10 Habits for Weight Loss Success
10 Habits for Weight Loss Success
by Amanda Sherman
If you’ve ever tried to lose weight before and failed… had success, but couldn’t maintain it…. Or you got some results, but not the results you truly desired? You’re going to have to accept that at least some part of your current routine isn’t working.
In order to achieve the weight loss success that you desire, AND maintain it, you will have to change your habits, and not just for a week or a month, but for the foreseeable future.
Here are 10 Habits for Weight Loss Success:
Habit # 1 – Change One Thing at a Time: In my experience, the #1 Reason people don’t achieve the Weight Loss Success they desire, or can’t maintain it once they do, is that they change too many things at once or they make changes based on someone else’s lifestyle vs. changes that work for them.
Change ONE thing at a time (it takes an average of 66 days to form a new habit), and when you can maintain it consistently , then make another change, and so on.
This is pivotal to long term success because changing one thing at a time, rather than 3 things or 5 things, or everything you do…. is not only easier to achieve, it’s easier to maintain. When your new habit has taken hold, pick the next thing on your list. Rinse, lather, repeat.
Habit # 2 – Make Changes That Work for YOU: How many diet and exercise routines have you already tried? And, how many of those diet/exercise habits do you still possess?
The problem with most diets and exercise routines isn’t that they don’t work. It’s that they don’t work for YOU!
The amount of changes necessary in order to achieve the results you want, AS FAST AS YOU WANT THEM, is usually too extreme to maintain and these extremes can even be dangerous to your health. Don’t adopt someone else’s diet or exercise routine and expect to get the same results.
Yes, you will need to make changes to your diet and/or exercise routine, but if you pick out a written menu of DO’s and DON’Ts based on someone else’s preference, they most likely won’t stick. Don’t like working out alone? Try Group Fitness. Don’t like Kale Salads, etc.? Try Grilled Steak with Roasted Potatoes & Veggies. There are limitless options of ways to move and nourish your body. Make changes that work for YOU!
Habit # 3 – Consistency is Key: What you do most, you do best. Do you think about how to brush your teeth anymore, or how to stand up? I’m going to guess your answer is “No.” You’ve done these things so many times, it’s like you move on autopilot to complete them. Our eating habits, our thought patterns, etc. are habits because we made those choices so consistently, they became a default.
If you want the changes you make to stick, you’ll have to make NEW CHOICES consistently enough that they become your NEW DEFAULT.
Which is why it’s essential to make these changes one at a time, and make changes that work for YOU! Make your eating habits, workouts, meal prep etc. a habit you practice so consistently you no longer have to think about doing them. I’ll give you an example. A few years ago, I read a Nutrition piece on how drinking a glass of water first thing in the morning, was a great way to kick start your metabolism and flush out toxins, so I tried it. Yea, in the beginning, I forgot a few days here and there. But, now I don’t even think about it; the habit is so deeply embedded because I practiced it so consistently.
Habit # 4 – Keep Going: You might experience setbacks along your journey, reach a plateau in making progress, or feel like your results are not matching your efforts. KEEP GOING!
If you have had some success in the past, only to rebound back to your old habits and eventually back to your starting weight, KEEP GOING!
One day, or one week of missed exercise does NOT mean you’ve failed. One meal, one day or one week of bad eating will not derail all of your efforts, but giving up will. And, If you give up, you most certainly will not see the results you desire. KEEP GOING!
Habit # 5 – Dive Deeper: If you’re willing to dive deep enough to uncover the origin of your habits, how and why they were created, then your chance of success increases exponentially. The fact is, our choices are not just, “What we learn first, we learn best,” but are also influenced by our memories and emotions.
Start a journal. In the beginning, it’s not so important what you write, just that you adopt the practice. Keep it short and simple, or ramble on for days. But, be sure to include what you’re eating, when you’re eating it, and how you feel both physically and emotionally. Did you bring lunch to work, but then got stressed out and ordered a different meal instead as a means of comfort? Or skip lunch all together? This is the kind of stuff you want to write in your journal.
This practice is not for calorie counting or judgement. It is a means to uncover your current patterns and how your emotions may affect the choices that you make. It can help you discover what your emotional triggers are and what your default pattern of responding to those triggers is. Once you know what emotions trigger which responses, you can begin to trade out “responses that are not helping you reach your weight loss goals” to ones that are.
Habit # 6 – Ditch the Critic: To me, this might be the #1 Key to Success; both in achieving it and maintaining it. Everyone is their own worst critic, myself included. We live in a world where we are bombarded with media and marketing selling us an image of what a healthy, perfect body should look like. It can be easy to get stuck in a never ending quest for perfection, only to feel like your efforts are never enough.
This kind of comparison is a trap! Every BODY is different. Whether I follow the same diet and exercise routine as you, or something completely opposite, my body will never look exactly like yours and vice versa. So, comparing yourself to a friend, fellow member at the gym, or a celebrity is probably not going to help you get the results you want. Unless your overall height, frame, age, genetics, routine, etc. is the same, you are very unlikely to achieve their results.
And, in the process you could be chipping away at your self esteem by essentially saying those images, those people are better than you. Your body is the only BODY you’ll ever have. Ditch the critic and start loving yourself instead.
It doesn’t matter how far away you are from your current goal. We SHOW UP the most for the people we love; we will move mountains for, cross oceans for, and do just about anything for those closest to us. If you are criticizing yourself for not being where you want to be YET, then you are actively “not loving” yourself.
Ever had a boss, friend, or family member nag you incessantly over what you could be doing better? Even if they meant well and wanted the best for you, did that inspire you to take action and make the changes they suggested? Or did it make you feel judged, discouraged, and maybe even unloved? Every time you criticize yourself in your mind, or let someone else’s judgement of you determine your value, you are actively “not loving” yourself.
If you’re constantly telling yourself that you’re not good enough, strong enough, or believe you won’t be successful, I promise you, you will be right. Everything we do, everything we think is a pattern. And, like I mentioned above (see Habit # 3) about making your food choices, exercise routine, and even journaling a consistent practice until it becomes the new default, you will also have to practice LOVING YOURSELF until it becomes the NEW DEFAULT.
When I first saw this photo, I wanted to retake it because it was off center. I considered changing the filter so it was more complementary to my pale complexion or getting a better angle so I looked thinner. But, then I remembered why I wanted to take this photo in the first place. I took this photo as a reminder to love myself as I AM right now….no makeup, messy hair, flaws and all. @spiritualgangster thank you for making this sports bra. Every time I wear it, it reminds me to love myself! #justloveyourself #nofilter #spiritualgangster #yoga #vrksasana
Habit # 7 – Amplify Your Success with Meditation & Mantra: So, how do you practice loving yourself? And make it your new default? Meditation and Mantra are powerful tools that will help you amplify your efforts in creating new default patterns in both your body and mind.
There are many different types of meditation you can practice. Some are guided and get you to visualize the results you are looking for. Some offer space for you to just sit with yourself and notice what keeps coming up; what ‘s playing on repeat in your mind?
If you are new to meditation, just like journaling, in the beginning keep it short and simple. Five to Ten minutes a day as many days of the week as you can be extremely beneficial. The more consistently you practice it, the better your results will be. But, it should be time you look forward to, not another task on your to do list you can’t wait to cross off.
You can find tons of meditations online and even in the App Store, but you don’t need anything fancy to achieve the benefits of meditation. Just find a quiet place where you won’t be disturbed for 5-10 minutes, close your eyes and deepen your breath. Set a timer, and when it goes off you’re done. Don’t worry if you can’t clear your mind; trust me, it will start working if you practice it consistently.
Want to supercharge your efforts? Add a mantra to your meditation. You can use it as an anchor to come back to whenever your mind wanders and gets stuck in a loop; just repeat your mantra and this will start to create a new default pattern in your mind. The more the mantra strikes a chord with you, the more effective it will be.
ThinkUp is an app that allows you to record mantras/affirmations in your own voice. They have tons of categories with prewritten affirmations, or you can write your own. You can even choose a song to play along with your affirmation(s) in the background (from your memory or from their selection) and put it on a timed loop. Meditation & Mantra in one.
So how do you know which mantras to choose? A good way to discover which affirmations will be powerful to you is to start paying attention to your inner dialogue. When your Inner Critic shows up and says something like, “You’re not this enough or You’ll never do that,” write the exact opposite of that phrase down and use this as your mantra. The more you practice Meditation & Mantra, the more successful you will be in forging those new thought patterns.
Habit # 8 – Get a Coach: Having someone who will guide you on your journey is one of the most successful habits you can adopt. Not only will your Coach encourage you along the way, but they will help to keep you accountable in meeting your goals. They can also help you determine which habits to change first: nutrition, exercise routine, stress management, etc. and have helped countless others achieve the success you desire. If what you’ve been doing so far hasn’t worked, try working 1-on-1 with a Coach and see how much of a difference their personal guidance improves your rate of success.
Habit # 9 – Set Goals & Measure Your Progress: Remember when I said that the #1 Reason most people don’t achieve the Weight Loss results they desire is because they try to change too many things at once, or they succeed but can’t maintain their results because they made changes based on someone else’s lifestyle? The same thing applies to setting goals and measuring progress.
If you want to be successful, you have to create a timeline that is in proportion to where you currently are and where you want to go. Determine the overall amount of weight you want to lose and how long you think it will take you to lose it…. 6 months, 1 year, 2 years? Now, divide the weight you want to lose by the amount of months (and then weeks) you’ve given yourself to achieve it, then start keeping track of your progress. 1 – 2 lbs of weight loss per week is considered healthy.
I recommend using more than just a scale to determine your progress. In the beginning, while you’re converting fat to muscle, the scale might not budge, even if you are shrinking. Take measurements, pictures, keep a diary, and/or find ways to monitor even the smallest bits of progress. We’re most likely to feel discouraged, and maybe even slip back into old habits if we’re only looking at our final goal, have been working hard on these new changes for weeks, and haven’t seen leaps-n-bounds of improvement. Remember Habit # 4? KEEP GOING!
Use your measurements, pictures, journal entries etc. from week to week to monitor even the smallest amounts of progress. How do you feel? Are you more toned? Are your new habits getting easier to stick to? Even if you only lost a pound or an inch, trust me it is progress! Celebrate even the smallest victories.
You are forging a new pattern; it takes time. Don’t expect results overnight. Your body as it is today didn’t form overnight; neither will the one you are dreaming of. Use your small successes as fuel to continue your efforts so you reach your ultimate goal. And, use your mistakes as feedback to discover what your triggers are, where you need more practice, or could use support from your Coach or a friend.
Habit # 10 – Keep Finding New Healthy Habits to Adopt: The more healthy habits you adopt, the healthier you will be. Keep trying new recipes, reading other’s transformation stories, or better yet talk to people you see along that way that have had the success you desire and ask them what they did. People love to tell their story, and not only will you have the chance to connect with someone and be inspired, you might learn another habit to adopt that will make your success even easier to achieve. Continue adding/deleting habits until you have the results you desire. If something isn’t working long term, trade it for something else. Choose new habits that support the goals you are aiming for and that work for you.
Want to learn more ways to amplify your weight loss results? Talk to a Coach or email firstname.lastname@example.org today!
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