So, You Want to Lose Weight?
There isn’t “magic pill” you can take to lose weight. It takes planning, consistency, and perseverance–it’s a process to begin the journey of seeing the pounds fall-off.
I’m not a doctor, or a personal trainer, nor a registered dietitian. I can only share my story; the experience I’ve had as I’ve gone through the process of losing weight.
Although, I’ve never had a weight problem, I’ve always been health-conscious. However, during COVID, I did gain an extra 15 pounds. I saw it. I believe others saw it too, but were too polite to tell me. I felt it, and my clothes sure told the tale.
At the coaching and advice of the three professionals I’ve mentioned, I took action. I managed to begin losing a little over one pound per week (I’m still a working through the process), which is a healthy weight-loss momentum, but no more than two pounds per week.
What I have found is exercise (for me) has become an addiction–literally. My brain craves exercise, but why?
Upon exercising, the brain releases chemicals. They are “feel-good” chemicals–dopamine and endorphins.
It has been scientifically-proven that these chemicals make a person who exercises feel a state of happiness.
For me, I become more optimistic, things are funnier more frequently, I have more energy, and I experience an overall light and carefree attitude, definitely with less stress–I can cope much better with things that life throws my way. I experience more calmness.
How to prepare for weight-loss -- The SMART method
So getting to the nuts and bolts of how to begin and prepare for the process of losing weight.
You’ve probably heard of the SMART method. It has been used in corporate settings for years. It’s a method used in setting goals–any type of goal, not just exercise.
I highly recommend this method because without goals or a plan, I can become overwhelmed, quit, and just scrap the entire program.
So SMART is an acronym for:
Specific - being specific in what goal you want to set is extremely important. So in this case the goal is to:
TIP: Without a goal, it may be difficult to develop a plan.
Measurable - ask yourself at what pace to you want to lose weight?
1 pound per week - for starters.
TIP: As you begin to shed the pounds, you can increase the bar to losing 2 pounds per week (just an option).
Action - this is where you get your body in gear–what are you going to do?
Exercise - YouTube has a gazillion exercise programs. Find one(s) that work(s) for you.
TIP: It’s okay to try several exercise programs before you find a regimen that works for you. A structured exercise works best–you have a trainer guiding you through the program.
Realistic - with respect to your time, lifestyle, work-life balance, and resources, set the goal for your exercise program to be compatible–If they don’t mesh, your exercise plan will not work.
30 minutes per day Monday - Friday
TIP: Rework your plan if necessary to incorporate these aspects of your life.
During mid-day, I don’t feel like changing into workout clothes, exercising, showering, and changing back into my outerwear.
When I worked 40 hours per week during the day, I tried everything. I worked out early morning before going to work. I’ve tried exercising after work. I even tried late evenings after work and dinner.
Now, that I am home throughout the day, my alarm goes off at 5am. I exercise between 5am - 6am (30 minutes only). Then I shower, dress, have breakfast. Then I'm at my computer by 7am (freelance writing).
I have structure throughout my morning regimen, and I must have structure when exercise–I need a guide, the trainer to follow to take me through each exercise.
Time-bound - it best to set your goals in chunks of time. If you want to lose 20 pounds in three months that would be an average of 6.7 pounds per month. That’s starting out very slow, which is okay. The fact is, you’ve started.
*Lose 20 pounds in 3 months @ 6.7 pounds per month = 20.1 pounds
TIP: So find your groove and *set a weight-loss goal that works for you.
This is the framework, the foundation of how your SMART exercise goals may look. Make adjustments and tweaks to fit your needs.
Be consistent and persevere to work towards knocking-off those pounds.
I'm not a medical professional, dietitian, or a personal trainer. See your doctor before engaging in any exercise program. There's no guarantee that you will see a 20- pound weight-loss in 3 months. This is only an example of setting goals using the SMART method.