One hundred pounds. It sounds overwhelming. I know, because I’ve done it. In fact, my goal was higher and now I currently rest around the 80 lbs mark after having lost 100 lbs. But, I want to tell you that it can be done. Though, when I was first starting out on my personal weight loss journey I never imagined that it was a goal I could accomplish, and it never stopped me from hoping that I would. There are several ways to tackle losing significant weight, or 100 lbs. And along the journey to a brand new you, you’ll find several things that do and do not work simply because you’re learning more about your body… and trust me, you’ll discover things about your body you never once previously considered. So, having walked this road of significant weight loss, I want to share with you some tips and tricks that I learned along the way that helped me stay motivated, focused, and on point with my habits.
1. Break Up Your Goal Okay, you want to lose a lot of weight. I get that. But if you continually keep in your mind that you want to lose 60, 80, 100 lbs, you’re not going to mentally feel accomplished when you haven’t yet hit your goal. So break it up. First, start with 10 lbs. That’s it. You’re only going to focus on those 10 lbs. When you have achieved that goal, set a new goal. Yes! First 10 lbs is gone, next goal is 15 lbs. and so on and so on.
2. Focus On Breakfast I always found that when I satisfied my hunger first thing in the morning, I ate less throughout the day. My snacking was completely under control as I simply didn’t want anything after a good breakfast. Often when I’m talking to 310 Nutrition customers who are planning for significant weight loss I bring this up. Because we often state that breakfast and lunch are easy choices to use our meal replacement shakes, and that’s true, especially if you’re on the go all the time. However, when I first began losing weight it was much easier for me to start my day with an omelet and some fruit and then go for my shakes for lunch and dinner. I was less hungry, I stayed satisfied longer, and I never fought that “hangry” feeling.
3. Keep Track of What You’re Doing It’s not always easy, but it is so important to what you’re doing and easily the second biggest piece of advice I hand out to our 310 customers! Pick up an app like My Fitness Pal and keep track of everything. If you’re putting it in your mouth you need to know how many calories, carbs, protein, sugar, sodium, fat, etc. that it has in. Your days of cooking with estimates of what the ingredients are, are gone. You need to know your portion sizes so that you can keep an accurate record of what you’re eating. Why? Are you asking me why, yet? It’s really quite simple. I found that when I hit a specific amount of calories per day I was very likely to lose. If I climbed higher than my “magic number,” I knew that I would not see a loss. But, I can’t give you that number because what my body decided to shed pounds at may not be the same as you. However, if you’re keeping track of what you’re eating and you know what your numbers are, you can find your losing point. It’s easy then to go back and say “you know, I didn’t really do well last week but I see that my carbs have been higher than they normally are.” So, you drop your carbs a bit… and did you find your magic number? There’s a secret to keeping track though and it’s very simple. Don’t stop. Don’t start to tell yourself that you now understand what you’re eating and you don’t have to keep track. Very quickly you’ll find that for one day you could estimate how many calories were on your plate and then you suddenly allowed yourself a slightly bigger portion, and then you went back for seconds, and the next thing you know is that you have gained 5 lbs.
4. Protein, Protein, Protein Seriously! Have you tried a high protein diet before? You’ll stay full longer and you’ll really fuel your body. And, of course, you know that I’m going to suggest our amazing 310 Shake here, right? Here’s the thing. If you stick to it, it works. Drink your 310 Shake and focus on getting more protein into your diet. We, of course, want you to get in your fruits and veggies as well but high protein diets have been proven to work for weight loss.
4. Spring Clean Your Kitchen You don’t have to eliminate all those ‘bad’ foods at once. But go through your cabinets and your fridge and get rid of a lot of it. Out of sight, out of mind… and out of your mouth. It works. When it’s time to grocery shop, shop the outside of the grocery store. You’ll find everything you need there and you won’t be tempted to replace all the unhealthy foods you just tossed out.
5. Get Support This was a huge part of my success. I went to a support group twice a month and it changed my thinking about so much, gave me ideas to improve upon what I was doing, and allowed me to discuss things that were working for me. I also found an “accountability buddy” so that I could have someone to talk to all the time for support, encouragement, and someone who understood because they were doing exactly the same thing. It’s a game changer to have the support, I promise.
6. Try Physical Therapy I promise, I’m not crazy here. When we are severely overweight our bodies are limited. We struggle to move. Just getting our shoes tied daily seems like a chore! A physical therapist is someone who is tried to help people with disabilities, and our weight is a disability that we can fix. They will help you get your body moving again, show you want needs to be done, and prepare you for the most amazing challenge you’ll experience… a personal trainer. Try it and I’ll bet you be surprised.
7. Work Your Muscles If you’re like me you could be starting this journey asking “what muscles,” but you have them. You’re stronger than you think because you’ve been moving your extra weight around for so long. You need those muscles now more than ever, so as you begin to move your body for fitness, don’t neglect your muscles. Do weight training and you’ll burn more fat.
8. Get In The Pool The pool was a huge part of my success in the beginning. Our bodies hurt from carrying around weight and exercise is difficult, at best. The pool is a great weight to burn calories and not feel the stress of the workout on your joints. It really is a whole-body no-impact workout. Give it a shot.
9. Celebrate Victories, Without Food Food has become part of every celebration in America. It’s going to be a challenge to learn to reward yourself without food, but find other ways instead and celebrate your victories. In particular, focus on victories that are not centered around the scale. Last week you put on a pair of pants that were just too tight to zip, but this week, those suckers went on smooth like butter. Celebrate that! The scale may not reflect the change, but your clothes and your mirror do not lie. Just because you’re celebrating things the scale can’t tell you, doesn’t mean you shouldn’t celebrate what the scale does tell you. I remember very clearly that the first goal I set for myself when I began my weight loss journey was to be low enough to use my Wii Fit balance board. It had a weight limit of 350 lbs and I was sitting at 386 lbs. You cannot believe how I celebrated the day I could step on that thing and “play” while I exercised until my heart was content. Celebrate! It gives you the push you need to keep going.
10. Finally, Don’t Lose Focus! It’s easy to become discouraged. You will have slip ups. You will choose to have a piece of cake a birthday party, or order dessert when at dinner with your sweetie. And you know what… it’s okay! The thing is, you don’t have to deprive yourself of the foods and sweets you love. You just have to learn to go to them less, eat right, and move your body. Deprivation never worked for anyone for long-term success. You’re not dieting, you’re changing your life. And you know what, sometimes your life can include cheesecake; especially when you have remembered your protein first! It should be a given... I would highly recommend that when you have significant weight to lose you meet with your doctor. Go over your plan with them and get ideas from them as the best way to approach it for you. These tips are what worked for me and what I did, however, I was under constant and regular supervision from my doctor. During the first year I saw him monthly to check progress, get blood work done, and ensure that I was really improving not hurting my health with all the changes I made. I (and 310 Nutrition) would suggest that you do the same.