Top 3 Mistakes Made When Creating a Weight Loss Plan

In sharing my 5-step process for having the health and body you want, I suspect step 4 might be your favorite. Chances are, you’ve dedicated considerable effort to it. However, if you’re not seeing the desired outcomes, it’s time for refinement. Time to make it uniquely yours. I’m talking about creating a weight loss plan.

This is where people are most at ease, deciphering the what and the how. But enduring habits come from doing the deep work, which is why we laid the groundwork with Steps 1, 2, and 3. Once that foundation is laid (imperfect, but in motion), devising a weight loss plan and staying the course becomes significantly easier.

To start, let’s sidestep these 3 common mistakes people make with their plans:

  1. Neglecting to tailor the plan to their current life stage.
  2. Constantly tweaking the plan, keeping habits from taking root and yielding results.
  3. Too much reliance on external sources for solutions, overlooking inherent wisdom.

The antidote to these missteps lies in introspection. Set aside the apps, the calorie counters, the fitness gadgets—for now. 

creating a weight loss plan
Photo by Moe Magners

Think about the healthy lifestyle you want to live. Go back to what you clarified in step 2. With that in mind, make a list of all the things you would need to start doing and stop doing. Add to it what you need to do more of and less of. And then recognize what you need to continue doing. In asking yourself these questions, you’ll realize you possess more insight than you give yourself credit for. (P.S. I’ve got a nifty tool to aid your brainstorming—drop me an email and I’ll send it your way.)

Next, practice patience. Imagine it’ll take a year or two to seamlessly integrate these changes into your life. Where would you begin? Reflect on your current routines and what resonates with you. Leverage past experiences to propel you forward, methodically introducing changes month by month, focusing on small steps, big results. And when it’s time, reintroduce the apps and trackers, if they align with your goals and progress.

Then, decide what makes sense for you to implement right now. Get good at it. Move on to the next. With a well-crafted, personalized plan, results will come. Yes, it may require tweaks along the way. But only because you’re being deliberate, not rushing from one tactic to the next in pursuit of quick fixes.

Need support tailoring a plan to fit your unique needs? Let’s carve out some time to chat.

Do we know what a healthy lifestyle actually is?

For fun I googled “Healthy Lifestyle” and in under a second it found 1.4 billion results.

One point four billion.

The top result was Web MD, offering a summary of advice that won’t surprise you. All good recommendations, including laughter and yoga, but nothing earth shattering.

Buried at the tail end of the article is what I find to be the author’s key takeaway:

“(1) Your list of healthy lifestyle behaviors may be different from mine. (2) The most important thing to remember is that you can make a difference in your health and well-being. (3) Take charge of your life, and be mindful of small behavior changes that can make your lifestyle a healthier one.”

Here’s why:

(1) How you define a healthy lifestyle and how you achieve it will likely not be the same as those around you. Even those in your immediate household, and that’s okay. While looking to others for ideas a support is helpful, you’ll want to have your own plan and strategies that work for you.

(2) Research shows lifestyle factors greatly improve our health. We have control!

(3) It’s like compound interest…small steps lead to big results.

A healthy lifestyle is so much more than freedom from disease. I wrote a book in 2005 called Achieving Physical Wealth, where I said:

But we must each answer the essential question: What does a healthy lifestyle mean to you and why do you want it?

Do you want to travel when you’re 80? Have energy for more than what you’re doing now? Fit comfortably in your pants? Hike with your sweetie? Be free of medications? Let someone carry your groceries because you want to, not because you have to?

You know how it is. Thinking you should do something because it’s good for you isn’t terribly motivating. I found that out myself – again! – just recently.

I want to offer two options to decide what a healthy lifestyle looks like for you, and why it’s important:

  1. Health may be one of your top values, which makes the motivation more obvious. Still, define your motivation, then plan your course. Or…
  2. Health may serve a different value, like adventure. Health allows you to live out the other values that are most important to you.

A healthy lifestyle is so much more than freedom from disease. I wrote a book in 2005 called Achieving Physical Wealth: 8 simple steps to breaking the rules of staying fit, where I said:

“Physical wealth is about your whole life: your energy, confidence, vitality, endurance, strength, health, self-esteem… the way you live your life, how you feel day to day, and how you feel about yourself, and how that impacts every area of your life.  Physical wealth is living the life you are meant to have every single day.

Now that’s a healthy lifestyle!

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