I’ve been working with weight loss clients exclusively for eight years.  I want to share with you 5 questions I recommend asking yourself before you begin any weight loss program.  I’ve developed this checklist through the years after seeing what works and unfortunately, seeing what doesn’t.  

Why am I overweight? How did I get to this point? 

In other words, what are the obstacles you face? Where are the struggles? If you could wave a magic wand and change anything, what would it be?  To get your brain going, here’s some help. 

Sometimes people don’t know what to eat, how much to eat or they are confused about when they should eat.  They may list reasons like

I don’t know enough about nutrition to make good choices

I never get full so I think I eat too much

I don’t like vegetables

I eat too much processed food cause I like convenience

I don’t like to cook so I end up eating frozen pizza or getting takeout all the time

I drink my calories – soda, alcohol, sports drinks

I graze all day

I skip breakfast and then eat a huge lunch

Then there are people who know what to eat for the most part,

but their struggle is in following the plan.  They list reasons like:

Food is the only thing that brings me joy

I use food as comfort

I use food to reward myself – and I deserve a lot of rewards!

I can’t say no when they bring in lunch at work, which is 3-5 times/week

I have no willpower to turn down sugar, desserts, bread

I reward myself with food

I refuse to give up bread

My spouse is constantly sabotaging me – buying me chocolate, making me lasagna

I rely on someone else to cook/shop and they get unhealthy food all the time.

I can’t stop late night snacking

If I like how it tastes, I’ll eat until I am miserable.  I can’t stop.

Then there’s answers around exercise like:

I never exercise or I am not consistent with exercise.

I have a physical limitation or injury that prevents me from exercising.

I just hate to exercise. 

And then maybe a few others like:  

I have a medical condition that makes losing weight harder. 

Genetics are against me.

Be aware of answers like:

I’m just so lazy.

I really love food.

I’m not disciplined enough. I see it and I want to eat it. 

Dig deeper.  Spend time reflecting.

Whatever program you choose it has to address these things.  For example, if you are eating due to stress on the job but you start intermittent fasting and you can’t eat until a certain time of day, you are on the fast train to failure.  The only thing that will stop you from eating when stressed is willpower and grit.  You may be successful a time or two but you won’t be forever. 

 Why do I want to lose weight?

As long as the pain of staying where you are is less than the perceived pain on changing you will stay stuck. 

Re-read this sentence.  You may be miserable at your current weight BUT as long as that misery is less than your perceived pain of having to change your lifestyle, give up certain foods, etc  YOU WILL NOT BE ABLE TO FULLY COMMIT AND STICK WITH IT. 

What have I learned from past weight loss attempts?  What works/doesn’t work for me?

 If you have lost weight before how did you do it? Why did you gain it back?

Let’s not repeat that diet for the fourth time.  Even though you lost 10 pounds on it four times before, it obviously does not lead to lasting weight loss. So why bother?  Let’s say for example you found that when you start a diet and don’t tell anyone, you always drop out.  But when you joined that challenge at work, you were able to complete it without even thinking of dropping out.  That tells you that you need accountability in your program.  And maybe it tells you that you like competition, too. 

What has worked/not worked for you?  Make sure you include or exclude these things in your plan. 

Can I follow this for the rest of my life?

You have to see it as a lifestyle change because temporary changes lead to temporary results.   

Look at the plan in question and ask if you can see yourself on this plan in a year? How about 5 years?  

If the answer is no, you WILL gain the weight back – it’s just a matter of time.

Be especially leery of results that are fast or sound too good to be true. 

What kind of exercise can I realistically do? 

Can you lose weight without any exercise? Yes. 

Can you live a healthy life without exercising? NO. 

Unless you have a physical limitation, you have got to commit to finding exercise that you enjoy and you can stick to.  If you hate jogging, don’t force yourself to train for a 10K.  There are SO MANY ways to move your body, get the heart rate up and burn calories you do NOT need to do something you don’t enjoy.  

If you listed “I hate to exercise” as a response to question 1 then you need to explore the options.  There are so many possibilities that you MUST be able to find something that makes your body feel good.  

If this has your wheels spinning, we have two weight loss programs available now.  Click here to see the difference in the two.  I work with emotional eaters and my staff focuses more on people who don’t struggle with emotions and food. 

If you want to see the full YouTube video that accompanies this blog, click here. 

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