A strong support system is extremely important when it comes to weight loss and habit change. My family has been the biggest supporters of my fitness journey. Of course, they love me regardless of my size but their support is invaluable.
I recently had a conversation with my father-in-law, Dr. Steven Ferguson M.D., about weight loss and weight management. He shared a few tips he’s learned in his over 30 years of practicing medicine and I want to pass them along to help you reach your fitness goals too. Sharing is caring, right?
My father-in-law says weight loss success is few and far between because most people are looking for quick fixes and fast results which aren’t sustainable or realistic. So, after many years of trying to help people who didn’t want to help themselves, he came up with THREE things each patient must do before beginning a successful weight loss journey.
Tip #1: FIND YOUR WHY
We hear this all the time but it’s important to write down your goals and why you want to change. He says if our why isn’t strong enough we won’t hang in there long enough to see lasting results.
No, I’m not a doctor, but I have to agree. In my quest to lose over 50 pounds of baby weight and keep it off, motherhood was my primary source of motivation and I wrote it down. I also put it on my vision board with photos of my children to serve as visual reminders. Being a role model for my little girl gave me the extra motivation I needed to stick with it when I wanted to quit. And there were many days when I wanted to throw in the towel and take a more familiar road.
Tip #2: GO DEEP.
Ask yourself why you haven’t been successful in the past? He says it’s important, to be honest here. This isn’t about judgement, he insists, it’s about self-awareness and coming up with strategies to overcome the challenges to ensure success.
Yea, this is a tough one. But it’s also where true transformation and habit-change happens. When I began to dig deep and get to the root of my issues – fear, stress, outside expectations, habits – I was able to come up with strategies to work through my triggers and overcome those obstacles.
Tip #3: CREATE A FOOD DIARY.
Dr. Ferguson suggests documenting EVERYTHING you eat for at least a week. He says this is where a lot of patients give up before they even begin. But once he evaluates a client’s food diary he’s able to make small recommendations and food swaps that lead to big changes over time.
I’m a huge advocate of food tracking even though but I know it’s not for everyone. Still, for the majority of people, it’s a great way to make sure you’re actually eating what you think you’re eating. It’s also a great way to see what you’re doing “right”, so we can do more of that, and where we can make better choices. There’s a good chance you’re doing a lot of things right and with a little mindfulness can make minor adjustments to reach your goals.
If you are starting or restarting your fitness journey, these three tips are a great place to start. So take out a pen and paper to jot down why you want to make a lifestyle change. Then go deep to discover why you’ve struggled in the past. Next, download a FREE nutrition tracking app such as MYFITNESSPALL (My favorite).
Remember, the race isn’t given to the swift or the strong but to the one that endures til the end. So give it time. Run your own race.
These three tips plus small changes in your nutrition with an emphasis on portion control and whole foods combined with added activity – that’s as simple as walking 30-40 minutes every day or every other day – is a great recipe for long-term success.
Now on to you, what’s your why and how do you stay motivated with your fitness goals? Have you written them down yet?