Diet & Nutrition Tips,  Motivational,  Self-Help

Q&A: Staying Focused on Weight Loss

Q. Can you give me some tips on how to stay focused on losing weight? 

A. Sure! This is actually much easier than you think. Since weight loss is determined by calories in vs. calories out, the way to stay focused on losing weight is to stay focused on your calorie intake. Here are a few tips.

Before you can focus on a calorie, you have to understand how each calorie affects you. It takes 3,500 calories to lose one pound of fat. This means if you are currently maintaining your weight, and were to decrease your caloric intake by 1,000 calories a day, you would lose a pound every 3 ½ days. If you want to lose 2lbs a week, then simply take your goal and divide it by 2 and you will have an idea of how many weeks it should take you to reach your goal.  For instance, if I wanted to lose 20lbs (20 divided by 2), it will take approximately 10 weeks to reach your goal if you were to lose 2lbs a week.

Focus on each calorie you consume. No one likes hearing this suggestion, but there’s just no way to guarantee weight loss based on guessing. If you want to be sure you are going to lose weight, then you need to be sure of what you are eating – and counting calories is the only way to do that. Journal every morsel of food and every drop you drink each day. You can use an online calorie counters or purchase a calorie book to manage your calories. You won’t have to count calories for life, but while you are working toward your goal, it’s an essential part of staying focused. You’ll also learn a TON and that knowledge will stick with you forever, helping you to maintain your new weight.

Focusing on your workouts isn’t enough. Don’t fall in the trap where you actually believe you can exercise the fat off without looking at calories. This would be like focusing on every bank deposit but never looking at withdrawals. If you are spending everything you’re making then it doesn’t matter how hard you work. You have to look at both calories in and calories out.

Out of sight, out of mind. We’ve all heard this saying many times but it really is true. When you don’t know how many calories are in a certain snack or meal, you can lose focus quickly. It is very hard to make a good decision based on no information at all. Since there are many foods that don’t come with a label, it’s up to you to get the nutritional information. As soon as you do, you’ll be surprised how easy it is to make a good decision.

If you have no clue where to begin, start counting calories and the information you discover will begin to educate you. If you quit working out and can’t seem to get back in the gym, the investment of time and energy budgeting calories will motivate you to invest time and energy in the gym. If you feel your goal is too far away, tracking calories will show you how you are moving closer to your goal each day. No matter where you are in your weight loss journey, the key to staying focused on weight loss is simply focusing on calories.

Owner of Lift Vero and motivational "pfitness, pfood and pfaith" blogger in Vero Beach, Florida.

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