If you are not losing weight successfully, there may be reasons why you are not meeting goals as you anticipated. The assumptions you have about what it takes to lose weight may not be accurate. The key is to pay close attention to your actions and create a successful environment for yourself.
Pay attention to the calories you consume.
- Portion sizes per serving are deceptive, especially with packaged foods and in restaurants. Buy a food scale and read labels to know the amount of calories you’re actually eating.
- Find out how many calories you need per day based on how much weight you want to lose and how many calories you burn per day. MyPyramid.gov is a good resource to help you determine this amount.
- Use a notebook or online journal to track what you are eating. Be sure to note the portion amount and calories for each food you consume. All BLT’s (bites, licks and tastes) count!
Pay attention to the calories you burn.
- A thirty-minute walk does not equal a night of binging on pizza and beer. This may surprise you: If you walk at a pace of 3.0 mph (20-minute mile) and weigh 150 pounds, you will burn about 120 calories in thirty minutes.
- Use a heart rate monitor to help you assess how many calories you are burning during your workouts.
- You need to burn 3,500 calories more than you consume per week if you want to lose an average of one pound per week.
- To burn calories, try both strength training and cardiovascular workouts. Cardio workouts will burn calories as you are doing the activity. Strength training builds muscle, which burns more calories than fat, even when you are resting.
- Give yourself a frame of reference to help measure your success. You can do this by weighing on the scale daily or weekly. Or, you can take body measurements to track inches lost. Be sure to record your progress.
- Find someone to keep you accountable. If you are craving a brownie, give this person a call and let them talk you out of eating it! Ask your friend to be a reminder of the goals you have set. During weak moments, support can be extremely valuable.
- Remember, what you eat in private always shows in public. Be true to yourself and be true to your goals. If your caloric intake is over budget or if your weight goes up for a week, so what? Consider this information feedback to help you get to your goals over time. Progress, not perfection, will help you meet and sustain your weight loss goals.