Lynsey is currently exploring her weight loss journey and enjoys sharing tips and ideas along the way.
We all know that as the seasons change and diets come and go, sickening stories appear such as "4lbs and 2 dress sizes down" or "I lost half my body weight in 3 months" that make you want to pick up the ice cream... I have often read these stories to find the weight loss plight of a size 12 who is now a size 0 thanks to a diet of puréed lettuce leaves and water... when there was nothing "wrong" with them to begin with- not saying that a bit of weight is wrong!!
On the other hand, I will give full attention to someone who has fought from 20 stone to 12 using diet, exercise and willpower.... I will always respect and be inspired by that. This has led me to my conclusion... It is harder for a bigger person to keep motivated and focused on their end goal, when it doesn't seem to compare to the extremes of dieting results shown in many magazines.
When dropping a dress size is more 24lbs than 4, and those 3 month bikini diets do not give you your bikini body, there are a few things you can do to help you stay focused along your weight loss journey.
1- Chart Your Progress
Don't just weigh yourself, because sometimes those numbers won't be heading in the right direction. There are many reasons for this such as: bloating, mother nature's visits, fat turning to muscle or just having an off day. Either way, concentrating purely on the scales will put you off sooner as they aren't an overall view of your progress, and you may get bored.
Instead, keep track of weight as well as taking measurements, tracking Body fat % and keeping an eye on your general fitness levels. Remember, you can be overweight and fit!
A diet or fitness app will help with this- I can recommend the fitbit app if you have the device, or something like myfitnesspal- all available on the app stores. You will be able to chart your progress in many different ways!
Let's face it, no one else will give you a gold star, so remember to reward yourself for your progress rather than dwell on bad days. Positive reinforcement is always a better motivator!
When it comes to your rewards, try to link them to your goals- I award myself a gold star for each pound lost, then get a prize or reward for every 10 stars I get! I always mix the prizes up a bit to ensure I stay on track.
Remember, don't always use food as a reward, as this can create a counter productive behaviour that associates food with reward- definitely not what we want to be doing while trying to lose weight. That being said, you can reward yourself with a chocolate bar or something once in a while!
3- Integrate Exercise
Try to form the habit of exercising by working it into your day to ensure you are burning calories at every opportunity!
Try to get off the bus a stop early, take the stairs, leave the car when going a short journey- there are plenty of way to increase your activity levels. To begin, you may have to set goals each day but over time, you will eventually find these as being the normal routine and form a healthy habit!
Using a pedometer or fitness tracker will help you become more aware of your activity levels through the day, and you can link up with friends on certain devices for some healthy competition.
4- Don't Bore Yourself
We all know that pounding the treadmill for an hour is hardly exciting... Not to mention potentially embarrassing. I still dread going to the gym, with all the gym bunnies surrounding me, as I turn a funny shade of red and sweat profusely while persuading myself the pains I'm feeling are normal. And that in itself can be a massive issue in exercising.
Instead, try to do "fun exercise" such as a walk in the park or a dance class. Perhaps, enlist a fitness buddy and play games such as badminton or tennis- get competitive while burning loads of calories! Also remember that low impact exercise still counts- even shopping burns calories!!
5- Or Just Distract Yourself
Exercise whilst watching TV or listening to music. Anything that will help you "switch off" from the task at hand. Stepper or shake-a-weight devices are perfect for at home workouts that require little attention, therefore can accompany an evening with the TV!
Even enlisting the help of a friend- a walk around the park with some good conversation will distract you from the fact that you are burning calories!
6- Keep A Diary
Keep a food diary in order to be more aware of what you eat. The apps mentioned earlier will also have this function. Be especially aware of of stray calories in drinks- include everything consumed And analyse the results. Is that daily latte the reason for your weight loss plateau?
7- Stay Hydrated
It sounds simple, and you will have heard this loads before but... Drink lots of water! Staying hydrated means your body works at its best, ensuring digestion moves efficiently and bloating is minimised. Drinking water before a meal can also help reduce the portion required to make you feel full. It has also been scientifically proven that soup keeps you fuller for longer as the water is incorporated into the meal!
8- Greenery Is Your Friend
Rabbit food? Noooooooo! I know, I don't enjoy it either. But think of it this way- you can eat as much of it as it takes to make you feel stuffed, for less than 100 calories! Convinced yet?
Eat a bowl of salad before a meal, or as a side dish to reduce intake of other foods, and keep you feeling fuller for longer. Eat carrot sticks or celery while watching TV to reduce the impact of boredom eating.
Also, eating a pice of fruit or fruit salad after meals will help reduce sugar cravings and is a much healthier alternative to most deserts. Try to avoid piling with cream or sugar- eventually you will look forward to your pineapple chunks!
9- Focus On Yourself
Don't compare yourself to others, who have lost X amount in a month. That's not to say that a bit of competition isn't healthy, but try not to dwell on it too much if you don't lose weight at the same rate as other people. Everyone is different, and you may just have to tweak things up a little.
10- Don't Give Up
It will be hard. Especially when your weight loss seems to stop dead, no matter how much effort you put in. This is called a weight loss plateau and is quite normal. To remedy this, you may have to switch things around for a bit and trick your body out of it.
Throughout the process, it will be easy to put yourself down, but try to remember to stay positive. Whether you are losing weight to get healthier, fit into some old clothes, or just to build your confidence levels, remember to keep the end goal in sight.
You may also feel like a failure if you have a "fat day" but fight the urge to give up- you have done brilliantly so far, and you will get there!
© 2014 Lynsey Hart
Lynsey Hart (author) from Lanarkshire on December 20, 2015:
Thanks, Laura. I'm glad my hubs have drawn your attention! Thanks for stopping by, and for your comment. Good luck with getting back on track with HP- I am in the same boat too!
Laura Tykarski from Pittsburgh PA on December 19, 2015:
I really enjoyed this-I am returning here to hub.com after a hiatus of a year and a half-Many of those I've followed in the past are gone and I found it a delight to find someone who wrote about topics I'm interested in I checked out your various hub titles and will be back to read more. Well constructed and tight I really like your work.