How to Get Started on Your Weight Loss Journey

weight loss journey

Starting your weight loss journey can be intimidating, but it doesn’t have to be. Even the most experienced and regimented exercise-lovers had to start somewhere! It’s easy to look at weight loss as a huge hurdle to leap, and you may remember running the mile in school and shiver, but it doesn’t have to be that way. No matter if you’re an absolute beginner who’s never stepped foot in a gym or just someone who’s itching to improve their workout routine, following a few simple steps will help get your fitness journey started on the right foot.

Set a Weight Loss Goal

Setting a goal is the first step of any successful journey. You can’t get somewhere if you don’t know where you are going. It’s important to know what you want so you know what to work for.

A good goal has three qualities: 

  • Realistic

Set a goal that is achievable in a healthy way. “I want to lose 50 pounds in one month” is not a good goal. It is neither realistic nor healthy. If weight loss is your goal, keep in mind that losing 1–2 pounds per week is the healthiest way to go about sustained, long-term weight loss. Anything higher than 1–2 pounds a week is either unrealistic or unhealthy.

  • Ambitious

Your goal should be challenging. If your goal is too easy, you will not be motivated to achieve it. Even if you do achieve it, it won’t feel like much of an accomplishment. “I want to lose 5 pounds in one year” is a terrible goal. Even if you achieve it, it won’t be anything to celebrate.

  • Measurable 

Your goal should be easily measurable. ” I want to get in better shape” is a lousy goal for three reasons.

    • How will you know whether or not you achieved it?
    • How will you know if you are making progress?
    • You can’t make adjustments to your plan if you don’t know how fast you are making progress.

Try Different Types of Workouts

It’s always good to try new things, especially when you are new at something. If you’re one of those people who look back at running the mile in middle school and cringe, try swimming or yoga. If the thought of lifting weights bores you to tears, try something entertainment-based, like Zumba or playing a fitness video game. Trying different types of workout has two significant advantages. Find something you like. You never know what you will like until you try it. You will hate some types of workouts and love others. It will help to fight off boredom.

Eventually, you will get bored at some point in your fitness journey. Even exercise that once kept you entertained will start to feel stale. It is important to mix it up now and then to fight off boredom and not let exercise become a chore that you dread every day. 

Refer back to the last section where you found which workouts you did and didn’t like. Still avoid workouts you don’t enjoy. But, if your favorite workout is getting boring, it’s probably a great time to give your second favourite a try.

Examples of different types of workouts

  • Gym 

Free weights, cardio, and weight machines. A gym can be good motivation by seeing other fit people, and it’s easy to ask for help with so many knowledgeable people around. 

  • Outdoor Gyms

Just like regular gyms but outside with Covid-19 safety measures. If you’d like to exercise right now, but are being safe due to the pandemic, outdoor gyms offer a good open-air alternative, 

  • Bootcamps 

Get outside with a fun Bootcamp. These are often oriented towards a specific goal, so find one that matches your exercise desires. 

  • Virtual 

With today’s technology, it’s possible to have a great workout from the comfort of your own home. It’s easy to pull up youtube and search for whatever exercise you’d like to try! Just be careful with your stances and postures!

Join a Team

There are many options if you want to include others in your fitness journey. Join a Facebook group, a group of your friends, or consider personal training in Portland or Bootcamp style classes. Exercising with a large or small group will help give you inspiration and help nail down your routine. You will have a set schedule for the most part, and it will further help you stick to your goals. 

Joining a team will help you in three ways.

  • Accountability 

When you are alone, it is easy to make excuses. When you are a part of a team, you are accountable to your team. That level of accountability will help you with motivation when things get tough.

  • Fun 

Covid-19 has taught us all the value of human interaction. Things are much more fun with friends, whether in-person or virtual. Plus, few things are more fun than a little friendly competition.

  • Motivation

Being around people with similar goals is motivating. Their positive energy and ambition will rub off on you. You can also cheer each other on when you are struggling and celebrate each other’s successes.

While it may seem daunting, there are easy ways to break down the start of your fitness journey into bite-size pieces and make it seem a little less scary. Getting started is the hardest part of a fitness journey. Once you get started, assuming you have a good plan, it all gets easier from there. Sometimes you learn a lot of things from your past mistakes while losing weight. So it is important to keep a track of your previous mistakes and learn from them.

Once you develop a routine, your body and mind will be happy to exercise, and it will feel wrong when you don’t. Routine and regiment are what any fit person will tell you are keys to success. With fitness, it doesn’t matter how slow you go, as long as you do not stop. 

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