Starting your weight loss journey, especially if that is something you were contemplating and wanting for a longer time, can be an incredibly hard and overwhelming step. Where do I start? How do I start? What dietary advice will I follow? Should I tell my family and friends? Or should I keep it for myself just in case I ‘fail’ (again)?
All these questions are valid and making the right decisions can make your weight loss journey so much easier or so much more difficult. I have decided to write a series helping you make the right decisions at the beginning of your weight loss journey to make the whole process much easier for you.
So let’s look at the first question now: How to start my weight loss journey?
As with everything relating to nutrition and diet, there is no one-fit-all advice. Everyone is different and everyone’s personality reacts differently.
Some people do better with strong and very abrupt changes. “On Monday, I will start my new life and I will eat healthy from that day on and never ever step foot in a fastfood place ever again.” Some people like that approach and respond and adapt to abrupt changes really well.
Some people, however, prefer slower and graduate change. “Every day I try to be slightly better than yesterday.”
So which approach is better when it comes to weight loss? Neither! Each approach can work really great for certain individuals. And also a mixture of both approaches can be very helpful - I will get to that in my personal experience below.
Finding out which approach is better for you specifically is very important though. Because if you are a person who prefers slower changes, making the big fat line behind your old unhealthy life can be unreasonably and unnecessary difficult. And of course the other way around as well. For a person who prefers big changes, going slow can be boring and demotivating.
When I have a new client who wants to lose weight, this is a very important part of our discussion. I need to know this about my client because it has a significant impact on my approach to that client.
For example with people who are more ‘radical’ and want to do the big life change starting on Monday, I know that they will need a lot more of my support in the first couple of weeks. Whereas with the people who prefer more graduate changes, I know my involvement is most likely not going to be as intense at the beginning, but rather long term.
So how do I know which personality I am? I always advise my clients to look at their life and we analyze the big changes in their life.
How did you move out of your parents house? Did you move out all at once or gradually over a couple of months? And how did you feel about the way you did that?
When your baby was born, was that change very difficult or were you able to adjust pretty easily?
When you end a job - were you ever gradually transferred to another position? How did you feel about that?
Are you smoking? Have you ever tried to stop? How was that process?
Of course all the answers to those questions are combinations of different external circumstances and not just your personality preferecise. But answers to those questions can give us some guidance.
As for me personally, I probably prefer the abrupt change system, but I split it into smaller chunks to make it manageable and not so overwhelming.
When I decided it was time to get rid of my postpartum kilos (about 20 month postpartum - more on that in another blog) I set a specific day for myself and I started exercising very regularly from that day on. After about a month, I again set a specific date when I cleaned up my diet. Like really really healthy eating. After about another month I did the hardest step - quite chocolate (more on that again in another blog).
And this approach worked great for me. I did not feel like I was suffering at all. It was not too much or overwhelming. I got to my ideal weight within a couple of months and I kept the new habits. The whole process was actually very easy and natural for me.
But as I said, every person is different and everyone needs to find the right approach for themselves.
To help you kick start your weight loss journey, I have a free eBook for you to download. Just click here. It is called 3 easy and effective diet swaps to help you lose weight, feel happier and healthier. And it is just that! Easy, effective and helpful tips to kick start your weight loss journey.