In a perfect world, there’d be an overnight magic pill that dissolved all our fat in all the right places while we continue to indulge in all the food we desire. We’ve got lots of medical-grade vitamins and supplements – but not that! Realistically, weight loss success is a balanced combination of planning, discipline, patience, and grace.
Together, let’s examine ten must-have tips to achieve weight loss success:
1. Start to meal plan.
Healthy food consumption is the key to weight loss success – it is even more important than exercise and medications! In 2019, only 29% of consumers meal planned for the entire week. We bet they’re Red Mountain patients! Rise above the rest and rid your kitchen of temptation. Trash those forbidden foods from your house and stock up on allowable foods. Research RM3 approved recipes, and spend time preparing your meals daily, or preparing larger amounts of food in advance once or twice a week.
2. Give yourself permission for self-care.
Take out a post it and literally write yourself a permission slip for self-care. We emphasize the importance to take the time to care for yourself and your health. What does this look like? Meal prepping and exercising. While we all lead busy lives, we do a disservice to our loved ones if we don’t take care of ourselves. A healthy you equals a happy you, and your family will be sure to celebrate with you as you gain more self-confidence and carve time for yourself.
3. Be consistent with new habits.
“Consistent action creates consistent results.” Consistency goes both ways – while it is easy to believe that a little candy bar or a little scoop of ice cream is harmless, pretty soon this small decision snowballs, and “a little” becomes “a lot”. Instead of spiraling into old habits, push yourself into new habits: consistently sticking to the RM3 plan, for example, or meal planning every week, to start! We’ve got you covered on how to break bad habits and replace them with good ones.
4. Be patient with the scale.
Weight loss occurs in a step-wise fashion, and plateaus are normal. You could follow your plan perfectly, and you may not see the scale drop every day. You may ask yourself, “Why isn’t the scale moving in the right direction?” We understand your frustration, but be patient. The scale will soon demonstrate your efforts.
5. Record what you eat
Tracking what you eat and drink in a food journal or a phone app has a number of benefits. It raises awareness of not only what you’re eating but when. For instance, if you’re consistently skipping breakfast and munching on late night snacks, neither is good for your body, but becoming self-aware is the first step to changing your behavior and developing new, healthy habits. Another reason why recording what you eat is important is because it helps to track your cravings and moods for why you’re eating when you do. You could be susceptible to stress eating or emotional eating, and unlearning these behaviors is key to weight loss success.
6. Find healthy foods you enjoy
Healthy foods can taste better than unhealthy foods, and make you feel better, too! You just need to find the right ones. “Success comes not from denying yourself pleasure and good food, but by forming habits that are more pleasurable with food that you really like that causes you to become healthy and fit,” said William Anderson, a mental health counselor who lost 140 pounds on his weight loss journey1. Give in to your cravings for sugar by eating sweet, delicious berries, or blow off steam with a mocktail instead of a cocktail.
7. Throw away excuses
Got a weight loss excuse? We’ve heard them all! The most common excuses we hear include, “I’m too busy, I don’t have time to cook”, “I’m a mom and I have too much to do”, or “I’m too old to start this now.” Whatever your excuse is, throw it away! Cultivate a positive attitude with motivating mantras. Instead of telling yourself you can’t do this or to give up, tell yourself “I can do this!” and “I believe in myself!” A positive attitude is a non-negotiable for weight loss success. Go be your own cheerleader, motivator, and role model.
8. Focus on intrinsic healthy gains
On this journey, you’ll find yourself feeling new, positive emotions. Many of our patients report feeling more self-confident, practicing self-love, and feeling empowered in their healthy choices and new lifestyle, and if you haven’t experienced this yet, don’t worry, you will. Check in with how you’re feeling throughout this process. As your physique changes, your emotions will, too.
9. Celebrate wins big and small
Give yourself credit! You’re on this amazing journey – there will be highs and lows, and you still find a way to keep going. On this journey it’s important to recognize the small wins. From exercising 20 minutes a day, making a new recipe you have never tried before, or saying no to a junk food craving – all these are reasons to stop, recognize your accomplishment, and reward yourself. From getting a manicure to going out to the movies, these moments deserve your attention and recognition.
10. Look at weight loss as a lifestyle.
Weight loss is a journey, not a destination. The work does not end when you reach your weight loss goal. You’ve changed your life! Now it’s time to change your lifestyle. Occasionally, you may have more calories and an indulgence; but most days, you should still be eating the healthy, nutrient-dense foods introduced to you during the weight loss phase. You realize you’re now one of those healthy people you used to admire! And you’re not that way by accident – everyday, you practice healthy habits.
With your hard work and dedication to these tips you will achieve weight loss success! But don’t wait to book your next evaluation with your provider for the next step in your weight loss journey – Transition Month. We can’t wait to celebrate with you.
1 Anderson, William. “How I lost 140 Pounds and Kept it Off for Three Decades.” Medium. https://medium.com/thrive-global/how-i-lost-140-pounds-and-kept-it-off-for-three-decades-77e4403811de