You wouldn’t make a major purchase without sitting down and analyzing your finances and developing a financial management plan. The same is true when it comes to weight loss. Did you know the biggest reason people fail at sticking to weight loss diets is simply that they did not make a weight management plan?
Every year, millions of people make a New Year’s resolution to lose weight, yet end up failing within a few short months. Why? They had no long-term plan in place to keep them on track. In addition, many people just jump in headfirst without carefully working toward their end goals. You cannot go from eating how you want to a restrictive diet overnight and expect to stick with it long term.
Sure, there are weight-loss programs, fad diets, diet foods, diet snacks, and so on that you have probably tried over the years. Unfortunately, the same is true with these weight-loss solutions. Eventually, you tire of them and return to your former habits. Any weight you did lose quickly fades away.
How can you effectively lose weight? With the right weight management plan. Plus, you don’t need to spend tons of money on weight-loss programs, expensive gym memberships, or other weight-loss gimmicks to achieve long-term weight-loss goals!
Step 1: Establish realistic weight-loss goals.
The first step in developing a weight management plan is setting realistic goals. A realistic goal you could strive for is to lose one to two pounds of fat per week. This might not seem like a lot when you want to shed fifty pounds, but it is the healthy way to lose weight and keep it off.
Step 2: Make a commitment to yourself.
In order to be successful at weight loss, you have to be committed. Commitment requires making a promise to love yourself no matter what happens on your weight-loss journey. You need to keep in mind you will have good days and bad days when you might slip up. This is okay, and you need to remind yourself to not feel guilty. Instead, accept it and move on.
Step 3: Find what motivates you.
Everyone is motivated by something different. Discovering what your motivations for weight loss are and how you can tap into these to help provide encouragement is important. You should be losing weight for yourself, first and foremost. If you are not doing it for yourself, it can create an internal struggle.
Step 4: Start a food and exercise journal.
You will need a baseline or starting point to begin your weight-loss journey. The best way to establish this is by recording in a journal what you eat and how much you currently exercise. It is a good idea to do this for a week or two prior to starting your weight-loss plan.
Your food and exercise journal will help you identify your current eating habits to determine what needs to change. It will also help uncover if you are already doing certain things right that may not need to be changed at all.
Step 5: Determine your daily caloric intake.
You can use your food journal to help you determine how many calories you are currently eating every day. The goal for effective weight loss is to reduce your daily caloric intake so you are burning more calories than you are eating.
For instance, if you are currently eating 3,000 calories a day, a good starting point is to cut this to 2,500. Once you start to lose weight, you can revisit this and reduce the amount gradually to continue to help promote healthy weight loss.
Step 6: Determine what types of exercise are best for you.
Not everyone likes doing the same types of exercises. You don’t need to lift weights or run on a treadmill to be physically active. You could swim, walk, ride a bike, ice skate, go bowling, or do other things that you enjoy. Additionally, do not overlook any household chores that could count toward exercise like mowing the yard, vacuuming, mopping, and dusting. You will want to make sure you are getting at least thirty minutes of exercise three to four times a week.
Step 7: Develop new daily meal plans.
You will want to spread out your daily caloric intake into three meals and two or three snacks. One of the biggest things you may not know is that eating smaller portions of food throughout the day is better for your body and digestive health. Your body has time to break down the food, convert it into energy, and use it, rather than storing it away as fat.
Make sure to include a well-balanced diet of fresh fruits, vegetables, whole grains and rice, and lean meats or other proteins, along with the vitamins, minerals, and healthy fats your body needs. To help give you an idea of a daily meal plan, here is a sample you can use and alter to fit your needs:
- Breakfast: Drink a Betty Lou’s protein shake and eat a half cup of fresh fruit or mix the fruit in with your shake.
- Mid-Morning Snack: Enjoy a Stabilyze nutrition bar along with a full cup of water.
- Lunch: Eat a turkey or tempeh sandwich on whole grain bread, with reduced-fat mayo, lettuce, tomato, and a white low-fat cheese, like Swiss or a sliced vegan variety. You can also eat a single serving of baked potato chips or low-salt pretzels.
- Mid-Afternoon Snack: Enjoy some Betty Lou’s Nuts about Energy Balls and a quarter cup of low-fat plain yogurt (look for dairy-free varieties) or cottage cheese.
- Dinner: Enjoy a single serving of lean meat or beans, some freshly steamed vegetables, and a quarter cup of brown rice.
- Evening Snack: Eat your favorite Betty Lou’s organic Just Great Stuff nutrition bar and drink a full cup of water.
The secondary objective of creating daily diet and meal plans is to ensure you are eating something every two to three hours. Additionally, your evening snack should be eaten at least three hours or more before you go to bed.
Step 8: Get a food scale, measuring cups, and measuring spoons.
The key to reducing calories is learning portion control. All foods will have this information on their labels. You will want to weigh or measure out one serving size for anything you eat. With meats, a general serving size is around 3 to 4 ounces, which is about a quarter of a pound. For fresh fruits and vegetables, a serving is normally a half cup.
Get into the habit of doing this at the very start and stick with it. “Eye-balling” it doesn’t count, as we will tend to exceed a given portion size. Most people are surprised when they start weighing and measuring out food portions and seeing how much food it really is. Plus, if you are eating small portions every two to three hours, you will feel fuller faster.
Step 9: Set a start date to begin your new diet and exercise weight-loss plan.
In order to be successful, you need to establish a start date that is best for you. For instance, your family has a vacation planned in two weeks. While you may be anxious and ready to get started implementing your new weight management plan, it will be better to wait until after you return from vacation. This way, you can fully enjoy yourself and not feel guilty about what you eat.
On your start date, you will want to get a cloth measuring tape and record various body measurements in your food and exercise journal. Measure your hips, waist, chest, neck, and forearms. You can also weight yourself. However, it is ill-advised to solely base your progress on your weight.
Many people who do this get frustrated because, initially, their weight starts going down, but, eventually, it starts to go back up. The cause for this is not because they are regaining fat. Instead, their muscles are starting to gain mass. Muscle tissue weighs more than fat tissue, so it means your weight could go back up. This is why you need to rely on your body measurements more as an accurate gauge of your weight loss.
It is also not a good idea to weigh and take measurements daily. This will not provide an accurate picture, either. As long as you are sticking to your diet and exercising for a half hour three to four times a week, you only need to record your body measurements and weight once a week.
Step 10: Reassess your goals and meal plan monthly.
You need to review your progress and make adjustments to your plan periodically. For example, if you are getting tired of the same flavor of Betty Lou’s organic Just Great Stuff nutrition bars, switch it up. The same is true with the meats, fruits, and vegetables you are eating. It is okay to modify your meals so you have a variety of foods and healthy snacks and you do not lose interest. Don’t forget to modify the types of exercises if you are finding it difficult to stick with the same old exercise routines, too!
By using these steps to create and implement a weight management plan, you are sure to reach your weight loss goals.
All of our products are made with all natural ingredients; no refined sugars, artificial ingredients, or GMOs; and they are gluten-free!