12 Weight Loss Success Tips for Smart Losers
Weight loss is big business. The exact cost is a little hard to define because some products purchased can be coded either for weight loss or for an ergogenic (performance) aid. Nevertheless, based on research by Marketdata Enterprises, a market research firm that specializes in tracking niche industries, the total cost is about $60 billion, on everything from gym memberships to weight-loss programs to diet soda and everything in between. Before you lay down any money, consider these tips and be a smart loser.
Success Tip 1: Join a Gym.
We think this is an awesome choice, but before you join, consider these stats:
- Average cost in the United States: $55/month
- Average amount of money that goes to waste in a gym by not using it: $39/month (StatisticBrain.com).
- 67% of people with gym memberships never use them (StatisticBrain.com).
- 2/3 of Americans make a resolution to become fit every January, with 73% of them giving up and most within just a few weeks.
Success Tip 2: How to join a gym and buck the odds
IMPORTANT: Join a gym like Pivotal Fitness that has classes, small group training, and personal training.
WHY: Friendship bonds people together. Statistically those who form friendships/bonds with other exercisers have a much higher rate of adherence and consistency. Group exercise classes provide the setting to meet other likeminded people as well as make a connection with a motivating instructor. People who take group exercise classes have a startling high adherence rate: over 60% of participants in one study, with another siting a staggeringly low 6.3% drop out rate when classes were combined with meeting a buddy at the gym. Almost a 94% success rate! Want success? Want great adherence to your goals? Get hooked into GX Classes! EVEN BETTER: Classes are part of your basic membership!
Small Group Training, RedZone High Intensity Interval Training, and Personal Training cost a little more than a basic membership, but the personal attention from a certified personal trainer creates accountability and goals that is impossible to achieve in a group class. Additionally, the we-are-in-this-together-and-we-will-make-it-through atmosphere creates a “tribe” culture; support, encouragement, and bonding abound. For time spent in the gym, this group has the best results or any class of gym goer.
Success Tip 3: Make goals and share them with your personal trainer.
WHY: Your trainer will work with you to break the goals up into achievable increments and give you many ways to track your success by using tools other than the scale and/or the tape measurer. Accountability increases your odds of achieving your goals.
Success Tip 4: Get form and technique training.
One-on-one personal training is by far the best format for fine-tuning form. Personal trainers are experts at micro adjustments, regressing and progressing moves, and finding muscular imbalances. Perfect what you know. Learn what you don’t know. Avoid injuries. Learn to use your core in every exercise you do. Strengthen your low back. Improve your posture. Learn behavioral techniques that will boost your overall success.
It’s true that you can spend a little less at another gym that is “machine-based.” But there is a high cost of going low cost; failure and a complete waste of money. Machine-based fitness for some can be a good start, but the body gets bored fast, and the mind even faster. If you have had a gym membership before and found lots of other things to do rather than go to the gym…days off turning into weeks and soon into months, then change your strategy. Make a connection through classes, small group training/RedZone training, and personal training.
Success Tip 5: Make your environment your ally!
IMPORTANT: To stick to a lifestyle change long enough for it to become a habit, willpower needs to be at a minimum.
Organize your environment to support those changes. How long can anyone NOT eat Oreos (insert your fav: ice cream, chocolate…) that are in the cupboard especially if your habit is to eat Oreos after dinner? To NOT eat Oreos, they need to NOT be in the house. It needs to be hard to access them. It means you have to drive or walk to the store to get them. Think about it. How many triggers are there in your environment derailing your success? If chips are your weakness (you never eat the suggested serving size of 9 chips), then limit the easy access.
Triggers can be positive too. Put your shoes next to your bed to remind you to go on your walk first thing in the morning. Once a habit is established it becomes easy to repeat it. But habit acquisition means willpower for a time. The ability to exert willpower is limited and for most people decreases as the day goes by. This might explain why morning exercisers are the most adherent group of successful exercisers. If you need to be an afternoon or evening exerciser, create the positive trigger of having the gym bag in your car ready to go. Hang your gym key tag on your review mirror. Create triggers that help you stay on track.
Success Tip 6: Schedule in your workout
Put your workout into your calendar like you would any important meeting. When it’s time, even if you don’t feel energetic and want to blow it off, make a deal with yourself that you will at least stretch (choose the easiest physically form of exercise you know). By lowering the bar, you remove the obstacle of “I’m tired.” Don’t give yourself a way out. After all, the first goal is to become consistent. Once you have achieved consistency (a minimum of 2 months; most people need 2-6 months to achieve consistency), less will power is needed and the negative self-talk (I don’t want to, I am tired, I have so much to do, I should do this instead, etc.) will slow down. Habitual exercisers do not experience this self-talk after a time. They might be truly tired and need to modify their workout, but they will stay consistent.
Habitual exercisers have also frequently experienced GREAT energy once they got going! They feel better…the excuse of “I’m tired” was not real. Knowing this, they are much more likely to lace up and get going “even if” they feel tired.
Success Tip 7: Meet with a buddy!
Want to boost your adherence and success? Schedule your exercise in with a buddy. Choose anyone. But if you are really having trouble with adherence, choose someone who is already a habitual exerciser. They are going to be less likely to leave you hanging at the gym by yourself. If you are doing well with adherence (but just need more time to solidify the habit) choose someone who you can help be adherent by being there for them.
Success Tip 8: Have a home plan!
If you cannot make it to the gym, have a pre-thought-out-strategy ready for a home workout such as a body-weight circuit that includes push ups, triceps dips, squats, lunges, planks and ab work. If you need music, turn it up. Music is a motivator and an environmental strategy that increases the chances of success.
Success Tip 9: Shrink your plate
Studies show that those who use a big plate for their meal eat 30% more than those who use a smaller plate. Swap out the plate for a small bowl when possible will force portion control as well.
Success Tip 10: Organize your plate
Draw an imaginary line down the middle or your plate and fill one half with veggies, one quarter with a protein based food (such as chicken), and the other quarter with a complex carbohydrate/starch food such as a small potato or serving of whole grain rice or quinoa.
Success Tip 11: Buy produce
You do not have to spend a lot of money on food by buying healthy options. Apples are apples whether they come from the high-end designer grocery store or the budget conscious grocery store. Frozen veggies can even be more nutritious than fresh, since they are picked fresh and frozen right away. Canned is usually your third best choice, but choose canned veggies and fruits that have no added sugar and no or low sodium added.
Success Tip 12: GET THE GUIDE!
Pivotal Fitness has developed a 7-Day JumpStart Guide that has more information and tips that expand on these ideas and introduce others. For our free guide, CLICK HERE!
We are excited to walk this path with you. Our passion for people is fired through seeing success. Your results truly make our day! We hope to see you in one of our group exercise classes, RedZone workouts, small group trainings, or with one of our certified personal trainers soon!