Top Ten Thursday: 10 Ways To Stay Accountable So You Can Lose Weight
The percentage of Americans who will set (or already have set) a resolution for 2013.
That’s the percentage of people who will accomplish their New Year Resolutions. Kinda sad.
As someone in the fitness business, I see this happen every year. January rolls in and everyone is pumped to wipe their slate clean and get to work on dropping weight. Gyms become crazy crowded (don’t people realize the third treadmill from the right is mine? That weight bench to the left, is mine?). And women sign up for boot camps.
After just 4 weeks though, almost 50% of people will give up on their goals and resolutions and resume life. And they aren’t giving up because they hit their goals.
So that’s why I am dedicating today’s top ten to accomplishing great things. Don’t give up because you loose steam and motivation! Follow these tips to make sure that you’re in that 8% success group!
It’s not enough to just say you want to lose weight. I know I have talked about this just recently, but it’s important enough to say again.
Set out your actions goals that will make hitting your overall goals so easy! If you want to lose 15 pounds, how do you want to do it? One action goal would be:
“I will workout 3 times/week.”
Write down 3 action goals and each day look at them. Are you on top of your to-dos? If not, do what you need to get back on track to end the week on a positive note.
9. To Me, From Me
When you set an alarm as a reminder don’t you find it a bit harder to turn your back? What if you wrote yourself an actual email at night to yourself. Only you will be reading it, but it can be incredibly motivating and helpful.
Here’s what I mean… what if I wrote something like:
I am so proud of the steps that you’re taking to change your body, life and spirit. I am so glad that you finally reached your threshold where enough is enough and you’re doing things right. Diet wise went well today, the oatmeal shake was awesome, the lunch was delicious and you should feel good about yourself for eating in at the office instead of going out to eat. Tomorrow though, let’s try to avoid those cookies that mom sent home. I am also pumped for the workout that is on the schedule. Dan is really kicking butt lately with workout designs and it’s nice to not have to create them myself. I can’t wait to ‘feel the burn.’”
See what I mean? How can you wake up, read that and not feel stoked for the day!?
8. Diary Tracker
Studies show that writing down your food for just 1 day a week can make a huge impact on your fitness success. But here’s what is the important part about it… that one day has to include EVERYTHING you eat. I know it’s easy to say “Oh I ate just one Hershey Kiss, I don’t need to write that.” But you do.
You never know, you might come to see that your 1 Kiss, adds up to 5 in a day.
Use apps like My Fitness Pal, or grab a small notebook that you can keep in your purse. Start with just 1 day a week of tracking, and slowly progress until you’re keeping a food log of 3-5 days per week.
7. Where Are You Now?
Because you see yourself every day are you really in tuned with the progress your body is getting? Most likely not. And because of that, it’s easy to get frustrated and upset and just give up. Track your progress by knowing where you are right now.
Grab a camera and take a “before’ shot of you in nothing but panties and a sports bra. Take your measurements (waist, hips, thigh, arm); and of course your weight (though this isn’t the most ideal tracking element). Every 2 weeks re-do these tracking tools so that you can compare and really see if your hard work is paying off!
6. Slow Changes.
Diets don’t work. Any smart fitness professional will tell you that. Cutting back on your food or cutting certain foods out completely just won’t cut it for losing weight. You’ll feel deprived and miserable. Cravings will pop up, your metabolism will fall and before you know it you’ve got your face in a bag of chips, grease on your hands and all the weight you lost has found it’s way back.
Instead of worrying about eating less, worry about eating more of the good for you foods. Replace 1 meal this week with a healthier option… each day. Make slow swaps in your diet. Love chips? Change to Pop Chips and stick to the right portions. Love lattes? Go with a Fat Free latte with 1-pump of your flavoring instead. Trust me, these small changes can make a huge impact.
5. Stand Up For Yourself
One of the hardest challenges you face is dealing with others around you. They will complain of all the healthy foods, they will complain that they didn’t sign on for a new nutrition plan and they will beg you to “cheat for just one meal”. Stand up to them and let them know how important this is to you.
You will need support, simply sitting down with your family and discussing it will make them feel involved and likely they will support you and your goals.
4. Meal Plan Time
Each week, sit down with a few of your favorite healthy cookbooks and websites out in front of you and plan out the week. Make your grocery list with your meal plan in mind and then stick to the list.
When you’re shopping with a list you are less likely to have impulse purchases and you’ll save money too. Then during the week, you know what you’re eating and won’t be tempted to make a stop to pick up food from the burger plan on the way home.
3. Go Even If You Don’t Sweat
We all have days we are just not in the mood to workout. But it’s important that even in the beginning you do everything you can to make fitness a habit and apart of your lifestyle. On the days you just aren’t feeling it, go anyways. If you walk in and just can’t find the drive, then leave. But by going at all, you will help plant the habit.
And lets face it, 90% of the time when you walk in you’ll find some motivation and walk out feeling happy that you went!
2. Mini Challenges
This is something that Dan and I are doing. Because long term challenges can seem too hard, it’s easier to make mini-challenges. 30-Day challenges are just the right length to push yourself out of your comfort zone but not be miserable. Our first challenge? We gave up alcohol for the month of January! Cheers to us!
1. No-No Drawers
If you have kids, you probably can’t not have some sweets and junk in the house. The best way to help so you’re not caught with your hand in the cookie jar is to give them a designated spot that is not out in the open. Perhaps their own cabinet (not in the normal pantry) or their own drawer. You want them someplace that if you go to grab something, you’re not forced to see them. Out of site, out of mind.
And that my friends concludes the Top 10 for the week! I will leave you with this adorable picture Dan took of our niece Lainey on New Years. She LOVES her swing! We caught some great images. What a fun age!
Have a great day, it’s almost the weekend… already!
Do you set New Years Resolutions?
What trick do you have to stay motivated?
I normally don’t really set resolutions however, this year I have! And I am really confident than I can hit them. Though to be honest I don’t know if they are resolutions, I consider them more like goals.