Let’s face it. Nobody wants extra pounds weighing them down, and the problem is only getting worse for people. In fact, almost half of Americans attempted to lose weight in 2020, and many of them struggled to keep up. We see countless clients coming in and out of our doors weekly and every single one of them asks the same question, “how long do you think it will take me to lose the weight?”
While each of us were beautifully and uniquely made, that also means that each of us have different bodies, different metabolisms, different lifestyles, so different results and timelines apply. This thought process though can either be the thing that you let discourage you OR be the thing that you use in your favor! Luckily, there are plenty of ways you can guarantee your success these days, and some of them don’t even require vigorous exercise! Yes! You read that right! Let’s talk about the best ways to reach your weight loss goal in 2023!
How To Plan Your Weight Loss Goal
If you’re like me, you want to plan everything over the long haul (not me planning my next vacation after the baby gets here), but realistically, you probably don’t have the time to plan out every day for the next year, nor should you. That’s perfectly fine!
Set Realistic Expectations
Everybody does their weight loss journey differently. We have different dietary restrictions and preferences, and we all enjoy different activities. There’s nothing wrong with that. Plan on doing what you enjoy so that you stick to it! This process isn’t supposed to be dreadful. It’s supposed to be a pivotal part of your next few months and you need to have fun with that!
An average person should aim to lose around 1 pound a week if they are setting out on their own journey. I like to think of it as a math equation to keep it simple - if you think one pound of fat is around 3500 calories, 500 calories a day for 1 week = 1 pound. Start by tracking what you are currently eating in a day (don’t change anything when you are just starting to learn what calories you are taking in)! Where are the sneaky calories coming from? Is it a pop? 1 bottle of Dr. Pepper is 250 calories, so 2 a day is equal to that 500 mark. There are 450 calories in one slice of Casey’s breakfast pizza!
This rough math is a way to see on paper how to reach your goals. I like to remind people that not all calories are created equal - nutrient-dense food (fruits, veggies, unprocessed meats) are PACKED with vitamins and minerals among those calories that our bodies need to be healthy!
Writing A Plan
Planning is the best way to stick to your goals. Plan a rough sketch for a week and try to up the game over time. For example, if your plan for the first week includes your meal and exercise plan, stick to a rough outline for the week to avoid feeling too restricted. Write down your ideal meal timing, maybe build out your google calendar if you are a scheduling type of person, what time you’d like to exercise (and for how long or at a favorite new gym), and what you want to buy at the grocery store so you have what you need for the week.
If you don’t want to stick to the same meals every week, write up two or 3 weekly meals and exercise outlines to alternate between. Variety is extremely beneficial for health when it comes to exercise and nutrition!
Best Diet Foods
Remember, there is no way to lose weight without a calorie deficit. Plan on a deficit of around 500 calories a day, and this will ideally burn 1 pound of fat every week. Sound painfully slow? Hear me out. It adds up fast. 1 Pound is a lot more volume than you’d think and over the course of 6 to 12 months, it makes an enormous difference. So, what should you be eating?
Vegetables are the absolute key to weight loss, so don’t count them out. They’re absolutely packed with healthy nutrients and very low on calories. Because of their large volume with minimal energy amounts, they leave you feeling the most full without overloading you with calories.
If you’re not used to eating a lot of vegetables, start slow. I like to “hide” them in things - in my eggs, in my casseroles, cauliflower rice, etc. It doesn’t have to be boring, cold carrots and celery either. Season them up!
Some other delicious and nutritious ingredients you should consider adding are:
- Nuts – Especially almonds and walnuts.
- Legumes – Beans and lentils are excellent sources of protein and fiber.
- Fruits – Berries and most fruits are great in moderation since they come packed with vitamins.
- Eggs – Lots of vitamin D and choline - I am doing a TON of these in pregnancy to help with baby’s brain development
- Lean meat – Turkey, chicken, and even ham are great options.
- Grains – Whole grains, oats, and brown rice are excellent. Check the portion sizes though!
Remember, variety is key. Eat what you enjoy to avoid burnout from your diet! Try new things and see what you like!
Find The Right Plan For You
Honestly, there are so many diet trends out there that we could fill up this whole article just by listing them! However, there are doctor-supervised, controlled, and trustworthy weight loss plans that are proven to be effective. Our Ascend Slim and Ascend Trim have been game changers not only in my own life but countless clients of ours. You’d be shocked at some of the results!
Track Your Progress
Track your progress as you go on your weight loss, personal bests on exercise, and even what kinds of foods you’re eating. If that’s too much for you, don’t overwhelm yourself to the point of burning out. Committing to a weight loss routine comes with enough sacrifices as it is, so track what you can and celebrate your successes, however small they are!
You’re going to want a weight loss goal chart to see how you’re doing. However, there are some important things to remember as you go.
The first thing to remember when tracking your progress is to avoid getting discouraged. Losing weight is a lifestyle choice that will involve serious sacrifices and changes in your day-to-day life. No matter what your cardio preference is, remember that this is a marathon, not a sprint.
It’s very important to remember that water retention can really make your weight fluctuate; often by a lot. In fact, water alone can make your weight fluctuate by 4 pounds in a day, and in either direction! Because of this, don’t weigh yourself too often. It may discourage you and your progress.
Pick a consistent time of the day once a week to track your progress. Many people choose to do this right after they wake up but don’t do it every day. If you’re consistent with your calorie deficit and exercise routine, you will lose weight over time. That’s the most important thing to remember.
They say a picture is worth a 1000 words - take a few photos when you start your journey and take progress photos along the way! There is a saying in the health and wellness space that goes like this, “you can keep a habit after 30 days, feel the change within yourself in 60 days and others can see the change in 90 days.” Pictures are a great way to remind yourself of your hard work and progress and I think you would be shocked at what you see!
The most important factor in your weight loss goal is adherence, so make sure you don’t bite off more than you can chew (almost literally)! Keep yourself in line, keep up with our blog for motivation, and see the results! Are you ready to get started on the path to a healthier you? Learn more about the Ascend Aesthetics Weight Loss Programs to decide if it’s right for you! And then message us to get started!