You’re committed. You’re embarking on your weight loss journey, and you’re ready to work to reach your goals. But where to begin? Weight loss is a tough process, and it’s not always easy to know how to start. Before you decide to dive in, make sure to take these steps in preparation.
1. See Your Doctor
It’s important to consult with your doctor about your new weight loss plan. She can help you determine your healthy weight and what you can do to get there. It’s also a good idea to make sure you don’t have any conditions that could affect your weight loss.
2. Set goals
Knowing why you want to lose weight is a crucial part of your journey. It may be that you want to have more energy, get rid of the 30 extra pounds you’ve been carrying, lower your risk of diabetes, or simply just to improve your quality of life. Reminding yourself of your goal is a great motivator.
3. Health-ify Your Home
Get rid of all of those tempting treats that are ruining your diet right now, and create space in your fridge and pantry for healthy foods. Find “your healthy place” in your home where you can set up a little home gym, a yoga mat, or even just some meditation space. Keeping a calendar or white board on the wall with your goals is also a great health-ifier.
4. Make Your Meal Plan
It will be much easier to stick to your diet if you have your meals planned out ahead of time. Get your grocery list together with plenty of fruit, veggies, lean protein, low-fat dairy and whole grains.
5. Schedule Your Workouts
Keep a calendar with your workout routine. Try to include both cardio and strength training exercise, but also be sure to start small so you don’t hurt yourself. If it’s on the calendar, like you would schedule a meeting or doctor’s appointment, you’ll be more likely to do it!
6. Get Support
Starting your journey will be much easier if you have people behind you cheering you on. Find a diet or workout buddy, tell your family how they can help you, or join a weight loss community.
7. Set up a Rewards System
Here’s the fun part: the rewards! (Aside from the reward of losing weight, of course.) Make a rewards system for yourself so when you hit milestones, maybe buy some new music, a book, a massage, or some new clothing.
8. Get Inspired
With any journey, there are good days and bad days. Set up a little inspiration to keep you going through the bad days. It could be a pump-up playlist, a weight loss success story, old pictures of a thinner you, or a person who makes the hard times worth it.
You’re on your way—good luck!
Guest blogger Caitlin Heikkila is the Community Manager at Everyday Health.