Congratulations! You’ve made the decision to lose weight. You’ve tried before, but you got side-tracked by stress or unexpected events. This time it’s different. You feel surges of determination and commitment. But you suspect that you’ll have times when you’ll be struggling uphill. This article describes the steps to a successful weight loss program. It includes quotes to help you reach the top of that hill, and then go on to victory!
1. ASSESS YOUR ATTITUDE
– When starting a weight loss plan, it’s helpful to consider the following question:
Are my expectations realistic? – Let’s say your ultimate goal is to lose 10 lbs for an upcoming wedding in 2 months. You don’t want to set yourself up for failure by deciding you’ve got to lose those pounds pronto. You don’t need to take a crash course in dieting. You can aim to lose 5 lbs the first month of your program, then 5 lbs the second month.
ACTION PLAN– Break down your ultimate goal into small, achievable steps.
QUOTE: “Accomplish great tasks by a series of small acts.” – Tao Tai Ching
2. PLAN YOUR APPROACH
– The “secret” to losing weight is to burn more calories than you take in. There are generally two ways to do this, through diet and exercise.
Diet – The first step to burning those calories is to calculate your calorie goal. This will be based on how much weight you want to lose in one week. You’ll have better success if you start slowly, making gradual changes. So it’s suggested to set a goal of losing 1 lb per week. To do this, you need to cut 500 calories per day.
Exercise – Engage in something you enjoy. This ensures you’ll stick with it. If you enjoy being outside, take short walks a few times per week. If you’re new to exercising, start with a walk to the end of your block and back. Then build from there. If you like to watch television, you can do exercises during commercials with light weights.
a. Make the decision to cut 500 calories from your daily food intake. Decide which foods you can do without to achieve this.
b. Choose the form of regular exercise you want to do.
QUOTE: “Choice, not chance, determines destiny.” – E.C. McKenzie
3. DESIGN A FOOD PLAN
– The best dietary change is to choose healthy food. Research shows that the most successful, healthy diet is the one that exemplifies moderation. The University of Illinois Extension states that all low-calorie diets which include exercise will result in weight loss.1/ It doesn’t matter how much protein, carbohydrate, or fat is in your diet. Basically, you want to follow either a 1200 calorie or 1500 calorie food plan. For access to an example of a 1200 calorie plan, click here: For guidance regarding a 1500 calorie plan, click here:
ACTION PLAN – Choose either a 1200 calorie or 1500 calorie food plan.
QUOTE: “Don’t eat anything your great-grandmother wouldn’t recognize as food.” – Michael Pollan
4. GET SUPPORT
– Obtaining support is a vital aspect of a successful weight loss program. Support can come from a spouse, friends, or family members. In fact, you might even enlist a friend or family member to be your “weight-loss buddy.” You can travel the road to a healthy weight together. At any rate, try to develop a good support system that you can turn to in moments of trial.
ACTION PLAN – Make a “Support List” of people you can contact and their phone numbers.
QUOTE: “….Don’t be afraid to rely on others to help you accomplish your goals.” – Oprah Winfrey
5. MAINTAIN RECORDS
– Keeping track of your progress is a great way to maintain consistency and stay motivated. There are 3 types of records that will help you achieve this:
- Daily Food Log
- Daily Activity Log
- Weekly Weight
a. Daily Food Log – By recording your meals, you can determine your daily calorie counts, and see if you’re on track. WebMD has a helpful food calorie counter on their website, called the “Food-O-Meter.” It lists foods and their corresponding calorie counts. To access this helpful tool, click here:
b. Daily Activity Log – Charting your daily activity will give you a sense of accomplishment. You can include aerobic exercise, such as walking or jogging; strength training with weights; and hobbies, such as gardening or playing a sport.
c. Weekly Weight Log – Weighing yourself daily is not recommended, since you can become easily discouraged by normal variations in weight. If you’re a woman, your weight can be affected by your menstrual cycle. It’s more accurate to do a weekly weigh-in. Try to weigh yourself at the same time each week, preferably in the morning before breakfast.
ACTION PLAN – Keep daily Food and Activity Logs, and a weekly Weight Log.
QUOTE: “Don’t become a slave to the numbers.” – Melissa Conrad Stoppler, MD
6. VISUALIZE YOUR GOAL
– Creative visualization is a very effective tool to help you achieve your desired result. Picture in your mind how you want to look. See yourself as your thinner self, wearing that smart outfit. Hear the compliments of your friends. Feel how great it is to easily slip into your formerly outgrown clothes. Using your senses to imagine your new self is powerful. It gives you a way to internalize your goal and make it a reality.
ACTION PLAN – See, hear, and feel the new you in your mind’s eye.
QUOTE: – “Visualize this thing that you want. See it, feel it, believe in it. Make your mental blue print, and begin to build.” – Robert Collier
7. THINK POWER THOUGHTS
– Power thoughts are those that inspire, affirm, and motivate. They’re upbeat and fun to consider. An example is: “Every day, and in every way, I know I’m getting better and better.” You want to fill your mind with positive thoughts that give you confidence. Here’s another example: “Nothing can stand in the way of my success.”
ACTION PLAN – Write up short, simple “Power Thoughts” that you can repeat to yourself when having difficulty.
QUOTE: – “As you think, so you are.” – Henry H. Buckley
8. KEEP THINGS INTERESTING
– Including variety in your food and activity choices will prevent you from getting bored. Alternating your food choices will help you maintain moderation. Mixing up your exercise program will develop different muscles.
ACTION PLAN – Choose different colored fruits and vegetables to power up your plate. Come up with various forms of exercise to challenge different muscle groups. You might try jumping rope, hula hooping, or taking a dance class.
QUOTE: “Variety is the very spice of life, that gives it all its flavor.” – William Cowper
9. REWARD YOURSELF
– Acknowledging your successes along the way will keep you going strong. Rewarding yourself as you achieve goals serves as a punctuation mark in your weight loss program. Cheer yourself on with small tokens of your progress. Examples are:
a. Buying a lipstick after tackling a difficult exercise.
b. Purchasing a new outfit for your slimmer body.
c. Taking in a movie.
d. Luxuriating in a relaxing shower or bath.
ACTION PLAN – On small slips of paper, write up rewards you would anticipate. Fold them up, and put them in a box. Then, celebrate an achievement by removing the slip of paper, and rewarding yourself with its suggestion.
QUOTE: “Happiness lies in the joy of achievement and the thrill of creative effort.” – Franklin D. Roosevelt
We’ve covered various aspects of a weight loss program. Now let’s target the tough times with more inspirational quotes.
10. WHEN YOU’RE DISCOURAGED
– “Edison failed 10,000 times before he made the electric light. Do not be discouraged if you fail a few times.” – Napoleon Hill
11. TIMES OF TEMPTATION
– “Bigger snacks mean bigger slacks.” – Unknown
12. WHEN YOUR “GET UP AND GO” HAS GONE
– “Success is the ability to go from one failure to another with no loss of enthusiasm.” – Winston Churchill
13. FIGHTING WITH THE FRIDGE
– “A moment on the lips, forever on the hips.” – Unknown
14. FEELING REGRET
– “Never look back unless you are planning to go that way.” – Henry David Thoreau
15. STRUGGLING WITH FEAR
– “If you could get up the courage to begin, you have the courage to succeed.” – David Viscott
16. EYEING THE DONUTS
– “Say yes to the skinny jeans by saying no to the donuts.” – Betsy Canas Garmon
17. STARING AT THE DINNER PLATE
– “If you wish to grow thinner, diminish your dinner.” – H.S. Leigh
18. NEEDING A LIFT
– “Success is the sum of small efforts, repeated day in and day out.” – Robert J. Collier
19. FEELING LIKE A FAILURE
– “The greatest glory in living lies not in never falling, but in rising every time we fall.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson
20. ENVYING THOSE MAGAZINE MODELS
– “The leading cause of death among fashion models is falling through street grates.” – Dave Barry
It is hoped that this article has given you a boost in your weight loss efforts. Here’s one last quote for good luck:
“Believe you can and you’re halfway there.” ― Theodore Roosevelt