Today I’m going to talk about the 2nd most common mistake that people make when trying to lose weight. Last week, I talked about the first mistake which is lack of a deep, value-driven reason behind why you want to lose weight. The result of that is lack of sustainable motivation. The next common mistake is not having a game plan. A lot of people start off with lots of enthusiasm, but only have a loose idea of what they need to do to lose weight. Maybe they’ve read a book, listened to a podcast, talked to some friends but they haven’t gotten into the specifics of the necessary details.
I’m sure we’re all familiar with the very famous quote: Failing to Plan is Planning to Fail.
Why Do I Need a Plan?
If you reflect on your life and things that you have achieved and are very proud of, chances are that you had some sort of plan to provide structure and clarity to help you reach that successful outcome. The same principle applies when it comes to weight loss. Structure and clarity allow you to tap into the executive functioning part of the brain so you can override more impulsive behaviours.
It’s also important to ensure the plan that you choose to follow is aligned with your expectations of how quickly you can reach your final weight loss goal. Sometimes people want to take a modified approach to weight loss, where they want to make small changes and don’t want to do anything too drastic, because they think if they do something too big or too different, they won’t stick to it. There is nothing wrong with this moderate approach, as long as you understand what this means for the timeline of reaching your goal.
I like to use an analogy of planning a sailing trip. Similar to last week’s sailing analogy, imagine that you’re on an island, and you want to travel to a different island. This new island represents your weight loss goal destination and what it means for you. Part of the plan for a sailing trip is that you need to have a good navigation chart with clear instructions to get you to the new island. Similarly when losing weight, you need to have a clear plan that will provide you with the navigation to get you to your goal. Without your navigation chart, or a plan, you might just end missing your destination altogether or end up going in circles.You also need to know if you’re taking a direct route, or a scenic route; in other words, are you making big changes to reach your goal quickly, or are you making small gradual changes that will take a bit longer.
Either option is fine, but it’s important to have realistic expectations of how long it’s going to take you to reach your goals.
Creating the Right Plan for You
Another important element around having a plan is that you want to make sure you have the right plan for you at this age and stage in your life. A plan that will work for you will likely be different than a plan that will work for somebody else. To again draw on the sailing analogy, different navigation plans will work for different people. The navigation chart would need to take into consideration the shoals that may come up along the way. The shoals that might trip you up are likely different than those that might trip your friend up. These shoals could be relating to the physical needs of the body, or could be relating to the mindset. It’s important to understand that these challenges will determine what type of plan you need in order to reach your goals. From a physical standpoint, many factors can influence the type of plan you follow, such as age, gender, hormonal changes, and underlying health issues. There may also be various lifestyle challenges that need to be considered when developing your plan.
For example, when I was in my early 40s, I was involved in a fitness competition. I focused on what I ate, when I ate, and exercise, and it worked very well to lose weight and get in shape. But then, in my early 50s, I put on weight and I was carrying it differently, I had more of a belly. I was older and had hormonal changes, metabolic changes, so there were other factors in play. When I tried to lose weight, using the same method I used back my 40s to prepare for the fitness competition, it just didn’t work. This is because I had different physical and metabolic challenges that weren’t a factor 10 years earlier, and I wasn’t appreciating the impact of those factors were having on my weight loss. Then, I found another approach altogether, which is ideal for women whose bodies have changed after 40 years of age and I’ve now been using this approach for the last seven years and in my practice for my women clients.
So… What’s Your Plan?
Taking all of the factors into consideration is important because this will make you realize that you may require a different plan now than you did before. Ensure that your expectations are aligned with the plan you choose so that you don’t feel disappointed in your progress.
I hope you found this information helpful as to why it’s so important to develop a plan to provide you with structure and clarity in your weight loss journey. This is one of the most common mistakes people make when trying to lose weight, in addition to a lack of sustainable motivation as we discussed last week. I invite you to return next week when I’ll be talking about another common mistake people make when trying to lose weight, and how to navigate around those mistakes to allow for success in your weight loss journey. If you want to learn more:
- You can book a complimentary call, and discuss your challenges, and obstacles, and together we can determine if my program is right for you.
- You can also go to my Facebook page, @DrSherBovay, where you can find and join my Private Facebook group, The FastLane Mind Body Reset Mastery Group. Here, I host Facebook lives and frequent posts where you can engage and learn more.