It’s the start of the new year, so weight loss is on more people’s minds than usual. Even then, it’s an evergreen topic, and a rather common goal. While it’s less difficult to come up with a game plan for your weight loss journey, it’s much harder actually carry it out.
Weight loss is not an overnight process; it’s something that requires initial motivation, continual discipline and constant tweaking. It also requires an incredible amount of patience.
Even if you’re seeing progress, somewhere down the line, it’s easy to face a few too many speed bumps and lose sight of your game plan. Remember – you have to keep coming back to it!
Perhaps, you’re asking, “What will make this time different?” If you’ve struggled to lose weight and make a permanent change in the past, listen up!
We have some weight loss strategies you need to implement this time around that could seriously change the course of things.
1. Get accountable
Accountability is a corner stone of a successful weight loss journey, and this is something we know for a fact! It can be difficult to find accountability in real life, and even more difficult is the drive to show up in the first place.
Accountability begins with you, but it doesn’t end there. Having an incentive to check in, or having someone to regularly check in with you can help drive progress, create important perspective, increase motivation, and help you through the toughest times.
2. Group up
Community is another piece of the puzzle. This study shows promising results in people’s weight loss when they were a part of a strong and dedicated online community.
When we have other people around, we have a response when we have a question to ask, we have people to cheer on our victories and validate our efforts, and we have people to commiserate with when things just aren’t going our way – an inevitability when it comes to a long-term goal like weight loss.
While we all start somewhere different, many of us come together in these groups with similar goals. It’s powerful to have a large group of people to draw inspiration from and connect to as we wade through our own challenges and experiences.
3. Work the buddy system
We have accountability, we have a community, so now we need to pair up! The buddy system works for quite a few reasons, and beyond the specifics, it really just helps to do something knowing you’re not alone.
Weight loss can be difficult, but it’s a goal for countless people, so find your ‘spirit animal’ in your health and wellness journey. The good news? You can probably pick your match if you find a strong community to work in, and your buddy can really help to keep you accountable.
It’s a give and take, and you can feel good about being able to do the same for them.
4. Set achievable goals
If you think back on weight loss goals passed, you might recognise a pattern of setting some pretty lofty goals! Don’t worry – we’re all guilty. There’s nothing wrong with setting the bar high, and there’s definitely nothing wrong with truly believing in yourself.
These are things we encourage! At the same time, it’s hard to stay driven to work towards a goal that’s too far off, too big, or too overwhelming. Instead of continually motivating you, it has potential to tear you down and belittle your efforts.
Be realistic in your approach. Don’t let the idea of hard work or patience turn you off, because there’s no denying that good things can take time – especially sustainable weight loss.
5. Celebrate small wins
Attempting to change your lifestyle has this uncanny ability to tear us away from the present moment over and over in favor of focusing on this BIG goal at the end. In reality, that big goal is just a number.
The journey is what makes a long-lasting impact and sticks with us. There is so much of it to sit back and take a second to recognize and appreciate, so we’re telling you right now that it’s okay to brag. Small victories lead up to the big celebration, and sometimes, they’re even more important.
By beginning to acknowledge these things (i.e. getting better sleep, consistently fighting cravings, avoiding a specific trigger, or hitting new strides in the gym), we can really visualize our progress thus making our end goal seem not-so-far-off after all.
6. Eliminate the ‘F-words’
F-words have no place in your weight loss journey, and we’re telling you this right now. Many people are quick to use the word ‘failure’ or the term ‘falling off the wagon’ to describe a minor setback, or as we like to call them, speed bumps.
Failure is merely an opportunity for success when it comes down to it, and you can forget about the wagon. When’s the last time you rode in one of those anyways?
A speed bump is totally manageable, easy to bounce back from, and quite simply unavoidable if you’re in this for the long haul (which we’ll talk about next). Even if you hit the bumpy road a few days in a row, remember – you are always in control, and you can always come back from that!
If you have a strong foundation, you also have the ability to pick up where you left off; maybe, you’ll even come back bigger, better and stronger than before.
We believe in this strategy so much that our 30-day Happy Body Formula participants are not allowed to use these F-words for the duration of the program.
7. Think in the long-term
Short-term and long-term both have their place in your weight loss journey. They serve different purposes when it comes down to a smart strategy though.
Focusing on short-term goals can help you keep your motivation up while looking at the big picture, but only thinking in terms of ‘diet’ is detrimental. Diet has this end date on it, but the truth is that maintaining your weight loss – and more importantly, your health – takes work!
If you approach your wellness journey in a smart way, you’ll realize how many new, healthy habits are on autopilot now, but you have to be careful to keep them there.
Moreover, you’ll want to recognize what’s potentially derailed you in the past, or what makes sense for YOU. How will you create the difference between diet and lifestyle change?
8. Measure progress beyond the scale
The scale is a prominent theme in anyone’s weight loss journey, because… well, duh. We’re not banning it, and we’re not even saying there’s anything wrong with it.
At the same time, it’s so easy to see people get highly discouraged because they see their weight fluctuate or even just stay the same for too long. While seeing the scale go down presents the viewer with immediate validation, any other option in the bag is decidedly bad.
Weight loss is not black and white, so a black and white gauge of success isn’t 100% accurate. Use the way that clothing fits or the measuring tape to view your physical progress in a more varied light, and better yet, shift your big focus to the other changes you’re seeing underway.
Weight loss is a nice side effect of making good habits stick.
9. Give up the comparisons
As they say, comparison is the thief of joy. Weight loss doesn’t need to be all tough love, hard work and discipline. In fact, we think it can be quite fun!
The trick is keeping the joy alive, so letting go of the need to compare your own journey to someone else’s is step one. This is the gift that keeps on giving, because then you are up against YOU and only you.
The only person you have to be better than is you the day before (and really, you can settle for ‘just as good’). We all are highly individual people, and even if we set out on the same journey to the same place together, we’re bound to see things through in wildly different ways.
Don’t let someone else’s success determine your setback!
10. Set your own pace
In the name of individuality, we’re not all going to do things at the same pace. While you might have your goals neatly penciled into your calendar, those dates are not set in stone.
The fact of the matter is that life is going to continue happening around you. If this means taking a break or a time out every so often to accommodate it, we can assure you that this is probably the best choice.
If you’re thinking in the long-term, you’ll understand that it’s what you do most of the time that counts. If you need to extend your goals or loosen up a bit here and there – especially for the sake of reducing stress or just enjoying life – be our guest. This is what’s going to lead to permanent change.
If you need these things all neatly packaged up for you, the 30-day Happy Body Formula could be the answer. You’ll have coaching, accountability, community, no F-words, articles on lifestyle and shopping lists and meal plans to guide you through your weight loss journey.
Music, mountains, dogs, travel, food and friends.