One of the keys to creating a successful weight loss plan for anyone is to make sure that the plan will work in the long term and not be shortsighted.
There are literally thousands of fad diets that are effective while you are on the diet, but as soon as you stop and attempt to go back to a normal eating routine you add the pounds on and most likely add a few more too.
There are diet routines that do not even directly deal with calories, like hypnosis for weight loss, but before we get into that we want to help you establish a healthy weight loss program.
Knowing that your eating routine is doable and something you can maintain for the rest of your life is the most important aspect of which weight loss plan you choose.
Let’s approach this from another angle…
Imagine if your new diet requires you to eat 3 packaged meals per, say Lean Cuisine or SmartFoods. At first, you may be pleasantly surprised at the variety and tastes available but is this type of frozen food something you want to be eating a year from now?
How about 5 years down the road?
More than likely, you will not want to adhere to a plan like this that does not involve healthy foods and meals that you can prepare for yourself. This prepackaged meal programs like Weight Watchers & Jennie Craig are good for getting you started on a path to a healthy weight, but we see way too many people that struggle to maintain their weight once they leave the program.
It is important to be honest to yourself at the start, there is no shame in admitting that certain foods or programs are not going to work for you. In fact, it is better to see this before you get started on the wrong plan so that you can make realistic choices upfront and not get discouraged.
First & Foremost – Go See Your Doctor
Now before you get started on any specific weight loss plans, we want to make it clear that you should consult your doctor before beginning any weight or fitness program. Our site is for advice only and should not, I repeat should not be taken as medical advice. It is also wise to let them know you are starting a new program so that they can get some baseline tests completed prior to starting. That way, you’ll not only see yourself improving in the mirror but hopefully the changes will show up in your labs too.
3 Tips Before You Begin
- Keep A Journal – This is crucial when you first start out. It is not easy to keep track of your caloric intake and this is often underestimated by all first time dieters. Use your smartphone or a notepad and keep track of the food, calories, time of day, etc…
- Set Realistic Goals – The main goal should be to improve your overall health. This cannot be done overnight, at least not safely. Remember that if your program includes weight training, you may actually see an increase in your overall weight before you notice the results in the mirror. This is completely normal as muscle weighs more than fat. Don’t get discouraged if you find yourself in this situation. Take pride in knowing that this muscle you are building today, will be burning calories for you 24/7 in the future.
- Give Yourself A Free Pass – In order to stick with your new eating routine, you need to make some comprises. I like to call this a ‘cheat day’ or maybe a ‘cheat meal’ that you have once per week. As an Irish American, I cannot completely cut out Guiness or Newcastle on Sundays. Football (soccer) games are popular in my house. So as opposed to avoiding my family on Sundays, I limit myself to one drink only. Other weeks, I may skip the soccer match and go out for a nice dinner and grab a desert without guilting myself into feeling sick.
The process is not static and is always evolving. Keep that in mind as you prepare yourself for implementing healthy changes for the rest of your life. Pick up healthy eating habits and exercise routines as you go along to create the most effective weight loss program for you. You might be surprised once you start reading and learning more about what you put into your body. We have had several readers report that they dropped meat altogether and did great with vegan diet weight loss programs. Remember, that each plan will need to evolve, be tailed to your individual needs to become the ideal program for you.