8 Tips to Stay on Track with Weight Loss
You’ve made a commitment to yourself to eat well, move more and improve your health. Good for you! It can be a big step to take, and can feel challenging, but sticking to your intentions and staying on track with weight loss can be easier with a few simple strategies and tips.
While wearable devices like Fitbit or Jawbone UP can be helpful (and they sync to your PlateJoy account!), sometimes the simplest ideas – and most obvious answers – are the ones that will do the trick. Keep on top of your goals and become your healthiest self yet with these diet-agnostic ideas.
8 Tips on How to Stay Commited to Diet and Exercise
Feeling lost on how to stay committed to a diet? Here are eight methods to help you stay on track with your weight loss for good.
1. Track Your Food
The simple act of logging your food is a valuable step in the weight loss journey. You may think you’re eating less than you are, or eating more cleanly than you are, but being able to see the reality of the situation on paper is a whole other story.
Whether you use a notebook, a spreadsheet, or an app in your phone, commit to tracking everything that comes into your body for a short period of time (i.e. two weeks). Note meals, types of food and a rough quantity. More importantly, note how each meal left you feeling. You’ll naturally start moving towards foods that make you feel good, which are more likely to be the foods you should be eating to stay on track with your weight loss. To see how balanced your meals are, use a highlighter to categorize veggies, protein, carbs and fats. Notice a color is underrepresented? Commit to adding more of it at your next meal.
2. Find a Buddy
A friend, family member or health coach like a registered dietitian or personal trainer who can provide non-judgmental support can be an excellent asset in your weight loss journey. They might be willing to read your food journal, or go out to eat at places with healthy options to help support your goals.
3. Shop Smarter
Having nourishing, healthy options available at home will help you to stay on track with your personalized nutrition plan . The biggest hurdle to cooking at home is having the right food items in your kitchen. When your kitchen is full of great options, you’ll be more likely to whip up healthy versions of your favorite meals. Do you find it hard to shop for the best foods? Try PlateJoy’s shopping lists. These easy-to-use lists set you up for success at the grocery store, and can be linked with online delivery.
4. Identify the Habits That Work for You
Do you have certain habits throughout your day that are impossible to forget? Brushing teeth and checking email come to mind. They generally happen at the same time each day, and you have the tools available to execute them (a toothbrush, toothpaste, your phone, a charger). The same things that make these habits easy to do can help you stay on track with your weight loss, too. Notice what time of day you can consistently make room for exercise and stick to it. Stock the fridge. Have recipes or a meal plan at the ready. Schedule your time and plan activities that aren’t conducive to mindless snacking. Every little thing adds up, but it’s about making sure each individual habit is easy, accessible and enjoyable for you.
Did you know that we often mistake thirst for hunger? Staying hydrated will help your brain feel more satisfied and you’ll be less likely to reach for a cookie when what you actually need is water. Invest in a reusable water bottle and try to remember to drink water throughout the day from the moment you get up until you go to bed, adding additional fluids for exercise. How much water should you be drinking each day? The general recommendation is stick to the 8x8 rule: that's eight 8-ounce glasses of water per day.
6. Have a Non-Weight Loss Goal
What are the main drivers for you to lose or maintain your weight? Focus less on the number on the scale and instead on a feeling that’s important to you. How do you want your body to feel? How do you want to move through your life? What does this weight loss mean for your long-term health? Entertaining a bigger-picture perspective than “I want to be a size X” can last longer and help motivate you to stay on track with your weight loss goals.
7. Allow for Indulgence
We can only go without eating, or without eating certain things we love, for so long. Budget for treats throughout the week or month – whatever seems reasonable to you – so you can stick to your clean eating intentions without going totally crazy. You may find over time that the foods that used to taste delicious might begin to taste too sweet, or too salty. This is a great opportunity to explore healthy modifications to your favorite treats, which may also help you stay on track with weight loss.
8. Be Reasonable with Your Goals (and With Yourself)
Avoid setting goals that are too aggressive or unrealistic. If you try to lose ten pounds in a week, you will be disappointed and demotivated when that doesn’t pan out. Set small goals and milestones along the way to your larger goal. Celebrate your successes as they happen. Allow space for flexibility and forgiveness and commit to doing the best you can every day.
When thinking about your weight loss goals, think about the SMART method. We've included examples to help you formulate your SMART goals.
Specific: I want to lose 5 pounds by the first day of summer.
Measurable: Measuring weight loss, body fat percentage, BMI change, waist size.
Actionable: What specific steps are you going to take to reach your goals?
Realistic: Set a realistic expectations.
Timely: When do you want to hit your goal?
By creating SMART weight loss goals, you’ll be more likely to stay on track and feel motivated by your progress.
While planning healthy meals and exercising are the first things we think about when pursuing our weight loss goals, there are many other tips and tricks to help you stay on track with weight loss. Make sure you’re fueling your body with nourishing foods, drinking enough water, and shopping for healthy groceries that make it easier to whip up a nutritious meal at home. In addition, you might benefit from finding an accountability buddy, having a non-physical goal in mind, and giving yourself a cheat meal here and there.
These tips will help you stay on track with your weight loss goals so you can continue to pursue the healthiest, happiest version of yourself.