How To Reach Your Weight Loss Goals

If you hate crowds like me, then the worst place to be during the new year is the gym.

You already know how it goes. Everyone puts “Lose weight” as their number one New Year’s resolution and, as a result, gyms across the world are flooded with people who are hashtagging #newyearnewme with the caption, “Trying to back down to my high school weight.” So for the first week of the year, they flock to the gym taking up all the machines.

Let me tell you, I used to be one salty gym goer every time a new year rolled around. There I was, having to wait to get on the treadmill when a week prior the whole entire gym was empty. Trust me, I was not happy about it, but in the back of my mind I knew it wouldn’t last long. Why? Because although those folks made a resolution to lose weight, the majority of them didn’t have a real plan or motivation to keep it going.

So, week by week the treadmills became emptier and emptier while less and less people stayed committed to what was suppose to be their number one goal for the year. Listen Linda, I was not mad about it. More treadmills for me to choose from!

By no means am I throwing shade at people who fall off of their fitness goals, nor am I trying to step on your toes if that’s you, because I’ve been there before. The truth is, we all fail at attaining those things that we call goals because we don’t do the necessary work up front to make sure we reach them.

After going through my own struggles with losing weight, I decided to take a step back to understand exactly what I was doing wrong. Why did I start off the year so motivated, but end up weighing, looking, and feeling the same as I did on January 1st? What I found are 5 reasons that prevented me, and probably you, from reaching my weight loss goals. Once I was able to grasp what I was doing wrong, I was able to stay motivated, consistent, and see results. Here’s my #TransformationTuesday.

Me circa 2010
Me circa 2012
Over 5 years ago, I lost ~30 lbs because I was able to identify the 5 reasons that were stopping me from reaching my weight loss goals. These are the five things that you should be doing to reach your weight loss goals.

  1. 1. Have a realistic goal

At (almost) 30 years old, I find it laughable to say that I want to be the same size that I was in high school. Primarily because I was much larger in high school and, secondly, it’s unrealistic to ignore the maturation of my body. When you’re thinking about your weight loss goals, it’s important to be realistic with yourself and what your body can do physically.

One such unrealistic aspiration that I often hear from people who want to lose weight is that they want to lose a significant amount in a short period of time. For instance, they want to lose 20 lbs in 5 days. Now, because I have done a water fast before and achieved a 13 lb weight loss in 4 days, I know it’s possible, but not eating is an unrealistic, unsustainable, and unhealthy way to achieve a weight loss goal. A more realistic goal would be to lose 20 lbs, healthily, within a month. Losing 5 lbs a week is not impossible and it gives you smaller milestones to accomplish weekly that ultimately result in your reaching your goal.

  1.  2. Have a detailed plan

Getting a gym membership or ordering an at home DVD is a huge step in reaching your weight loss goals; however, it means nothing if you don’t have a plan to go alongside it. How many times have you had a gym membership taking all of your good earned money, yet you still didn’t go?? Exactly. Just because you get the membership, buy the cute workout clothes, and get the sweat band does not make you get up out of your bed to get your workout done. You need a plan.

Having a plan means being specific about what you’re going to do to accomplish your goal. Therefore, your weight loss plan should consist of the following:

  • A schedule outlining the days and times that you will work out & exactly what you’ll do on those days
  • A meal plan consisting of what you’ll eat each day (or options), including snacks to curb cravings
  • A system that makes following your plan simple and fail-proof

...which brings me to number 3.

  1. 3. Put controls in place

I’ve said it before and I’ll keep saying it. The reason that people don’t achieve 99% of their goals is because they do not have controls in place to prevent them from reverting back to old habits. You must have systems in place that will make following through on your plan simple and fail-proof. Some easy things that you can do (and that have worked for me) include:

  • Lay out workout clothes the night before (if you work out in the morning) or pack and load your gym bag in your car the night before
  • Meal prep the weekend prior
  • Stop buying junk food or drinks (out of sight, out of mind)
  • Keep healthy (and tasty) snacks & water available at all times
  • Utilize group classes (for motivation and accountability)

  1. 4. Have the right motivation

There are a lot of reasons that we want to lose weight. Unfortunately, vanity tends to be the leading motivation. Look, I’m not mad at it, because it’s a large part of why I listen to Shawn T yell at me at 6AM every morning. More important than looks, though, should be a motivation to get healthy for your life.

One of the drivers behind my major weight loss 5 years ago was my health. In my mid-twenties, I was dealing with knee pain that was partially attributed to my weight. So, in addition to wanting to be snatched, I had to get it together so that I didn’t have the ailments of an 80 year old. Additionally, I was motivated by my family’s health history. I wasn’t trying to die prematurely, so losing weight and changing my diet was a must.

Because living is kind of important, and well, I don’t want to die just yet, it was the motivation for me to keep going. When you don’t have a substantial motivation to change your habits, you will never be able to stick with your plan and reach the results that you want. A wedding or class reunion is a one time event. So once it’s over, what’s going to motivate you to keep going? Find something that resonates with you deeper than an event or what other people think.

  1. 5. Have a support system

Being around the right people has a huge impact on you being able to accomplish your weight loss goals. Weight loss isn’t an easy thing, so you’ll need people around you who will encourage you to keep going, remind you of why you’re doing it, and hold you accountable to your plan. This is why participating in group exercise classes can be so helpful. Everyone there has the same goal and, together, you can motivate each over to achieve it. If this isn’t an option for you, try adding your workout friends to your fitness app. I love to see when my workout friends reach their daily exercise goals and I’m encouraged when I get a text that says, “Keep up the good work!”

Bare in mind that your support system, unfortunately, may not be the people in your home. If they are, great! If not, plug into a group of people who will support you and help you on your journey. It is vital for your success.

In conclusion…

Your weightloss goals aren’t impossible to accomplish if you have these 5 things. In fact, you can apply these same principles to any goal that you’re trying to accomplish. If you’re trying to do more than just lose weight this year, I recommend checking out one of my most popular blog, How To Make 2018 Your Best Year Yet to learn more about how to make them happen.