Your Diet Plan
Plan for Smooth Sailing to Your Weight Loss Goals
Day 1: Weight Loss Motivation--Find Your Personal Inspiration
We all want to reduce our weight fast. We want to look sleek and fit for summer activities and social outings. The hardest part of any weight loss program, however, is often just getting the motivation to begin, and building a strong foundation for success. Because you want to reach your goals, remember that the best place to begin is the beginning.
Before starting a diet or fitness program, several things are very important:
- Check with your doctor to make sure you are healthy enough to begin.
- Assess your general level of health and fitness.
- Write down several reasons why you want to lose weight and get fit. Do not be worried about whether someone else would approve of your reasons. We have all read that we should lose weight for our health, kids, spouses, etc. But what about all those other reasons? If wanting to look great in your jeans motivates you, then write it down! Maybe you want to go on a trip to Australia, or just win the family weight loss contest. Whatever motivates you to begin is a valid reason.
- Make a list of healthy foods that you actually like. This is very important when you are ready to select, or devise a diet plan. We all know that if we do not like the food, or at least find it acceptable, we will not want to eat the food that is on our diet plan. While making your list, make a column for foods that are your favorites, and another column for foods that you are willing to eat, but are not your favorites. Do this for the following food groups:
- Meat, Nuts, and Legumes
- Eggs, Cheese, Dairy
- Whole Grains
Use a notebook or even your computer spreadsheet program to write up your notes. Include in your notes some statements about your general level of fitness and health, the reasons you have identified for wanting to lose weight, and your list of foods, both favorites and those foods you are willing to eat on your weight-loss plan.
That is it for day 1! By following the suggestions outlined above, you have accomplished some strong milestones for laying a great foundation for your diet and fitness program.
Losing Weight: How Committed are You?
Build Your Fitness Plan
Today, Day 2, is a good day to accomplish two things: Decide what exercises you will actually do, and when you will do them, and look at your current schedule to make time for those exercises. Be sure to write it down in your notebook or on your spreadsheet.
- Exercise: What will you actually do? People often say they want to work out, get fit, and burn flab, but when it comes right down to actually doing it, they burn out within a few days or a week or two. Part of the reason for this may be that a person has designed their workout plan based on what they could do when they were a teenager, or based on workouts they feel they should do, as opposed to want to do. Here are some tips for creating an exercise or fitness plan that is right for you:
- Start with movements that are easy for you to do. If you begin with moves that are difficult, this means you are most likely at a fitness level that is just below the type of move you are doing. For example, if a person decides to do push ups, but finds it almost impossible to complete one repetition on the floor, they should probably begin with wall push ups instead of floor push ups. Starting your fitness program with aggressive movements when your body is not ready for them can cause serious injury and delay or stall your progress.
- Set your starting point in terms of repetitions. Let's say you decided to begin with wall push ups. Now it is time to find your starting point. Do as many repetitions as you can but not so many that your muscles are screaming in pain! Your muscles should get tired, but not so tired that you are experiencing pain. If you can do ten wall push ups and find that your muscles are tired, then that is your starting point. This principle is the same for every body part you want to work.
- Choose one exercise for each major body part. Repeat the above process for your large muscle groups, such as your thighs, buttocks, arms, and core. The exercises you choose do not have to be fancy. You do not need fancy equipment, a gym membership, or a personal trainer. The main thing to remember when choosing a set of beginning exercise moves is to choose movement that you can do in proper form, using controlled muscle movements, rather than hurling yourself while doing the movements.
- Add a continuous motion component to your fitness routine. For most beginners, this component is just walking for 30 minutes or so three to five times per week. Again, you do not need to break speed records for this to be effective. Just walk continuously at a rate that elevates your breathing enough that you can talk, but would rather not while you are doing it.
Next, let's look at how and when you will work fitness into your current schedule:
This is an aspect of losing weight and getting fit that confounds many people. We all lead busy lives. We have children to raise, jobs to go to, spouses to spend time with, and community obligations. We have all heard the common lament, "I want to exercise, but I just don't have time!"
How to Find the Time to Exercise:
- Remember, it is all about priorities. Think about it for a moment. If you do not care for your physical self, your health will deteriorate to the point that you are just not able to keep up with your other responsibilities. It is as simple as that: your schedule is packed and your stress level is high. If you do not take action to take care of yourself, you will not be able to take care of anyone else.
- Choose a time, and build your schedule around around it. This gets easier as you practice the principle. Think of your exercise time as a sanctuary. This is a time for reflecting on your other goals and obligations while you work out. You may find that solutions to problems come more easily while you are exercising. Doing this also sets a good example for family members. As time goes on, they will become used to your new schedule, and may even want to participate!
- Commit to making exercise a way of life. The more committed you are, the more you will find that doors will open to allow you to keep your commitment.
This is it for Day 2! Remember, you are still laying your foundation for success. By working out exactly how and when you will incorporate exercise into your daily life, you are setting yourself up for success instead of burnout.
Shop for Groceries Before Beginning a Diet
Choose a Weight Loss Diet
Now that you have done some basic planning, on Day 3 it is time to choose a diet for losing weight. When choosing a reducing plan, remember these important factors.
- Does the reducing diet provide for adequate nutrition? When following this plan, will you get adequate protein to nourish your growing muscles and energy expenditures? Most people need around 80 grams of protein per day. This is a round figure, and is highly individual because each person is unique. Some people may find they need only 60 grams of protein per day, while others may find they need 100 or more grams. The key take-away in this is to remember to adjust your protein level to your activity level as well as your body type. If you find that your muscles are always sore, it may be that you are not consuming enough protein to allow them to build and repair themselves after workouts. Consulting a nutritionist or fitness expert is recommended if you are unsure how much protein you should have.
- Will you actually eat the food listed in the diet plan? Again, this is crucial to the success of any reducing program. If you gag just thinking about eating the food, you won't last long on the diet. Check the diet against your list of foods you like, and foods you are willing to eat. If it contains many of those foods, it might be the right diet for you!
- Get ready to do some cooking! Unless you decide to go with a plan that offers pre-made, packaged meals, you will have to adjust your willingness to cook healthy food.
- Some people just do not like or know how to cook, and if you are one of those people, you may find greater success with a program like Weight Watchers or Nutri-System. There is no shame in admitting you do not like to cook. The main thing is to choose what will work for you!
- Select your reducing diet, and become familiar with it. Taking the time to inform yourself about what you will be doing is crucial. While you are reviewing the program you selected, jot down a few notes about how the program works.
- Make your first grocery list. Plan your beginning diet day, but make your grocery list now. It is likely that you will add to the list over a couple of day's time as you think of menu ideas and check the contents of your pantry. Keep the list handy so that you can add to it for a couple of days before you go shopping for the food.
- Set a start date that is non-negotiable. When that day comes, you will be prepared. Your refrigerator and cupboards will be stocked with the food that is on your plan. You will have given your mind time to get used to the idea, and you will have taken steps to organize your schedule to allow you to succeed.
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and does not substitute for diagnosis, prognosis, treatment, prescription, and/or dietary advice from a licensed health professional. Drugs, supplements, and natural remedies may have dangerous side effects. If pregnant or nursing, consult with a qualified provider on an individual basis. Seek immediate help if you are experiencing a medical emergency.
Nancy Owens (author) from USA on June 27, 2013:
Thank you for the kind words Rajan Jolly! I would like to rework this hub to better communicate the message that being successful at weight reduction often means beginning with a solid foundation.
Rajan Singh Jolly from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar, INDIA. on June 26, 2013:
Wonderful tips. Voted up and useful.
Nancy Owens (author) from USA on March 07, 2013:
Thank you, sreelekha123. It always helps me to do a little planning before beginning a diet. I find I have more success, and for some reason, the planning seems to help me become more motivated.
Sree from Hopkins, MN, US on March 07, 2013:
this is a useful blog..thnks