So, you’ve decided to start on your very own personal weight loss journey. Congratulations! Now for the hardest
part: forget everything—every trick, every shortcut, every terrible food blog—you’ve ever read. There’s only one thing you actually need during this journey to be successful, and it’s not another bad detox or wasted gym membership. It’s a goal. The rest will come with a little discipline, a little self-love, and a little bit of time.
At Jersey Strong, one of the most common reasons our clients seek personal training is because they want to lose weight. The only problem? They don’t know how to make it happen. We can’t blame them: with so much conflicting information out there, new fitness studies coming out seemingly every day, and the challenge of fitting a lifestyle change into already-packed schedules, it’s no wonder that people need a little guidance. Plus, there are so many things that can stand in the way of your goal: self-doubt, inconsistency, unhealthy dieting and detoxing, a less-than-supportive support system…the list goes on.
Fear not, goal setters. To help you dive into your own fitness journey (and avoid the bumps along the way), we’ve
pulled together the ultimate, no-nonsense, make-it-happen healthy weight loss guide. Here you’ll find:
- Diet Tips for Weight Loss
- Everything You Need to Know on Today’s Most Popular Diets
- The Best Exercises to Get You Back on Track
- Inspiring Stories Straight Out of Our New Jersey Gyms
- Personal Training Tips, Classes to Join, and more
We don’t know about you, but we’re excited to get started. Are you ready to finally take control of your health?
Weight Loss 101: General Diet Tips to Shed Pounds
They say weight loss is 20% exercise, 80% diet. It’s true: fitness starts and ends in the kitchen. But this is where a lot of goalsetters get tripped up: nutrition science isn’t simple or exact, and what didn’t exist yesterday is today’s food fad and tomorrow’s dieting sin (read: the juice cleanse craze of the 2010s). While sifting through the conflicting information out there is half the battle, there are a few things that have stayed true over time. Below, we broke down the most important general tips you need to follow in order to lose weight, no matter what diet you’re on.
Plan It Out
You could dive straight into your diet…or you could take a little time to research what will work, plan out your fail safes, get your support system on board, and make sure you know what you’re getting into. Planning is proven to help you meet goals and hold yourself accountable. Don’t take the pre-dieting stage for granted: some of what you need to do might feel like a waste of time, but it’s important that you not only set specific goals for yourself, but also be realistic about your time. Here’s what you should be doing as pre-diet prep to set yourself up for success.
Determine Your Motivation
You need to determine your Why. What got you into this in the first place? Was it pure weight loss? Was it the desire to keep up with your kids? Was it to feel comfortable in your own skin? Was it to help you live longer, fuller, and better? Really think deeply, and then write down your Why. You can go back to it when you need motivation to make it through a plateau or a day when your cravings are off-the-charts.
Hang Your Goals Up
Once you determine your motivation, write down your short term and long-term goals. Make them specific (hint: “I want to lose X number of pounds by this date” is better than “I want to lose weight.”), and then put them somewhere you’ll see every day (your mirror, your dashboard, as a daily reminder in your phone). Creating reminders will keep your goals top of mind—and that will help when you need reinforcement.
Talk to Your Support System
Surround yourself with people who know your goals and who can help you achieve them. Ask: would they be willing to keep junk food out of the house? Can they help hold you accountable? Could they help identify recipes that are healthy and work for the kids, too? Would they want to eat healthy alongside you? Studies show that great support systems will help you lose weight, so recruit yours now.
Look at Your Schedule
If you have long commutes that include a coffee run each morning because you hate getting up early to make breakfast, resolve to prepare breakfast the night before. If you have kids and need to bring them to and from after-school activities that might limit dinner-making time, resolve to get in the habit of Sunday meal prep (see below!). If work is right next to an amazing pizza place, resist the temptation to run over to it on your lunch break and break out the lunch box you prepared instead. Dieting, more than anything, takes time—to prepare meals, to buy right, to eat early instead of getting out of bed late—so make time.
This is your most major planning requirement, and it should become habit as you continue into your weight loss journey.
Meal prepping helps you lose weight a couple ways: first, by helping you be more intentional about what you
eat when you eat it, and second, by helping you manage your portions. Plus, with a little practice, it’s totally fun and
easy…and you get to make meals you can get excited about every week.
The Food Basics
There are certain tenets of nutrition that will stay true throughout your weight loss journey. No matter what eating plan you decide to stick with, keep these food commandments in mind.
The human body evolved digesting fresh, whole foods—and it’s a master at using them for its own good. In fact, fruits and vegetables are so important to our mental and physical health that doctors in some areas of the U.S. are prescribing them like medication. Processed foods and refined sugars are not just bad for your gut; they wreak havoc on your brain, too. Plus, they hide a lot of bad stuff, like additives and unnatural chemicals—so having them in your diet makes it harder for you to shed pounds.
Water before meals helps you feel fuller, water during and after workout helps you recover faster, and water in general makes your skin better, your energy better, your mood better…the list goes on. During (and before and after) your weight loss journey, make sure you have a dedicated water bottle by your side…and drink half a gallon (or eight 8 oz. cups) a day.
Track and Plan Your Protein Intake
A healthy diet should have protein; a weight loss diet simply won’t work without it. Why should you care? Tons of reasons: protein lowers your appetite (so you can kiss midnight cravings goodbye), it makes you burn calories while you metabolize it, it helps you burn more calories in general, it reduces obsessive thoughts of food, it helps you build muscle, and more. For optimal weight loss, about 30% of your calories should be coming from protein (for example: a 2000 calorie diet should have you eating about 150 grams of protein)