We all know that finding the motivation to lose weight is hard, often we need something to trigger us into action such as an upcoming event or special occasion, a new-found desire to be healthier, to be fitter, or to start wearing those favourite clothes that don’t fit.
How do we achieve these long-term weight loss goals?
Well, we know that changing behaviours can change outcomes. In fact, the more closely you stick to your strategies to change what you’re currently doing when it comes to food and physical activity, the more likely you will be to achieve your weight loss goals.
Start with changing a few key habits, take note of your progress and your success, and this can very easily fuel your motivation to keep going. So set yourself a realistic goal, (losing ½ -1kg per week is a good short term goal, losing 5-10% of your current weight is a good long term one), and read on to find out Jenny Craig’s top tips to lose weight.
Tips and habits to help you lose weight
Set A Realistic Goal
You know the date of the event you’re working towards, so you know how many weeks you have. On the Jenny Craig program, we aim for 0.5kg to 1kg a week for weight loss, and this is a healthy and achievable amount. So if you have 12 weeks until your event, you would aim for 6-12 kilos lost.
Mark on your calendar or diary what your goal weight is each week, so you know what you are aiming for. Keep track and adjust the goals up or down to keep it realistic.
Have a ‘One Day’ Vision
Events usually involve an outfit – you may already have the outfit, or will you buy a new one? Either way, have a clear vision of the outfit.
If you already have it, display it in your home so you see it on a daily basis for motivation. If you don’t have it yet, gather some pictures of what outfit you would like, display these too.
Add some feeling words to the outfit or pictures – how will you feel at the event, at your goal weight? How will you feel about your health and your appearance, at your goal weight?
Include regular physical activity
Research shows that people who are successful with losing weight are more likely to engage in physical activity for at least 30 minutes per day, or to add some form of physical activity to their daily routine.
Make it your long-term goal to include some planned physical activity every day. Your short-term goal could be to start where you are currently at, and assess whether you can add one extra session each week.
A realistic start might look something like this:
- Monday – I will go for a 30 minute walk
- Thursday – I will go for a 30 minute swim
- Saturday- I have extra time so I will go for a 60 minute walk
You might be easily motivated to start this regular exercise pattern, or you might find yourself faced with a range of barriers such as, no time to exercise, too tired to exercise, no one to exercise with, or too hard to maintain a routine.
Push through these barriers, plan the sessions into your day or your calendar, and you will begin to see how you can work everything else around it. Remember, it takes around 30 days to form a habit.
Eat regular meals
Improved weight loss success has been shown to be connected to having regular meals, and not skipping breakfast. One of the benefits of regular meals and snacks is that it can make you less likely to overeat, you’ll reduce the likelihood of reaching that point of being truly over-hungry.
Studies have shown that a significantly higher proportion of people successful in losing weight report planning their meal times. Each day decide the meal and snack times that suit your schedule, write these down, or add them to your calendar. Your day might look like this:
- 7am breakfast
- 10am snack
- 12.30 lunch
- 4pm snack
- 7pm dinner
- 8pm optional snack
You’ll find what works for you, but 5-6 small meals and snacks each day can form the basis of a good healthy eating pattern.
Another good habit relates to self-monitoring. There are studies to show that a higher proportion of people successful in losing weight weigh themselves every day. We know that weight loss is all about energy balance, taking in fewer kilojoules than you’re burning, so choose to track your food and drink intake.
Monitoring what you eat and drink can influence your choices. You might look at your day or week and be really happy with your progress, or you may have eaten more than you expected and decide to make some changes or to exercise a little more.
Mark off foods eaten on your Jenny Craig menu, or if you’re not yet on our program, keep a digital or paper-based food diary. You’ll be amazed at how much it increases your awareness of what you’re currently doing.
You can also watch your physical changes and your success by taking photos and measurements along the way. Monthly from the start of your journey can give you a really good comparison of where you were in the beginning, and how far you’ve come.
Engage somebody who can support you
Someone who can support, motivate and congratulate you along your journey will help to keep you going. While we can all encourage ourselves, we do know that regular, long-term follow up with a trained weight loss professional (like your Jenny Craig Coach!) will help to make you more successful. So stay committed to, and enjoy the benefit of a weekly appointment with a Jenny Craig Coach.
Jenny Craig can help you to follow a tailored plan for food and physical activity. We’ll keep you committed to self-monitoring, and you will see yourself beginning to form new habits.
Out of these new goals and habits can come long term change and the real satisfaction that you are looking after your body and your health.
Speak to a coach, order a meal plan and get started with Jenny Craig today!