The secret formula for weight loss is the same for nearly everyone. Fortunately, it doesn’t come in a bottle, you don’t have to go to the store or even pay a penny. In my opinion, this formula is the make or break for long lasting weight loss. Sure, quick weight loss weight loss with short term results can be bought, but a life of health and optimal weight cannot!
Here is my formula that provide the building blocks for any weight loss plan.
1) Readiness: Are you ready to lose weight? Of course, if you’re overweight, your body is ready and waiting, but are you mentally ready to lose weight. Sometimes external factors help us gain motivation, forcing readiness. Maybe your doctor gave you a wake up call, or maybe you saw yourself in a picture and realized how much your body has changed. Motivation and readiness go hand-in-hand. Nagging words from a loved one, or an inflated number on the scale don’t always motivate. In fact, they can have the opposite effect. Usually readiness happens over an over. The next time you’re ready, when you’re ready to pull the trigger, move onto step 2: awareness.
2) Awareness: Not everyone gains weight for the same reasons, so naturally weight loss won’t happen the same way across the board. Dig a little or dig a lot and figure out what caused the weight gain in the first place.
- Have you been a lifelong overeater?
- Do you splurge at night?
- Do you eat off your kids’ plates?
- Do you skip meals, or eat too infrequently?
- Are you eating/drinking foods that throw off your hormones, leading to weight gain?
- Are you a stress eater?
- Do you have a hard time avoiding your guilty pleasure?
- Do you find that your sensitive to certain foods, but eat them anyway?
All of these bullet points, along with probably hundreds of others are the reason we gain weight. It’s incredibly important to become aware and accept why you’ve gained weight in order to make a long-term change. While I don’t write about lifestyle changes enough, doing a little soul searching to help get to the bottom of food triggers and bad eating habits is so very important.
Awareness of weight gain isn’t always that transparent. Sometimes we have a bunch of triggers that prompt us to eat more, not eat enough, or just eat poorly. If you’ve got one reason, or multiple, it’s important to address them…all! It may not be entirely your fault for being stressed (leading you to the freezer for a pint of Ben & Jerry’s), but it’s your responsibility to do something about it. If you don’t, things will never change.
3) Commitment: After you’ve gained a little awareness of why it is, exactly, that you’re not eating right, you need to commit. Not for a day, not for a week (although they’re both good starts), but for the long haul. The “long haul” can seem overwhelming. I completely understand this. I once actually said aloud, “I don’t think I can ever live without French fries.” No, I wasn’t in my teens and yes, I was serious. For many, including myself, commitment grows, so be patient. No junk food, processed food, or plateful of indulgence has to power to make you feel as good as clean, healthy food.
The tricky part of commitment is sacrifice, and this is where people fall off the wagon. You don’t have to be perfect, but you do have to SAY NO to party food, cocktails, 30 solid days of holiday eating, quick-and-easy fast food meals. Along with commitment comes planning. After, and only after, you’ve gotten your head around the fact that you have to sacrifice are you totally committed. Like I said, you don’t have to be perfect, so plan carefully and try not to make exceptions. Pick and choose the days you want to enjoy a decadent dessert, for example. Make sure it’s not often (read: no more than once every couple of weeks – max), and stick to your guns.
Now that you’ve got your foundation, get going! Many of us know exactly what to do to lose weight. You don’t necessarily need a coach, program or book – BUT these tools enforce accountability, which even for the best of us (myself included) keep the process going. If you need advice, I’m here! Contact me, and we’ll get going.
This October I’m kicking off The 10 Pound Club. Want more information on that? Email me today!
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Traci is a nationally recognized health and fitness expert who has been featured on The TODAY Show and Dr. Oz. Traci is available for corporate speaking events and wellness coaching, as well as private training. Contact Traci here.