If that title got your attention, this client lost 18 lbs in 9 weeks — which is the MOST I would recommend (healthy weight loss on average is no more than 1-2 pounds per week). How’d she do it?
The short answer? By zig zagging.
The long answer? Following a flexible meal plan for 5 weeks and tracking for 4 weeks. Saying no to some things and yes to others. Not restricting all pizza, holiday treats and drinks — but paying attention to portion size, planning ahead and listening to how the body responds to things. Getting in a 10-15 minute workout because that’s better than 0 minutes of a workout. Not throwing her hands up when something doesn’t go according to plan, but zig zagging instead. Keeping reasonable weight loss expectations. Not adjusting the plan or over-restricting to counteract a weight fluctuation. Asking for help. Focusing on NSVs (more on that below).
There’s so many different things that go into one single person making progress toward their weight loss goal. It’s not easy, but it’s by no means miserable and can even feel good when you’re doing it smartly.
It’s important to note that just because this plan worked for my client, doesn’t mean it will work for you. I created a plan that would work for my client’s preferences, schedule, mindset on an individual basis — however, some of the strategies MIGHT happen to help you.
Step One – Define your goals and WHY they are important to you
Skip this step and I can almost guarantee you’ll lose your luster in a few weeks.
You need to have a clear destination and know what your deep motivation is for getting there. Deeper than just “looking good” or “feeling better”. Those are fine things to want, but go deeper. As a general guideline, give your answer to “Why?” then ask “Why?” 5 more times and you’ll be close to that deep answer that will truly inspire you to keep going. This will last longer than temporary motivation.
Step Two – Develop a plan
This client has a very busy schedule, so we knew for a few weeks a menu plan would be a great way to save her time planning and let her just focus on executing. This menu was FLEXIBLE because rigid meal plans don’t work — but it was also detailed and delicious. The menu plan also gave her ideas of what a filling, balanced, high protein and veggie diet actually looks like real life.
Phase two was switching to tracking calories and protein. She was able to use the framework of the menu plans, but now had a little extra challenge of planning and choosing what to have instead of having it laid out for her. She did the BEST PRACTICE of tracking, which is pre-tracking aka tracking before you eat. This doesn’t have to happen every single time, but it really helps in the beginning.
Step Three – Zig & Zag
Zig Zagging is my alternative to starting over. The “starting over mindset” is trap. If you know that you can alway start over if you go “off track”, you are more likely to do it.
If there is no “off track” there’s just “more optimal and less optimal” choices — you will be more inclined to make a small zig rather than a large zag. When you start coaching with me you’re not “on a diet”, you’re creating a calorie deficit (the thing that is necessary for fat loss) while creating a healthy lifestyle that might look like 80% nutritious foods and 20% less nutritious foods.
If you have 2 beers instead of 3, that is a win. If you have one cookie while baking Christmas cookies instead of saying not, regretting it and overindulging later, that’s a win. If you get a chicken sandwich from Chic-Fil-a with a side salad and split waffle fries with a friend, that’s a win.
Celebrate the small wins. String them together and you’re closer to your goal than if you’d said “Screw it, I’m off track. I might as well go as far off track while I’m here and then start over tomorrow.”
Step Four – Look for the NSVs
Aka Non-Scale Victories. Humans are impatient creatures. We want more weight loss more quickly.
While adjusting our expectations to a more healthy level, we will focus on the non-weight related wins. Like more energy, clothes fitting better, better bowl movements/digestion, more vegetables, better skin, more strength, being kinder to yourself, seeing some shoulder definition, etc.
At first, you might think scale victories are the most fun — but as you get going you will realize the NSVs affect your day to day life more and bring enjoy more joy because they are more TANGIBLE.
Actively look for NSVs every single week.
And that’s it! Is it easy? No. Does it take work? Yes. Is it miserable? No. Might out you even enjoy it? If you focus on the right things, yes.
Is 2021 the year for you to achieve your goals, whether they are weight loss related are not?
Send me an email to firstname.lastname@example.org and I’d love to see if we are the right fit 🙂