To lose weight and keep it off, you need to find what works for YOU! Not a way that works for your sister or your best friend or your neighbor.
Because if you try to follow someone else’s plan it is going to feel unnatural and like a “diet.” I think we can all agree that “dieting” is unrealistic, unnatural and unproductive because for every deprivation, there is an equal and opposite binge sooner or later.
Related: 7 Biggest Mistakes Dieters Make and How to Avoid Them
You have to find a way of eating and being that works with your life; a plan that is sustainable for the long run.
If you ever have the opportunity to sit with a group of successful Weight Watchers members and ask them how they do the WW Program, you’ll be amazed to hear just how different their approaches are.
Related: 7 Secrets of Successful Weight Watchers: Best Tips for Winning at Weight Loss
You’ll meet vegetarians and people who eat meat. People who cook at home a lot and people who eat out most of the time. Avid exercisers and folks who hate it. Snacker and non-snackers. Members who swear by several small meals and others who save most of their points for dinner. It is amazing and enlightening.
Because WW provides guidelines and a framework for healthy eating and living within which members have the freedom to customize it to suit their needs and preferences.
To lose weight and keep it off you need to find what works for YOU!
Related: New myWW: Customized Program Proven to Make Weight Loss Easier
How to Lose Weight Your Way Video
For those of you who prefer reading over watching, here’s a transcript of the video:
What I’d like to do today is spend a few minutes talking about losing weight your way.
I think one of the challenges and one of the reasons we struggle with weight is that we’re alway looking outside ourselves – we’re looking for external experts to tell us how to lose weight.
We sign up for really, really extreme programs—and I had the realization that, for a good part of my life I was caught up in the same thing, and I realized what it really felt like, a lot of the time, was trying to force me – a square peg – into a round hole. And it just didn’t work.
Based on my experience, and my experience of working with people in WW (Weight Watchers) and with other weight loss programs, and all the reading I’ve done, what it really comes down to is that people who are ultimately successful end up customizing a weight loss plan for themselves.
They take information—they take things that work— but they tailor it to meet their own needs.
That’s one thing that I like about Weight Watchers quite frankly, it’s that WW does provide a general framework and one way to lose weight, but they provide a lot of flexibility in how to implement the actual details of the plan. You can be vegan and do Weight Watchers. You can be paleo and do Weight Watchers. You can choose to eat three meals a day, or six meals a day.
Related: 3 Meals or 6 Meals for Weight Loss Success?
And that’s one cool thing about WW. You can also do the same thing just creating your own kind of weight loss program, without signing up for a plan like Weight Watchers.
So what I really will be exploring a lot, here—on the site and behind the scenes—is ways to create a plan that works for you.
Just because Keto or Paleo or Plant Based eating worked for somebody else, doesn’t mean it will work for you. Because you’ve got to consider what you like, you’ve got to consider what you don’t like, you’ve got to consider your life and what’s going to work for your lifestyle.
The only thing that’s really going to work are changes that you can make for the long-term. Long-term changes. You can’t really think for the short-term. And I finally figured that out. There were lots of things that I would tell myself I was going to do—when I wanted to lose weight quickly—but I came to understand that that’s not the solution for lasting weight loss.
The solution is to implement things that you are willing to do forever. And that’s the first question I’ll ask myself, whenever I’m considering doing something—is this something that you’re going to do forever?
That’s why I’m really not a fan of challenges like 30-day sugar challenges, or I’m never going to eat pizza again.
Related: My Last Low Carb Diet Attempt Lasted Exactly One Day!
So what I came to understand was that it’s not going to work whenever you set-up something, or expect yourself to do something, that you’re not willing to do for the long-term.
Don’t put yourself on a liquid diet because you are not going to do that forever.
Don’t put yourself on a juice fast because you’re not going to do it forever and it’s not going to lead you where you want to be.
You want to think about creating habits, routines, that are going to work for you for the long run. Something that you are willing to do every day.
If you are not willing to do CrossFit for the rest of your life, then don’t sign up for CrossFit just to think you’re going to lose a few pounds or get strong quickly.
If you love the gym, if you love CrossFit, if it’s something you want to really try and you can see yourself doing it forever, then absolutely give it a try.
I’m the type of person who now knows, oh my gosh I would like to see in a big pile, all the money that I’ve spent on gym memberships through the years. I’ve joined more gyms than I could possibly list for you right now, through all of these years.
The bottom is that I really don’t like the gym. And I don’t really like to allocate big, huge amounts of time for working out. So it doesn’t work for me.
I love to walk my dog. I love to do yoga for 10 or 15 minutes in the morning and for 10 or 15 minutes in the afternoon.
Sometimes I’ve started to get myself moving more, just pausing and stepping away from my computer, and putting on some music and dancing around for 5 or 10 minutes. You’ve got to really think about ways to change that you can see doing forever.
How to Create a Personal Weight Loss Plan
Losing weight your own way requires that you trust yourself and believe in yourself. If you have spent the last several years or decades following other people’s diets and eating rules, you may have no idea what ‘your way’ is. That’s okay. You can re-discover ‘your way.’
I’ve been at this a while now and I’m still making shocking discoveries about what it means to ‘lose weight your way.’
After being on auto-pilot for so long, blindly prescribing to the latest greatest diet plan and/or nutritional theory, I was completely disconnected from myself. I wasn’t even sure what I liked or didn’t like anymore. (Or too ashamed to admit some of my true preferences.)
For example, after years of
eating enduring natural peanut butter because it was ‘good for me,’ I was in a situation where the only option was Skippy and it tasted incredible.
So, one of my rules now is that I’m done eating anything I don’t like – including natural peanut butter, quinoa and kale – just because it’s good for me. (There are plenty of nourishing foods that I do like to chose from!)
The first step is to give some thought to what ‘your way’ is…
- What do you want?
- What’s important?
- What are you willing to give up?
- What’s not negotiable?
Here’s want I wanted:
1. Freedom from restrictions. I wanted to be able to eat anything I wanted anywhere I wanted, when I wanted, including in a wide variety of restaurants. I wanted to be able to have a glass of wine if I wanted. Dessert on occasion if I wanted. I wanted to break free of the “good” and “bad” food mentality. I wanted to be able to eat pizza and cheese and crusty bread.
2. To eat food that tastes good. Good food is one of my pleasures. I wanted to be able to eat what tastes good and what makes me feel good, without regretting it later.
3. To be healthy. I wanted to eat in a way that would help me feel nourished and energized.
Once I knew what I wanted, I was able to begin eating that way. I knew that the trade-off for getting to eat whatever I wanted would be that I would have to pay attention to my portions.
And would have to learn to eat only when I was hungry. For me that meant establishing routines and getting into the habit of eating at prescribed times, instead of whenever food was around or I felt like it.
It’s worth it.
When you lose weight your way, you get to eat better and be true to yourself.
Are You Ready to Lose Weight Your Way?
Begin right now, where you are, with what you have. Don’t wait. Decide what you want. Define it. And then begin living it.
- What will work best for me?
- What is important to me?
- What am I willing to give up?
- What’s non-negotiable?
- How much time do I have for meal planning, shopping cooking?
- Do I have a healthy issue to consider?
- Are there challenges I need to plan for? Job? Hours? Family?
- What’s natural and realistic for me?
Know yourself. Respect yourself. Design a plan that will work for you and adjust it as necessary. You’ll be glad you did!
Plant Yourself on the Path to Lasting Weight Loss Success
My 28-Day Smart Start Weight Loss eCourse and eBook may be just what you are looking for.
Over four weeks, you’ll begin establishing habits and routines that you can stick with forever.
You’ll lay the groundwork to create a health promoting empowering lifestyle that supports you in being the best version of you without guilt, shame or deprivation.
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If you like “Lose Weight Your Way” you may want to check out:
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Originally published 09/2013; Updated with new text and photos 12/2019
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