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3 Weight Loss Success Factors
When people find out I’ve lost over 130 pounds, the immediate question is ‘how?’ If they’re aware that this is not my first weight loss attempt, the second question is what made this time a success versus all of my other attempts? I’m not sure why I always stumble through answering these questions. There’s so much I want to say in answering these questions, yet I rarely do much more than shrug and mumble out something to suffice their curiosity. I don’t like talking about myself, but I have so much to say about my journey!
Part of my struggle is I’m fully aware that there isn’t a simple answer. So many things went into carving out my successful path. In addition, what worked for me might now work for you and I’d hate to lead anyone astray.
Really though, the answer is simple if I take the time to organize my thoughts. There are 3 weight loss success factors that made this last time, the last time.
Planning what I’m going to eat ahead of time and preparing some food has been a huge factor in my weight loss and continued maintenance.
- Knowing what I’ll be eating and when keeps me from being hangry. When I get cranky from hunger is when I throw in the towel on all good sense. I could be a one man circus act with the sheer amount of food I can consume!
- Bringing my food with me. This ties into my last point. I bring a small ice chest with my prepped food to eat if I’m not going to be home. I use Cozi to keep my life organized, and if I need to eat in the car as I chauffeur children, then I prep something portable that doesn’t require a fork.
- I use Plan to Eat for my meal planning and grocery shopping list.( affiliate link)
- Weighing food is paramount and a food scale is more than worth the investment! I still use mine almost daily for different items. You don’t need anything fancy, I have purchased two of these scales: Ozeri Pronto Digital Multifunction Kitchen and Food Scale, Elegant Black, not because they break easy, but when your lovely cat knocks this off the counter multiple times, it’s bound to break at some point. There are definitely fancier scales on the market but this one is easy to use and does everything I need for the price.
- Helps regulate my food budget. Since I spend a bit more on better quality meats and produce, spending money here and there on snacks and coffee isn’t okay. By eliminating these extra stops in my day, I also eliminate impulse buys. So, it’s a win-win situation.
Including exercise in this post was something I really debated. It is said that diet is 70% of success and that unless you change your diet, it doesn’t matter if you exercise. And I know many people who lose all their weight without exercise. So, if time is your biggest constraint, this might not be the time to add yet another habit. But, here’s why I include it anyway.
- This helped me establish my routine early on. I started exercising and eating healthy all at once. Within 12 weeks, I had two new routines well established.
- Exercise has become an emotional outlet for me. I feel so accomplished after working out and have more confidence that I can handle the rest of my day.
- Regardless of weight loss goals or needs, getting some form of exercise a few times a week has its own set of health benefits.
- Exercise can be a social outlet – walk with friends, join a crossfit box, start doing karate as a family, join an adult sports league if that’s your thing, or take up golf. Exercise can take many forms!
3. Don’t Rely on the Scale
Some people suggest never weighing yourself. Other schools of thought say weigh yourself once a week. I weighed myself once a week. You don’t need anything fancy, I use this simple scale here: Etekcity Digital Body Weight Bathroom Scale With Body Tape Measure, Tempered Glass, 400 Pounds Scales
- Take pictures at the beginning of your journey. Take pictures every month thereafter. I didn’t do this, unfortunately. Thankfully, the gym I joined did, and the progress was incredible. Even when the scale barely moved, I could see the difference in pictures. And they say pictures don’t lie.
- Take measurements. Measure yourself every month. I did take my measurements for the first six months. I’m glad I did, because in the beginning, I was so large, my clothing size didn’t change dramatically, but I did drop significant inches. When the scale stopped moving, I still lost inches and that helped keep me motivated. I use a soft craft measuring tape Singer 60-Inch Tape Measure, but as some people claim there is more room for measurement error. Many people use this for a more accurate reading: Perfect Waist Tape Measure – 80″. I never purchased one so I can’t tell you with any definitive answer that these work better. The reviews on Amazon look relatively promising, but I just didn’t wan to spend any more money..
Weight loss is a personal journey and what works for me might not work for you, although I’d argue with you on the idea of meal prep. Discovering how to meal prep has been a game changer for me. With that being said, other people might attribute different aspects of their journey as most important. There is definitely no set answers. I provided my 3 weight loss success factors that have been most beneficial and continue to help me be successful. For those who’ve lost weight, what do you consider the most significant factors in your success?
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