This guide includes the best of the best I’ve learned so far about weight loss since getting started. It also includes wisdom from the weight gain I experienced after losing weight. Something that happens to over 98% of obese dieters.
You see, I’ve learned a weight loss routine is going to involve way more than the basics like healthy eating and exercising if you’re going to actually achieve your weight loss goals.
A solid weight loss routine that is going to take care of all the factors that cause weight gain is going to have to include an entire lifestyle plan, scheduling, mindset work, and some tools for those inevitable days when you’ll feel like cutting too loose.
I’ve found not working on these other factors is what led to me allowing old habits to creep back in, being too relaxed on my routine until I eventually dropped it altogether, and regaining 55 of the 75 pounds I lost. I lost the weight but had the old mindset lingering because I didn’t have that other work going.
This guide will help you get started, or restarted, strong on your weight loss goals in a way that takes care of those other factors that can cause you to lack the consistency, discipline, and persistence needed to achieve your goals.
Disclaimer: This post may contain links where if you purchase via my links, I receive a commission at no additional cost to you. I will always only recommend products and services I’m diggin’ (love). You can check out my full disclosure here. 🙂
Determine what your body goals are, how you want to look, and then create visuals
Are you going for the “body crazy, curvy wavy” look? The muscle butt and thighs look? The “what waist”? Or perhaps you’re looking to tone up all over?
Whatever the case, defining your goals will help you choose workouts, equipment, routines, and programs best for your goals, find fitness inspiration and guidance from the best people for you, and eat based on what you need.
Also knowing what you want to look like helps you develop the right mental pictures for your subconscious to work with. Your subconscious, as I have learned, is actually pretty essential to achieving weight loss goals. You need it to be in alignment with what you’re looking to achieve. Otherwise, it will cause you to self-sabotage yourself out of your goals.
Create a vision board of women with the body shape you’re going for. Put a picture of your head on the body you’re looking to achieve. It also helps to add a picture of your ideal body with your head on it to your fridge, bathroom, home gym and wherever else you look consistently. Build the mental image. Get your mind on board.
Bodybuilders do this all the time. Arnold Schwarzenegger has discussed on several occasions how having pictures of the bodybuilders he wanted to look like on his wall helped keep him pushing and winning all types of titles.
Create a pretty body goals vision board: Body Goals Vision Board: Feminine, Simple
Start a weight loss journal or planner
THESE HELP and if you’re like me, not wanting to see them go unused can work as that last bit of motivation you need to keep planning, tracking, and following your routine. Can’t keep tracking and planning if you’re not taking action.
On my own journey, I’ve found that getting nerdy and tracking damn near everything about my weight loss journey made me more consistent and disciplined.
This meant planning my meals weekly, making sure I scheduled time to plan my meals, journaling the food I was eating, planning exercise, and then journaling my workouts in detail, weighing in regularly, and having my habits and routines documented and tracked.
It might sound like “a lot,” but you’ll be surprised at how much your habits and mindset will change if you’re always heading to your weight loss planner and journal to track what you’ve been doing.
I cracked up when I read the post of a woman that complained she had to first workout to add one of her cute “gold star” stickers to her tracker. She wanted that sticker so she went to workout. lol
Don’t underestimate the power of a weight loss planner and, or journal.
Decide on what healthy eating approach you’ll be taking
What diet will you be doing? Carnivore? Keto? Vegan? Are you intermittent fasting? Getting clear on what type of diet you’ll be following and meal timing will help you get rid of all the foods you won’t be eating and establish some healthy eating rules for you to get structure with.
Try not to diet hop. Choose something that fits best FOR YOU instead of trying the biggest, baddest, toughest diet that’s been “proven to melt fat overnight.” Don’t do this to yourself. It’s much easier to fall off this way. Choose something that works best for you and where you’re at on your journey.
For me, this is eating a carnivore diet and having one meal a day. My conditioning to be able to adhere to this routine started 7 years ago with the paleo diet. And after that, I was on keto. Curious about the carnivore diet, I decided to take this next step and give it a go.
Not that you have to be conditioned enough to do the carnivore diet. People go straight from the standard American diet to the Carnivore diet all the time and many have great success.
But what I have learned is the best method is to go with what works best and is the most comfortable to stick to. If a super low to no carb diet of only meat and fat doesn’t sound like your cup of tea, don’t do it. And if you try it and find that it’s too uncomfortable for you to stick with, try paleo and work your way back to carnivore.
Whatever you end up doing, do what works best for you to stick to.
A few words on choosing the best diet for weight loss for you
With all that said, there are a few things I have to point out I have learned about good diets and what humans should be eating for optimal health and weight loss:
Avoid highly processed foods
Foods, sodas, juices and drinks. Especially if you’re prone to feeling addicted to food. And these foods are actually manufactured to get the body to eat more so, buyer beware.
Vegan and vegetarian diets
Vegan and vegetarian diets can help you lose weight, but more research is showing these diets cause malnutrition, loss of collagen, bone loss, muscle loss, loss of period, hormonal issues, and mental health issues.
For some, these symptoms come on quickly and for others, it could take years.
Foods that are actually weight-loss friendly
Foods that raise blood sugar the lowest and provide more sustainable energy are best for weight loss because they allow insulin, the fat-storage hormone, to do less work.
When insulin has to show up, the body isn’t burning fat. Eating in a way that keeps insulin from having to work more than is needed leads to more weight loss.
The right foods makes portion control and caloric restriction effortless
Getting in the right foods is way more effective than counting calories and controlling portions. With the right foods and their nutrients, the body will naturally regulate appetite, blood sugar, and metabolism. Even your cravings will go away.
This leads to your body doing what it’s supposed to be doing and signaling to your brain to stop eating when it is fed. Controlling caloric intake and portions naturally by shutting off your appetite.
For me, this has felt like taking another bite would make me gag even though I’m not feeling full. Sounds gross, but that’s the best way I can explain it. lol
Nutrient-dense animal fats and proteins
Nutrient-dense animal fats and proteins help with this, BIG TIME.
A few posts that talk more about what I ate to lose weight:
- 33 healthy real foods I avoided to lose 45 pounds
- How to become fat-adapted to burn fat without torturing yourself with sugar withdrawals
- How to lose 100+ pounds with a simple and satisfying diet
- 3 surprisingly best foods for weight loss, appetite control, and sugar cravings
- Intermittent fasting for weight loss: How I lost 45-lbs in 4 months the easy way
And here is a free bundle I created for keto intermittent fasting if you’d like to give it a try.
Clean out the kitchen and remove tempting foods
If you can survive with your temptations around, all power to you, but if you’re like me and you can’t, get rid of them. Donate or toss it out. Give them to your family or neighbor.
Make your kitchen one of those places where you can look, but won’t find something off-plan that’ll throw you off when you’re having one of those days. It’s actually kinda cool how just looking has saved me from cheating. The looking gives the rational brain time to chime in and say, “stop this!”
Get clear on what your list of on-track foods will be
After deciding what diet you’ll be eating, it’ll be helpful to get a list of foods for that diet if you’re unfamiliar. There are several free lists online available for all types of diets.
Get clear on what your list of off-track foods will be
These are the foods not allowed on your diet or during your weightloss journey. You can also break this list up into foods you’ll never eat, foods you’ll only eat on a cheat day, and foods you’ll only eat on special occasions.
Gather healthy, go-to recipes and meal ideas
Have some meal ideas and recipes ready for meal planning and prepping especially if you’re totally new to the diet you’ve chosen to follow. Knowing what meals to put together will help you start off strong and improve your chances of staying on track.
It’ll also help you waste less food, plan more strategically, and have less excuses to not eat healthy.
Schedule time to meal plan, grocery shop, and meal prep weekly
I always have to give props to meal planning and prep because I believe it is this disciplined practice that helped me stay on track during my last fitness transformation. It also helped me develop discipline in other areas of my life at the time.
Make time for meal planning, grocery shopping, and meal prep and schedule them in your planners. Stick to these times or make sure they are done consistently.
Or subscribe to a meal delivery service and have your meal prep delivered
And if you’re tight on time or prefer to have the meal prep done for you and delivered, there’s always meal prep delivery services. For the time you save on meal planning, meal prep, and grocery shopping for those ingredients, the investment is worth it.
Determine when you’ll be working out and schedule it
Scheduling workouts helps with discipline and consistency. Making time and preparing in advance for workouts works.
Find workouts and plan your workouts weekly
You can find people with the body shape you want sharing the exercises and routines they did to achieve them. Get in the habit of bookmarking exercises on Instagram.
And YouTube has ALL TYPES of full workouts and exercise instruction videos for all types of needs. Plus size, booty workout, abs, legs, waist, dance workouts. You name it, YouTube likely has it. For free!
Plan what you’ll be doing on what days so you’re not wasting time (and losing motivation) looking for a workout to do or figuring out what to do on the day you’re supposed to do it.
Upgrade your fitness gear if needed
Hey, don’t underestimate the power of a cute workout outfit you’ve spent coin on. I find them pretty motivating myself. Can’t use the “I have nothing to workout in” excuse.
Establish a daily mindset routine
You can’t lose weight on the same mindset you’ve gained it on. You’ll have to update your self-image. Your self-image determines your results. Your current body is a result of your self-image and your actions will in fact adjust to maintain that self-image if you don’t update it. This typically looks like self-sabotage, challenges “out of nowhere,” and making excuses. It can even look like attracting circumstances that make it hard for you to follow through on your body goals.
Updating your self-image is important.
One good method is daily 15-minute visualization sessions where you visualize yourself following through on your plan and in the body you desire. Visualize people complimenting you on your progress and feel how you’d feel if that was happening. Visualizing works.
Other helpful daily mindset tasks for body goals are meditation, reading your goals daily, and viewing your vision board.
Write out a contingency plan
This is how you’ll get back on plan or protect yourself from falling off plan. For some, this is daily stress-management activities, phoning a friend, or journaling the thoughts that pop up when you’re thinking about skipping a workout. Or you can look at your vision board as long as you need.
Whatever you do, just make sure it’s something… healthy… that’ll help you be consistent and get back to it if you fall off.
Write out this plan and use it when needed.
Be persistent, be forgiving
You might hop on your weight loss routine and head straight to your “after.”
Then you might get on your weight loss routine, lose weight, gain weight, lose weight, have stalled weight loss, struggle, and then finally hit your “after” after going at it all year. Most people do something similar to the latter. Even the most in-shape Instagram influencers didn’t experience strict discipline that led straight to the bodies they’re known for.
The key is to be persistent and forgiving enough to get back to it. Practice making this an entire lifestyle with a matching mindset and drive instead of something you’re doing just for the weight loss. This is what changes lives and bodies.
Going for body goals means updating your lifestyle and getting it, and your mind, in alignment with them. Otherwise, you’ll be doing way more than what’s already necessary to achieve your goals. Take it one day at a time. I’ve heard some say it’s best to start with one habit at a time, but I think if you’ve got the spirit and space to design a whole new lifestyle for yourself and hop in, do it. Practice that new lifestyle until it is no longer practice.
Good luck on your journey!