If you’re like me, trying to lose weight frequently ends up as an exercise in frustration. In theory, it should be easy – burn more calories than you consume and you’ll lose weight. In reality, though, it’s just not that simple.
Every woman is different – different body type, different metabolism, different schedule, different environment, different stresses. Some women are just getting started, trying to lose the first 10 pounds on a long journey to better health. Others are in the home stretch, struggling to lose the last 10.
Most are somewhere in between, and many are feeling frustrated.
Sometimes I wonder if the frustration comes because we’re trying to follow another woman’s weight loss plan. My sister lost weight by jogging, so I’ll jog. My friend lost weight by becoming a vegetarian, so I’ll become a vegetarian. My co-worker lost weight by cutting fat, so I’ll cut fat.
But what worked for another woman may not work for you or for me – in fact, many of the weight loss plans we hear about won’t work for us at all, because they don’t fit our situation or circumstances.
Each woman needs to find the combination of weight loss strategies that works for her.
If you’re trying to lose weight, have you found a weight loss plan that works for you? If not, maybe you need to create your own – one that works for your life, your body and your circumstances.
If that seems like a good plan for you, here are 39 weight loss strategies to consider. Figure out which ones can help you meet your goals and which ones make sense for you, given your schedule and commitments. Then mix and match them to create your own weight loss plan.
For example, you might decide to limit calories to 1400 per day, track calories with an app on your phone, walk 10,000 steps per day, drink water throughout the day, eat lots of fruits and vegetables, and eliminate sweets. (This post contains affiliate links.)
Or, you might decide to cut out all junk food, add two fruits or vegetables to every meal, walk 30 minutes every day, and use a fitness tracker to monitor your steps and exercise.
39 Weight Loss Strategies to Mix and Match
• Keep track of what you eat. Write it down, or use technology (see below) to keep a record of it.
• Set a daily calorie goal and stick to it. Use an online calculator to determine the calorie level that will allow you to lose 1-2 pounds per week.
• Get rid of foods that will tempt you away from your weight loss efforts. Keep them out of your house, your car, and your office.
• Follow a specific eating plan, like Weight Watchers or my Busy Life Diet healthy eating plan.
• Stock up on healthy, low-calorie foods, and make them easy to choose when you need a snack.
• Cook and eat more meals at home.
• Stop eating fast food.
• Eat fewer meals in restaurants.
• Stop buying junk food. Your kids don’t need it either.
• Shop weekly at your local farmer’s market and eat more fruits and vegetables.
• Stop drinking soda and other sweetened beverages.
• Drink more water, and drink it throughout the day.
• Eat two vegetables or fruits at every meal, and eat them as snacks.
• Eat more protein and fewer carbs (e.g., more chicken, less pasta).
• Eat more healthy fats (olive oil, nuts, organic dairy), but watch the calories.
• Replace most of the processed foods in your kitchen with real foods.
• Grow vegetables and herbs in pots or in a garden.
• Take an hour or two to prep food on the weekend, so that you can eat healthier all week.
Exercise and Health
• Walk and move more. Increase your physical activity level, working toward a goal of 10,000 steps per day.
• Take a 30-minute walk every day.
• Stand more, sit less.
• Reduce the amount of television you watch.
• Plan regular activities for your family that involve getting up and moving, rather than sitting and watching.
• Start working out at a gym or attending an exercise class regularly.
• Search online to find free workout videos that appeal to you. Bookmark them so that you can find them quickly and easily, then use them to workout several times a week.
• Walk during your lunch hour.
• Walk while your kids attend lessons or sports practices.
• Make a standing desk and put your computer on it.
• Do strength training exercises 3 days a week.
• Weigh yourself weekly, on the same day each week, in the morning before breakfast.
• Get at least 7 hours of sleep every night.
• Use an app or program like MyFitnessPal (which is free) to monitor your food intake and exercise. You can use it on your phone, tablet or computer.
• Get a fitness tracker (I use a FitBit Alta HR) and wear it every day.
• Use the online tools that come with most fitness trackers. You can link up many of those tools with MyFitnessPal.
• Research other free apps – recipe finders, calorie counters, workout music makers, trackers – that can help you stick to your weight loss plan.
• Enlist the support of your husband, children, other family members, or a friend.
• Join forces with friends or co-workers who are making healthy changes and support each other.
• Plan activities that involve less food and more movement.
• Organize co-workers to walk at lunch or other moms to walk during your children’s sports practices.
• Join an organized weight loss group, like Weight Watchers.
• Join online forums and communities that support people who are making healthy lifestyle changes.
• Refuse to be thwarted by people who don’t support your goal and the steps you’re taking to meet it. If necessary, reduce the amount of time you spend with them.
Losing weight is difficult, but you can meet the challenge. You just need to commit to it, then find the combination of weight loss strategies that works best for you.
Which weight loss strategies are you going to use to reach your weight goal? Have you created a plan that works for you? Please share your ideas in the Comments – I would love to hear from you.
(Important note – If you have any kind of health or medical problem that could be affected by changing your diet or losing weight, talk to your doctor before beginning any weight loss program.)