My deadline for getting in shape looms dangerously close, and I still find myself reaching for the far too occasional cup cake and slathering on way too much ranch dressing instead of getting acquainted with Mr. Celery Stick. I didn't plan for this - actually if I had followed my plan I would be 10 lbs lighter. But I didn't.
I realize now that its not enough to intend to lose weight - to say, "Alright, I'm only going to eat x amount of calories and then exercise x amount of minutes and I'll be x lbs lighter by xx/xx/xxxx." I've done that a shameful number of times with little to no results. Why? Because we are not robots. We are emotionally fluctuating creatures and to meet our intended goals we have to implement effective weight loss strategies. That means we must plan to overcome our obstacles, we must reinforce the places where we are weak, and have plan B's for when all that fails. Planning for obstacles is sort of like laying out your clothes the night before so your morning goes more smoothly. It's planning not to fail by thinking ahead of the game.
If you find you cannot lose weight because the same obstacles keep popping up, then you may want take a moment to address them. Jot down a quick list and some strategies you can use to bypass those pesky obstacles. I did, and here's what I came up with:
1. My significant other (SO) and I love food & going out & sticking to a diet is difficult.
Obstacle bypass: Try to eat at home as much as possible and when going out is unavoidable, stick to salads and grilled chicken/fish with veggies. Avoid social eating situations and plan other activities, like bowling, biking, tennis, swimming, boating, etc.
2. It's hard to go to happy hours and not drink - which can easily ruin my diet.
Obstacle bypass: Take a pass on going out; Substitute cocktails for diet soda and stick to raw veggies and fruit for snacks. Don't be pressured into eating or drinking anything you don't want to! Remember, the next day they will be nursing their hangovers while you are blasting out some cardio while looking and feeling great!
3. It's hard to do my workouts (videos) when my SO is in the house because I like to do this in private. As the day goes by, it gets even harder to find time to fit in a workout.
Obstacle bypass: Exercise first thing in the morning, after SO has left for work. It gets it done, out of the way, and lots of experts suggest this is the best strategy for fat loss because you're not burning stored carbs but using stored fats to get through the workout. If first thing in the morning isn't possible, then Plan B could be right before lunch or 2 hours after lunch.
4. Sometimes its hard to whip up something healthy on the spot.
Obstacle bypass: Have a steady supply of your favorite lean cuisine meals on hand as well as tuna and whole grain crackers for lunch. When cooking dinner, try steaming or boiling instead of frying. A fast and quick healthy dish is some diced chicken sauteed in olive oil, combined with a pack of cooked frozen vegetables tossed together with some low carb pasta and seasoning. Delish and quick.
5. I have an insane sweet tooth that can devour boxes of cupcakes at a time.
Obstacle bypass: Avoid sugar at all costs! Sugar begets more cravings for more sugar, so limit yourself to none.