Losing weight can be quite the roller coaster ride. In the beginning you’re feeling motivated and unstoppable. Next thing you know, you’re gazing out the window wondering if the ice cream man still comes around your neighborhood. The struggle is real.
While this journey will never be easy, here are nine ways to make it a little easier:
1. Prep Your Meals
When you prepare your meals ahead of time, you eliminate the chance of making poor choices. This can be particularly helpful at work where there are typically more temptations. You will have peace of mind knowing that you have something healthy and delicious.
2. Use the Buddy System
Losing weight with a friend or a group is a lot easier than doing it all on your own. Weight loss buddies understand the challenges you’re facing, and it helps to know you’re not alone (which you are certainly not!) and that other people have survived what you’re feeling. Plus, you can always get tips (like these!) from people who have been successful.
3. Bring Snacks When Options Will Be Limited
When you’re attending events that don’t always have the healthiest of menus, bringing snacks – even a protein bar – can save you hundreds of calories.
4. Keep Healthy Foods in the House
Clean your house out of any tempting foods – ones that could knock you off track. If you only have healthy options, you’ll set yourself up for success.
5. Don't Eat While Watching TV
When our attention is focused on the TV, we eat mindlessly. It’s probably what happened when you last grabbed a bag of chips just to have a few, and the next thing you knew half the bag was gone. Mindless eating can be combatted in two different ways: You can predetermine your serving size and only bring that with you to the couch; or, you can stand while you eat. You will likely get tired of standing before you eat too much.
6. Get Sleep
Being overtired tends to make us seek comfort food, which only makes us more tired. Make sure to get a good night’s sleep. Make time for yourself – you’re working very hard to get healthier.
7. The Scale Doesn't Tell All
Too many people get hung up on what the scale says. Taking your measurements can give you a different type of results. When you first start your weight loss plan, the number on the scale may even go up because you start exercising; you’re building muscle and muscle weighs more than fat. When I first added weights to my workout routine, I lost only four pounds in two months, but roughly 21 inches!
Tracking progress with body measurements is easy. Make sure you measure at the beginning of your weight loss journey.
Where to Measure:
Arms: 3-4” from armpit.
Chest: Just before the bottom of your ribcage or along the bra line.
Waist: At the smallest point.
Hips: At the widest point.
Thighs: 7-8” down inseam
Calves: At the largest point.
Note: Be sure to measure in the same spot each time.
8. Put Your Goals on the Fridge
When you come across pictures that reflect your goals, put them on the fridge or wherever you most need a reminder of what you are working toward. For example, you may see someone with arms you admire, or perhaps someone with nice abs. Save these pictures as inspiration and to keep you strong when you have a weak moment.
Related: How to Read Food Labels
9. Don’t Get Defeated Dining Out
Dining out can be a challenge when you’re trying to lose weight. You’re relying on other people to keep you within your calorie goal. Most restaurants have very large portions. Ask your server to bring you a to-go box when your meal is served. Before you dig in, take half of the food on your plate and put it in the to-go box. This helps you to not overeat and keep the calories down for the meal.
If you’re on a weight loss journey, know that you’re doing great. Nobody is perfect and not many people out there can just cut all the foods they know and not slip up. It happens. Learn from it and continue to push forward!