10 Requirements for a Weight Loss Journey
Weight loss can be compared to a Journey and if you are like me, every trip is an exciting one. Going on a journey gets me excited, words like adventure comes to mind but in all the excitement, you have to prepare for the journey.
Questions like, what would I need, how far am I travelling or how long is this going to be? The clothes I will put on, food to eat and how long it will take me to get there are things one will consider before starting a journey.
Weight loss is the same.
These are the requirements for a weight loss journey
Decision – making is a process that brings about the selection of a course of action among many alternatives and this is the most important or significant requirement for a weight loss journey. At this point the doctor has probably told you to lose weight on medical grounds. Or you realize clothes no longer fit as well as they used. Maybe, the class reunion/wedding/summer is coming up and you just must look good. At this point if you feel the need to lose weight.
Then, you have to make up your mind if this is a journey you are willing to make.
According to an official publication by Umass Dartmouth decision -making is a 7 step process:
Step 1: Identify the decision
Acknowledging that you have a decision to make, whether to lose weight or continue to be overweight.
Step 2: Gather relevant information
Research and put together all the information you would need to help you decide. You’ll need to look both inward and outward. Inward as per self-assessment, is this a project I am ready to undertake, do I have the time and resources for this? Outward, talking to people that have lost some weight, on the internet, also books and magazines
Step 3: Identify the alternatives
During your research you’ll realize several routes and methods towards weight loss. For instance, Surgery, several types of diets, different forms of exercises.
Step 4: Weigh the evidence
Based on your discovery, this is the time to sit down and weigh the alternatives you have. Some might seem so complicated while others may look and feel like what you can totally do with your resources and time available.
Step 5: Choose among alternatives
Time now to choose the alternative that best suits you which might probably be the one favored in the previous step.
Step 6: Take action
Implement your preferred alternative.
Step 7: Review your decision & its consequences
Now, you have taken a decision, do you think you can go through with it? If not, you’ll need to gather more information and alternatives. Re-strategize and take action.
2. A GOOD REASON:
Your reason is your motivation period. Where there is no reason, nothing substantial can be achieved. People lose weight for different reasons.
- Health : Most people are on this journey to bring their BMI to acceptable levels. Obesity statistics as at 2016 states that 39% of people 18 years and above are overweight. That is huge. According to doctors, certain chronic illness can be avoided if the BMI is at acceptable levels.
- Fitness : The ability to perform everyday activities with ease and minimal discomfort. Energy to climb stairs, run errands, take part in sporting activities and generally be an active Mom, wife, professional and “babe” that you are.
- Appearance: People want to look and feel great. There is no denying that weight loss brings out the best features of our body. The waistline, jawline, shoulders, hips, thighs and the back area. This brings about a better fit of clothes.
- An Event: For instance, a wedding, reunion, holiday, etc
So, what is your reason and why ave you chosen to take this journey?
3. SEE THE PHYSICIAN:
You would be wondering why?
No sane person would embark on a road trip without first taking the vehicle to be used to the garage/mechanic for servicing and maintenance. A number of things could be wrong with the vehicle which could become a major problem during the trip or perhaps even make the trip a fatal one.
Your body is the vehicle and your physician the mechanic.
It’s imperative you do this. In fact, DO NOT START WITHOUT YOUR PHYSICIANS APPROVAL.
4. KNOW YOUR BMI:
BMI stands for Body Mass Index
Why do you need the numbers?:
- The BMI lets you know where you are on the obesity scale and how much weight you need to lose to be healthy. The diagram above explains it better. You goal is a BMI of 18.5 to 25.
- How to know your BMI: There is a free online tool. Click here
5.KNOW THE MATHEMATICS OF WEIGHT LOSS
Fear not! I know most of us want to have nothing to do with mathematics. Actually, to successfully lose weight, you have to understand the science involved.
Energy in food calculated in calories and some food items contain more calories than others. For example 1 Apple contains about 60 calories, 1 slice of bread 75 calories and 1 cup of cooked rice 205. So you see all foods are not created equally.
A pound of fat is 3500 calories.
If you are to lose 1 pound of fat per week, there has to be a calorie deficit of 3500 within the week. You can achieve this by either reducing your food intake by 500 calories per day multiplied by 7 (3500). Or by burning off 500 calories per day through exercises. Just like food, various exercises burn fat differently. For instance, 30 minutes of brisk walking burns ,while 30 minutes of swimming burns .
But, it’s really not as straightforward as that. People lose weight at different rates based on their BMR – Basal Metabolic Rate.
To determine your BMR, use this free tool.
Based on your BMI and BMR , you can determine what to eat and how much exercise to perform to lose weight at different rates. The safest rate though is at 1-2 pounds a week.
6. GET A COACH:
Imagine you just received a letter informing you of a maternal great-grand uncle who is late and left you a million dollars as part of his will. The only clause is that the key to the cash vault is in a box on a mountain top. And the key has to be picked only by you in person, no representatives. Meanwhile, you’ve never climbed a mountain, in fact the closest you came to a mountain was on the National Geographic. What would you do?
- A. Forget it – He was a very stingy man anyway.
- B. Climb the mountain with other tourists hoping to get to the top.
- C. Get a guide who knows the route to the top has gone there severally and also taken others as well.
- D.Enlist a group of friends, chose a weekend and have fun while achieving your goal.
Of course, the million dollars is your weight loss dream and the mountain top is the destination. What would it be for you? A is definitely not an option at this point, remember a decision has been made. B is the DIY – better than nothing. C is great if you can afford a personal trainer. D is perfect, join a team or group of people who want to lose weight and
That’s exactly the path I’m on. Here at theweightlossmama.com we bring women together so as to encourage, empower, inspire and be accountable to each other in our pursuit of a healthy weight. Please join us, let’s lose weight together while having fun. It’s FREE!
7. SET SMART GOALS:
For weight loss to happen, you just have to sit back and set some serious goals. Your BMI will help determine your ideal weight. (Look at the BMI chart above). The weight loss goal has to be a SMART one.
- S-Specific : It has to be a number period! You can’t be setting a goal of ‘trimming down’ or ‘shedding some weight’. It has to be a figure, which gives you a clear cut picture and definite figure of where you are headed.
- M-Measurable: The weight loss goal has to be one that can be measured either in pounds or kilograms using preferably a digital scale.
- A-Achievable: Setting a goal to lose 20kg in a week is next to impossible, with such goals, you can get easily discouraged. A feasible, achievable and sustainable weight loss should be one that can be adopted as a lifestyle hence it shouldn’t be extreme. The experts recommend a weight loss rate of 1-2 pounds per week.
- R-Reward oriented: Set up a reward/punishment system for yourself. A reward for meeting your daily goal, a different one for the weekly, monthly and the ultimate or ideal weight. And of course punishment for not meeting up with you daily activity, weekly targets etc. I’ll be doing a post ASAP on this topic, so watch out for it. You need to keep a detailed record to give clarity to your journey and evidence for your reward/punishment.
- T-Time bound: It is definitely not alright to set a specific, measurable, achievable and reward oriented goal of achievable when able. Nah, it would not give you that sense of urgency required to succeed. Your journey has to have a destination. Make it as detailed as possible.
8. GET ORGANISED:
You need to get organized in the following areas:-
- Food – Plan you meals using MyFitnessPal to achieve your daily calorie requirements.
- Water – Drink a minimum of 8 glasses or 250 ml a day.
- Exercise routine – Choose an exercise regimen.
- Create time for exercise.
- Gather your tools – Digital scale, Measuring tape, Planner.
9. GET A BUDDY:
Enlist a friend or two, the Bible says only you can chase a thousand but two would chase ten thousand! That’s incredible, ordinarily you would think two would chase two thousand. That is the power of synergy.
You can ask each other questions, share your challenges, inspire and motivate one another. Most importantly, never allow each other to fail.
That’s what we do at our exclusive invite only group The Weight Loss Mamas. If you would want to join the group here is your invitation
10. STAY MOTIVATED:
- Know your “why” . This is the reason you’re doing this, what you have to achieve. Finally fitting into that dress, living a long healthier life with your loved ones free from chronic illnesses, energy to live life to the fullest, etc.
- Weigh yourself daily on a digital scale. Tiny victories give you a lift for the day and tiny losses help you track and identify what went wrong, which can quickly put you back on track.
- Keep track of your progress. Print out the recording system here.
- Stay in touch with the group. Join our team here
- Write and read an affirmation daily. An affirmation according to the dictionary “ is the act of confirming something to be true, or is a written or oral statement that confirms something is true.” It can also be a solemn oath made to oneself. Read more at http://www.yourdictionary.com/affirmation#QYjSRyv9ZLYjVdIL.99
- If you don’t have any, print out mine here. Customize and read it every morning and night.
After all said, according to NIKE – Just do it!
Those are the 10 requirements for a weight loss journey.
What would you add or take away from the list?
I’m on this journey.
Join me, let’s have fun while we slay fat.
GET STARTED NOW – let’s lose weight together .
Dartmouth, University of Massachusetts. “Decision-Making Process.” Decision-Making Process – UMass Dartmouth, www.umassd.edu/fycm/decisionmaking/process/.
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