You've tried everything related to how to lose weight, and nothing seems to work! Your old Tae-Bo videos are gathering dust in the closet....your South Beach Diet bars have gone stale years ago, forgotten in the back of the pantry... the stairmaster you paid big money for has become nothing more than a glorified coat rack...etc.
Tired of making plans to lose weight and not being able to follow through? Well, enough is enough already! It's time to make a commitment, and stick to it. Follow the five steps on how to lose weight outlined below, and you'll be on your way to shedding those pounds...for good!
Step #1 - Make a Plan
A house is only as solid as the foundation its built around. Similarly, the best way to effectively lose weight is by constructing a solid weight loss plan.
- First, write down your overall goal -- including how many pounds you want to lose (or your target weight), and why you want to lose them. For example, "I want to lose 20 pounds because I'll look better, have more energy, and be a better tennis player". Place this goal in a prominent place, like on your bulletin board or fridge, and it will be a constant reminder for what you want to achieve.
- Next, write out mini-goals for each week or each month. It's much easier to break a large goal down into several smaller, mini-goals. For instance, it's much less daunting to lose 1 or 2 pounds a week than it is to "lose 20 pounds".
- Once you set your mini goals, create specific steps you will take in order to hit them. For instance, "In order to lose 6 pounds/per month, I'm going to bike 5 miles every other day, I'm going to eat healthy 6 days/week, etc" (more details on this later).
Feel free to break down these mini goals and steps as much as you want. The more the merrier. You can even get a daily planner and write down what time you're going to exercise and what you're going to eat for each day of the week.
Step #2 - Choose an Accountability Partner
It's much easier to stick to your weight loss plan if you have an accountability partner. Find a close friend or familiy member that is willing to meet with you once a week, or once every other week. This person will review your weekly or monthly goals with you, and make sure you're staying on track. If something isn't working, your accountability partner can help you figure out how to fix it. If you're not motivated, this person will motivate you. A great way to stay motivated is to give your accountability partner a certain amount of money. When you meet each weekly/monthly goal, your accountability partner then gives you a certain amount of this money back. no goal = no money. Finally, just the fact that you know you have someone to report to will be a significant motivating factor in itself.
Step #3 - Eat Healthy
The way you eat should be part of your weight loss plan. I won't go into too much detail here -- there are plenty of other articles on 3fatchicks.com that give excellent dietary recommendations.
Not only should you be eating healthy food, but you should be eating more meals of smaller portions. Also, you should eat more food in the beginning of the day, and less food later in the day. You'll burn more of the calories off from the food you eat early on.
Step #4 - Get Regular Cardio
Exercise should be the other main part of your weight loss plan. Routine cardio workouts should be the first order of business. Whether you want to do the same type of exercise or mix it up sporadically, that's totally up to you. Whatever you choose, make sure to gradually increase the intensity and/or length of the exercise as you become more experienced.
Step #5 - Add Other Types of Exercise
After you've become accustomed to habitual cardio exercise, begin to integrate other forms of exercise into your schedule. Other forms include:
- weight training
- body weight exercises like push ups
- core workouts such as pilates
- exercises like leg raises to blast your midsection and lower back
Whatever kinds of exercises you choose, make sure that you do them on a regular basis and that you gradually increase the intensity every week or so. Target as many different areas of your body as possible. This additional exercise will serve two purposes -- it will burn extra calories AND tone and tighten up your body, transforming fat into lean, mean muscle!
The time to take action is now. Good luck, you can do it!!