Why do you want to lose weight?
Is it to be healthier? To feel more confident on the beach? To improve your quality of life? To attract a partner? Identifying your "why" should be the first step in your weight loss journey.
It gives meaning to your actions and gets you excited for the road ahead. And you should be excited! Weight loss can completely change your life for the better. It did for me!
Step 1: Set Realistic Goals
We all start somewhere! A quick glimpse at my own fitness journey in this #flashbackfriday pic! The far left pic I was approx 35% body fat, middle pic was a few years later when I'd "dieted down" a bit for a shoot a friend talked me into (don't ask what kind of pose I'm doing, haha), and the right pic taken once I had finally been consistent with all aspects of my fitness (balanced nutrition, cardio and weights). As you can see, my results didn't happen overnight- nor should yours! All kinds of ups, downs and learning experiences between these pics, but I wouldn't have it any other way! Having once been over 35% body fat and far from my most fit & healthy self really allows me to have a greater appreciation for my health and fitness as it is today. The fact that I'm able to work with others worldwide on their fitness, creating programs that allow for a realistic, sustainable approach to their own fitness lifestyle means more to me than you'd imagine. I love being able to help others learn to love fitness for all that it is...including the unexpected ways that a fitness lifestyle can end up changing your life as it has mine! 💪🏽💃🏽 #funwithfitness #fittravel #transformation #personaltrainer #onlinetraining #cellucor #alwaysaworkinprogress #gratitude #mindset #goals #fatloss #fittips #healthy #notalwaysaglamourshot #liveauthentic #dontworryabouttmyhairintheleftpic #fbf
When it comes to setting goals based on your "purpose", the biggest mistake you could make is being too vague. Jotting down “get into shape” or “lose weight” isn't enough. You need clear, concise (and realistic) goals.
- “Reduce my body fat to "x" percentage"
- “Incorporate workouts into my life 3-5 days a week"
- “Add an extra 1-2 servings of veggies each day"
- “Bring a healthy lunch from home 2-3 days a week instead of eating lunch out each day”
What goals are you going to set for your weight loss journey?
Do they have a purpose?
Are they specific and realistic?
Spend time on this step. It will make all the difference later on.
Step 2: Have a Realistic Plan
I talked about igniting the spark by finding purpose and setting a goal. Now what?
As the popular saying goes, “a goal without a plan is just a wish!"
There are a few key elements for making a weight loss plan stick:
Think about past goals you've set and the challenges you faced. What prevented you from reaching your full potential? Was it making the time for consistent, quality training? What about poor nutritional habits during the workday, at home, or both?
If you can identify obstacles ahead of time, you can be prepared to overcome them.
It may not seem like it if you've failed to reach your goals in the past, but trust me: your problems have solutions!
For example, if you tend to make poor food choices when you're on the go, make it a point to educate yourself on healthy restaurant options, or plan ahead and prepare meals/snacks to carry with you.
If time is an issue, start small. Dedicate 15 minutes to a workout every day but do your research on time-efficient routines. If a busy schedule stands in your way, embrace flexibility and structure your workouts to fit your lifestyle.
There are always solutions to your challenges. All it takes is a little thought and planning.
Have a Realistic Timeframe
Do you have a wedding in 2 weeks? Hitting the beach in a month? Prepping for a show in 6 months? Your plan should have an "achieve by" date so you can take the appropriate steps today to get closer to your goal tomorrow.
Step 3: Maximize Your Fat Burn
You have goals, you have a plan. Now you need to take action and make every second count. Most of us are busy and we don't have hours on end to dedicate to workouts.
We have to maximize our time.
Exercise clip alert! 💥💪🏽💥 Who else got their workout in today? 🙋🏽 Challenging combo from today's session where I did burpees with a lateral hop (or lateral mini tuck jump) over battle ropes combined with some battle rope jump squat action 💦 Watch the clip a few times to check out the battle rope and squat jump sequence. Try 30 sec of the burpee combo straight into 30 sec of the battle rope combo for each set! TIP: if you've never done burpees with a lateral hop/jump, skip adding the tuck jump hop in until you get your form down, then add the tuck jump in for an extra challenge 💃🏽🐇 #funwithfitness #jumpjumpjump #burpees #battleropes #jumpsquats #cellucor #c4 #personaltrainer #onlinetraining #mystrongmoment #exerciseideas #exercisevideo #workout #cardio #bodyweighttraining #tuckjumps
Tips to Help You Maximize the Burn
When you're strapped for time...
You should always aim for a full workout. But sometimes it just isn't realistic with a hectic schedule. That isn't an excuse to skip out on a sweat session!
I’ve squeezed in some seriously challenging workouts in 15 minutes or less. How?
I'll pick 5 exercises and create a circuit, performing as many rounds of that circuit as possible in 15 minutes and only taking a 30-second break (max) between each completed round.
When you're weightlifting...
Weight lifting is an important part of a weight loss program.
To maximize the work you're putting into these sessions, limit your rest periods, go a bit lighter and do more reps during your sets. Add in supersets or mini bursts of cardio in-between sets. Doing so keeps your heart rate up!
When you're taking a breather...
If you are going to be taking some mini rest periods throughout a workout, use a timer to help ensure that you’re truly staying within the predetermined rest period range (say 30-60 seconds between sets). Avoid getting sidetracked. No social media, calls, or texts!
Working out for weight loss is all about being efficient and maximizing the time and effort you put into your sweat sessions. You should feel the burn!
Step 4: Find Your Support System
We talked about goal setting, planning and maximizing the time and effort you put into your weight loss. In the last post of this series, I want to address something that is often overlooked in a weight loss journey: support.
I know you may be thinking, “Jen, don’t worry, I’ve got this!”
But I also know that the process is challenging and it can get a bit lonely when you’re working towards a goal on your own.
When I was training for my fitness competition, I made it a point to see my friends on a regular basis. Even if that meant ordering grilled chicken and vegetables at dinner or trading wine for water during happy hour.
I made a lot of sacrifices to achieve my goal but I didn't want to sacrifice time with friends and family. And having them around helped keep me accountable and focused every step of the way.
Support comes in many different forms. Family, friends, workout partners, a significant other...
It's super important to have a support system in place while you work towards your weight loss goal. You’ll feel far less isolated during your journey, less likely to burn out, and those close to you will feel more included (even if their personal fitness goals aren’t aligned with yours).
Because you’ve taken the time to fill them in on how much they mean to you, it’s likely that they will be even more inclined to keep you accountable while you pursue your New Year, New You goals!
Good luck to all of you!