With a new year upon us, many people may commit themselves to a weight loss challenge such as The Redwood Club’s 2017 Weight Loss Challenge, which begins on January 14th. In the spirit of helping WLC participants, this month’s post will focus on providing helpful tips for when competing in a weight loss challenge.

Tips for Succeeding in a Weight Loss Challenge

If you have already signed up for a weight loss challenge, you have decided to make your health a priority this year. Congratulations on making a smart  and healthy decision! There is no better way to stay motivated and on-track than being surrounded by people who are on the same journey. Staying on track and focused when participating in a weight loss challenge takes more effort than just signing up. Being successful  requires that you:

Plan

It isn’t uncommon to see participants drop out of fitness challenges after the first couple of weeks. Why is this? The fact is that many people fail to prepare for the challenge properly. To plan accordingly, it helps to:

 

Set Achievable Goals

When setting a goal for yourself, make sure it is realistic. The last thing you want to do is set yourself up for failure by setting an unattainable goal for yourself.

 

Create Milestones

The longer the challenge, the more difficult it is to stay on task.  Even though you may set one large goal for yourself at the start of competition, it helps to create milestones for every couple of weeks. For example, if your goal is to lose 20 pounds at the end of a 12-week challenge,  you may want to set milestones  where your goal is to lose between 1-2 lbs each week. This will help you stay on track and prevent you from becoming overwhelmed by the thought of losing 20 pounds.

 

Prepare

Eat Healthy

Losing weight for a fitness challenge usually involves modifying your eating habits.  if you are looking to lose weight in a timely manner, it is important to count calories and understand how many calories you should be eating to lose weight. If looking for a place to start with this, you can use an online calculator to determine your basal metabolic rate, which tells you the number of calories your body needs to maintain your current weight.

 

Eating the proper amount of food and exercising more can help you drop pounds more quickly. However, it is important to remember to eat an adequate amount of nutritious food to fuel your body for exercise. It is important to note that not eating enough can be dangerous to your health and lead to things such as heart problems, digestive issues, and nutritional deficiencies. Restricting too many calories can also result in unhealthy weight loss where your body will begin to destroy muscle tissue instead of fat, and you don’t want that!

 

To stay on track with eating healthy, it helps to prepare food ahead of time. For instance, if you have time on Sunday afternoon, it can help to pre-prepare your meals for the week. Many people pack their lunches and cut up fresh fruit and vegetables for snacks throughout the week.

 

Create a Schedule

To be successful in a weight loss challenge, it helps to create and stick to an  exercise schedule. Prepare for this by making sure you carve out time in your day to visit the gym, attend an exercise class or workout within your home if that works for you. If your day is too busy, get up a little earlier. If you have children, join a gym that offers childcare. The idea is to make sure you have no excuses for missing a workout because exercise is a major component to successful weight loss challenges.

 

Practice Positive Reinforcement

Remain Positive

No matter how hard a weight loss challenge becomes, it is important to always stay positive. When things don’t go as planned, it is easy to get bogged down by feelings of negativity. It is important to look at what is going right rather than what is wrong. For example, if you have an off week or two where you gain a pound or two instead of losing it, focus on the fact that in the grand scheme of things, you are on the road to becoming a healthier, happier you! Having an off week or two doesn’t negate the fact that in the end, you are going to lose that weight!

 

Reward Yourself

Don’t be afraid to dangle a carrot in front of yourself! If you need an extra push, go ahead and reward yourself for meeting your goals. Better yet, reward yourself for meeting the milestones you have set. This will help you stay focused and with your eye on the prize!