We all want to lose weight now, but if you don’t want to see those pounds again, slow is the way to go. No wedding, reunion or any other “fit into it by Friday” occasion should tempt you to take drastic weight-loss measures. Why? When you lose more than one or two pounds a week, you’re not losing body fat (you’re losing muscle and water). Muscle burns fat, so the less muscle you have, the fewer calories you’ll burn. Eventually your metabolism will slow down to the point that you’ll have to continually eat less to lose weight. Sound familiar? In the weight-loss race, the turtles are the winners every time.
Want a guarantee that you’ll lose weight? Don’t we all. But that doesn’t exist. The next best thing is planning ahead. Think of it as insurance that covers you no matter what happens. Didn’t know you were going to be stuck at work so long? If your desk drawer has a couple of back-up emergency snacks, you wouldn’t have to make a dash to the nearest food joint. When you think ahead– whether it’s what you’re having for lunch or when you’ll workout–you set yourself up for success. A little planning goes a long way. We think it’s so important that we’ve devoted a whole section to planning ahead. (See: How To Lose Weight Fast)
Learn from the Past
Most of us have tried to lose weight at some point in our life. Think about what worked for you and what didn’t; that way history won’t repeat itself. Did counting calories drive you crazy? Maybe a program that offers pre-packaged foods would work for you.
Set Small Goals
Forget those New Year’s Eve-type weight-loss goals. You’ll get there – you just need to start small. You may want to lose 30 pounds, but you’re far more likely to get there if you set a smaller goal (say five pounds) first.
Make Changes You Can Live With
Whatever weight loss and exercise program you choose, it should be one that fits into your life. If you feel deprived, bored or stuck in a rut, it’s probably time to make a change. Skip that step class and give yoga a try. Swap that tired mid-morning snack for something new. If you’re happy, you’ll stick with it, and that is the true key to weight loss.
What worked for your best friend’s sister may not work for you. And what works for you may not work six months from now. You need to decide what’s right for you. Exercising in the morning may work for early risers. But if you know you need some extra sleep, hitting the gym later in the day may be the only way you’ll get there.
Do It for Yourself
Weight loss will be temporary if you do it for anyone but you. As long as someone else is pushing you, no matter what you do, or what method you try, it won’t stick.