Guest Post By LaToya Gay
Whether you’re getting started with a new weight loss plan or you’re nearly to your goal, distractions can easily derail your hard-earned progress in no time at all. Luckily, there are a lot of ways you can manage and minimize distractions to help you stay focused on your goals.
Distractions can come in many guises. For example, taking on an extra project at work, coaching your kids’ soccer team or simple boredom with your current weight loss plan can all distract you from your goal of losing weight. Unfortunately, some distractions seem unavoidable, and so we tend to use them as excuses to ditch our fitness plans.
As we all know, it’s much harder to get back into a routine you’ve abandoned than it is to stay the course and keep moving toward your goal. Here are some great tips for keeping distractions from tempting you out of your weight loss program.
Get a Buddy
As you progress through your fitness plan, it can get easier and easier to talk yourself into cheating a little bit here and there. You tell yourself you’re too tired to hit the gym after work, or you can skip your morning run “just this once,” or it’s okay to ditch your diet for the day because you did so well all week.
Skipping out on workouts and creating unplanned cheat days are the easiest ways to let your weight loss program drift off track. Before you know it, every day will become a cheat day, and you won’t remember the last time you worked out.
One great way to stick with your plan, even in difficult times, is to get an accountability buddy for your fitness plan. Your fitness buddy can be anyone. You can hire a trainer at the gym to help you increase your fitness level, or ask a friend to run with you a few times per week. Either way, it’s much harder to ditch your plan when you know someone else is waiting for you to show up.
If you don’t know anyone you can ask to be your fitness buddy, you can try an app such as FitCliq. It helps to match you with other people looking for a workout partner.
Track Your Progress
If you’re in the middle of a weight loss plan and you’re finding it harder and harder to stay motivated as you move forward, it can be helpful to stay aware of exactly how far you’ve come.
Tracking the changes in your health and fitness can be highly motivating. Try using a program such as My Medical to track all of your health records. Then, at a glance, you can check your medical history and test results and remember how far you’ve come toward your fitness goals.
If you’re nervous about accessing your medical records through an on online app, you can protect your information by using a Virtual Private Network to encrypt your data and ensure it is safe from anyone else who might try to access the information without your consent.
Say “No” More Often
If you’re a person who is constantly volunteering or being asked to help out with things, you probably often find yourself running from one activity to the next, without any “me” time in sight.
All too often when we realize we’ve overcommitted ourselves and find time running short, our health and fitness plans are the first thing to get cut from the schedule. To find success with your weight loss plan, you need to make your fitness commitments to yourself a higher priority than other invitations that come along.
Remember, the word “no” is a complete sentence. If someone asks you to do something, you can say no without offering a lengthy explanation. Your commitment to improving your health is one of the most important commitments in your life. Honor it as such, and don’t allow requests from other people to derail your plan. You deserve to be healthy, and you deserve whatever time you’ve decided to commit to your goal.
Make It Fun
Doing the same workout over and over, similar to eating the same foods repeatedly, can get extremely boring quickly. When you don’t feel motivated to do your normal workout, it’s probably time to try something new. Check out a new workout on a popularYouTube fitness channel. Or drop in on a local fitness class such as Zumba or Pilates. Many places offer a free trial class to new students.
If you’ve fallen into a meal planning rut and you’re tired of eating the same baked chicken and steamed vegetables, consider testing out a meal delivery service. Even if you don’t decide to stick with it long-term, it can provide excellent variety in the short-term and give you some new recipes for your healthy cooking arsenal. Getting your meals delivered can also provide an extra treat that makes cooking something you can look forward to.
Life has a way of creating roadblocks for any goal you set for yourself. The question is, how committed are you to losing the weight and changing your life? If you make the commitment to real change, then no distraction will be able to slow you down.
Leave a reply in the comments to tell us your favorite method of eliminating distractions and staying focused on your goal.
She knows how difficult it is to stay committed to a weight loss plan from personal experience, so she hopes to help those in similar situations with her writing.
You can find more from LaToya at ehealthinformer.com
All right, public service announcement time. I am begging you to please stop starving yourselves. I hit my screen weight — which, if you’re in the maintenance world, you know that is the highest end of where you want to be — on April 22; it was 160.6. I don’t want to go over 160, so I decided I was going to reel in my eating, and I didn’t do anything crazy.
I looked at my average burn on my Fitbit, and it was between 2,200 and 2,400 calories — sometimes a little bit higher, but usually within those two numbers. I took a 500-calorie deficit, which puts me near 1,800 or 1,900 calories a day. I stayed in that vicinity, and I went from 160.6 down to 158.8, to 157.76, to 156.4.
The reason I want to share this with you is because I ate almost 3,000 calories on Mother’s Day. I really didn’t think I was going to lose weight that week. This is what’s important: You don’t have to do extremes. I have several of my clients right now adding calories back in because they had gone so extreme for so long, now they can’t lose weight. We actually have to start to increase their calories, because there’s nowhere else for them to go.
The other thing I really want to talk to you about is protein. I push almost every one of my female clients to eat more protein, and there’s a reason for that. Protein is not used by your body the same way carbohydrates and fat are. When you’re eating carbohydrates, there’s a certain amount of calories lost in the process of breaking it down, so you don’t actually get calorie for calorie what you would with a carbohydrate or fat.
I personally eat at least one gram of protein per pound of body weight. This makes a huge difference. For me, being about 158, I try to eat about 158 grams of protein. Now, if you are 200 or 300 pounds, and you’ve got a lot of weight to lose, that’s an extreme amount of protein to be eating. In that case, even just shooting for what you want your goal weight to be — say you know you want to get to 150 —would even be a better marker. I guarantee you, if you pay attention to your tracking, most of you are probably way under on your protein, especially if you’re female.
I’m coming to you because I care. I really, really, really care, and I have so many people coming to me, saying their moms are starving themselves. They’ve been on repeat yo-yo diets. They don’t understand why they’re eating so little and not losing weight. It’s because they have slowed down their metabolism, and it has adapted.
To actually fix the problem, they need to start eating more, so that way they can go ahead and later take a cut and actually get where they want to be. It’s much better to lose more than a pound per week, like I’ve been doing, on a diet of 1,800 calories than it would be if I had to eat 1,200 calories. But I couldn’t do that if my metabolism had been slowed down because I’d starved myself prior to this. I had to be eating close to my maintenance calories and taking good care of my metabolism.
Make sure you have an idea of what your daily burn is. If you don’t have a Fitbit or some kind of a device, there are tons of good calculators out there. One, Fat 2 Fit Ratio, has a really good TDEE calculator. The Scooby Workshop has another good one. It will give you an idea of where you should be. Then, look at what you’ve been doing and see what the difference is.
If you’re burning 2,500 calories a day doing your activities, depending on your body weight and height, in theory you should be able to eat around 2,000 calories and lose a pound a week. If you can’t, then this might be a good opportunity for you to start to increase your calorie consumption, so that later you can take that cut. It’s so much more rewarding to eat more and lose weight.
Look at your protein. Make sure you’re getting enough. Your body needs it.