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Guest post: How to Lose Weight with Hard Work and Careful Planning

“There are no secrets to success. It is the result of preparation, hard work and learning from failure.” — Colin Powell

There are countless stories online telling us how hard it is to lose weight and keep it off, and there are equally as many websites pushing quick-fix diets and extreme weight loss solutions. With people searching for diets such as “Lose 30 Pounds in 10 Days” and thousands of sites offering terrible fitness advice, is it any wonder we’re fighting a losing battle with obesity?

Why Easy Fixes Don’t Work

Rarely, if ever, is the easiest way to do something also the best way. Weight loss is no exception. Extreme weight loss gimmicks promising fast results with minimal effort are not going to give you the long-term results you want. If anything, they will offer a small, short-term weight loss that will be inevitably followed by weight gain when you go back to your regular eating habits. Without integrating real changes to your fitness habits, you cannot achieve long-term weight loss.

Also, extreme fad diets can have serious adverse health effects including gallstones, dehydration, electrolyte imbalances, hair loss, malnutrition and more. In almost all cases, your health will be worse after trying a fad diet than it was before.

What Does Work

We know fad diets aren’t a good solution for weight loss, so what can we do to lose weight and keep it off? You must commit to making real changes to your eating habits and your fitness routine. It will not be easy, and it will not be fast, but if you truly commit yourself to making this change, it will be worth it.

Choosing a Method

The most important part of choosing a weight loss method is to pick one that is sustainable for the long-term. Losing five pounds in the first week on a very low-calorie diet won’t do you much good if you can’t endure the diet and you quit right away. Plus, you’ll probably gain all the weight back with a few more pounds as your body rebounds from the crash diet.

You should also research your plan to ensure it has been reviewed by health experts and studied for long-term health impacts. Diets such as the Paleo diet and intermittent fasting are examples of plans that work well for weight loss and are safe for prolonged use.

vegetables healthy nutritious

Via David Saddler @ Flickr

Why Planning is Important

Planning ahead is an often overlooked but extremely critical element to weight loss success. At the beginning of a new weight loss regimen, you are probably changing a lot of things about your daily routine. It’s important to plan those ahead, generally a week at a time, to help you build and solidify those new habits.

Planning your meals and workouts at the beginning of the week is a great way to combat decision fatigue. Having pre-planned meals and established workout times can give you the added boost you need to push through and stick with your plan on the days you’re feeling like giving up.

Staying Motivated

Embarking on a new weight loss program is exciting at first. However, after you’ve been working at it for a while, you might find your motivation starting to wane. Finding ways to keep yourself motivated can be the hardest part of any weight loss endeavor.

Track Your Progress

You may get frustrated if you rely completely on the scale to gauge your progress. You should always consult a doctor before starting any weight loss plan. He or she will probably want to conduct some tests to get a baseline of your current health before making recommendations.

You can then save those results in an app such as MyMedical to track and compare them to future results. If you’re concerned about keeping your health information in an online application, you could consider using a proxy software service to keep your health information private. Watching your health markers improve before your eyes is a great way to stay motivated.

Try New Things

If you’re doing the Paleo diet and eating the same meals day in and day out, you’re probably going to get bored and struggle to stay on track. Try incorporating at least one new meal per week into your meal plan to keep things interesting.

Incorporating new and different workout types into your routine is another way to change things up. If you usually prefer to go for a run, try venturing out to a rock climbing gym for the day. If your workouts are usually focused on strength training, skip the weights and swim laps every once and awhile. Keeping things interesting is the best way to keep yourself interested.

Join a Community

There are countless online and in-person groups you can join to get extra support while you’re losing weight. You can check out local gyms and fitness centers, or search Facebook for other people using the same diet plan. Don’t discount the value of a cheering section. Everyone needs some support from time to time.

As much as quick-fix websites and weight loss “gurus” would have you believe otherwise, there truly is no fast fix for weight loss. The only real way to lose weight is through hard work. You have to commit to your plan and yourself. You can do this, and you’re worth the effort. Now get to work.

About the Author: Faith is a personal trainer and writer. She loves helping people realize their ambitions for healthier lives and enjoys sharing her experience with anyone who wants to change unhealthy habits.

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About Yossif

Hey, I'm Yossif. I get angry about health and food. I think I know what I'm talking about, but I dunno. Most people can't drop 100 lbs by accident, right? I want to try and helps others get healthy and fit. There's a lot of lies and crappy info out there, I'm trying to shovel it out of the way. Sign up for my newsletter here!

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