How to Mentally Prepare to Lose 100+ Pounds and Keep it Off For Life
Step 1: Prepare Yourself Mentally for Weight Loss
There are some things you need to consider before you begin any weight loss journey that is as big as ours.
1. It will not be comfortable. You spent at least the last few years being comfortable and if you want to lose weight, you’re going to have to switch up your routine. You will step WAY out of your comfort zone. You are changing your life and the way you treat your body.
2. It will not be an overnight change. There is a reason that people say “weight loss JOURNEY”. This is something that takes time, like anything else that’s worth doing. It may be years before you reach your ultimate goals. You will have to remember along the way to celebrate the smaller milestones. Dropping a pants size, going up a resistance level on the elliptical, having a friend notice a difference, even just feeling better about yourself are all great reasons to celebrate.
3. There will be temptation. The world will not stop because you are losing weight. Every restaurant you love is still open and the food still tastes amazing. Work is still stressful. Lounging is still easier than working out. The people you hang out with are still not making healthy choices. The only thing that’s changing is you.
4. Your goal needs to be healthy and realistic. A woman who has 100 or more pounds to lose should not strive to look like their favorite celebrity. Likewise a man in the same situation should not expect to look like the guy on the cover of a muscle magazine. Your primary goal should be health. Any physical changes should be completely secondary. Make sure to make your goal weight something within the healthy BMI range. We will talk about realistic time frames in the next step.
You need to ask yourself if you’re willing to accept these facts. if you’re not, you may not be ready. You will have to go into this thing willing to make changes, withstand temptation, and accept any setbacks or mistakes.
If you are going to do this, the first thing I suggest is to make a point of mentioning it to everyone you know. Tell them what you’re doing and what your goal is so that you get asked about your progress constantly. Post it on your Facebook and Twitter. Don’t give yourself a chance to cop out. Put it into your head that this is starting and there’s no backing down.
Next up, let’s talk basics!
Step 2: Learn to Set a Healthy Goal
In order to lose weight, we are going to use a principle that is very simple, but tough to understand for some reason for a lot of people:
To lose weight, burn more calories than you consume.
That’s really all you need. We’ll talk more about this concept when we go into calorie counting. For right now, you need to know what constitutes a healthy goal, short and long term. Let’s go through some figures you need to know.
In order to calculate your BMI (Body Mass Index), you will need to know your current weight. Now might be a good time to buy a scale and put it in the bathroom. This website will tell you your BMI and what category this places you in. It will also tell you what the healthy weight range is for your height. Many people will argue that using the BMI is not always an accurate way to find a healthy weight loss goal because the system is outdated. However, I feel that if you take the healthy BMI range and put your goal somewhere in the middle, you can readjust when you make that primary goal.
Ex: I am 5’7″ and I weigh 240 pounds. Currently that puts me in the obese category. My healthy weight range is between 118 and 159 pounds, so I choose to set a goal weight of 140 pounds initially.
Daily Caloric Intake
Now you need to figure out how many calories to eat each day in order to get to your goal. This website has a great calculator for this purpose. If you put in your basic statistics, the calculator tells you exactly how many calories to eat per day during every week of your diet for the first year. It will even adjust the amount of calories weekly based on your updated weight. If you are following my plan, you’ll want to put in moderate on the activity level, unless you also have a very active occupation, such as a job that requires you to walk around and stand for most of the day.
There are some things you’ll want to keep in mind when you make this goal:
-A healthy amount of weight to lose per week is about 2-5 pounds depending on your starting weight and current physical condition. If you are planning on losing more per week, I highly recommend consulting a doctor regularly, especially if you currently have any medical conditions.
-A healthy amount of calories to eat per day for most people on a diet is 1200 calories or more. If you put your goal into the calorie calculator and the calories per day numbers are below 1200 calories, you will want to lower your yearly goal so that you can safely lose less weight within the first year.
Ex: I am 5’7″ and 240 pounds. My goal is a healthy weight of 140 pounds. I put in the goal of losing 100 pounds in a year, but notice that this puts me under a healthy amount of calories per day toward the end of my plan. I can either choose to lower my yearly goal on the calculator or go with the current plan with the intention of eating at least 1200 calories per day toward the end of the diet for a slightly slower result toward the end. I will be losing around 2 pounds per week. During the first week of the plan, I will want to eat 1762 calories per day.
If you’re losing 100 pounds or more and trying to do it safely, expect to spend at least a year working toward your goal and likely more.