Have you decided that you want to lose weight? Congratulations! Weight loss can be life-changing and rewarding, but it can also be tough to deal with all the changes that accompany it. To help prepare you for the ups and downs of your weight loss journey, here are ten things to expect during your weight loss journey.
1) There Will Be Good Days
The first thing you should know about weight loss is that there will be good days and bad days. You’ll reach mini-milestones and feel like you’re on top of the world. Then something else unexpected will happen, and you’ll suddenly feel like all hope is lost. That’s ok! These types of emotions are normal for a weight loss journey. But it doesn’t mean that your previous successes don’t count or that all hope is lost.
2) There Will Be Bad Days
There will be times when you don’t feel like exercising. There will be days when you look in the mirror and still see yourself as fat. And there will definitely be times when you’ll want a burger, fries, and milkshake with no regrets whatsoever.
The problem is that during those tough days—those moments of weakness—you need to remember why you started your weight loss journey in the first place and what your goals are. In order to keep from giving up completely, it helps if you can remind yourself that change won’t happen overnight (duh) but that it WILL happen.
3) Measure Yourself
As you’re going through your weight loss journey, it’s important to monitor how much progress you are making.
Measure yourself regularly and take progress pictures at least once a month. This will allow you keep track of your progress and identify areas for improvement.
Try taking before-and-after photos from different angles. Not only is seeing visual proof motivating, but it helps show just how far you’ve come!
4) Don’t Beat Yourself Up
You know all of those magazines that are plastered with weight loss tips and tricks? One thing they won’t tell you is how many times you’ll have a really bad day. Whether it’s because of what someone said, or something you ate, there will be days when it seems like your weight loss goal is hopelessly out of reach. It’s important not to let these setbacks get you down; rather than berating yourself for messing up, learn from your mistake and move on. Weight loss isn’t linear—there will be some great days and there will be some bad ones—but if you stick with it over time, you’ll reach your goal!
5) Set Reasonable Goals
Losing weight may be an uphill battle. It’s easy to get discouraged or quit if you don’t achieve your goals immediately. But when you look at things in perspective, it makes sense why you need to set reasonable expectations and not set unattainable goals that may cause you to feel unmotivated or lose focus on what really matters: your health and well-being.
6) Overcome Emotional Challenges
You’re bound to feel some stress or anxiety along your weight loss journey. While everyone deals with these feelings differently, it’s important to be mindful of them, since stress can lead you back down that path of sugar cravings and unhealthy eating habits.
7) Discover New Activities You Enjoy
Finding out what you enjoy doing for fun can help you make your weight loss journey more enjoyable. Maybe you never knew how much fun hiking was or that yoga could feel so rejuvenating. Discovering new things that don’t involve food is a great way to embrace a healthier lifestyle and shed some pounds along the way.
8) Eat Mindfully and Healthily
Overeating not only disrupts your efforts to lose weight, but it also leads to a slew of other health problems. Part of losing weight is learning how to eat healthy and balanced meals on a daily basis. Eating mindfully—that is, taking time for yourself during meals—is an effective way to control portions and ensure you’re eating foods that are good for your body.
9) Get Plenty of Restorative Sleep
Sleep-deprived people are prone to gain weight due to increases in stress hormones, and changes in how insulin is regulated can lead to overeating or cravings. Avoid tossing and turning every night by making sure you’re catching enough zzzs. To start snoozing soundly, try some sleep remedies such as deep breathing exercises and aromatherapy.
10) Drink Water
Drinking water is great for you, and consuming enough of it can lead to fast weight loss. When your body needs energy, it turns food into glucose. If your blood sugar is high, you’ll feel hungry. (In fact, some experts have proposed that high blood sugar leads directly to obesity because of its effect on hunger.) Drinking water will help keep your blood sugar at a low level so you don’t get hungry as often and give in to cravings.