What does it really take to be successful at losing weight? After years of coaching people around changing up their lifestyles for weight loss, I’ve noticed a few patterns. Everyone I coach has a unique situation, but having pulled apart the common themes from all of my clients, I’ve come up with five characteristics for successful dieting and weight loss.
While we’re all different, we’re also the same. So, while your weight loss journey may differ from your friends, coworkers, or sisters, knowing and understanding these five common themes that come up for everyone will set you up for success when trying to lose weight.
Do you want to know how to succeed at weight loss? Tune in this week to discover the five characteristics of people who are successful in their weight loss efforts. I’m sharing why you need a plan to lose weight, how to stick to the plan, and why following the plan perfectly isn’t the goal here. Instead, it’s all about how you take ownership of your decisions and get back on track.
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.
Be sure to tag me on Instagram or Facebook so I can follow along and engage with you!
What You Will Discover:
- How your brain naturally revolts when you try to create new habits.
- The problem with not having a legitimate, specific plan for how you’re going to lose weight.
- What to consider when making a specific plan for your weight loss that works for you.
- Why following through on your weight loss plan is the hardest part of losing weight.
- What the most successful dieters do to get back on track when they experience failure.
- Why no single decision is going to make or break your progress, apart from the decision to quit.
- How setting yourself deadlines is setting you up for failure.
Listen to the Full Episode:
Featured on the Show:
Full Episode Transcript:
You are listening to the Strong as a Working Mom podcast, Episode #57. Want to know how to succeed at weight loss? Try these five things successful dieters do.
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 what it takes to be successful at losing weight. So, here’s where this comes from. After years of coaching people around changing up their lifestyles, I’ve noticed some patterns. If you know me at all, by now, you know I’m a huge nerd, and I like to identify patterns. I think that’s what made me a good physician, and now what makes me a good coach.
I like to pull apart common themes, from coaching lots of different people through lots of different situations, and find the commonalities. It’s like taking a whole bunch of data and extrapolating from it in order to make conclusions. So now I’m really letting my nerdiness come out in full force, and I’m going to run with it. It really is like science. It’s psychology, it’s habit science. It’s understanding how people work.
So, I like finding the patterns that are true for most people, and then distill them down and make them concrete and simple while also recognizing that everyone’s story is unique. It’s a fine balance. I heard this quote somewhere. I looked it up and found that it was from the author, Kelly Moran. She said, “We’re all the same, and we’re all different.”
Interestingly, when I Googled this quote to find the source, I also found that it’s the title of a Sesame Street book, which is pretty sweet. I love that Sesame Street is teaching this concept to kids, because we could all stand to understand this from the get go: We are all the same, and we are all different.
So, taking that concept and applying it to your lifestyle, while your weight loss journey may be different from your friends, your coworkers, or your sisters, there are some common themes that tend to come up no matter what. That’s because you’re a human with a human brain. That human brain has the same desires no matter whose brain we’re talking about.
Remember, your brain’s motivational triad is to seek pleasure, avoid pain, and spend as little energy as possible. So, when you go to shake up your habits, that effectively sends a message to your brain that says, “Hey, change is coming,” and your brain doesn’t like change.
So, it will do all kinds of things to mess with you and try to convince you that sticking with your nightly mini-Hershey bar habit is the best way to go because that meets your brain’s needs. Or skipping your daily load of Frappuccino, that has as many calories as burger and fries, is ‘too hard. So go ahead and get it today.’
Remember, your primitive brain sees change as a danger, as a threat, and as something that needs to be corrected. So, when you go to create new habits, your brain’s natural response is to revolt. It’s because of this, because our human brains are all different and all the same, all at once, there are some key patterns to pull apart.
Here it is, I’m boiling down my top five characteristics of people who are successful in their weight loss efforts. You’re ready for this? I’m excited to share this with you. Okay, so let’s go.
Alright, so first, people who succeed at weight loss, have a plan. I know I say this all the time, but it is so true and so important that I will keep saying it until forever. If you want to succeed at losing weight and keeping it off, you need a plan, like a legit one. Okay? So, here’s what I mean by this.
When I say a plan, I mean a real one, with details. I’ve gone over this in previous episodes, but I’ll reiterate here. When you’re looking to lose weight, you need a plan that’s specific. Meaning, look at the “what,” the “when,” the “how,” and how much. All of those pieces are essential components to consider in your weight loss plan. Okay?
As an example, what do you want the balance of your macronutrients to be? How do carbs, fat and protein play into your diet? What fruits, veggies, lean proteins, healthy fats, whole grains, what part are those going to be in your plan? Decide on those things.
When I ask you your goals, and you tell me, “I need to prioritize protein because I mostly eat carbs,” that’s awesome but that’s not specific. So, I will put you, in a kind way of course, to tell me what exactly you’re going to eat. I won’t let you be nebulous.
The reason for this is simple. When you’re vague and you leave the what to chance, that’s when things fall apart. Because you may have every intention of making tofu tacos tonight, but if you don’t have the tofu, or the tortillas, or the salsa, how’s that going to happen? So, I’m urging you to be very specific.
Decide what you’re going to eat, then decide when you’re going to eat. Then ,if you choose to do intermittent fasting, choose it, decide your window, and stick with it. Decide how much and how often you’re going to eat. How many meals and snacks will you have? Decide how much fast food or restaurant and takeout food you’re going to have in a week.
Make those decisions up front, then decide how you’ll keep track of what you’re doing. We need to find some way of knowing what you’re actually doing. Whether that’s food journaling, or tracking or using an app, whatever it is, decide on how you monitor what you’re actually putting in your mouth.
For those of you who hate the idea of tracking, I hear you. I’m not telling you that you have to use MyFitnessPal and track for the rest of your life here. That’s not the point. My point is to say, find some way of monitoring what you’re doing. Part of your plan needs to include some way of self-monitoring. Remember, you can’t change what you don’t measure.
This is the place where I see a lot, a lot, a lot of clients falter, because you think you can do this without writing anything down. Or you think it’s too much work and too daunting to even write out what you’re planning to do, and then go back and write out what you actually did, so you don’t do it, and then you don’t have any data to work with. We have no idea what’s actually going in your mouth. It’s really hard to make adjustments when we don’t know what you’re actually doing.
That’s the other part about having a plan. Once you create your plan, which if you coach with me, this is exactly what I help you do. Once you create your plan, then you have to go and test it out. You have to put it into practice. So, you’re not done. You have to follow the plan and see what works and what doesn’t, and then make adjustments to it. The people I have seen be successful at weight loss know exactly what I’m talking about here.
As an example, I have a client who, when we started working together, she was doing intermittent fasting. She continued to do intermittent fasting for a bit in the first few weeks of us working together. But then, after testing it out for a couple of weeks, she decided to change it up, and she decided to start having breakfast.
So, she had amped up her running and her strength training, and she decided, because of that, she wanted to reintroduce breakfast to her days. While she had a plan, it wasn’t until she started following it and implementing it that she could see what needed to change. That’s just it, your plan is dynamic.
The way you eat is not written in stone for the rest of your days here, especially when you’re just starting out. You have to start from somewhere, so you create a plan based on our best estimate of what we think will work to result in weight loss. Again, getting nerdy here, but this is your hypothesis.
“This plan is what I think I need to do in order to lose weight.” Then, you go and do the plan and test it out. See what works and what doesn’t, and then adjust it. Do you see that? You need a starting point, and that’s what your plan is. As you practice following the plan you give yourself data. You’ll learn whether intermittent fasting is the answer for you, or if you’ll do better with breakfast.
You’ll learn if you need a midday snack to avoid coming home from work hangry, or if you need to bolster your lunch instead. All of these are important clues that will help you determine how to eat in order to lose weight.
Okay, so all of this is to say, have a plan. Decide what, when, how often, and how you’re going to eat. Decide how you’re going to keep track of what you’re actually doing. Make your choices and make your decisions ahead of time, and then implement the plan and prepare to adjust as you learn what works and what doesn’t.
I cannot stress enough how important this is. In my years of coaching, I have found this to be one of the most essential pieces to successful weight loss: You need to plan. I will add this one last thing before I move on here because it comes up so very often. Please do not just tell yourself, “I need to be more mindful.” Okay?
I’m calling this one out in particular, because I have seen this coaching many clients. Again, what I’ve learned over time, is that when you tell me or you tell yourself, “I just need to be more mindful,” that’s often you’re out. I’ve started to associate “I just need to be more mindful” as code for “I don’t want to think through a plan.”
Before you get mad at me, I know I’m making a generalization here, but I’ve seen it and I’ve heard it enough times that I want to call special attention to it. Being mindful sounds really awesome in theory, but similar to saying “I’m fine, or I’m busy,” like we talked about last week, what does that actually mean? What does it mean to be more mindful?
I find, often, it’s exactly the opposite. Sometimes when you tell me you’re going to be more mindful, it’s an out. You say you’ll be more mindful, instead of creating and executing a plan for yourself. So, saying “I just need to be more mindful,” does not tell me what you’re having for dinner tonight. It also doesn’t tell me what you’re going to do when your friends suggest going out for ice cream, when you’ve already had ice cream twice this week.
It doesn’t tell me what you’re going to do when your coworker is handing you a piece of his birthday cake from the break room. So please, please, please, think twice before you decide that your plan is to just be more mindful. I am encouraging you to ask for more of yourself and get specific. Okay?
All right. So now that I have entirely beaten that dead horse, the next thing successful dieters do, after they formulate a plan, is they follow it. You know this already, but having a plan for weight loss does you absolutely no good unless you follow it.
The idea here is this. If you’re creating your weight loss plan, and you’re writing your own rules or guidelines here, then theoretically it should be “easy” to follow. I’m not saying that it will be a cakewalk, but your weight loss plan should be something that you actually intend to follow.
When I work with a client, and we spend the first one to two sessions ironing out her weight loss plan, one of the things I will ask when we’re finished is how confident she feels about the plan. Because I need her to feel good about the plan she’s written out for herself. Because the next step in the process is to try the plan. You have to implement it. So, I need to check at the outset that she feels solid about the plan she’s created for herself.
One of my key terms I use when I do this is “comfortably challenging.” Remember, you are creating the rules of your plan here, no one is imposing anything upon you. I have tools and concepts and ideas that I will offer to you as we create your plan, but ultimately, you are deciding what you’re going to do when it comes to your nutrition.
When you’re looking to change the way you eat, you’re going to have to make some compromises with yourself, and that’s where the challenge lies. You may have to decide that your nightly fistfuls of tortilla chips while you veg out in front of the TV are not going to work. So, maybe you cut that out entirely. Or maybe you decide that Saturday night is the one night of the week that you’ll have that handful of chips.
Either way you slice it, there’s going to be a challenge here because you’re going to be doing something different from the usual. You’re changing up your routine. If you remember what I said at the beginning, you can fully expect your brain to freak out on you when you do this.
When you change up your routine, expect that your brain is not going to love it. It’s going to feel challenging, but I need for you to find that sweet spot. Find what is a comfortable challenge for you. I know that sounds funny, but think of it as a subtle stretch.
If you want to change your life, and this is true for way more than your diet, okay, you’re going to have to get out of your comfort zone, that is inevitable. But the stretch we’re talking about should not be so far that your brain revolts and stops you before you get started. It’s small steps here. A small but legitimate stretch on your comfort. That’s all I’m asking.
You are the only one who can decide what that is for you. But again, the goal here is to have a plan, and then you follow it. So, this is about honoring the decisions you make ahead of time. If you listened to Episode 55 you know this already. Here’s your spoiler alert, if you haven’t listened yet, okay?
The hardest part about losing weight is following through on the decisions you make ahead of time, and then feeling all of the feelings that come up when you do that. I’ve said it before, I’ll say it again here, it is not about the food, okay? It’s not about the tortilla chips. The hardest part about losing weight is doing what you said you were going to do at the moment you said you were going to do it, and feeling all of the feelings that happen when you do this.
So, this is a combination of a few important concepts: It’s discipline, and it’s processing your emotions. People who are successful at losing weight and keeping it off, practice both of these things. They practice following through on their plan, even when they don’t want to. Remember, that’s what discipline is. It’s honoring your own decision. It’s doing what you said you were going to do, even when you don’t want to.
That’s exactly why you made the plan in the first place. You make that plan ahead of time, knowing full well that when the moment comes and it’s time to execute the plan, you’re probably not going to want to, but you do it anyway. It’s fascinating to me that this is the hardest part of weight loss. But so often, you are the first to let yourself off the hook and you don’t do it. Generally, we are much quicker to let ourselves down than we are to let a friend or family member down.
But people who succeed at weight loss, they take a different approach. They are honest with themselves and they don’t bargain. They don’t make deals in their head, that even though they had ice cream twice already this week, it’s okay to have it again tonight and they’ll just have it once next week. They don’t ignore the bites of french fries they ate from one kid’s plate, and they add it to their food journal.
People who succeed practice holding themselves accountable. This is such a powerful thing, because no one is watching. When you think about it, whatever plan you decide to follow in order to lose weight, no one is grading you and no one is standing on your shoulder to ensure that you’re following it. You get to decide how to carry yourself.
You get to decide how much it matters if you go off your plan and have two glasses of wine tonight, even though you said you weren’t drinking on weeknights anymore. No one is forcing you to follow your plan. Instead, you created your plan to be comfortably challenging, and then you get to be the one to practice putting it into action. You get to decide how honest you’re going to be with yourself.
You’re not answering to me, even if I’m your coach. Yeah, I’m going to ask, “How did it go following your plan this week?” But ultimately, you’re answering to yourself, not me and not to anyone else. So, remember that discipline is what you do when no one is watching.
People who are successful at losing weight, they know this, they understand this, and they follow through on their plans even when no one is watching. They follow through on their plan even when they don’t want to. All right?
Next, people who are successful at losing weight are not perfect. I know I just spent the last couple of minutes talking about how they follow through, they honor their decisions, and they have discipline and they do what they said they’re going to do. While they do all those things, they are not operating at a 100% no fail rate. Okay?
Remember, that perfect is impossible, and it is superhuman. So, people who are successful at losing weight, they mess up. They fall off their plan. While they most definitely mess up, here’s what successful dieters don’t do. They don’t turn those mess ups into a catastrophe. They don’t make one bad decision means they’re doomed, and there’s no way they can lose weight, and there’s no way they can get back on track.
You don’t see them saying “I just ruined all my progress” as they reach for ice cream to cope with the pizza they just ate. People who succeed at weight loss do not take the all-or-nothing approach, okay? No. Instead, they acknowledge their mess ups and learn from them, and then they keep going. They keep going.
They recognize that one choice that doesn’t align with their goals is exactly that. It’s one choice in a sea of a lifetime of choices, and they leave it at that. This is not to say that they let themselves off the hook. They don’t blame their mess ups on other people or the busy day they had or grandma Sally’s famous apple pie that she just couldn’t resist. No, they don’t dismiss it. They take ownership of the choices they made, but they treat themselves kindly instead of beating themselves up about it.
Do you see why this is so important? For any of you all-or-nothing dieters, for any of you who make one off-plan decision, and then say, “Screw it, I messed up. The day is ruined. I will start again tomorrow,” take note here. Beating yourself up, and tearing into yourself after a decision you’re not proud of, and then eating more junk food to cope with your decision of eating junk food earlier, that is a vicious cycle.
It’s taking one misstep and turning it into a food bender, which will take you even farther off track. Imagine, instead, if you mess up, acknowledge it, learn from it, and think about what you would do differently next time. Then you treated yourself kindly instead of wigging out on yourself. How would things be different if you did that?
Maybe, just maybe, if you were nice to yourself, maybe you could make that mistake mean nothing about you. You don’t make that extra piece of pizza, or three extra pieces of pizza, mean that you’re a failure. You just make it mean; you made a choice, and you will make a different one next time, as in the very next choice.
You don’t let one “bad” decision turn into two or into three or into “I’ll try again tomorrow.” Because all of these choices, they’re small. It’s pizza, right? No one decision is going to be the one. The one salad you eat tonight is not going to result in 10 pounds down. The cookies you had yesterday are not going to cause the scale to go up by 12 pounds. Okay, do you see that?
It’s the collection of decisions, that add up and accumulate over time, that ultimately give you your results. It’s so important to understand that. No one decision is going to make or break your progress. Well, okay, I should correct myself. The only decision that will stop your progress is if you quit, if you give up. So, don’t do that.
Don’t make one decision mean, you’re done, that you quit. Take the mistakes as they come, and they most certainly will, and decide how you’re going to manage yourself when they do happen. When I say that, I mean all of it. I mean, how will you talk to yourself when you mess up? Will you call yourself all kinds of names and tear yourself into shreds with your self-talk? Or will you own it, admit to yourself that you messed up, feel the disappointment and frustration, but tell yourself the next decision will be different? I mean it, when I say the next decision.
As much to the extent possible, make your next decision one you are proud of. Don’t let one off-plan decision turn into a downward spiral, or into a series of decisions that you’re not happy about. That’s how it happens. One choice turns into “I’ve already messed up once, there’s no point” and then it turns into two choices, into three, until you’re entirely off your plan altogether.
That’s why I encourage you to think through this in advance. Decide what you will do, and how you will respond when you make a mistake, and plan for how your next decision, after the one you’re not proud of, will be different. If this smells of having a plan to you, you’re onto me. Okay. Yes, I want you to have a plan for when you mess up. Okay?
All right, next. Successful dieters don’t hold themselves to a strict timeline. They don’t impose absolute deadlines on themselves. Meaning, they don’t declare, “I have to lose 10 pounds by the time I go on this vacation, or else. I have to lose two pounds this week.” Instead, successful dieters see their changes as a long-term process with no finish line.
I’ll say that again, because it’s just that important: With no finish line. Okay? This is not to say that successful dieters take a loosey goosey approach to their weight loss. They still mean business, but they recognize that imposing timelines on themselves isn’t always useful.
Here’s why. Remember, your lifestyle is not an outcome. Your lifestyle, your weight loss, and the habits you adopt to achieve that weight loss, that’s the process right there. It’s that process that results in your outcome. Do you see that? There is no timeline for this, because there’s no finish line. Remember, we’re not talking about a diet here.
I know I keep saying what successful dieters do, and that’s largely because I had a hard time coming up with another word. But in reality, you go on and you go off a diet. You start and you stop a diet. Those all imply a timeline. But there is no timeline when we’re talking about changing your life. Okay?
There are a number of reasons to consider taking this approach. First, think of what happens if and when you’ve done the opposite. When you tell yourself, “I have to lose 10 pounds by this date,” often one of two things happen. On one hand, you take extreme measures to get there, severely cutting your calories, eliminating all carbs, cutting out alcohol and eating nothing but chicken breast and salad.
You may very well hit your goal by the deadline, but then, once that deadline has passed, you can’t sustain what you were doing and the weight comes back on. Or you don’t reach the goal by the timeline you’ve imposed on yourself. You may lose some weight, but you get really frustrated and declare whatever you’re doing is not working, throw in the towel, and give up because the results didn’t come fast enough and on your set schedule.
Again, there may be subtle shades of gray here, but generally, when you give yourself hard deadlines, you’re setting yourself up for failure by either adopting too extreme habits. Or using the deadline against yourself, when you are in fact making progress but it’s just not as fast as you expected, and you haven’t hit your goal within your timeline. I see that all the time.
The danger in setting strict timelines is you often end up using it against yourself. Too often, you stop because you are making progress, but it’s slow progress and it’s not in line with the deadline you’ve set for yourself. So, it usually comes in the shape of “this isn’t working.” I often see that when you’ve lost a few pounds over a number of weeks or months, but it didn’t meet your timeline.
What, if instead, you decided there was no deadline? What if you decided to take your timeline out of the picture, and instead focus on continuously aiming for healthy habits? What would that feel like? If you’re groaning, I hear you. But let me give you a very real, very honest, very true take on what weight loss looks like.
There is no finish line. At the risk of irritating you, I’m going to give it to you straight: You’re never really done. There is no time, after which you can revert and go back to your old habits, and expect to stay at your new lower weight. It just doesn’t work that way. The sooner you make peace with that, the better off you’ll be.
So, when you give yourself a timeline, or hold yourself to a deadline, that implies a finish. That implies that there’s a time at which your habits end. But that’s not it at all, because there’s no finish. There’s tweaking and there’s maintaining, and that maintaining doesn’t go away.
People who have been successful at losing weight and keeping it off, they have come to terms with this.
They understand it. They may not like it, but they accept it. You can think of it like this. The goal is to make small nudges, or small, one-degree shifts to your baseline habits until you get to that sweet spot of feeling good.
Meaning, you’re tweaking your lifestyle, in the form of eating and moving, to get to a place where you live at a comfortable weight, and you’ve established the habits to back it up. Once you’ve found that spot, you maintain it. Do you see that?
When you get started on a lifestyle change, it’s a series of changes or small nudges to your lifestyle until you find what works. For some of you, that can take weeks. For some, it’s months. For some, it’s years. No matter how long it takes, the successful dieters, they’re in it. They’re in it for the haul because they know they’re not going back. It’s eyes forward. No deadlines needed, because it’s lifelong.
I know that may be hard to accept, but I’ve said it before, I don’t sugarcoat. If you really want to be successful at changing your life, and in turn losing weight, there is no finish line. There’s no strict timeline here because these habits should last you for as long as you are on earth. Okay?
All right, last but not least, successful dieters have realistic expectations. I know there may be a collective eyeroll here when I say this, but I need to take a minute and break this down because this one comes up all the time. It’s a roadblock for so many of you. So, let’s pick this apart.
It is essential to have realistic expectations about your weight loss, and this is hard. But the reality is, it’s been shown over and over again, that humans tend to overestimate how active we are and underestimate how much we eat. So, combine those two, and you’ve got a setup for unrealistic expectations.
I see the show up in a number of ways. I’ll meet with a client who swears she’s been doing everything she’s supposed to and it’s just not working. She’ll swear she’s eating in a calorie deficit, or at least she thinks she is, and she’s irritated because it’s been a week or even two weeks and the scale hasn’t budged.
So, two things here. First, this goes back to the point I just mentioned, when you have unrealistic deadlines for your weight loss, it’s easy to chalk it up and say that whatever you’re doing isn’t working when you’re not meeting those deadlines. But again, we’re not talking about deadlines here.
Think about how long it took to get to the weight at which you’re currently living. It generally takes months, if not years, to accumulate excess weight. You didn’t wake up and all of a sudden weigh 20 pounds more than you did in college, no. Most often, the excess weight is a result of an accumulation of choices made over time, a long time.
Just as it took a long time to put on that weight, it will take time for that weight to come off too. But we forget that. It’s easy to forget how long it took to gain the weight. More importantly, it’s easy to forget how long the habits responsible for that weight gain have been there. It takes time to undo those habits. It takes a lot of time and patience.
Second, if you tell me something isn’t working, you’re right. But at the risk of ruffling your feathers, it’s usually one of these few things that aren’t working. So, if your weight loss plan is not working, in all truth, it’s most often because you’re not following your plan, because it’s too strict or restrictive or complicated. You aren’t following your plan consistently. Or you’re underestimating how much you’re eating.
Most often, it comes down to one or more of those three things. I know that’s hard to hear. No, I’m not calling you a liar, I’m calling you a human. Just like I’m a human, and terrible at estimating, we all are. Again, if you are not losing weight, barring any medical issues, you’re not eating in a calorie deficit. I like to keep it simple, and that’s what it boils down to. Okay?
If you swear up and down that you are logging or tracking or journaling, or being very mindful, which you know how I feel about being mindful, and you’re not eating that much, but you’re not losing weight, something is off. Again, barring any medical issues, it tells me you’re not in a consistent calorie deficit. That’s really what the take home is.
The reasons you’re not in a calorie deficit are generally, because you’re not following your plan, you’re not being consistent with your plan, or you’re underestimating what you’re actually eating. If you don’t want to be endlessly frustrated, I’m encouraging you to adjust your expectations. I’m asking you to be really, really patient.
Most of us want what we want, and we wanted it yesterday. But true, lasting, sustainable weight loss doesn’t happen that way for most people. I don’t want you to be surprised by the level of patience, precision, honesty and consistency you need in order to make progress. This stuff takes work.
If you’re listening to this podcast, I’m guessing you are not afraid of hard work. Now, I’m simply asking you to stay with it. Stick with the process. I’m asking you to recognize that you are in this for the long haul. This is legitimate work, and there are no shortcuts. I’m asking you to accept it will probably take longer than you think it will. I’m asking you to commit to a level of consistency that will get you results. I’m asking you to be realistic with yourself.
Eight weeks of eating in a calorie deficit 50% of the time, is not going to undo eight years of eating whatever you wanted. You may think I’m being extreme here, but I’ve had this happen. I’ve had clients who have rated themselves at a 50% consistency, and they’re perplexed by their lack of results. I take that on me because it’s my job as their coach to help them see what is realistic.
That brings me to my last point. I know I just went over five things that successful dieters do. I want to make it clear that for most people, they become successful by being unsuccessful first, okay? You have to try and mess up first, in order to get it right. This list came directly from the observations of my clients.
Many of the clients I’ve worked with started out doing the opposite of the things I just described, and that’s why they weren’t successful at first. This may be you, too. You may think you can lose weight and keep it off without a plan. You may think you can be loose with your plan and still get results. You may think that mistakes are to be avoided at all costs. You may have a strict timeline in mind for your weight loss.
If you subscribe to any of these, you most likely have very unrealistic expectations about your weight loss journey. Many of my clients have struggled with these. But the ones who succeeded, they adapted. After trying to wing it, they’ve realized that having a plan for weight loss makes a difference. They’ve realized that having that plan does no good unless they follow it consistently. So, they practice following their plans, hardcore.
They made mistakes and saw that hope is not lost. They’ve realized that lifestyle change is about the long haul instead of a quick fix, and they adjusted their expectations. I share all of this to highlight that if you’ve been unsuccessful at losing weight in the past, it’s okay. It is possible to approach it differently and have a different outcome.
I would leave you with this question to consider: What can you do differently this time, so that there doesn’t have to be a next time? What is it for you? Whether that’s having a plan, or following your plan consistently, or practicing getting back up after you make mistakes, or adjusting your timeline, or adjusting your expectations. What can you do differently to make your success inevitable?
If you want to talk about this more, let’s go. When you coach with me, I will help you be successful.
Starting with your plan, and every step after that, I will be with you to ensure that your weight loss success is inevitable. Check out my website. Go to www.CarrieHollandMD.com/contact, tell me where you struggle, and then let’s make a plan to fix it. All right?
Thank you again for hanging out with me, and I will 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. 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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