If you are new to the 52 Weeks to Healthier Weight Loss Habits Series you can view the previous weeks here.
Yes some would call me a slacker – some might say I take on too much – and some might say I am not organizing my time effectively. And you know what I would say? You’re all correct!
I have not wrote a healthier weight loss habit post since week 8 back in February. Basically, I found myself totally unorganized and overwhelmed with work. Because I couldn’t get it together I gave myself permission to be a slacker.
I really did not think anyone would notice but some of you did notice and even asked me about it. You held me accountable! Just those couple of comments on Facebook and along with the few emails I received was all I needed to recharge and get motivated again. Thank you!
This part of the series is going to cover weeks 9 – 12 so next week we will be right back on track.
Let’s get right to it, shall we?
Healthier Weight Loss Habit #9: Find a tangible way to hold yourself accountable.
I don’t expect every person to start a blog, or grow a large facebook community, because that is a lot of work. But I will say that having this blog and community really keeps me accountable to my weight loss goals.
Knowing that there are people expecting and counting on me to post about my experiences every week has done wonders with keeping me focused. Honestly, without all of you, I easily would have found myself slipping back into bad habits a long time ago.
As I said, starting a blog and/or facebook page is not for everyone but there are other ways you can hold yourself accountable.
Here are some other things you can do (and I still do) to keep yourself in check:
- Get on the scale every week and write out your progress. I use My Fitness Pal to track my weight loss on the computer but I also find that writing it somewhere visible helps as well. This way it right there in my face to see everyday.
- Post your progress weekly or biweekly on your personal facebook. Before SMK this is how I originally started. I loved the support and encouragement I got from my friends. It really boosted my motivation. Most likely you will find many people that are ready to jump in with you.
- Get a weight loss buddy. If posting weight loss status updates on Facebook is to public for you then find a weight loss buddy that you can report to. Weight loss buddies can be helpful when you need that extra encouragement or motivation.
This list is by no means exhaustive. These are just a few of the ways I have personally held myself accountable as I progressed through my weight loss. By holding yourself accountable you will be able to recognize when you are struggling and more importantly when your weight loss strategies are working.
Healthier Weight Loss Habit #10: Set realistic goals
A month before your 20 year high school reunion is not the time to decide to drop 40 lbs. You are setting yourself up for failure with that situation. Sustainable weight loss is a process that takes time. Crash diets never work and always make you feel worse than before you started.
Set realistic goals my friends. The weight did not come on overnight and it certainly will not go away that quick either. I know we all want instant gratification but healthy sustainable weight loss does not work that way.
Realistic weight loss goals are ones that acknowledged the overall weight loss goal; but more importantly breaks down the overall goal into manageable smaller goals. These small goals can then be broken down even further into measurable action steps that you can hold yourself accountable to.
Make sense? Let me give an example.
Right now I weigh 147 lbs. My goal is to weigh 125 by June 1st. This means my ultimate weight loss goal, at this point, is to lose 22 lbs. When I see 22 lbs I get overwhelmed because that just seems like a lot to me. However, June 1st is 10 weeks away. This means to reach my goal I need to lose 2 lbs a week which is a little tough but still achievable. Okay, now it is about losing 2 lbs a week instead of a large looming number. I know to lose 2 lbs a week I need to eat about 1400 calories a day and work our 3-4 times a week. That is realistic.
Losing any more that 2 lbs a week starts to enter the unrealistic goal territory. Creating healthy habits that in turn will support your weight loss efforts should seamlessly fit into your everyday life. It should never include starvation, deprivation, diet pills, or any other drastic measures that will ending causing more damage than good. Make healthy changes gradually that you can stick with and soon your body will thank you.
Healthier Weight Loss Habit #11: Don’t eat after 7:00pm
Many of my readers have asked me how I keep from snacking late at night – I have trained myself to stop eating after 7:00pm. In the past, after the kids went to bed, I would head downstairs and plop down on the couch with popcorn or ice cream (sometimes both) and veg out to latest mind numbing reality show. Don’t judge When I did an overhaul of my food intake I found that I was consuming 500 – 600 calories at night just in snacks.
Obviously, that was a major contributing factor to my weight gain (along with my cafe mochas). I decided then to not eat after 7:00pm and if I “needed” a snack it would be no more than 100 calories. Therefore, for snacks I either have a 100 calorie bag of popcorn or 100 calorie Skinny Cow ice cream dessert – both curb my snack cravings quite nice.
If I find myself really craving food after 7:00pm I will go upstairs and blog or if possible go to sleep. Basically, I try to stay as far away from the kitchen as possible.
This tip might not be for everyone but it has been something that I have consistently done to keep my daily calories under control.
Healthier Weight Loss Habit #12: Exercise without knowing it
A few weeks ago I talked about prioritizing exercise. If you are anything like me, many of you might still be having a hard time getting in a sweat. I don’t know why but exercise and me are just not good friends. We are kind of like frenemies. I can think of a million other things I would rather do that get on my treadmill or do situps – even though I know it is good for me.
Anyway, I know exercise is important, so I decided to figure out ways I can trick myself into working out. Some of these tips you may recognize from my weight loss action plan I list out with my menu plan every week or so.
It not groundbreaking but this is what I came up with.
- Park my car farther away than usual. I don’t get to crazy but on nice days I try to make myself walk a little more than I normally would from the parking lot to my office.
- Take a quick 15-20 minute walk during my lunch break or after work.
- Turn on Kidz Bop (ahhhh) and dance with my kids for ½ hour.
- Take the stairs at work or wherever I am.
- Clean my house instead of sitting to watch TV. Once I sit down I am toast so I have been trying to focus on cleaning instead of sitting. I look at this as win win for everyone.
- If I am watching TV do some situps and squats during some of the commercials.
I know this does not take the place of a good old fashion fat burning workout but it is better than nothing and at least it gets me moving instead of sitting. I would love to hear of other ways you trick yourself into working out.
Each week, as part of the 52 Weeks to Healthier Weight Loss Habits Series, I will be providing you with action steps you can take right now to adapt this habit into your lifestyle.
- Create a plan to hold yourself accountable weekly.
- Write out your ultimate weight loss goal and then break it down to create a realistic plan to lose the weight. Make sure it is measurable.
- Try not to eat after 7:00pm 0r 2 hours before bedtime.
If you choose to do the action steps today, or previous weeks, please come back and leave a comment telling us about your experience. If you are a blogger leave a link if you are talking about this on your blog (please link back to the post/series) or if you have any comments or tips to offer please do so. We are all here to support and learn from one another.