Ep #78: 10 Weight Loss Tips

Strong as a Working Mom with Carrie Holland | 10 Weight Loss Tips
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We’re fast approaching the end of the year and, if you’re looking ahead to your health and fitness goals in 2024, you’re in the right place. You still have a couple weeks left of 2023, but now is the perfect time to start making decisions about how next year is going to look for you. To get you started, I’ve got 10 things you need to know in order to get healthy and lose weight in 2024.

Just because we’re in the thick of the Holidays, all bets are not off. You can start putting these 10 tips into practice right now. You don’t need to wait for January 1st to start living a healthier life.

Tune in this week to discover what’s really going to make the difference in achieving your health goals in 2024. I’ve got 10 tips to help you come up with a plan, make better food decisions, and make your health goals a reality over the next 12 months.

Are you ready to eat, move, and think in a way that gets you strong both physically and mentally? You deserve to have both no matter how busy you are, and I can help. I’m opening up my one-on-one coaching program for new clients, and I would love to work with you. Click here to learn more about working with me.

What You Will Discover:

  • 10 tips for losing weight and getting healthy in 2024.
  • Why choosing the right meal plan isn’t as important as sticking to a plan.
  • How to make a plan you can commit to with consistency.
  • The biggest mistakes people make as they start trying to live healthier.
  • Why you don’t lose weight just by increasing your exercise.
  • How to make better eating decisions and create healthy habits around food in 2024.

Listen to the Full Episode:

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Full Episode Transcript:

You are listening to the Strong as a Working Mom podcast, Episode #78. If you want to lose weight in the year ahead, here are 10 tips to help you do it.

Welcome to the Strong as a Working Mom podcast. If you’re balancing career, family, wellness, and some days sanity, you are in the right place. This is where high-achieving, busy, working moms get the tools they need to eat, move, and think. I’m your host, physician, personal trainer, and Certified Life Coach, Carrie Holland. Let’s do this.

Hey, how are you? What’s new, what’s good? So, what’s good here, we are going to talk about how to get healthy and lose weight in the year ahead. We’ve got 11 days left in 2023, and after that, it’s the new year. Many of you have serious health and fitness goals you’re looking to achieve, so let me help you do that.

I know we’re headed full on into the holidays here, in just a few days, but I want to give you some things to consider now so you can start thinking about these and start deciding how it’s going to go for you, whether that’s before or after the holidays. These ideas and concepts apply really at any time of the year.

What I would offer to you from the get-go is that all bets are not off because it’s the holidays, okay? You can start putting these tips into practice right now, even in the thick of the holidays. You don’t have to wait for January 1 to start putting these things into motion. Start now, today. Okay?

Here it is, 10 things to know in order to get healthy and lose weight. All right, let’s go. First, whatever it is you decide to do, choose a plan, and stick with it. What I mean by this is, if you decide you want to do intermittent fasting, for example, and you’re committing to eat in a 16/8-hour window; commit, decide and go all in. This is opposed to deciding “light,” which is what I see so often.

What I mean by that, is that you choose a meal plan for yourself, and then you dabble. As an example, you do your fasting a few days here, a few days there, but you don’t really stick with it. Or if you decide that you’re going to eat more salads, you kind of do it, but you kind of don’t. Some days, you bring your big honking salad to work, and then other days you get takeout. That’s not going to get you very far.

So, choose something, create a plan for yourself, and stick with it. Don’t decide “light” and go half-heartedly into your plan. To be perfectly clear, it really does not matter, from a pure weight loss perspective, whether you do Keto or intermittent fasting, or vegan or vegan before six, or Paleo or whatever. I’ve said it before, but your diet at the end of the day really does not matter.

What does matter is choosing a plan that creates a calorie deficit that you can stick to for the long haul. What matters is choosing a way of eating that fits into your life. Instead of choosing a diet plan that your friend is doing, that does not sound at all appealing to you, but you swear it’s got to work because she lost weight eating practically zero carbs, so you will too.

Except you love carbs, and you work out regularly. And, those carbs help you perform better at the gym. So, at the end of the day, your friend’s super low carb diet is just not going to work for you. Instead, consider this, there is no perfect plan. That’s why there are innumerable diet books and weight loss systems out there. Because no one of them is a slam dunk. Okay?

So, instead of wasting a ton of time, energy, and money, trying to find the absolute best, perfect diet plan for yourself, try this: Find a plan that meets most of your needs. Knowing that whatever diet you choose, it’s going to get challenging at some point, but commit to it anyway. Decide that this is the plan you’ll practice for at least a few months. You can certainly make tweaks as you go, but if you’re someone who tries a diet or a meal plan for a few weeks, steps on the scale, and then gets mad if there’s no or slow weight loss and gives up, you know what that gets you.

Instead, choose something and stick with it for a long time. And that’s why it needs to be something that you can actually do. Because you’re going to be doing it for a long, long time. So, decide for yourself, as an example, “I will have three meals and one snack per day. My meals will each have at least 30 gm of protein. I will have a salad at either lunch or dinner. And either way, 50% of my lunch and dinner will be made up of veggies. I’ll have alcohol once a week; one glass of wine on a night I choose, at least one day in advance. And I will not snack after dinner.”

There it is. There’s your plan. That’s just an example. But practice sticking to it. And, that’s when it gets hard. You’ve heard me say it plenty of times before, and I’ll say it again here. The hardest thing you will do in your effort to lose weight, the hardest thing, will be doing what you said you’re going to do, at a time you said you’re going to do it, and feeling all the feelings that come up when you do. Honestly, that’s it. It always, always, always goes back to planning. That is key.

But then, once you decide on a plan, the next step, and arguably the hardest step, is following through. If you want to create the greatest chances of you following through on your plan, choose something that you are ready enough to commit to for a really long time. Yes, ready enough, because you’re never going to be fully ready. Okay?

All right, next. The next tip for getting healthy and losing weight, is to be ready to accept some discomfort. So, you know I don’t like to sugarcoat things, and in the case of weight loss, exercise and changing your habits, this is no exception. This isn’t going to be easy. It’s simple, yes; more on that in a bit. But this is not easy.

Think of it this way. How long did it take you to get to your current weight? How long have you been at your current level of activity or inactivity? How long have you had your one glass of wine per night habit? Whatever it is that you’re looking to change, I’m going to hazard a guess that those habits have been there for a while. And because of that, it means your habits have been hardwired into your brain for a long time.

Knowing what we know about our brains, it means that it’s going to take time and effort and energy to shift those habits and rewire your brain for the new healthier habits you want to put in place. And that, that’s going to feel uncomfortable.

Whether that’s starting a new morning routine, where you wake up at 5am or earlier, like some of my clients do, or whether that’s stopping your usual pattern of eating out every dinner on the weekends or something else. When you go to change that, it’s going to feel uncomfortable. Be ready for it, expect it and walk right into it. Own the discomfort. Some people call it embracing the “suck,” fine, embrace it.

Here’s the reason I’m making such a big stink about this. I’ve worked with enough clients over the years to see this pattern emerge. That pattern is, that you try to make it just a little too easy for yourself. And then, what happens is ultimately nothing changes.

Meaning, you decide you want to change the way you eat, so instead of getting fast food, you order takeout. You’re not getting burgers and fries from McDonald’s, but instead you’re getting Chinese takeout and eating it at home. Or you decide you want to exercise and you use your walk with your dog as your targeted exercise, and don’t really make any adjustments to your life or your schedule to fit in that time to exercise.

Now, before you get all mad at me, let me clarify. These are both steps in the right direction. If your goal is to eat more meals at home, then sure, takeout instead of fast food can do that for you. And I would rather you walk your dog, than just skip it entirely and sit on the couch instead.

But it’s when these become your patterns, and you’re not really pushing yourself, that it becomes a problem. I’m not asking you to go crazy here. I’m not asking you to inflict torture on yourself and join a 4:30 CrossFit class if that has absolutely no appeal to you. I’m not asking you to go from seven nights a week of dinners out, which some of my clients were doing, to seven nights of salad and chicken breasts at home. We’re not ripping the band-aid off here.

That being said, there is a point at which you’re going to feel a squeeze. There’s going to be a point at which your nightly glass or two of wine is just no longer going to fall in line with your goals. There will be a point at which walking your dog is not going to be enough to increase your cardiovascular strength. There will be a point at which a regular Friday night charcuterie board for dinner is not going to align with your goals.

And then, you’re going to be faced with a decision. You’re in charge here, you get to decide how uncomfortable you’re willing to get. And, it’s a constant reflective process. It’s an inside job. It means asking yourself, and being really honest with yourself, about the work you’re putting in to change your habits.

If it feels easy, that’s probably because it’s too easy. And, you may be surprised that you’re not seeing the results you want. This is not to say that in order to lose weight you have to be miserable. But I will say that, in general, for most every client I’ve worked with who’s succeeded at losing a significant amount of weight, like 10 pounds or more, they had to be willing to get uncomfortable, keep walking through it, and sit with that discomfort until it wasn’t uncomfortable anymore.

Until the discomfort of saying no to a glass of wine every night for dinner was no longer difficult and it became the new norm, or until skipping takeout and fast food all together for dinner was no longer uncomfortable, or until getting up at 4:30 in the morning was no longer uncomfortable.

If you let it stink for a while, eventually it won’t stink anymore. Okay? There’s the saying “no challenge, no change,” and I would argue that it is 100% true. If you want to change your life, accept that there’s going to be some discomfort and move forward anyway. If you’re spending a lot of time making it too easy for yourself, you’re not going to make significant progress. Walk into this discomfort. Okay?

All right, next. If you want to move forward at changing your lifestyle and your habits, stop using perfectionism as an excuse. So often, you will tell me that if you’ve had a bad meal, or if you eat something that was off your plan, you use it against yourself. You decide that since the day of eating wasn’t perfect, just because you had that cookie, that you screwed up.

There’s no way you can stick to your plan, you’re a failure, and you let it spiral into a series of choices that just do not help you. And, you do it under the guise of, “Well, I’m a perfectionist. If I can’t get this day exactly how I want it, then why bother?” Then you go off the rails.

But let me shout it from the rooftops one more time so we’re all on the same page here, no one is perfect. Nobody eats perfectly. Everyone makes food decisions they are not proud of. There are still days where I have peanut butter four times a day, even though I’ve really tried to cut back on it. I just straight up love peanut butter, and there are days when I overdo it. On those days, when I go overboard with the peanut butter, I don’t go bananas. I don’t get all down on myself. Instead, I tell myself, “I will do better next time.”

I would encourage you to take the same approach. It’s the idea of ‘never miss twice.’ Say you snacked way more than you intended while you were getting dinner together. Maybe you had a few bites of a little of everything as you were pulling together dinner, and by the time you sit down for dinner you’re barely hungry. This happens all the time.

Instead of making that mean, the day is shot, and you give up and go stuff yourself at dinner, even though you’re not hungry, this is your opportunity. You can check in with yourself and go to your hunger scale and ask yourself the question: How hungry am I? And, eat according to your answer.

This is instead of saying, “Oh, nuts, I did it again. I ate way too many handfuls of nuts and bites of pita chips and chunks of fruit before I even sat down to dinner. And now, I’ve overdone it,” as you go eat your entire dinner, even though you’re not even super hungry.

I cannot tell you how many clients have gone through this. It is absolutely possible to have a different outcome. But in order to do this, you’ll need to get past the perfectionism that is keeping you totally stuck. It means working really, really hard to pick apart and dismantle the idea that you’re a perfectionist.

Because when you hold on to the idea that you’re a perfectionist, you will use every misstep as a reason to stop. You will make any food you eat off plan mean way more than it should. You will scrutinize yourself under a microscope for every single thing you did wrong, and use it as a reason to declare your plan isn’t working.

The worst part is, you declare it under the guise of, “Well, I’m a perfectionist. And if I can’t do it exactly right, I’m just not going to do it.” But that’s shooting you in the foot. Instead, when you work on shedding your perfectionism, one, you will feel so much lighter. You won’t make all the little missteps along the way become such a big deal, because they really aren’t. You ate a cookie when you said you weren’t going to, let’s not make it any more of a deal than it needs to be.

And two, you will be more willing to keep going when you know that you’re not going to make every misstep or every stumble into a big hairy deal. And when you know that you’re not going to beat yourself up about it, then you’ll be more willing to keep going. You’ll be less inclined to give up on your plan because you realize, and actually accept, that mistakes are part of the process.

So, please, give up on the idea that you are a perfectionist when it comes to your habits. It is not getting you anywhere. And for so many of you, it keeps you from even trying in the first place. Let it be messy. Okay? Let it be C+ work. Gasp! I know. But I would rather you try and have it be imperfect than to say you’re a perfectionist and not try at all, or use it as a reason to give up.

All right, next. Please, please, please stop using exercise as a means to an end for weight loss. I know I have said it so many times before on the podcast already, and I’m going to keep repeating it until it really sinks in. Just the other day, I had a client frustrated during our coaching session because she wasn’t losing weight fast enough.

Her answer was to add more cardio. This is to her already very full exercise schedule of three days of lifting, and three days of biking or running. No, the answer is not to do more cardio. You will not go down a pant size once you can run six miles instead of four. You will not get into the 140s by adding an extra ride on your Peloton every week.

No, instead, you will lose weight by addressing your diet. Okay? Plain and simple truth here. Think about what happens when you increase your exercise. For most humans, when you increase your exercise, you increase your hunger because you’re expending more energy.

When you put out more energy through exercise, you will get more hungry to compensate. And you’ll likely end up eating more, thereby undoing any caloric deficit you may have created by increasing your exercise in the first place.

So, please, hear me loud and clear. Do not use exercise to lose weight. This is the best way to create resentment towards exercise, because it generally does not deliver on your desired weight loss. Instead, exercise because it feels good to move. Exercise because you can, and because it’s good not only for your body but for your mind.

Don’t use exercise to fit into your pants, okay? I get it. Many of you have told me flat out you would rather add on another day to your bike, or add an extra mile to your run, or do another day of strength training, before you change your diet.

But this goes back to my second point, don’t try to make it too easy for yourself. Don’t think that simply by adding on another mile or another day at the gym that will cancel the food decisions you’re making. No, it doesn’t work that way. You cannot add more exercise, continue to eat as you always do, and expect to lose weight. It just doesn’t work that way. Don’t try to get out of changing your diet by compensating with exercise. Exercise will not cancel out your food. No matter how many calories your Apple Watch says you burned, or what your MyFitnessPal says, it just does not work that way.

I’m not going to belabor that point… maybe I already have… but I wanted to make sure I shout that out at least a little, because it still comes up in questions from listeners, and it still comes up during coaching sessions. The story has not changed. Okay? Do not use exercise to lose weight.

All right, so next, if you want to lose weight this year, look at what you’re eating. I have a few different examples here to illustrate this. I have a client who has worked really hard to reduce the number of meals she eats out, and she has cut back on her meals out drastically. But for a long time, she still wasn’t losing any weight.

When we dove into this, we saw that it was because she was eating things like mac and cheese, Fettuccine Alfredo, hamburgers and frozen french fries, and other high-calorie foods for dinner. But she was eating at home, and she was really baffled by this. She didn’t see why she wasn’t losing any weight.

Another client also drastically reduced her eating out, and started making salads that she brought with her to work. But even though she was making these salads, she was putting large cuts of salami, quite a bit of cheese, and other high-calorie stuff on salads. Her husband, who was pitching in to help out, was making other high-calorie dinners like tuna noodle casserole.

I had another client who decided to go very low carb. So, she essentially got rid of most of the bread in her diet. Instead, she started eating a whole lot more meat and whole eggs, and avocados and cheese and nut butters. She was confused as to why she wasn’t losing any weight.

So, while there were some serious legit changes in all of these examples, they all illustrate the same idea, you have to look at what you’re eating. It doesn’t matter where you’re eating the food, whether it’s at a restaurant or at home. If the food is too calorically dense for what your body needs, you’re not going to lose weight.

To keep it very clear, and very black and white, if you are not losing weight, barring any medical issues, you are taking in more calories than your body needs. It does not matter whether those calories come from a restaurant meal or from a meal you ate at home.

This is a place where so many of my clients have gotten tripped up, and it makes sense. They’ve gone to the trouble of changing where their food comes from, they’ve stopped going out and they’ve started going to the drive thru, they’ve stopped getting takeout, they gave up certain food groups and tried Keto.

But at the same time, despite these changes, they still haven’t made the necessary changes to result in a calorie deficit. So, the scale doesn’t move, and that can get really frustrating. But this is a realization that many of my clients have had to make, through trial and error, before they get serious and really change up what they’re eating.

Now, I’ll share what my own coach said many times before; this is a hard truth. It’s hard to hear, I’m going to be honest. But it’s the truth. You can eat whatever you want, whenever you want, and live in the body you want. It just doesn’t work that way if you want to change up your habits and lose weight.

Yes, you may need to change where your food comes from, but you’ll also likely need to change the type of food that you’re eating. And, that leads me to my next point. If you want to lose weight, and you’re looking at the “what,” meaning you’re really looking at what you’re eating, choose foods that are as close to their natural state as possible. And yes, that means fruit and veggies and lean protein.

Here’s why. Highly processed and ultra-processed foods that look nothing like foods found in nature are likely what are keeping you from being in a caloric deficit in the first place. Maybe for some of you you’re overdoing it with healthy fats like olive oil, avocado, nuts, and nut butters. But for many of you, if your diet consists of largely ultra-processed food, you’re likely going to find it really hard to lose weight.

Most ultra-processed foods have been made to be hyper palatable with the addition of sugar and fat. So, think about the middle of the grocery store. Most everything you find in those aisles, things like chips, cookies, bars, cereals, and other packaged foods, those are going to be heavy on both sugar and fat.

Those together, are going to raise your bottom line from a caloric standpoint, as most ultra-processed foods are going to be low volume, high calorie. Meaning, you get a lot of calories for not a lot of food; no good. Instead, when you shift your focus to real, whole foods, things like fruit and veggies, you’re taking in more high-volume, low-calorie foods.

Most whole foods, and foods found in nature, do not combine sugar and fat, and that’s where the majority of calories come from in ultra-processed foods. So, when you eat foods that are minimally processed, or whole foods like fruit and veggies, you’re going to be taking in less calories.

Choose foods that are as close to their natural state as possible. A real strawberry, as opposed to a strawberry fruit snack. A potato instead of a potato chip. Think of it this way, if it comes from a plant, eat it. If it’s made in a plant, less is more. Okay? I remind myself of that all the time. I learned that when I was a student at the Institute for Integrative Nutrition years ago, and it totally stuck.

All right, let’s keep going. Another tip to consider is your snacking. I’m going to say this, and I may have some flak for it, but I think it needs to be said. For many of you, your snacking is the problem keeping you from losing weight. Here’s what I mean, maybe you’ve done a load of work and have changed your approach to your main meals. So, say you eat breakfast, lunch, and dinner, and you’ve done the work to overhaul them.

Your previous breakfast of toast and butter is now eggs and veggies. Your previous lunch of a sandwich and chips is now salad with a lean protein like tofu, or chicken. And dinner is protein with veggies and whole grain carbs instead of a plateful of spaghetti. So, you’ve done the work, and your main meals are well rounded, balanced with at least 25-30 grams of protein per meal, 50% of your plate full of veggies, and the foods you’re eating are real, whole foods.

Now, if you’ve done this and you’re still not getting anywhere, take a look at your snacks. When I say look at your snacks, I mean both how many and what you’re having. Because often, it’s your snacking that keeps you from getting into a calorie deficit.

Now, your main meals might be just fine, but the snacks you’re having are keeping you right at maintenance. So, this is another thing I see all the time. It comes down to a number of factors. If you’ve overhauled your meals, that’s awesome. But be sure that the meals are substantial enough to keep you satiated.

Sometimes I see clients run into problems when they don’t eat enough calories or protein at their meals. And then, they end up hungry between those meals, which leads them to snack. So, one of the things that I will often do, is encourage my client to eat more at her main meals, to decrease hunger and the need for snacking between her meals.

Think about it. If your main meals are filling enough with protein, some healthy fat and fiber, then you may not need to snack. But some of you have downright told me you’re afraid to eat too much during the day, so what you do is try to eat something, but really eat too little at both breakfast and lunch.

Then, you can come home and have a big dinner, and you’re essentially saving up your calories for the last part of the day. Time and time again, I have seen this totally backfire on many levels.

What it typically leads to, is hangry snacking during the day when the hunger gets to be too much. And then, once you start, it becomes hard to stop. You take a bite of a cookie here, a bag of trail mix there, a handful of nuts right when you get home for work.

All of that together, often is enough to undo any caloric deficit you created. Plus, add to that, the inevitable decision fatigue that comes at the end of a long, busy, stressful day, and you are totally primed to overeat by snacking.

So, now imagine what it would be like to eat three full meals that fill you up, like really legitimately fill you up. Like, you walk away truly satisfied. Not stuffed, okay? Not stuffed, but adequately satiated. Then what? Well, often what happens is that you don’t feel the need for snacks. When you make your main meals filling enough, you will likely not feel the need to snack as much out of hunger. Because the more you snack, the more times you eat, the more opportunities you have to overdo it and eat more calories than your body needs.

The point here is not to talk you out of snacks altogether, okay? That’s not my intent. Instead, the idea is to consider how many snacks you’re having, how often, and why you feel the need to snack in the first place? Sometimes your snacking is out of boredom. And to address that, you need to practice processing the emotion of boredom instead of eating it. That’s what I do with clients and coaching sessions.

But for many of you, snacking is a problem because you haven’t eaten enough at your main meals and you let yourself get too hungry. And often, once you start snacking there’s a snowball effect. You find yourself having more and more tastes and bites of things until you’ve undone any caloric deficit you’ve created up to that point.

So, start paying attention to your snacks. How many do you have? How often? And why? There is a load of information to be gathered there.

All right, next. Another thing to consider is your weekends. I think I may devote an entire podcast to this because it comes up so often. But I’m going to start by addressing it here. You could be doing everything “right” during the week; you’re planning your meals, you’re sticking to three meals a day, those meals are balanced with real, whole foods, they’re protein forward, loads of fruit and veggies, and you’ve cut back on liquid calories and processed stuff. You’re doing all the things.

But come Friday at five, all bets are off until Monday morning. As in, you don’t have a plan for the weekend and you leave it to chance. If that’s the approach you take, you’re likely undoing whatever calorie deficit you’ve created over the week in a matter of two and a half days. And yes, the weekend is absolutely enough time to put you right back at maintenance with zero change.

So, do not underestimate the impact of weekends on your bottom line. A few meals out, a pastry from your favorite bakery on Saturday morning, an extra glass of wine, a few handfuls of trail mix from the pantry because you’re bored on Sunday afternoon, there it is. You can very easily put yourself at net zero change in the matter of a weekend. Many of you do exactly that.

If you don’t have a plan for your weekends, you’re likely going to find it really hard to lose weight. If you take the approach of ‘I’ll see what happens. I’ll just be more mindful,’ no. No. You’ve heard me talk about being mindful before.

Again, at the risk of catching some flak, often, when you tell me you just need to be more mindful on the weekends, I’ve started to see that as code for ‘I really don’t want to think about it at all.’ I’m generalizing here, but I’ve seen enough clients go through this and tell me they will simply be more mindful on the weekends. And, that doesn’t go well. It ends up being the exact opposite of mindful.

So, ask for more of yourself. Have a plan, like an actual plan. “I will be more mindful,” does not tell me what you’re having for dinner tonight. It doesn’t tell me how many times you’re planning to eat out this weekend, and what you’re going to have. It doesn’t tell me how many glasses of wine you’re sticking to.

Get specific, and make some decisions for yourself before the weekend arrives. And then, practice following through on those decisions. If you feel that you are spot on during the week, but you’re still not seeing weight loss, take a very honest, hard look at what you’re doing over the weekend. Because it’s often just enough to keep you at maintenance.

Alright, next. It has to be said, and I’m going to spell this out, but this is going to take longer than you think. I said it earlier but it bears repeating. Think of how long it took you to develop the habits that you currently have. Think of how long it took you to get to the weight that you’re currently living, this is not going to change overnight. And, it’s not going to change drastically in two or four, or even six weeks.

So, instead of getting irritated by how long it’s taking, which will eventually drive you bananas, how about you look at this as a lifelong change? As in, no endpoint? There is no race, because this is the rest of your life we’re talking about here.

What I often see happen, is that you get so wrapped up in the scale, and get upset that the scale number isn’t going down fast enough, and then there’s this rushed energy to it. But to what end? Because, at the risk of making you mad here, you’re never going to be done. We’re never done with their habits.

There is no point at which you hit a number on the scale and say, “All good, I’m all set. I’m all done here.” There is no point at which you weigh a certain number and you can go back to what you did before. That will put the weight back on in a heartbeat.

Instead of getting super focused on the time it’s taking to get to your goal weight, what would happen if you focused on the habits you’re creating, and getting really consistent with those? Again, this goes back to habit goals versus result goals. Often, when you get frustrated and impatient, it’s because you’re putting too much focus on the result. And often, that result is the scale. But remember, you don’t have ultimate control over the scale, meaning you could be doing everything right and the scale may not budge.

That’s for a number of reasons; hormones, stress, sleep, menstrual cycles, and loads of other factors. So, instead of getting impatient with the scale, or getting impatient with the result that you’re chasing, what would happen if you focused on chasing your habit goals?

What happens if you decide to put your energy and effort into eating salads for lunch six days in the next week? Or that you’re going to stick to three meals and one snack per day, and stop nighttime grazing after dinner? Or what if you practice going out to dinner once a weekend instead of all three nights? Those are all habit goals, and you have 100% control over those; 100% control. So, where do you want to focus your efforts? It will feel a lot better, and you will feel less exhausted mentally, when you focus your energy on the things you can control. And, you can control your habits.

As you do this, I would encourage you to continually remind yourself that this is the long game you’re playing here. This is not a quick fix. There’s no hurry up to the finish line, because there is no finish line. Okay? There’s no finish line. The habits that get you to your goal weight, or to your goal physique, those are the same habits you’ll need to keep up and maintain in order to keep that goal weight. It doesn’t stop.

So, the more you can see your lifestyle as a collection of habits with no finish line, and the more you practice those habits knowing full well there’s no endpoint, the more peace you will feel. The less rushed and impatient you will be.

Okay, the last tip I want to offer as you consider how to get fit, get healthy, and lose weight, is don’t overcomplicate this, really. You know what to do in order to lose weight. This is not rocket science. This is not astrophysics. You don’t have to scientize it, and this is coming from someone who loves science.

Despite the number of people and influencers who are out there trying to make money by making weight loss super complicated, with all their fancy science and some bro-science to boot, you know better. You don’t require Keto Sticks, or a continuous glucose monitor, or a fancy meal system, or a turmeric tea cleanse, or the latest supplement. You don’t need any of that in order to make this work.

This is not complicated. It really isn’t. So, I’m going to try to sum it up for you in just a few short sentences. If you want to lose weight, eat whole foods. Things like lean protein, veggies, fruit, and whole grains. Cut back on ultra-processed food and liquid calories. Get at least seven hours of sleep. Exercise both cardio and strength training, not because of its impact on the scale but because it’s really good for your body and your brain. Walk more and sit less.

And last, have a plan, be consistent, and be really, really patient. That’s PCP; the three essentials to losing weight; a plan, consistency, and patience. That’s way back to the beginning of the podcast; that’s Episode #3. I will stand by it until forever, because those are the three essential pieces to losing weight, or making any change you want to make, for that matter: A plan, consistency, and patience.

Honestly, that’s when things get complicated. It’s not knowing what to do. The problem comes when you go to put it into action, that’s the hard part. That’s where it gets messy. Because your emotions and old habits and limiting beliefs get in the way. Addressing those is where the change is. It’s not knowing what to do, it’s actually doing it.

That’s what I help people do. I help them follow through and do what they commit to do. And when you do that repeatedly, and you make your habits into a lifestyle, that’s when you’re on to something. That’s when you’ll lose weight.

Okay, so there it is. I hope you’ve got some ideas to consider here as you think about what kind of lifestyle you want and the changes you want to make in the year ahead. Changing your lifestyle, changing your habits, and losing weight, it does not have to be complicated. In fact, it shouldn’t be. It’s simple, but it’s not easy.

Consider where in your life you can start making these subtle changes, and go for it. Get in it for the long game, and start now.

If you want help with this, let’s go. When you coach with me, you’ll get really clear on the habits you need in order to create the lifestyle you want. And then, you go and practice doing them. This is how change happens, one habit at a time.

Check out my website. Go to www.CarrieHollandMD.com/contact, tell me what habits you want to create, and let’s get to work. All right? Thank you for hanging out with me. I’ll catch you again next week.

If you like what you’ve been hearing, please review the show. I would love to get your feedback and ideas. Your suggestions have inspired episodes and will help me make the show better for you. Share this podcast with a friend, text a show link, share a screenshot, or post a link to the show on your social media. Be sure to tag me @CarrieHollandMD on either Instagram or Facebook so I can follow along and engage with you.

This is how we get the word out to other working moms who want to feel strong inside and out. If you know someone who wants to feel better or eat and move differently but she is too tired or too busy, it is time to change things up. You know making that change starts with how you think, and that is what we do here on the Strong as a Working Mom podcast. I’ll see you next week.

Thanks for listening to Strong as a Working Mom. If you want more information on how to eat, move, and think, so you can live in the body you want, with the mind to match, visit me at CarrieHollandMD.com.

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