Want to drop some pounds but have know clue where to start when it comes to planning and prepping for weight loss?
You know they say getting started on something is the hardest part. Taking on a new healthy lifestyle, fitness journey, diet, whatever you want to call it can be overwhelming. Especially if you’re new to the scene. A lot of people think there’s too much involved or it’s too difficult, but it doesn’t have to be.
It’s not that people don’t know what they have to do, eat healthy and exercise, it’s just that many people don’t know how to go about it. Because if your plan is going to work, you need a plan. You need a plan to plan a plan. Ok, that one was a joke.
*downloads thesaurus app*
You know you should eat more fruits and vegetables and get some exercise, but what else should you do? What can you do to stay on track? It’s one of those simple but not easy tasks, know what I mean?
Just get started and things will fall into place.
Success will be inevitable if you never give up.
Write down your goals. Don’t just write your goal weight or how you want to look, go deeper than that. Write how you want to feel, and how you want to see yourself.
What are your reasons for getting healthy?
Of course you want to look and feel better, but what else? Do you want to train for a marathon, enter a powerlifting competition, or just get stronger?
Your reasons and goals may change as you do, so leave some space to add some more. Who knows, you may fall in love with fitness, and strive to become a personal trainer!
Whatever your goals and reasons are, make sure you are doing this for yourself and only yourself. If you are only doing it to please others you are less likely to succeed.
Write down your current stats and measurements.
Measure your waist (your smallest point in your abdomen), hips (your widest point around the butt and hip bones), arms (the largest point in your upper arms), thighs (the thickest part), and calves (the thickest part).
Take before pictures.
Most people dread this part. I know I did. But just do it anyway, you’ll be glad you did. Take photos from all angles, front, back, left, and right sides. Wear something that will totally be obvious that you’ve been working hard the next time you take progress pictures.
Make a plan.
Decide what you will be eating, find a meal plan that you can be happy with, or create one yourself.
Don’t overwhelm yourself by doing a complete 180. There are so many tasty, healthy options out there and you may be excited to try many new things. But don’t try to prep 20 meals at once using recipes you’ve never used before. You’ll just get frustrated and not want to meal prep ever again.
Cook what you like. Don’t make yourself eat foods you hate and dread eating.
I hate fish, so why would I ever eat it? I know it’s healthy, but there are other healthy choices I could have instead and actually enjoy.
Try new things! If you’re a million times sure you don’t like something, fine, don’t eat it. But you should try new things you’re not so sure about or foods that you’ve never had much before. You may end up loving it and want to have it every week!
Decide how you will exercise. Go check out some gyms, ask questions, make sure the gym is the right fit for you before you join. If you’d rather work out at home, plan a time that you can exercise without interruptions. Go to a quiet place where you have enough room to move around and lock the dang door.
Find a fitness plan you think you’ll stick with. Whether it be weight lifting at the gym, going for a run in the park, or doing fitness videos on YouTube, find something you enjoy.
Again, try new things. I really never thought I would love lifting weights as much as I do now.
I’ve always wanted to start running. I pictured myself on a run, in the zone. I imagined it would be my favorite workout. Well, I tried it. I cannot tell you how much I HATE running. Okay, I will run or maybe lightly jog occasionally (in intervals!), because um, cardio. I learned what I like and what I don’t like through experimenting. You never know until you try!
This is fun for some people and hell for others. I love shopping, but not so much for groceries. But it needs to be done, so I make my list and buy what’s on it.
Stick to your list! You made the list for a reason, stay on plan (and on budget) by not making the trek down the cookie aisle please. That is, unless cookies are on your list and you plan on having a couple for your weekly treat. If that’s the case, more power to you because there’s no way I could have treats in the kitchen and not eat them until it was time. Good for you!
The outer perimeter of the grocery store is where most healthy items are typically located. Fruits, veggies, meats, dairy, etc. Some healthy staples, like canned beans or other vegetables, rice, and oatmeal are located in the center.. And I’m speaking as if you don’t know how to navigate through a grocery store….
Let’s move on.
Get the hang of tracking.
It’s a good idea to start tracking your food even before you begin your diet. This way, you will see what you’ve really been eating. It’s one thing to eat 3 slices of pizza, but when you have to plug it into your food diary it’s actually painful to see. I cringed at all the crap I ate when I logged it into MyFitnessPal. The calories I consumed in a day were embarrassing.
Just track how you are currently eating for a couple of days, it may sting a little, but it will open your eyes and make you rethink an unhealthy choice in the future.
I am a regular user of MyFitnessPal, but there are tons of other tracking apps you can check out, like MyPlate or LoseIt.
You can also use a good old fashioned pen and paper if it tickles your fancy.
Plan out your week.
Don’t just fly by the seat of your pants. Plan out what you’re going to be doing each week.
Get a day planner and write down your meals and fitness routines for the week.
Hang it up on the fridge or on your bedroom mirror. Having it in writing and seeing it everyday will help you to not forget what you’ll be doing in the gym that day. Because I’ve forgotten many times.
Don’t be like me. I was wandering around the gym like a lost puppy because I didn’t make a plan. I was trying to guess what exercise I should do next and boy did I look dumb.
Writing down all of your meals and snacks in advance will help you stay on track. Planning ahead takes all the guesswork out of what you should be doing.
You’ll know where you stand on your caloric and macronutrient intake for the day.
This also helps that bag of potato chips look a little less tempting.
Ready to get going? Check out these tips on losing weight for beginners!
So now you know how to get started there should be no excuses on what’s holding you back. If you take these five tips and make them regular habits then you will succeed in reaching your goals. What is the one thing that you will take with you throughout your journey?