You want to lose weight? You need a plan. Flying free and easy can be fun for summer afternoons with friends—but changing your life by shedding fat and inches requires a winning strategy. Here are 5 steps to create that winning weight loss plan:
2. Set can-do goals. The best path for success involves setting reasonable goals, and that’s especially true if you have lots of weight to drop. Instead of panicking (“Holy cow, I need to lose 50 pounds!!), commit to losing 1-2 pounds a week for the next month. Once you reach that goal, establish a goal for the next month. To learn more about figuring out calorie counts for weight loss, check out 2 Ways to Calculate How Many Calories You Need.
3. Break a sweat. Healthy bodies don’t just happen. Regular exercise is a must-have for losing weight. Plan for moderate to intense exercise at least 2-3 times a week. Try our easy-to-follow 12-week program The Total Body Transformation—it shows you exercises you can do at home or in the gym so you can start feeling stronger faster.
No matter what activity you choose, make sure it’s one you enjoy. When you like what you do, it will seem less like a chore. If you prefer yoga to more traditional squats and crunches, try this Power Yoga Workout. Do you like to keep calm and run on? Check out this Fartlek Training Workout to increase speed and endurance—it’s a training method used by some of our U.S. Army troops!
4. Develop a healthy food plan. So much of successful weight loss happens in the kitchen when we choose what to put into our mouth. Busy lifestyles make it too easy to fall into the trap of sodium- and sugar-laden processed foods. Clean out the junk and choose a clean eating lifestyle that focuses on fresh foods, whole grains, lean proteins, and healthy fats.
Here’s how painless this step can be: begin by making over one meal each day so it’s more nourishing. For example, start by switching up your lunches. Try these 6 Lunches to Look Forward To. Or jumpstart weight loss by trading sugary boxed cereals for these 7 Yummy & Healthy Breakfasts. Commit to the change for at least two weeks or a month. Once you get into the new-and-improved habit, makeover another meal.
5. Keep tabs on yourself. Help win the weight battle by keeping track of your progress. It can be as simple as keeping an eating journal to stay on top of what’s going in your mouth, or keeping a fitness journal. No matter how you do it, taking time to write down your actions and review them will give you a better sense of what’s producing success—and what’s producing setbacks. Read The Benefits of Keeping a Food Journal or get started with the SkinnyMs. 30 Day Fitness Journal Challenge.
Now get out there and take the steps you need to create a weight loss plan.