Have you ever tried to lose weight, been unsuccessful, and made this declaration to yourself and your family?
I’m just not ready to lose weight.
I know I did. I said those seven words over and over again during the 10 years that I struggled with obesity. I’d start a diet, lose a few pounds, quit the diet and say those words. It was a vicious cycle and one that negatively affected my self esteem and my physical well being.
The more I failed at dieting the more fearful I became that I would never lose the weight. The more fearful I became the longer it took me to try again to lose weight. The longer I took between dieting efforts, the more weight I gained. It was tough.
If you are struggling right now with getting started losing weight or beginning to falter in your weight loss efforts, take the time to analyze whether you have the tools, the knowledge, and the commitment to seriously begin your weight loss efforts right now.
Here is a list of 10 ways to prepare to lose weight. As a hint, it’s okay if you don’t have all of these down quite yet, but being prepared for challenges and issues that come up during your weight loss journey will help you get started and stay committed.
1. You know what a healthy diet looks like.
Until you know what a healthy diet is, it is very, very difficult to lose weight in a sustainable way. Educate yourself on nutrition by reading reputable websites, talking with your doctor or nutritionist, or picking up a book on nutrition. When you understand the importance of a balanced diet, you are ready to go onto the next step.
2. You have a plan.
Although “eating healthy” is an excellent goal, it is not much of a weight loss plan because you can still be overweight or even obese while “eating healthy.” Plus, it is still possible to gain weight even when your diet is pretty clean if you do not consider calories/fat/nutrient content. So find a plan that is sustainable, realistic, and one that you can follow even after you reach your goal weight.
3. You know about exercise.
Exercise alone won’t generally make you lose weight because the calories you expend often get eaten back or you may overestimate how many calories you burn, according to research. That being said, if you are physically able to exercise, I believe it is important to include exercise into your weight loss plan. Find an exercise routine you enjoy, a time that works for you, and do it.
4. You understand the importance of keeping track.
I am not a calorie counter, but that works. I watched fat percentage, and that works. Other people track successfully by keeping track of how many servings of certain foods they eat, and that can work too. The thing to remember is that having a method to track your food/exercise can help you lose weight, even if you do not track every single day. Also keep track of non-scale victories, improvements in fitness, and body measurements.
5. You have analyzed bad habits.
We all have bad habits but mine are probably different than yours. Don’t sweep bad habits under the rug but instead acknowledge what they are and figure out how to change the bad habit into a good one.
6. You have a support system in place.
Support during the weight loss process is very important so prepare yourself for weight loss by getting a system lined up. It can be one person or a group, or even a combination of the two. Going it alone is never easy.
7. Rewards are planned.
Who doesn’t like a reward for a job well done? I’d encourage you to have some planned rewards for your weight loss efforts as you go along. They don’t have to be big but you should plan on doing something special for yourself as you reach weight loss or fitness milestones.
8. You have realistic goals.
I’ve talked about this before, but setting realistic goals is really important in weight loss. Until you can acknowledge that it will take some time to lose weight, you are not really ready for a lifetime commitment of changed eating.
9. You are ready to deal with the emotional aspect of weight problems.
This is a biggie and one that trips a lot of people up. If you have more than a few pounds to lose, you’ve probably got some emotional ties to food. Be really honest with yourself when it comes to how your emotions affect your food choices as you begin to lose weight. Prepare yourself for some surprising discoveries.
10. You have a plan for getting back on track after falling off the wagon.
Not everyone falls off the wagon when it comes to weight loss, but a lot of people do. Have a plan for what you will do when you begin to stumble. It may include acknowledging the problem, turning to your support group, starting fresh, or a combination of all of those.
I hope this list of 10 ways to know if you are ready to lose weight helps you and that you will share this article with friends or family who may be struggling.
How did you prepare for losing weight? Have you ever said those words: “I’m not ready?” Diane