Five Simple Steps to Weight Loss Success

If you are like most people, you have probably started numerous weight loss programs. You were serious. You were determined. You pushed through the pain. That is, until a couple weeks later when you just up and quit. It's the standard operating procedure of millions of people.

The problem is most people dive in head first without putting enough thought and planning into their personal program. You see, there is no single Perfect Plan that will work for everyone. Nor is there a magic formula that will work for every person every time. The ideal weight loss program for you is one designed for you by you. You need to develop a program around your likes, wants and needs.

The following are five simple steps to take when developing a weight loss program for yourself. By taking a couple of hours to pre-plan your program, you can drastically increase your chances of decreasing your waistline.

Step One -- Taking Stock

The first thing you need to do is ask yourself what you are trying to accomplish. Only then can you plan an appropriate program. Are you looking to lose fat? Maybe you want to concentrate of building some muscle. Quite possibly, you want to do both.

Determine what it is you want to accomplish and plan a program around activities that will work toward this new goal. However, only choose activities that you like to do. For example, running is probably the best exercise to help you burn fat. Even so, if you abhor the concept of jogging, do not make running the cornerstone of your weight loss program as you won't do it.

Remember -- your objective is to develop a program of activities you enjoy that will move you toward your goal. This is not about what is best or most effective. What is best and most effective are the activities you will do on a consistent basis. You can work in the other activities later when your new routine becomes habit.

Step Two -- Setting Realistic Goals

Now that you have taken stock and picked your activities, set up a plan that you will stick to. If you have decided to run, but have not jogged around the block since middle school, do not start out trying to run twenty miles a week. You need to start slow. Your goal in the early stage is to set the habit, to make your new plan part of your everyday routine. Your subconscious will shut you down and turn you away from your goal if you try to do too much too soon.

Try this -- for the first month do just one third of what you think you can do or twenty minutes, which ever is less. Do this no more than three times per week. This goes for cardio and weight lifting. Keep everything easy and light for the first month. After that, start inching up the length and intensity at intervals you find comfortable, yet challenging.

Remember, you are not looking for some magic, quick loss plan to lose thirty pounds in a month. You have tried and failed at these so called plans. You are throwing the gimmicks out the window and setting out to slowly establish positive habits which you can build on as time goes by. There is no rush.

Step Three -- Planning Ahead

Now that you have taken stock and set realistic goals, you need to plan. Literally write your workout into your day planner. Do the same with meals. If you are going to eat five meals a day, make time for those meals in your schedule. You won't find the time unless you schedule it.

This is a must - Prepare your meals ahead of time. If you do not prepare your meals in advance you are setting yourself up for failure. If you take one thing away from this article, this is it. By not planning and preparing healthy meals in advance, you are planning for bad meals instead. You either plan for success or you plan for failure. It is that simple. Nothing will help your weight loss plan more than this simple "trick."

Step Four -- Tracking Your Work

So, you took stock, you set realistic goals and you planned ahead. You are now ready to begin your new weight loss journey in a successful manner. However, you are not done yet. The only way to fully prepare for the future is to understand the past.

Make sure you log every workout and every meal (Yes, I'm serious) in a daily planner of some sort. You should also note your mood before and after each work out and each meal. This way, whenever you have a very successful week or month, you can look back over that time period to see just what made it such a success. This is very powerful information to have because it isn't second hand information, it is a recored history of what worked for you! Conversely, you can also use your written records to find out why a period was not successful.

Step Five -- Revising and Re-Energizing!

Every month or two months, start back at step one to readdress the direction of your weight loss program. Use your written information to improve upon your success, limit your failures and to set more challenging goals for yourself.

These five steps are everything you need to create your own personalized weigh loss program. While it is outside the scope of this article to discuss specific exercises and diets, your success can be boiled down to how effectively you implement these five steps.



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