The road to successful weight loss is long and bumpy. In order to maintain that loss over the long run, there are no shortcuts. There are, however, many people who've already braved that road successfully, and they have great advice on how to jump-start your weight loss. 

June 08, 2017

If you've ever tried to lose weight you know it's rarely easy. It takes time, commitment, and learning—new habits have to be formed and bad habits broken. But with the right advice, you can jump-start your weight loss journey. 

And who better to get that advice from than people who've been winning the weight loss battle? We asked members of the Cooking Light Diet what tips they could offer to people wanting to jumpstart their weight loss, and their responses were both enlightening and super helpful. Here's what they had to say. 

BE GOOD TO YOURSELF. 
To be successful losing weight, you can't beat yourself up when you break down and splurge one day, or don't end up getting the exercise in you'd planned, or lose the weight you wanted to in a week. Cooking Light Diet member Nicole Kessler says that not getting frustrated by slower weight loss is key. "When I first started I only weighed myself once every 10-14 days. I used to be able to lose weight very quickly, but now that I am older, it is much slower. I knew that it would frustrate me to step on the scale after feeling so hungry and not seeing rapid results. ...[Just] make sure to be loving to yourself—patient and forgiving." Because the road to a healthier lifestyle isn't as smooth as glass, it's bumpy and full of potholes. Just don't give up the journey when you hit a pothole. You've got this! 

DEVELOP A MANTRA.
Come up with some sort of daily saying/affirmation, write it down, and recite it when you're feeling like you might be getting off track. Lindsey Lorraine has nailed it with her 3-part mantra.

  1. Give yourself credit. Stop putting yourself down, and give yourself credit for the things you succeed at. Even if it's small things like giving yourself credit for eating half the bag of chips. Give yourself credit.
  2. Find balance. There has to be flexibility in your life. You won't lose weight every week, and you will lose lots of weight some weeks. You have to find a balance in what you do and eat.
  3. Strive for progress, not perfection. Try just doing a little more than last week. Even if you do one push up the entire week, well, that's probably one more push up than the week before. You have progressed :) 

 Illustration: Brittany Molineux

KEEP A FOOD DIARY.
It helps to visualize what you eat and do day-to-day so you have a better understanding of what works on your journey. Carmen Leon says keeping a record of her meals has been enlightening. "I find that meal planning is everything...[and] I also keep a food diary. I write down everything I eat, my exercise for the day...this has helped me so much as well." Accountability is important, and keeping a written record goes a long way towards achieving your goals.

BE SELF-AWARE.
"To thine own self be true." Know your limitations, your weaknesses, your pitfalls...and make peace with them. Community member Elyssia Marshall Mathias says this is vital.

"That was key: Being honest with yourself and realizing which foods are without brakes. Then don't buy it."

Mathias says that no matter how much time goes by or how well she does, she knows she can't buy "Cheetos, potato chips, Mayfield Moose Tracks ice cream, peanut butter cookies, etc."...so she doesn't. You know yourself better than anyone, so know which foods are nonstarters on your healthier lifestyle journey.

HAVE A SUPPORT GROUP IN PLACE.
Anne Ritchie says that having support and encouragement from others trying to reach weight loss goals has been paramount to her own success. "The thing that helped me the most in my weight loss journey is this wonderfully supportive group of people. And it's a great 'diet.' Really it's a lifestyle change so sometimes it's tough in the beginning to rearrange your thinking about how we cook and what we eat. But that's where this group comes in. We are all doing the same thing!"  

SLOW AND STEADY WINS THE GOALS.
Contrary to certain products and services that have cropped up over the years, there's no such thing as a quick-fix when it comes to weight loss. Cooking Light Diet member Ann Marie Mantoine Shuler stresses that you have to embark on the journey one step at a time. "Don't try to change everything all at once. ...By working on one better choice until it's a habit and then working [on] your next better choice, you will make sustainable changes." This is a sentiment that Cyndie Moran has echoed on her way to losing over 60 pounds.* "I had a significant amount to lose and looking at the big picture was overwhelming. I made 5 pound goals. Every time I made it to the next 5 pound increment I felt like I accomplished something and would change my goal to the next 5 pounds. I also made several gradual small changes over time rather [than] a lot of big changes suddenly and my changes [became] habits a lot easier." Set small goals so you don't get overwhelmed by the bigger picture, and everything else will fall into place. 

To learn more about the Cooking Light Dietyou can email feedback@cookinglightdiet.com, or subscribe today at CookingLightDiet.com

*Members following the Cooking Light Diet, on average, lose 1/2 lb. per week.