Getting Mentally Prepared for Weight Loss
Beginning a weight loss journey is not for the faint of heart. It takes bravery and discipline, and we commend anyone willing to take that first step to becoming healthier and happier. What we see many people fail to realize, though, is that weight loss is not purely physical. There’s a large mental and even emotional component, and for many, these aspects have more pull than physical capabilities, particularly if there’s a greater amount of weight to lose or weight has been an issue for a significant period of time. It’s rare for someone to gain weight for purely physical reasons, so if you’re not exploring the full picture of what got you to a less than ideal weight, it’s likely you’ll lose weight just to gain it right back due to thought patterns and behaviors not changing.
When you want weight loss to stick and become a truly beneficial life change, it’s necessary to look at all the factors that can sabotage your efforts and make preparations to set yourself up for success. You want to be in control of your weight loss experience instead of it controlling you, so we’ve got some tips below to help you get focused to get fit for good.
Know Why You Want to Lose Weight
Having a clear idea of why you want to lose weight makes it much easier to stick to the plan when the cravings set in or when exercising is the last thing you feel like doing. Reminding yourself of your inspiration can give you a second wind and pick you up when the going gets tough. It makes the journey about so much more than just seeing changes in your body. It’s about seeing changes in your life. So what’s your motivation? Want to look more toned? Have a health issue that requires weight loss? Want more energy or better sleep? Has all-around self-care become a personal priority? Whatever it is, and maybe it’s a combination of many, use it as a reminder when you feel resistance to change.
Set Realistic Expectations
It’s important to know what you’re capable and where you’re trying to go before beginning. Telling yourself the goal is to lose 50 pounds in three months is a recipe for failure. Not only is that not a realistic weight loss pace for the average person, it’s also not a very healthy goal. Do some research on what a healthy pace is and speak with your health care provider about what’s right for your frame and current health condition. Know how much you’re intending to lose, or if you’re not set on a number, know how you want to look or what changes you want to see. Just make sure they’re doable and appropriate for your body and lifestyle. If you know you’re not a morning person, it may not be a good idea to say you’re going to get up at 5 every morning for a three-mile run. Make your journey right for you. This is a long-term change. Don’t expect it all to happen perfectly right away.
Assemble a Team
It’s not a bad idea to get a support group together when embarking on a weight loss program, especially if you have a lot to lose or have an additional health concern. Discuss your plans with your doctor and your friends and family so they can monitor your progress and keep you on track. If possible, you may want to consider getting the help of a dietitian or personal trainer as well.
Cleanse Your Home
If you’ve found yourself overweight, it’s likely your kitchen and pantry are filled with reasons why. Eliminate temptation during your journey by clearing all the junk food and processed ingredients out of your home. If it’s not there, it will be a lot easier to stick to your plan. Speak with those you live with about the changes you’re making, and ask if they’re agreeable to not bringing these things that are likely to sabotage you into the house as well.
Make a Plan
Once you know what you want to lose (or gain) and why, create a plan and get it down on paper so it’s clear. Determine an appropriate fitness regimen that you feel comfortable with and can look forward to and map out when you’ll do it and what you need to do it successfully from the start. You’ll also want to work with your doctor or a professional to create a meal plan, meaning what you’re going to eat, when you’re going to eat it, and how you’re going to prepare it. This may require collecting recipes to have on hand, buying certain cookware or containers, or setting aside a food prep day. Have these plans ready to go so you’re not scrambling in the moment, which often leads to sabotage.
Start Keeping a Log
Keeping a log of how your diet and fitness program is going, as well as how you’re feeling physically and emotionally throughout the process, is a beneficial idea because it holds you accountable. When you have to document what’s going on on paper, you’ll be less likely to have little cheats here and there. You’ll also have something to look back on when you’re farther in your journey, and you’ll be able to share what you’re experiencing with your doctor if the need arises.
Let It Be Rewarding
Instead of looking at weight loss as a chore, try to reframe your mindset. Think of it as something you get to do instead of have to do, and think of all the things you’re looking forward to once you’re closer to where you want to be. Plan for rewards along the way to keep you excited and celebrate the progress you’re making. Maybe for every 20 pounds, you give yourself a spa day or a weekend trip. Or, for every three weeks you don’t skip a workout, you buy yourself a small gift. These little rewards will keep you going and will help you focus on what you’ve accomplished instead of how far you may have to go.
Consider Your Triggers
This is an important one. Since mental and emotional factors are more likely to hold you back than physical, it’s essential to get clear on your triggers from the start. What’s your outlook on dieting? What do you see when you look in the mirror? How do you feel about yourself and your life? What are the thought patterns, beliefs, or feelings that led you to gaining excess weight, and how do you see them coming up when trying to make healthy changes? Taking a look at these either alone or with a professional and doing the necessary reframing from any negative outlooks to more positive ones will make all the difference in your success.
For more tips or to speak with a professional medical weight loss expert, contact us at Essential Weight Loss today! We’ll answer any questions, go over our weight loss programs, and give you all the information you need when you’re ready to begin your weight loss journey following any of our medical weight loss programs.