I reluctantly stepped on the scale a couple of weeks ago. Lo and behold- I had gained some weight over the summer. Fast forward to one week later and another step on the scale moment…no magical weight loss (but I had managed to maintain the same weight). I really wasn’t surprised because I knew my regular exercise routine and healthy food choices had slipped a bit. Let’s face it: I don’t know anyone who gets excited to lose weight.
The Number on the Scale Is Just “Data”
In years past, I would have absolutely freaked out. In fact, I’m still used to that old reaction, so I check to make sure I’m in a good mood before I step on the scale. But, I’ve realized that things are different now. I have confidence in my ability to lose weight, and I know the number on the scale is just “data.” Data about behaviors and choices I’m making consistently or not. Not data that defines who I am as a person or data that means I’m a failure for letting some weight sneak up on me.
I’ve had enough experience with my own weight and the desires of clients to lose weight that I know what works for weight loss. It’s been my experience also that most of us (including me) gain weight two times of year – (1) over the holidays and (2) over the summer. The reason: our consistently healthy habits get thrown off and there are more temptations to resist. I actually have a tendency to gain more over the summer when business slows down and I’m in vacation mode. My food choices change, I’m apt to have a glass of wine (or two) more often, and exercise is more challenging because my kiddos are home. But, there’s no need to despair. I know I can lose the summer or holiday weight, and I’m excited to share my tried and true approach with you, too. Here is my proven method to lose weight without the black-eye and battle scars:
#1 – Accept where you’re at.
Yep. That’s the first step. Accept the number on the scale and the data it’s providing. Accept that you want to lose weight and aren’t satisfied with your weight right now. Here’s the thing: you are still the same amazing person you were yesterday and the day before. Now, you just want to make some changes to decrease your weight. Your IQ isn’t different. You are no less smart, attractive, or athletic than yesterday. You just want to make some changes in your lifestyle that result in weight loss. And – the numbers won’t change on their own – it will take some work on your part. But – you absolutely can do it and will do it. So, make peace with this information.
#2 – Gather more data.
Your weight is an outcome measure – an outcome of your energy balance. You’ve got excess weight, and in most cases, that means you consumed more energy than you burned over a given period of time. So, it’s time to figure out how to change the imbalance. The most helpful data in this situation for me is to track my calories consumed and my calories burned. I use myfitnesspal for this purpose. I track my own data (calories in and exercise), and I usually start to witness a trend over a few days that gives me some answers. Other data that can be helpful includes changes in your life, the level of stress you are under, any other health changes, how much water you are drinking, and the amount of sleep you are getting.
#3 – Resist the temptation to starve yourself.
For many of us, the natural reaction to needing to lose weight is eating less. Way less. That can work, but here’s the problem: you are doing your metabolism a disservice. When you don’t eat enough calories and go long periods of time without eating, your brain tells your body it’s starving. It signals hormones to hold onto fat – especially in our fat storage areas (stomach and hips/thighs for most of us, depending on your body type). So, you might lose “weight,” but it’s muscle and water weight.
#4 – Eat five small meals and get active daily.
Feeding yourself regularly will rev up your metabolism and also keep your blood sugar stable (read: no hangry Godzilla mom). Ensuring that your small meals include protein, healthy fat, and fiber keeps you fuller longer and fills your body with healthy nutrients. This turns your body into a calorie and fat-burning machine when coupled with regular exercise. Exercise can be so many different things – but do what makes sense for you and aim to get at least 150 min/week if you aren’t currently active at all. And – all of your exercise doesn’t have to be done at once – you can add it up between different sessions each day. Don’t forget that tracking your calories in and out will continue to provide you with data along the way.
#5 – Remember “progress not perfection.”
Most of us will admit to some perfectionistic tendencies. The trouble with perfectionists and weight loss: when you don’t do everything exactly as planned, you tend to throw in the towel. The key here is to remember that progress is more important than perfection. Consistency is key – not perfectionism. So, if you’re able to make healthy food choices 80% of the time and work-out four days per week consistently, you’ll see results. And, even if the scale isn’t moving as quickly as you hoped, you’re more than likely feeling better as a result of your healthy choices.
You CAN Lose Weight Without the Black-Eye and Battle Scars!
So, there you have it. My plan for losing weight. It won’t help you lose 20 lbs in 2 weeks, but chances are, it will help you learn more about your own habits and what works (and doesn’t work) for you. And, don’t let me undervalue the hard work that goes into weight loss EVERY. STEP. OF. THE. WAY. Weight loss is hard, and I’m here to help you.
Having someone work with you…
- to understand your “data”
- affirm the changes you plan to make
- hold you accountable to the goals you’ve established, and
- root for you in the good times and the bad
…can make a huge difference. You don’t have to struggle through weight loss on your own! Let me help you lose weight (and keep it off) confidently.
Start now by scheduling a free, 30-minute call (click to schedule) or contact me with any questions.
You CAN lose weight without the black-eye and battle scars!