two things bring will make you more likely to stay at your goal when you achieve it.
What comes next?
Next time we’ll start looking at how you can start working towards your goal by looking at the actions you can take towards healthy weight loss.
I hope this has been helpful. I’d like to know what you think. I’d also like to hear about your goal setting and your reason for wanting to lose your excess weight. It’s an important journey for each of us.
Please contact me by email Louisa@anappetiteforhealth.com
Look forward to hearing from you.