Fail to Plan…Plan to Fail

Almost daily, someone asks me the age-old question, “How do I lose weight?” Or, sometimes it comes in the form “How do I lose fat and gain lean muscles to look ‘toned’?” I usually reply with the same answers but it’s honestly very different from person to person based on genetics, lifestyle, occupation, health conditions, etc. There ARE however a few simple guidelines that work for everyone, no matter what your parents or grandparents passed down to you, or if your job requires to to be at a desk all day, or if you are pre-diabetic/diabetic….listed below are my guidelines for successful weight-loss (how to lose AND how to keep it off). Before reading the guidelines, I’d like touch base on thee most important guideline…if you fail to plan then you ultimately should plan to fail. In other words, if you do not plan out your meals, your weekly workouts, your sleep routine, your water intake, etc. then you should just plan to fail. Planning these things WILL lead you to successful weight loss and will also help you keep it off. However, if you don’t plan out your meals, your workouts, your sleep schedule, your water intake, etc. you may be successful at losing weight for a while but you WILL NOT keep it off. You must make these things routine, or daily/weekly habits. Take meal planning for instance; if you plan out your meals and prep them on Saturday or Sunday for the work week ahead, you will save time, you will save yourself from the hassle of going out to eat and having to choose healthy over that pasta primavera that looks so tasty. If you plan out your workouts and schedule them on your calendar like a doctor’s appointment, you won’t bail when your friend asks you to go shopping after work and you can simply say “Sorry, but I have a workout scheduled for that time, can we choose another day/time?” When you schedule in your sleep routine by setting an alarm for what time to be in and out of bed each day, you are prepared for the next day because your body received adequate sleep and rest. When you prepare and schedule your water intake each day, your body feels hydrated and doesn’t feel the NEED to reach for the candy jar that is on your co-workers desk. When you want to achieve something, anything, you must have a plan and you must map out how to get there. If you achieve it, keep following the steps daily/weekly to stay successful at it. Check out my tips & suggestions below regarding planning out your week to set yourself up for successful weightless and keeping it off. XOXO, Coach Erika.

Coach Erika’s Tips for Success in Losing Weight & Keeping it Off:

>>>Make a meal plan for each week. Once you have a meal plan, write down the ingredients that you need to pick up from the grocery store for each meal/snack on your meal plan. When you are at the grocery store WITH your list, only get the things that are on your list. Don’t buy junk you don’t need because it will not get you closer to your goals. AKA stay away from the aisle unless something is on your grocery list that you need down the aisles. Shop the perimeter of the grocery store (the outside…where the good stuff is like fruits, vegetables, proteins).

>>>As soon as you get home from the grocery store, block out some time to wash and chop your fruits & vegetables. Divvy up your breakfasts, snacks, and lunches, and place them into separate containers and ziplock bags so that it’s easier during the week and saves you time.

>>>Either the night before or the morning of, prepare your breakfast, snacks, and lunch for the day. When you do this, you save yourself the hassle and you have to eat what you bring with you. Don’t pack junk. Pack foods that will fuel your body & your brain and will keep you full (chips will not keep you full by the way…not even kale chips).

>>>On Sunday, plan and write your workouts on your calendar for the week. For instance, you can simply write “Monday, walk for 30 minutes during lunch hour, Tuesday attend Yoga class at 5pm, Wednesday do in-home workout of pushups, lunges, triceps dips, and squats, Thursday walk for 30 minutes after dinner, etc. etc. When you put it ON your calendar, it’s like a doctor’s appointment…you cannot reschedule.

>>>If you are unsure of where to start in terms of exercise or working out, contact someone you know that is the health field (we are always always always happy to help). Or you can also purchase a book on Amazon to get your started. Or find a YouTube video that you can do in your own home. Or simply walk 10, 20, 30, minutes each day. Whatever you decide for your workout, WRITE IT DOWN ON YOUR CALENDAR.

>>>Plan out your sleep/wake schedule. The weekdays can be different from the weekends, just make sure it’s no more than a 2 hour difference. For instance, Monday through Friday, set an alarm for the same time each day (maybe 6:30am). It doesn’t matter the time…just make sure it’s the same time each day so that your body starts to get into a routine. Also set an alarm for what time to be in bed. Although this may sound strange to set an alarm for bed, I can honestly say it’s helped me know that I need to set aside whatever I’m doing and wind down for the day. Make sure it’s the same time each day. If you are going to do a different wake/sleep time for the weekends, make sure it’s not more than 2 hours of a difference otherwise your body & brain will start to get confused. So if you’re going to do wake up at 6:30am on the weekdays, try to get up no later than 8:30am on the weekends. Same with sleep…if you’re going to set 10pm as your bedtime on the weekdays, then try to get to sleep no later than 12am on the weekends (for most of us adults this isn’t a problem since we are snoring by 12am anyways).

>>>Plan out your water intake. Yes, this may sound almost extreme for some people, but for those of us in the health field, this sounds pretty normal. If you don’t already have a re-usable water bottle, I suggest investing in one. I like the ones that are 24-32 ounces because I know to drink at least 3 of them per day, plus when it’s time to re-fill it I feel like I accomplished something so it’s rewarding to fill it up a few times throughout the day.

>>>Other things you can plan out that are optional that certainly help with weightless or keeping the weight off include: Daily vitamins; times to fuel your body (I usually follow this schedule: Breakfast 7am, mid-morning snack 10am, lunch 12:30pm, mid-afternoon snack 3pm, dinner 6pm, after dinner snack if needed 7pm); logging nutritional calories (I use MyFitnessPal and I try my best to log each time I have a meal/snack).

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