Although everyone is different, when they are starting a weight loss journey, there are some commonalities between people who are successful and those who are not. Starting and sticking to a weight loss program requires certain factors to increase your chances of success.
Accountability can come in many forms. It is important to be accountable for what you eat and the amount of calories you burn to realize what you are doing that might be sabotaging your goals. A major source of accountability is documenting your food intake. The easiest way to do this is to use apps, especially ones that have an extensive food library so you can simply scan the barcode to document the amount of calories you are eating. Part of accountability also comes from weighing or measuring your food. It is easy to overeat when you do not have an accurate account of how much food you are eating. Most people are surprised at how small a serving is or how many calories are in a small amount of some foods. You should also weigh yourself regularly, regardless of whether you are actively trying to lose weight or not. Many people's weight spirals out of control because they avoid looking at the scale for months or even years. Accountability is simply about being honest with yourself, both the good and bad.
Prioritize A Reasonable Diet
The foundation of any weight loss program is developing healthy eating habits. It is not only important to eat high-quality foods, but you also need to learn moderation for foods that are considered unhealthy. People who go on strict weight loss plans that eliminate food groups or treats are generally setting themselves up for failure. The idea of eating extremely low calorie or not having carbs or sweets to lose weight sounds good in the beginning, but even if you reached your weight loss goals, you will likely hit a wall when you realize you would have to eliminate these foods indefinitely to maintain your weight loss. Working with a nutritionist or another expert can help you establish the amount of calories you should eat each day to lose weight.
Many people find it is unnecessary to eliminate macronutrients, such as carbs, because if they focus on their calories, the macronutrient ratios do not matter as much. For example, potatoes are often considered a bad food because they are starchy. However, you can eat a large potato for not many calories and it will make you feel full. Weight loss plans that place too much emphasis on exercise are rarely helpful, especially in the beginning. Although exercise is important for overall health and can assist your weight loss efforts, it is difficult to burn enough calories through exercise to counteract a bad diet. If you are not accustomed to exercise, focus on your diet and ease in to an exercise program.
Most people need support to help them lose weight and maintain their loss. If you do not have family or friends for moral support, consider joining an online weight loss community. Do not confuse support from others with using them as a source of blame if you are not losing weight. Although it is nice if everyone in the household changes their diet, it is ultimately your choice what you eat and how much you eat. Of course someone else eating an unhealthy food can be tempting, but there will always be temptation and you have to learn to resist it. Similarly, some people like to have an exercise partner, but depending on an exercise partner can become a source of blame if the person stops exercising with you. Regardless of whether you have support or not, it is critical to learn to be self-motivating for any long-term success with weight loss and maintenance.
Diet and exercise is only part of the weight loss battle. Many aspects of weight loss and maintenance are mental and require you to be self-motivating and accountable for your behaviors.
For more information about weight loss programs, contact a nutrition specialist near you.