Friday, February 19, 2016

Tips for Sticking To Your Weight Loss Goals Long Term

I was provided a free Jenny Craig Weight Loss Starter Kit. However, the opinions expressed are entirely my own.”

At the beginning of this year, I knew I needed to make a big change. I wasn't happy with the way my clothes fit and I wanted desperately to feel good again. I was just diagnosed with a chronic condition and I knew getting in shape would help that condition immensely. So I made big goals and big changes, and for the most part, I have really stuck to them.

I have noticed my biggest challenge is the influence of others. My mom asks if I want a bite of her chocolate bar, or my husband asks if we can go out for a treat. It is so hard to keep up my will power when those around me are trying to break it. I don't think they are doing it on purpose. They just don't think about it. They know I normally like a treat, so they are being nice, even if it is hard on me.

Here are the things I do to help me stick to my plan even when the people around me aren't.

This is what I use to make my plan. Download it here:

Make A Plan. Figure out what you want from your life. Do you want to lose weight? Do you want to be able to keep up with your kids? Know what you want and keep it firmly in mind. Write it down and stick it on your mirror or some place you will see every day.

Knowledge. Know what your body needs and what your current unhealthy lifestyle is doing to your body. For me the easiest way to do this was with a consultation at Jenny Craig. One of the first things they have you do with Jenny Craig is meet with a consultant. Together you figure out what your goals are and what you need to do to reach those goals.

Be Vocal. Your healthy plan doesn't need to be the first thing out of your mouth when you meet somebody, but make sure your family and close friends know your goals and plans. My family offers me way fewer treats when they know I am working hard at my goals. If people don't know you are sticking to your goals they will offer you treats to be nice, and it is hard to say no when the treat is staring you right in the face.

Bring Your Own Snacks. When I am headed out somewhere with my family and know the kids are inevitably going to get hungry I bring along my own munchies so I don't snack on theirs. Nuts, dried fruit, or a protein bar are all easy things to keep in your purse.

Find a Healthy Variety. One thing I hate is eating the exact same thing for every meal. Make a list of all of your favorite healthy snacks and foods and rotate through them. If you are like me, and use Jenny Craig, you can just rotate through your food which makes it even easier.

Exercise In Some Way Every Day. I work out every day, even if it is a short workout. It helps to stay committed and show yourself you can do it. I never miss a day because then it becomes easier to miss the next one. Some of my workouts are very short, but I always do them. Take the stairs instead of the elevator. Do something to get moving.

Invite Others To Exercise With You. Take your little ones on walks at the mall. Go for a nature walk. Get out and get moving and get others invested in your progress. Make it a family affair or find your community. One of our favorite family activities to help us get out and walk is to go Geocaching, I also love to get into the pool with my kids.  Have you ever wondered why cross fitters are so passionate about their workout? I really believe it is because it is a community affair. They have found their tribe of people who have the same goals they do and it drives them.

Don't Beat Yourself Up. Everybody makes mistakes. The other day I had a perfect meal day. I had eaten everything I was supposed to, and nothing I wasn't. Then I walked passed a bag of Muddy Buddies. The next thing I knew I was sitting on the ground snacking. I was bummed. Really bummed that I had slipped so easily, but the sadder I got about it the more I wanted to keep eating. Stay positive and remember a slip up doesn't ruin everything you are working for.

This is the goal tracker I use to keep myself accountable. You can download it here:

Keep Yourself Accountable. Write down your workouts, food and other healthy habits. Also record your weight each day. It can feel intimidating to see that number written down, but it definitely makes you feel accountable. Use it to motivate yourself to push harder and move that number down the next day. But don't let yourself be consumed by it. Sometimes, despite your best efforts, your weight will go up. Don't give up! Stay accountable and keep going! It's incredibly fulfilling to see the numbers go down over time.

Rely on Habits Instead of Will Power. It is so easy to give in when you rely on will power alone. Repetition of healthy habits is your ally. Eat a healthy lunch at the same time every day or work out out at the same time every day. Pretty soon it will feel weird to not have your healthy lunch or workout at that same time. Your habits will help you from having to rely on your will power.

Focus on the Little Things. Trying to change everything all at once leads to disappointment and discouragement. Try adding small changes. Once you master those changes, add more. Today walk for 10 more minutes than you did yesterday, or eat fewer calories today. Do anything to make a change.

Bring Water With You Everywhere. Staying hydrated can help alleviate some hunger pangs and having a water bottle with you makes it less likely to give in to a snack.

Find Something That Works for You. Map out your own plan for each day, including calories, exercise, water and vitamins, or find a plan that will help you do that. If you aren't sure what kind of plan would work for you there are options to give a plan a try. Right now, exclusively at Walmart, you can buy a Jenny Craig Starter Kit that will allow you to try 5 days of food and meet with a consultant to get a feel for how the plan works. I am always nervous to sign up for something I don't know much about, but I love that I was able to try the kit and know that plan was going to work for me.

Getting in shape is hard. It is an entire lifestyle change, but every day it gets easier. I am six weeks into trying to change my life, eight pounds lighter, sleeping better, and overall just doing better. It gets easier. Today it is easier to eat healthy and workout than it was six weeks ago and I know it will be easier six weeks from now. Start today! Six weeks from now you will be glad you did.

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