Losing weight can sound simpler than it is. In theory, it’s just a matter of burning more calories than you take in. But anyone who’s tried to shed pounds knows that reality can work against us. We feel too tired to work out or too busy to plan ahead for healthy meals. But you can lose weight if you have the strategies to do it. Here’s a 9 step plan for getting to your ideal weight—and staying there:
1. Make a plan
Successful long-term weight loss comes from a combination of nourishing diet and healthy exercise. Outline the specific steps you need to achieve your ideal weight. For example, one specific step might be to walk 30 minutes extra a day.
2. Visualize success
The world’s best athletes envision themselves performing perfect techniques, a strategy that primes their body for success. Do the same by visualizing how you want to look and feel after weight loss. If it helps, post inspirational pics or phrases around the house.
3. Create a positive environment
You probably will need to do some house cleaning to help you on your journey. Dig into the pantry to clean out calorie-filled processed snacks, and free up your fridge from whole milk dairy, processed meats, and other high-calorie food traps.
4. Keep a journal
Building self-awareness is a key weight loss strategy. Keep a food and exercise diary where you can track exactly what you’re doing and when.
5. Learn about proper portions
Don’t sink your quest to be healthy with ginormous portion sizes. One of the smartest steps for getting to your ideal weight is to take a primer on portion sizes.
6. Schedule exercise
From meetings to doctor’s appointments, you already make it a habit to schedule what’s important. Your weight and health are just as important so put exercise on your calendar—and meet that commitment to yourself.
7. Eat mindfully
Each time the you want to eat something, drink a glass of water. Then ask yourself if you’re still hungry. If the answer is “no,” then take the hand out of that bag of nuts and find something else do, whether it’s taking a walk or writing in a journal that you ‘escaped’ mindless eating at 2pm.
8. Get a fat buddy
It can be tough to reach and maintain ideal weight on your own. Team up with a like-minded friend so you can provide support and encouragement to each other.
9. Commit long-term
Maintaining ideal weight can only happen with lifestyle change. All too often, we shed pounds, do a victory dance and dive right back into bad habits. Make this time the time that sticks. Celebrate for a second and continue with the healthy journey.