One of the best things about the new year is being able to start fresh. When setting New Year’s Resolutions, many people look to fitness goals — whether that means to lose weight or run a marathon. This is a good time to get started because there is a lot of energy in health, fitness, and wellness during this time of year.
At the same time, when pursuing weight loss, it is often overwhelming to get started because of the vast amount of available information and resources.
These 5 weight loss tips will help you kick off a new year of fitness and form lifelong habits so you’re always prioritizing your health and wellness.
1. Know Your Why
If you are pursuing weight loss, you need to know your “why.” Starting a weight loss journey because you feel like you should is a recipe for disaster. The motivation has to come within. Because of our culture’s value of thinner people, it’s easy to fall into this trap.
Choosing to lose weight is a very personal decision, but make sure that when you decide to start your new lifestyle, that you are considering the reason you’re pursuing these changes. Maybe you’ve never been very fit or active and you’re ready to start. Perhaps a doctor or other medical professional suggested that weight loss could help resolve health problems. Or, it could just be that you’re ready to be confident in your body and believe that weight loss will help.
Whatever the reason, once you’ve identified it, come back to it often. This is your motivation for chasing this goal. When we have intrinsic motivation, it’s much easier to stick with a goal because we see the value in it.
Your “why” is also a great jumping off point to deciding on your specific goals and “checkpoints” that you want to reach throughout your journey.
2. Set Realistic Goals
One of the easiest ways to stop working toward a goal is setting something unrealistic. When it feels like you’re not making progress, it’s easy to lose motivation. Setting a realistic goal can keep you on track. If you try to lose weight too quickly, you are often more likely to give up.
Most medical professionals recommend setting a goal to lose 1-2 pounds per week. We call it a weight loss journey for a reason! It’s often a long process, but can be very rewarding.
Reconsider the Scale: Setting Goals with ZOZOFIT
Also make sure that you aren’t tying yourself to measuring progress only with the scale. Often, a traditional body weight scale inaccurately shows progress, because weight isn’t the best marker of fitness. Body measurements are a great way to track your progress.
Consider incorporating ZOZOFIT into your weight loss. In the ZOZOFIT app, you can set goals for body fat percentage and other body measurements. These measurements are a much more accurate metric for seeing how the shape of your body will change as you work toward your goal.
3. Focus on Nutrition
Weight loss happens in the kitchen. The adage is old, but true. By focusing on nutrition, you can maximize your weight loss while also prioritizing your health.
When you’re starting out, you will need to start small. Jumping into an ultra-restrictive diet will just have you wanting to fight against the constraints. Also, restrictive diets are hard to maintain over long periods of time and most people who follow these types of diets are more likely to gain the weight back after stopping the diet. With weight loss, you are aiming for a lifestyle change, not a quick fix.
Nutrition by Addition
Recently, the concept of “nutrition by addition” has been incredibly popular. This idea asks us to reframe what we think about dieting — instead of taking things out of our diet, we should add what we are lacking. For example, if you’re used to eating a snack of potato chips in the afternoon, nutrition by addition would recommend that you still get your chips, but make the portion smaller. Then, add something that you need — like protein — by including veggies and hummus or sliced cheese. Do you like pancakes for breakfast? Consider making them with buckwheat instead of regular flour for an added nutritional punch. This makes the idea of “dieting” much more approachable.
Look for Easy Swaps
Another way to take your weight loss to the kitchen is to look for easy swaps. This tip asks you to think creatively about what you’re eating or drinking and how you could swap it for something that would aid weight loss.
If you’re a soda drinker, you might try seltzer waters or kombucha to satisfy your craving for something fizzy and sweet. Love to stop at McDonald’s on the way home from work? Try making your own version of a Big Mac instead! This way you can still have something you love, but are also working toward your weight loss goals.
4. Create an Exercise Plan
An exercise plan is the perfect supplement to your diet. In addition, getting your body moving will help you build muscle and burn fat.
When making your fitness plan, start by adding activities that you enjoy doing and are within your skill level. If you enjoy walking (which is great exercise), then start there! At the start of your weight loss journey, the goal should be to form habits, not make things very difficult on yourself.
Not sure where to start? Group classes and training groups are a great place to start. Often, these types of environments have an experienced trainer or coach who can provide guidance. Other options include informal meet-up groups, YouTube videos, and online workout plans. There really is something out there for everyone; you just need to decide what will be best for you.
5. Don’t Give Up!
As we said earlier, weight loss does not happen quickly. It’s likely that you will have difficult days where you don’t think you are making any progress. Know that just by showing up for yourself, making changes, and working toward your goals that you are making progress. You can utilize the ZOZOFIT app and ZOZOSUIT to track your progress too so you can make any adjustments as you go along, and celebrate all your victories too.