Archive for the ‘Motivation & Mindset For Weight Loss’ Category

Why Use a Printable Weight Loss Chart?

You may be wondering why you need a printable weight loss chart. What is the point of it? Why does it help?

A printable weight loss chart offers many benefits that you may not have considered. Have you ever noticed that when you have a busy day and you write down all the things you need to get done that you achieve more of those aims than you would had you not written them down? The reason for this is that you refer back to that list when you complete a task to see what other tasks need to be completed. In other words, that list helps maintain your focus on the GOALS you have for the day. If you tick or cross of tasks as they are completed it also provides motivation because you can see your progress at a glance.

I’m sure just about anyone reading this has heard of the ‘Law of Attraction’ and one important aspect of utilizing the law of attraction involves the use of a ‘vision board’ or ‘dream map’. This is a poster created containing pictures and phrases pertaining to the life you desire. It may include pictures of happy families engaged in family activities, luxury cruise ships (for holidays), a Lamborghini Countach as your ideal car, a mansion for your home and even a picture of you with the body you want. For this last one, just attach a head shot of yourself to an image of the body you want to achieve. Make sure it’s practical though, if you’re 6′ tall and 2′ across the shoulders (bones only) then pasting a picture of some petite little person who isn’t even 1.5′ wide isn’t going to work as it’s physically impossible because you can’t change your bone size. The purpose of this poster is to help you focus on the things you desire and motivate you to do the things you need to do to achieve them.

The purpose of a printable weight loss chart is basically the same thing. You display it in a prominent position where you will see it regularly, this way it keeps your weight loss goals firmly in mind, you can see your progress at a glance and it helps to motivate you to continue your weight loss efforts. There are many things the chart will contain.

  1. Start date: This provides a yardstick for your efforts. With it you can see how much weight you lose over time. For example you may have lost 12lbs in 12 weeks.
  2. Starting weight: What you weighed at the beginning. Again, used as a yardstick to see how far you have come.
  3. Goal weight: Your goal weight provides a tangible goal for you to commit to rather than just some airy fairy ‘I want to lose weight’. This goal weight should be decided in consultation with your family doctor based upon your BMI so that you don’t have unrealistic weight loss goals.
  4. Goal period: How long do you want to take to reach your goal weight? It is extremely important that you select a practical time frame. Don’t aim to lose 50 lbs in 12 weeks because it’s not going to happen and you will become discouraged and give up. Even if it were possible, if you lost weight that quickly within 12 weeks of stopping the diet you would probably have regained those 50 lbs plus an extra 10 lbs. Aim for a weight loss of around one to two pounds per week. If you have a large amount of weight to lose you can do it in stages. Say for example you need to lose a total of 100 lbs, make your first goal 50 lbs then when you reach that create another 50 lb goal. That way the odds don’t seem so insurmountable.
  5. Body measurements: Taking weekly measurements is a great way to see the true physical effects of your weight loss before they become visually evident. Your measurements for week one will be your starting measurements. Measurements normally include the waist, chest, hips, thigh and forearm. It’s great when you see that your waist measured 42″ one week then only 41″ the next. You wouldn’t notice that shrinkage visually but the measurement provides tangible evidence of weight loss. So the purpose of these measurements is to encourage and motivate you.
  6. Daily calories: This one is extremely important. You need to become aware of the calorie content of the foods you eat because many of us eat foods that have extremely high calorie content. You can use a calorie counter book or visit Nutrition data to find information on the calorie content of foods. Don’t forget to take drinks into account also. While a cup of white coffee with two sugars only contains about 20 calories a can of non-diet soda contains around 160 calories and 12 floz of fruit juice contains around 200 calories (but much more nutrients than soda). Four cans of soda per day increases your calorie intake by 640 calories which constitutes about a third of your energy requirements. The same amount of diet soda will only contribute about 20 calories. So if you must drink soda at least drink diet soda. By using portion control and counting calories you can identify what calorie intake you require to achieve weight loss and if you don’t lose weight one week then you know you need to reduce your calorie intake the following week.
  7. Daily exercise: Recording daily exercise is more about being accountable. It doesn’t have to be a huge amount, just an average of 10-15 minutes a day can have a significant impact. Nor does it have to be walking, running, cycling, gym workout etc. Even doing housework like mowing lawns, cleaning gutters, vacuuming, cleaning walls etc is exercise and can use a surprising amount of energy. The point is to exercise regularly. It doesn’t have to be every day, 30 minutes every second day is fine. If you notice you haven’t done any exercise for a couple of days then make sure you do some and write it down. Otherwise you could end up going days or even weeks without exercise before you realize and that won’t help you with your weight loss goals.
  8. Weekly weight: Again, tracking and motivational here. Some people like to weigh themselves daily but I prefer weekly, I’d rather find that I’ve lost a pound in one week than one or two ounces per day. It is important to weigh yourself regularly, weighing yourself keeps your weight loss goals firmly in mind and seeing your weight loss helps motivate you by providing a snapshot of your overall progress.

Are you ready to shift your weight loss efforts into top gear? Check our free weight loss downloads page to download your free weight loss goal setting worksheet and printable weight loss chart.

Weight Loss Goal Setting – Stretch Targets Definition And Use

When trying to lose weight motivation is crucial. Weight loss goal setting is an important aspect of this. Setting goals that are challenging allows you to improve exercise and eating habits consistently. Goals assist you to maintain focus as you attempt to achieve your target weight. Without goals and planning, you’re setting yourself up for failure before you even start. Take time to create a series of goals leading to a stretch target to assist in meeting your fitness goals.

Stretch Targets Definition

What are stretch targets? Stretch targets are goals aimed at challenging you, goals that will stretch you beyond your normal limits. When creating a stretch target, you should plan a goal that you believe is out of reach, then set smaller, more achievable goals as milestones to help you work towards your stretch goal. Example, if you don’t exercise, you create a goal of competing in a triathlon in six months. Or maybe you struggle to lift 30 pounds, your stretch target could be to lift 100 pounds in six months. After setting these seemingly impossible goals, you then set smaller goals to mark your progress.

Weight loss goal setting is essential when you want to make lifestyle changes leading to a fitter life. In fact, goal setting is pivotal to making lifestyle changes for any reason. Create your stretch target, then create more achievable goals that lead to it. If your stretch target is to run a marathon, one of your smaller goals could be to begin walking every day, interspersed with short bursts of running (i.e. intervals). Over time, increase the amount of time spent running. Maybe you start out walking for five minutes then running for two minutes, two weeks later it could be walking for two minutes and running for five. four weeks later you could be walking for five minutes and running for 15 etc. By achieving these mini goals, you will eventually build up to running a marathon.

Make certain to encourage yourself for each achievement. As you create each goal, specify a small reward for achieving it. Specify a large reward for achieving your target goal. This provides small incentives as you work toward your stretch target. Many people require some kind of instant gratification to maintain motivation. These rewards provide exactly that.

Goals are essential to any kind of permanent lifestyle change, and weight loss is no exception. Setting goals leading to your stretch target is a great way to encourage motivation. Inform others of your goal, this way you become answerable to someone for achieving them and they can encourage you along the way. With dedication and hard work, you can achieve your goals faster than you might expect. Be certain to select a goal that is important to you, that in itself helps keep you motivated to work towards it. focus on how proud you and your family will be when you finally reach your ultimate goal. Congratulations! You’re working towards a better life.

This post does not constitute medical advice nor should it be substituted for professional medical advice. This post titled “Weight Loss Goal Setting – Stretch Targets Definition And Use” is intended for informational purposes only.

How To Deal With Weight Loss and Depression

Many people gain weight due to the most common form of mental illness: depression. According to research, one in three people would benefit from anti depressant treatment at some stage in their lives. This doesn’t necessarily mean long term but sometimes life throws us a curve ball that leaves us floundering around in the dark. Depression influences many aspects of life and weight gain can be one of the first signs of depression. Many individuals who suffer from depression will suffer from weight gain also because depression can cause them to find comfort in eating food, especially their favorite foods, which usually translates into foods that are high in fat, sodium, and sugar.

Weight loss and depression go hand in hand. Depression can also be experienced during a weight loss program. This is frequently due to their own expectations of their weight loss program. Maybe they feel that they are not losing weight as quickly as they want or perhaps it is due to them not losing the amount of weight they want to.

Losing weight requires time and a positive attitude. When trying to lose weight, you should constantly find ways to encourage yourself. Keep a weight loss journal containing your weekly weight loss achievements, changes in clothing sizes, bust, waist and hip measurments etc so you can see your progress as it happens. And when you achieve a major milestone like a drop in clothing size, treat yourself by going out and purchasing a new pair of jeans or whatever. This kind of encouragement will help you maintain a positive mental attitude to losing weight. Just because on week you lost four pounds and the next you only lost one doesn’t mean that you can’t lose the weight you want to lose. Remember that it is perfectly normal to experience weeks when you lose less weight. Look at the contestants on biggest loser, even they experience weeks like that. In particular, women experience this due to hormonal fluctuations. Men experience similar issues, though not caused by hormones. Things like stress levels, change in routine, change in diet or type of exercise. All of these can affect how much weight will be lost in any given week. Whether you lose one pound a week or seven, just be thankful for the weight loss as it brings you that much closer to your weight loss goal.

It is not really difficult to Stay positive during a weight loss program. Always remember to face one day at a time. Because that is the way time passes. You can’t regret what you didn’t do yesterday or stress about what you will do tomorrow. Just focus on your weight loss efforts for today. If you fall off the weight loss wagon one day by gorging yourself on a huge cream pie or being lazy about exercise, just resolve to try harder the following day… and do it!

Do everything you can every day to stay on your weight loss course. Be careful what you eat, exercise regularly (preferably every day but at least every second day), and always, always encourage yourself by considering the progress you have made so far.

Make every pound count. Set realistic goals for yourself and don’t try to do too much in too little time. For example, if you want to lose 100 pounds, don’t give yourself a time frame of 12 weeks to lose it… that would be more than eight pounds weight loss per week which would be almost impossible to achieve. If you set unrealistic weight loss goals and don’t achieve them, it will make you depressed, possibly even enough to give up altogether. Better to aim to lose two pounds per week, then if you lose five pounds in a week you will feel REALLY good about yourself. If necessary, set low goals initially then increase them as you find yourself able to accomplish them. The key is to focus on achievable weight loss goals that will help you maintain a positive attitude because you are seeing results.

Staying positive isn’t difficult. Focus on what you’re doing, encourage yourself with your achievements, work persistently toward your goals. In less time than you think you can be encouraging others and seeing them achieve their own weight loss goals. Remember, although weight loss and depression go hand in hand, it is possible to overcome the issue by focussing on the positives.

How To Use A Weight Loss Goal Setting Worksheet

Losing weight can be one of the most difficult challenges you will face in life. Fighting cravings to eat unhealthy foods. Resisting the temptation to be lazy and watch TV rather than getting some exercise by taking the dog for a walk or going for a jog. It is hard to change your eating habits, you like the food you eat or you wouldn’t eat it. A weight loss program requires a lot of willpower and you need to be mentally prepared for that in order to win the battle, lose weight and reach your goals. As you can see, motivation and mindset for weight loss are crucial. While exercise and healthy eating are just as crucial, without mental preparedness you will never achieve your weight loss goals. The person who understands this will ultimately be victorious. So be like a good little boy scout and ‘be prepared’.

One of the most helpful weight loss tools for motivation during a weight loss program is a weight loss goal setting worksheet. This simple little worksheet will help you prepare yourself mentally for the challenges ahead. The purpose of this worksheet is to get you to write down your weight loss goals. It’s great to write these goals down and place them in a prominent location as this makes your goals seem more real and provides a reminder for you whenever you see them. A great place to display your worksheet is on the fridge. That way, whenever you are tempted to indulge in a snack you will see it where it can encourage you to either skip the snack altogether or at least choose a healthy snack rather than one that is high in sugar, fat and calories.

A weight loss goal setting worksheet should contain several components including; Start date, start weight, goal weight, goal size, goal period, reason/motivation, future goals and milestones.

Here is a more detailed description of each of these components.

  1. Start date: The date you started your weight loss plan.
  2. Start weight: Your weight when you started.
  3. Goal weight: What weight do you want to reach? For example, if you are 200 pounds now and you want to reach 150 pounds then 150 pounds is your goal weight. Ensure that this is an achievable weight that takes your height and body shape into account. Your doctor can advise you of an appropriate goal weight according to your BMI.
  4. Goal size: As with your goal weight. If you are currently size XXL and want to be an M (medium) then this is your goal size. Again, this figure should be achievable and healthy.
  5. Goal period: The length of time in which you want to reach your goal weight? Needs to be practical. If you want to lose 100 pounds then don’t have a goal period of 12 weeks, as that is more than 8lbs per week, an almost impossible figure to achieve. Your goal period should aim for no more than 2lbs weight loss per week.
  6. Reason/motivation: Why do you want to lose weight? What is your motivation? Maybe your weight is affecting your health, putting strain on knees that have arthritis, onset (type 2) diabetes etc. Maybe you want to improve your health in order to live longer for the sake of your family and children. Maybe you’re getting married and just want to look your best.
  7. Future goals: Is there anything you want to be able to do after you lose weight that you can’t do now? Play a sport? Run around the park playing with your kids. Getting back into your favorite outfit?
  8. Milestones: Sometimes it helps to take notes of milestones like when you reach a significant weight milestone or get back into a pair of jeans that hasn’t fitted you for six months. Or when you can climb that flight of stairs without huffing and puffing and having to rest for ten minutes after doing it. Reaching milestones makes you feel good about yourself and motivates you to continue.

As you can see, the worksheet is fairly comprehensive. Writing it and displaying it in a prominent location will help you remain motivated to achieve your weight loss goals. Download your FREE weight loss goal setting worksheet here.

Tips On How To Lose Weight

If you’re overweight and need tips on how to lose weight then you have come to the right place. Maybe you think you can lose weight really fast. In truth, just as it takes time to gain excess weight, it also takes time to lose that weight. Unfortunately, gaining weight is much easier than losing it. You will not be able to eradicate years of unhealthy eating and exercise habits in a matter of weeks (unless of course you have the time and money to go on a weight loss camp where you work out constantly and learn to change your eating habits). Otherwise you will have to exercise patience while trying to lose weight. In general, if you lose weight too fast, you will regain the same amount plus more just as quickly. There are no overnight solutions and you will require determination and perseverance to lose weight and change your lifestyle.

With that in mind, here are four tips on how to lose weight that will help you focus so you can see results faster.

  1. Set achievable weight loss goals — Set achievable goals for yourself: how much weight you want to lose, how long you want it to take, what size you want to wear once you reach your goal weight, what you want to be able to achieve physically once you have achieved your weight loss goal etc. Then commit to spending time each day to achieve those goals. It’s great to write your goals down and place them in a prominent location as this sets them in your mind and provides a reminder for you whenever you see them. Make plans for what you want to do after reaching your goals… i.e. If you want to return to playing football then make enquiries about teams in your local area, approach the coach to discuss joining etc. Download your FREE weight loss goal setting worksheet here
  2. Don’t try to lose weight too quickly — I’m sure you’ve noticed by now that it is much easier to gain weight than it is to lose it. It is probably also more enjoyable, eating yummy foods compared to limiting food choices and working hard at exercise. The expectation of losing weight fast is a major issue that people face that also causes many individuals to fail in their weight loss goals. Remember that it takes time to lose weight, but no matter how long it takes, ultimately it is worth it.
  3. Be mentally and emotionally prepared — Losing weight can be one of the hardest challenges you will ever face in your life. Battling cravings to eat unhealthy foods. Resisting the temptation to be lazy and put your feet up, relax and watch TV instead of taking the dog for a walk or some other form of exercise. You won’t want to change your eating habits, you enjoy the food you eat or you wouldn’t be eating it. A weight loss program involves a tremendous battle of willpower and you need to be prepared for that in order to win the battle, lose weight and reach your goals. This really is a case of “easier said than done”. You have to be committed or it won’t happen!
  4. Build a support base — Surround yourself with others who want to help you reach your goals, those who are also trying to reach the same goals or those who have already accomplished those goals. It could be family members, work mates, members of a weight loss forum or newsgroup etc. Being a part of a supportive community makes losing weight less difficult because there is always someone to turn to when you’re feeling tempted and need help to remain motivated.

So, there you have it. Were you expecting a list of foods to avoid or exercises to perform? Probably, but a huge part of losing weight has to do with mental motivation and mindset. Exercise and healthy eating are crucially important, but losing weight is a test of willpower as well. Without mental preparedness you will never achieve those weight loss goals. The person who understands this will ultimately be victorious. So be prepared, only then can any tips on how to lose weight be successful.