Are You Setting Yourself Up for Weight Loss Success?

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Weight Loss Success

We all want to have success when we lose weight. But you have to ask yourself this question, “Am I setting myself up for success?”

In other words, are you making it as easy as possible on yourself to actually get those pounds off? For a long time, my answer to that question was “No.”

I did not set myself up for weight loss success. I wasn’t physically ready, I wasn’t mentally ready, and I had not really thought through what months and months of weight loss would look like for me.

Because the truth was, I had an entire person to lose, and it would take me over a year. That’s a long time. That’s a lot of days to do the right thing. It doesn’t really matter if you have 20 pounds to lose or over 150 pounds like I did. It is still important to set yourself up for success to make the process as easy as possible.

More people struggle with losing weight than succeed. I hate that because I know how frustrating it can be to want something so badly but be unable to make it happen.

Some of the frustration can be avoided if you make sure you are as prepared for your weight loss journey as possible.

Here are four things to do to set yourself up for success. There are lots more things to do, but here are four that can get you started in the right direction.

1. Set Realistic Expectations

Who doesn’t want to lose weight yesterday? I know I did. It’s kinda like when you are ready to get your hair cut. You want the appointment that very minute you decide and find it hard to wait the week or two to get in with your favorite stylist. When we decide to lose weight, we want it to happen now but it just doesn’t work that way.

So set yourself up for success by setting realistic expectations. You won’t lose 20 pounds in a week. You won’t lose the same amount of weight week in and week out. You will hit plateaus and you may backslide sometimes.

2. Not Being Prepared for Temptations

Temptations seem to pop up everywhere when you are trying to lose weight. First it’s a holiday, then it’s a birthday, then it’s an appealing display at the grocery store. Prepare yourself for temptations by reminding yourself of your goals, deciding in advance if you will “indulge,” and having strategies in place to turn away from the temptation.

Holidays, birthdays, and special events keep coming every year. If you don’t learn to handle them when you are losing weight, you will have a hard time handling them when you are trying to maintain your weight.

3. Believing That Exercise Doesn’t Matter

Exercise won’t cause you to lose weight, but I firmly believe that a reasonable exercise plan is an important part of a weight loss plan. Why? Because it goes to an overall healthy lifestyle. And that is your goal – right? To live your life in a healthy manner and that includes exercise and eating right.

You don’t have to become a super athlete or workout for hours a day if you don’t want to. Just include exercise in your weight loss plan for fitness and health. I only exercise about 30 to 45 minutes six days a week. No crazy exercise, but reasonable exercise that I can do for years to come.

4. Using Extreme Methods to Lose Weight

Obviously you want to avoid fad diets such as the celery diet, the grapefruit diet, or the Dukan diet. However, you also want to avoid using extreme methods to lose weight. Why?

Because the key to weight maintenance is often continuing to do what worked for you when losing weight. And if you lost weight using crazy food combinations, extreme exercise, or restricting food groups for no reason, you are going to find that awfully hard to sustain. Believe me, I know.

How are you doing? Are you setting yourself up for weight loss success? Diane

Photo Credit: by Stuart Miles


  1. says

    I think the biggest mistake that people have going into a weight loss situation is not looking at the whole picture and aiming for total health. Thin does not equal healthy (and neither does training ridiculously or going to extremes, which includes those fads you mentioned.) The last thing a person should want to do is to treat their bodies badly when your actual goal is to become healthier. But I believe that’s where these extreme methods really stem from.

    I think it’s part of the punishment mentality, however. The fact that we let ourselves get to this point, that we then feel we have to be reprimanded forcefully and undergo a sort of punitive lifestyle for a while to fix it. Which is a mistake, and really very sad that we feel that way towards ourselves in the first place (and I have been there many a time before I switched my vision of what “healthy” is.)

    I think the biggest key to success is wanting the best for yourself, all around, and knowing what that truly means. :)
    Kyra recently posted…Cheerleaders Keep Fallin’ On My HeadMy Profile

  2. says

    Great suggestions, Diane!

    I gained weight when my life was out of control, and to lose it, I had to gain control again. For me, it involved a lot of planning and making my health a priority. I planned and prepped meals on the weekends (which I still do today) and scheduled my workouts.

    I think #2 is especially important. You’ll have to come up with ways to deal with temptations permanently…
    Andrea@WellnessNotes recently posted…The Little Book of ThinMy Profile

  3. says

    Another great post, Diane. For me #4, choosing the right diet for my health was key. I was soooooo stuck on using certain commercial diet plans ( the group/coaching aspect was what I liked) but I failed to stop and evaluate and then move on when it wasn’t working for me.

    I needed to be gluten free, post auto-immune thyroid. No wonder I couldn’t loose weight since I was so gluten intolerant. Prioritizing what did and did not work, then taking the long road to do the hard work was key for me. So dropping all the buzz (one persons “fad” is another persons solution- except for true eating disorders- like cotton balls!) and focusing on what worked for me was key. Nobody knows me like…… wait for it….. me!
    Ha! I had my doctors blessing for both weight loss and weight maintenance.

    Also, having the mental prep and the physical “doing” come together at the same time was super key. I waited until both the mental brain and the physical time space was right- fortunately, I got this in sync BEFORE I had a heart attack or stroke.

    Keep up the great blog posts, especially in this time of year. I know that your words will speak to many people.
    Karen P recently posted…Introducing: No Grains, No Gains! Keeping weight off in a grain obsessed world- Jan 2014My Profile

  4. says

    I love your advice for avoiding fad diets. I found that I could not achieve any long term weight loss until I figured out that what I would do today, I must be able to do for the rest of my life. Once I got that concept, the weight started coming off and stayed off.

    Today, I turned my thoughts to food triggers. It’s funny that some of what you have included here are similar thoughts to those running through my mind as I was creating that post. For me, the best success has come from the practice, practice, practice of workable strategies for eating right and being healthy, not just losing weight.
    L recently posted…3 Food Triggers that used to stall my progressMy Profile

  5. says

    I don’t think I’m always setting myself up for success. I’m still an emotional eater, and if I mess up and eat something that I think I shouldn’t, I “punish” myself and eat more. Doesn’t make any sense in the end, but I feel like I don’t deserve success that day if I’ve messed up. That’s a big way I sabotage myself. I love it when I’m good to myself and forgive myself when I’ve gotten off a healthy food plan. Love your tips, so helpful! Keep all your posts coming. They mean a lot.
    BlessedMama recently posted…Me Birthday Grub, Yum!My Profile

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