To lose weight (and keeping it off) can be a challenging undertaking. Success often comes down to 3 key areas, and having an understanding of each of them. When looking at your health and fitness, it can be a bit of a jigsaw puzzle but when you put the pieces down in the right order, the picture becomes very clear.
When looking at how to lose weight, start with your headspace, followed with nutrition and finally exercise as this will ensure that you have all the steps in place to see a high level of success.
Step 1 – Headspace
Allowing yourself to get in the right frame of mind regarding your health and where you want it to be is the first crucial key to success. Our ability to completely understand, be confident and motivated by the potential changes means that we can overcome any roadblock that might present itself.
Important headspace questions you need to ask yourself prior to undertaking a weight loss journey include;
- Why do I want to achieve this goal?
- Being very clear for your reason WHY you want to make this change allows you to develop a deep motivation. This motivation is essential to tap into when times get tough
- Are my goals reasonable?
- It is very easy to set incredibly ambitious goals and start with a full head of steam. Unfortunately we tend to bite off more than we can chew and the motivation can drop. Ensuring your goals are reasonable combats this.
- Do I believe I can achieve this goal?
- If you do not believe (deep down) that you are able to achieve this goal, what chance do you really have of success? There is a difference between a goal being scary and whether or not you can achieve it.
- Do I need support on this goal?
- Being too proud to ask for help is the first mistake when it comes to achieving a weight loss goal. Sure you can do your taxes on your own, but wouldn’t it make more sense asking someone whose profession it was to get the most out of your return? It is the same with weight loss.
Ensuring you are in the right headspace is the first (and most important step) to your weight loss goal. Making sure you are is half the battle already won. It is the first step in answering the vital question ‘how to lose weight?’
Step 2 – Nutrition
Having the knowledge of what/when/why to eat for your weight loss goal can set you up for success from the beginning. 70% of our physical result comes from the food that we eat so wouldn’t you want to make sure that you are on top of it from the very beginning?
Important nutrition questions you need to ask yourself prior to undertaking a weight loss goal include:
- Is this a food plan that I can stick to forever, or is it a crash diet?
- Notice that I never use the word diet in anything I say. This is because diet is automatically associated with short-term. If you truly want to keep your result forever, you must adopt a long-term mindset.
- Do I know how many calories I need to consume daily?
- At its core and in a perfect world, weight loss simply comes down to consuming less than you are expending. If you do this you are in a deficit and will lose weight. If you are in a surplus you will more often than not put on weight. Knowing how many daily calories to consume daily will greatly assist your success.
- What are my nutritional barriers (weaknesses)
- We all have nutritional preferences, and no one ever eats perfectly all the time. Whether it be; sugar, alcohol, fatty foods etc, it is important to know what our weaknesses are and how we can overcome them. It is not necessarily about eliminating them, but awareness can be a great first step.
- Am I prepared to alter my nutritional intake in order to succeed?
- If our food was perfect, then we wouldn’t need to be losing weight! There are obviously going to be some changes needed in order to hit our goal. The question is, are we willing to make some sacrifices in order to succeed?
- Do I need nutritional support on this goal?
- Support is a big theme with me, and it is for a reason. Everything in life becomes a whole lot easier when there are more than 1 person working towards a common cause. If you need help, simply ask.
Ensuring you have the nutritional understanding required to hit your weight loss goal is the next step to success. If you have it in place, there is nothing left but exercise. Remember, there is a difference between eating healthy and eating for weight loss!
Step 3 – Exercise
The final piece of the puzzle is more often than not, the piece that people do first. Exercise is very important when it comes to losing weight, but if the previous 2 steps are not in place, then it can all be in vein.
If you feel confident that the first 2 steps are in place, then asking the following questions will ensure you have the path to success mapped out:
- How much exercise is realistic?
- Similar to the whether or not the goal itself is reasonable, being honest with yourself as to how much you can commit to on a weekly basis is very important. You want to be able to commit to this amount of exercising forever, not just for the next 4 weeks.
- What types of exercise do I need to do?
- Do you know the type of training required to achieve weight loss? Are you aware of the balance between weights and cardio? Is it circuit training, HIIT, strength or something else that is required? Know what you need to do is vital.
- Am I confident enough to do this solo?
- Do you feel confident in your ability whilst exercising? Are you capable with the form and technique required for the type of training you are undertaking?
- Do I need support for this exercise goal?
- If the answers to the above 2 questions are NO then there should be a resounding YES to this question. If you are unsure in any way as to what you are needing to do each week for your specific goal, you must ask for help. Simply investing in someone for 3-4 months can give you the tools and knowledge required for a complete education that can last years.
Weight loss does not have to be as hard as it can be. Taking the time to ensure you are on the right path from the beginning will only reap rewards down the line.
Remember, if you do not know what to do or unsure how to lose weight, ask for help!
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