The Starting Steps of Developing an Effective Weight Loss Plan

A positive attitude is the difference between diet success and failure. Hopefully, our 8-step plan will keep you motivated and on track so you’re kicking your weight loss goals.

Before starting to think about devising an effective weight loss plan though, it helps to know your BMI. It’s an acronym that gets thrown around an awful lot but do you really know what it means?

Body Mass Index

BMI (Body Mass Index) is a tool that’s helpful in stipulating whether your body weight falls within a healthy weight range. The BMI calculator assesses your body fat based on height and weight. BMI is a relative measurement for adults. This calculation ‘estimates’ rather than directly measures your individual body fat. The calculation takes into account height and weight, but it doesn’t take into account your body composition meaning how much of your body weight is fat mass versus muscle mass. Keep in mind, muscle weighs more than fat. Other factors such as age, gender and ethnicity also influence the relationship between BMI and body fat.

Whilst understanding your BMI is useful when trying to manage your weight, the following groups of individuals should not use the BMI:

  • Athletes or those with higher proportion of muscle mass.
  • Growing children and adolescents.
  • Elderly as they lose muscle mass.
  • Pregnant or lactating women.

If you fall under one of the above categories and are concerned about your weight, we strongly recommend you seek advice from a healthcare practitioner.

What’s next to consider?

1. What’s Your Motivation

Weight loss is a three-part process: Exercising, cutting calories, and your mental outlook. The latter can be the difference between success and failure. The key for weight loss success that’s sustainable, is to adopt the right attitude before you start your plan. If you’re really serious about slimming down, you need to think long-term. That’s why it helps to ready yourself emotionally to take on the challenge.

2. Choose an Achievable Goal

Studies show that most dieters believe they will lose four times what they really can in six months. Think more realistically. Count on losing 10 percent of your weight within six months and focus on keeping it off for one to three years. To help you get there, focus on behaviors you want to change such as: reducing your daily fat intake to below 20 grams, or to cut out your afternoon high calorie snack. Also, consider setting non-weight-related goals, such as entering a fun run. The kilos you’ll lose in the process by training, will be a bonus.

3. Create Your Own Food Plan

Instead of trying every new diet fad, create your own food plan that fits your lifestyle.

Small changes to your current daily routine and habits, like downsizing portions or preparing foods differently, can equate to big results.

4. Visualize The New You

Visualise your end game, the main motivating factor coming to a reality. This enables you to recognize and accept success. Close your eyes, breathe and imagine yourself healthier and slimmer. How do you look? What clothes are you wearing? How do you feel?

5. Get Your Priorities Straight

Set goals daily – no matter how big or small. Like, before the beginning of every month, try decide which days you’ll exercise on and what you’ll do. Shop for healthy foods once a week on the same day if possible. Also plan ahead for any social obstacles you might encounter, such as drinks with friends or a birthday dinner with the family so you can plan around specific occasions, ensuring you enjoy the special moments too by living in the moment versus dreading and wanting to avoid memorable, happy occasions.

6. Know What Your Emotional Triggers Are

Sadness and anger are typical reasons why we overeat. Evaluate your overeating triggers so you can develop effective strategies to deal with underlying emotions.

7. Celebrate Your Wins

When you reach a milestone in your weight-loss journey or exercise goals, treat yourself to something that celebrates that specific goal you’ve achieved and helps further your progress.

8. Forgive Yourself

If you make an unhealthy diet choice, don’t berate yourself. A momentary slip won’t register on the scale in the short term. It may delay your weight loss goals slightly, but it isn’t likely to undo all the progress you’ve made.