This is an article from the PEERtrainer Weight Loss Framework, which is a guide to some of the best ideas that we have found that address the fundamentals of long term weight loss. The Framework is a page that you can bookmark and it is especially useful for people starting out on a diet or weight loss path.
1. The Goal
We talk a lot in this guide, in our Tip of The Day email program, in our coaching calls the importance of goal setting and planning. It is so fundamental and you have heard this a zillion times, but it is precisely these things that you need to do to succeed. Like on a trip, you need to know where you are going, where your destination is.
Losing weight is no different. Setting a specific goal that is really yours is important. Not what anyone tells you, but what you really want at the core, what is in your heart. I think it was Thoreau who said that "people do not attain what they do not aim for." So no matter what stage you are on in your journey, take a moment and actually take out a pen or pencil and right down a goal you really want. Or better yet, one that you expect to attain.
2. The Why
Using another real life example, to do anything you need a reason to do it. Without a reason you are not going to do it. You are not going to follow through on a diet just because you think you are supposed to, or it is January 1 or whatever. You have to find a reason and is has to be a priority. It has to be something you deeply value and is the top priority. This reason, this burning desire, will help to fuel your motivation. When you get off track, which you will, this goal and this reason becomes this force that you gravitate towards, and that picks you back up.
3. The How
You also need to know how to get where you want to go, and you need a route, a map or some sort of itinerary. You need to know how get from point A to point B. You can do this on your own, but it is so much easier when you do it with others. Imagine going out in the wilderness without a map? Going to a party, you need the same mindset- you need to be prepared beforehand, you need a ruleset that you will stick to. You need to be able to cope with the "food wilderness."
This brings us to support and guidance which is one of our core organizing themes and ideas. Why do millions of people pay each week to travel to a room to weigh themselves and hear a pep talk? Because it works and is valuable. One thing we talk about at PEERtrainer is the idea of "diet fusion", of blending different approaches together. My own "diet fusion" is to use the Weight Watchers Points system and combine it with a very high nutrient diet like the one advocated by Joel Fuhrman. I think on week three of the bootcamp calls I go into this specific idea.
Once you have done the fundamental work of goal setting, expectation setting, finding your reasons you really need to figure out how to stick to it, to get the support to keep you on track. You can join a PEERtrainer group, make sure you are getting the daily emails, or join a coaching program that will help to customize your path for you. There are all sorts of things you can set up for yourself to help bolster your own self motivation and discipline. If you have heard the PEERtrainer bootcamp calls, you know how motivating they can be.
4. The Measurement
Develop a weekly plan to stay accountable. Do you hate the scale? That's fine. Maybe one day you will make friends with it. In the meantime, find a different way to chart your progress. Maybe buy a measuring tape and take your measurements weekly. Maybe you have a pair of jeans that you can try on weekly. Find something that works for you, whether it's an old pair of jeans that you try on once a week, a measuring tape, a scale, your partners eyes, whatever it is and measure your progress.
5. The Follow Through
It's important for you to see progress so that you'll have a reason to stick with your plan. You're not sprinting; you're running a marathon. If you don't see the miles tick off as you get closer to the finish line, how are you going to know that what you're doing is working? Logging your goals, your progress, and your daily habits will show you what is working and most importantly, give you the confidence to keep up your good work. Your first week on PEERtrainer is critical if you have never logged before. Once you develop the habit, other positive and healthy habits will start to happen.
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