The Surprising Secret to Weight Loss
When it comes to how I lost weight – and stay in shape – there’s a bit of a misconception.
If I had a dollar for every time someone told me something along the lines of, “Omg I wish I had your will power.” or “How do you stay so disciplined and motivated?!”
I’d probably have like $50. Which isn’t a lot of dollars, but it is a lot of times to hear that. & It’s not necessarily true.
Do I have some will power? Well, yea, of course. But if you stick a donut in front of my face there’s a good chance I’m going to eat it.
I won’t drag you on and make you continue reading while thinking, “omg, just tell me the secret!” So here it is, my super secret, never fails me, trick to losing weight/getting in shape is… PLANNING.
Before you roll your eyes, disappointed that it’s not some magic weight loss potion, and exit out of here, hear me out..
Unfortunately, no, there is no magic potion.
The bottom line is that it still comes down to eating healthy and getting enough exercise.
If you’re looking for the easy way out to get in shape, you’re in the wrong place.
I’m not going to lie to you and there is no easy way out. If you’re serious about wanting to get in shape though, I got you!
The trick is, how to you actually get yourself to actually DO IT?
If you follow me on Instagram you might have seen that I was recently trying to cut weight for a Brazilian jiu-jitsu tournament I entered. I started out at 148lbs and I needed to be no more than 142lbs to qualify.
I had about a month and half to cut those 6lbs. To any one in the fighting world, they would laugh at that. Most of them could cut 6lbs overnight. But this was my first tournament and I had never had to cut weight before. When I tell you that the weight would not come off, it was not coming off. But on the day of the tournament, I weighed in at 141.5lbs exactly.
So what changed? I started planning everything. This is what I did when I initially lost almost 40lbs 5 years ago.
So, what exactly do you need to do?
First of all , you need to figure out the macros/calories you need to achieve your goals. This article explains how if you haven’t already done that. If counting macros is a bit too extreme for you, and you want to start more simply with just calories, get my calorie calculator here. One of the biggest problems I see people make is that they estimate, and they tend to OVER estimate how many calories they think they’re burning and UNDER estimate how many calories they think they’re eating.
Before we get into the details on how and what to plan exactly, a great way to track everything is to get a planner and write it down. Writing down goals and intentions has been proven to increase success in multiple studies. Plus, there’s tons of cute planners out there. I got mine last year, but I’m due for a new one and I’m thinking about getting this one. 😊
1. Plan what you’re going to eat – the day before.
I can’t stress how much this helps me. I always preach about tracking what you eat (I use the MyFitnessPal app), but if you’re really serious, I recommend putting everything into your food tracker the day BEFORE.
This allows you to tweak what you’re going to eat to make sure it fits your goals exactly.
The other, more important, outcome of doing this is that you no longer have to think about what to eat the next day.
I usually break mine up into breakfast, lunch, dinner, snacks, and drinks.
You can break it up any way that fits your day.
Planning takes the choice out of it. It removes the need to even ask yourself “what should I eat” and changes it to, “I’m hungry, time to eat the lunch I planned.”
2. Meal prep.
Have you noticed how many ‘fitness gurus’ are always posting about meal prepping?
It’s for a reason.
Your will power is much more likely to break down when you’re faced with choices.
Imagine you’re tired and hungry.
What are you more likely to chose?
Something quick and easy like fast food or frozen pizza – or are you going to take the time to make yourself a healthy meal?
If you chose the latter, to be honest I have no idea why you’re still reading this, you’ve already got iron will power 😳.
But I’m guessing most of you would grab something quick, easy, and probably super unhealthy.
If you’ve spent the time and money to make those meals, you’re much more likely to eat them. If you’re really busy, there are meal prep services out there.
3. Look at the menu before you go out to eat.
Many restaurants and food chains list their nutrition info right on the menu now and MyFitnessPal has most popular restaurants and food chains too.
So if you’re going out to eat, look at their menu ahead of time.
Pick something that fits into your macro/calorie goals.
When you get to the restaurant, don’t even pick the menu up, just order what you planned.
4. Only buy what’s on your list.
Only buy the things that fit into the meals you have planned for yourself.
If there isn’t junk food in the house, you can’t eat it.
Make a list before you go and then make a bee line for those things when you get there. Oh, and do not go when you’re hungry!
What’s helped me out a lot with this one is using one of the online grocery delivery services.
I’ve used Instacart, Shipt, and Walmart Grocery, there are probably others, but those available near me. (If you’d like to try one of those you can grab my ‘refer a freind’ code from here and we’ll both get some credit to use, but no pressure 🙂)
That way I don’t even have to see all the other delicious foods I’m missing out on, I just order what I need.
5. Plan which days/times you’re going to work out.
Just like planning your meals the day before, this one takes the thinking and choice out of it.
Think about your week and what you have going on ahead of time.
When are the most convenient times for you to get some activity in?
If you decide that you’re going to go running Monday, Wednesday, and Friday after work, then it starts to become automatic.
You don’t have to get home and think about if you ‘feel like working out today.’
6. Plan your workouts.
Do you ever go to the gym and see those people wondering around looking lost?
If you’re planning on going to the gym, make sure you know what you’re going to do when you get there.
The more specific the better, but do it even if it’s a rough plan, “Tomorrow I’m going to do cardio for 30 minutes, and then I’m going to do legs for 30mins – 3 sets of 10 reps on each machine I choose.”
I hope this helps! As always feel free to shoot me a message or comment on Instagram if you have any question! 🙂