Losing weight can seem like a daunting process, especially if you don’t know how to reach your weight loss goal, or even where to start! But like anything else worth having, a little planning and a lot of hard work will make you appreciate it even more when you finally achieve it. Let me break it down a little for you, and make it less overwhelming. Here are 10 helpful little steps, and tips, on how to reach your weight loss goal. It’s not even a little bit scary… so let’s go!
1. Make a Goal
It’s impossible to reach a goal if you haven’t set one, so step one of how to reach your weight loss goal is, of course, actually making one! How much, realistically, do you want to lose, and, realistically, how much time will it take? Write it down, circle the date on your calendar, and really commit!
2. Clear the Pantry
Your next step is to clear your kitchen of anything you know you shouldn’t be eating or drinking, especially the stuff you find particularly tempting. For me, I’d open the pantry and pitch the crisps and then head to the freezer to get rid of the ice cream. What’s your diet-wrecking weakness? Get it out of the house, and then let’s move on.
3. Plan Your Menus
Now that all of the wicked temptations are gone, it’s time to plan what you’ll eat instead. Write a list of the things you know you can and should be eating every day. Make a plan for five small meals, and make a list of everything you’ll need to make them, including two snacks a day.
4. Go Shopping!
With that list in hand, head to the grocery store! Stick to the outer edges of the store, where all of the fresh produce, wholesome whole grains, and lean proteins are kept. Avoid the junk food-laden inner aisles, and head straight to the check out.
5. Enlist Support
If you live with someone else, it won’t take long for your roommate or family to notice the fridge stocked with healthy foods… and the missing junk foods. Perhaps this is the time to let them know you’re seriously trying to lose weight and have a healthier lifestyle. Chances are, they’ll be completely supportive, especially once they see how committed you are… and they’ll be the ones who will encourage you when you feel like giving in and eating an entire packet of Oreos, and motivate you when you want to skip the gym. They might even decide to join you… bonus!
6. Join the Gym
All the dieting in the world won’t give you the body (or the improved health) you want if you don’t pair it with a workout regimen, and stick to it. It’s time to join, then hit, the gym! Can’t afford steep membership fees? Then make your own workout at home, by running each morning, doing calisthenics, renting or buying yoga or P90X DVDs. If you can afford it, hire a personal trainer, and a dietician/nutritionist to help, too!
7. Keep Motivated to Keep Going
It’s been a few weeks since you started your weight loss journey, and you’re ready to quit. It’s hard to make all of these important lifestyle changes all at once… and it seems like temptation is always lurking in the form of birthday cupcakes and holiday celebrations. But hang in there! Remember what inspired you to make all of these changes to begin with. Find your inspiration again, and use it to keep motivated and keep going!
8. Blast through the Plateau
It’s been weeks since you’ve lost a pound, and you’re so close to being done! Rather than give up at this diet plateau, it’s time to kick up your workout and tighten your calorie intake to blast right through it! See this plateau as a sign of success: your body is finally getting used to the new, healthy you!
9. Change It up
YAWN! This workout is boring! With only a few weeks left of your diet, it’s time to change things up a bit, to get you energized to get to the finish line! It’s time to try something new… a new recipe, a new workout class, something, anything! Let’s make it fun and interesting again.
10. Getting Close…
With only five or ten pounds of weight til you reach the goal you set in step 1, you’re so close to success you can almost taste it! Start planning your celebration, whether it’s an actual girl’s night out party, or simply a shopping trip for new (smaller) skinny jeans. These plans will help keep you motivated and excited, and help push you through to the end!
There, you did it! Now that you’ve reached your goal weight, it’s time to celebrate, then start the process of simply maintaining all of the good eating and exercise habits you’ve formed. Go, you! Now that you’ve seen all these steps to reaching weight loss success, are you excited to start? Or, if you’ve just finished a weight loss journey, do you have any other tips, milestones, or steps to share?