Tips for People Who Have Big Weight-Loss Goals
By VALERIE ORSONI
On the face of it, losing weight can seem both easy and daunting. Easy because we all know that, in principle, if we eat less and move more we'll lose weight; daunting because it requires sustained motivation and the ability to resist crash dieting.
By the same token, losing five pounds in time for bikini season isn't the same as losing 100 pounds for your health.
[Want more content like this? Sign up for the LIVESTRONG.COM newsletter]
The techniques for shedding a few extra pounds should never be the same as the ones for losing large amounts of weight. That's why I have devised a list of 10 tips specifically for people who have more than 25 pounds to shed:
1. Set a specific goal. Decide on your healthy weight and how much you need to lose to reach it. Overall and in the long run, you shouldn't lose more than two pounds per week, although the weight might drop off way faster at first.
Here is a formula for figuring out your timeframe, based on empirical evidence from my clients: Divide the number of pounds you need to lose by two. This will give you the number of weeks you'll need to shed the weight. If you've followed many diets before (more than eight), add 25 percent to this number. So, if your result was 20 weeks, you need to add five more weeks to reach your goal.
If you have more than 100 pounds to lose, you need to add another 50 percent to that total because you will need to give your body time to adjust to new weight levels along the way, stabilize and then restart losing weight.
2.Be patient. You need to accept that if it took you years to pack on the pounds, it will be unrealistic to expect to lose it all in two months. Don't just think it: Write down your goal and time frame and share it on your social networks. It will strengthen your resolve to take the time you need, not the time your social agenda might dictate.
3.Get support. Don't put this off. Don't wait. Support for long-term, massive weight loss is key. It can be your neighbor, your significant other, your coach, a parent, a good friend or simply a like-minded person who has the same goal and shares the same values.
4.Plan ahead. Create menus up to four weeks in advance with healthy fast-food backup plans. Share those menus with your supporters. Carve out time to cook in advance and freeze or preserve healthy meals for the coming weeks so you'll never be caught short without a healthy option at home.
5. Share your results on social media. You can even create a specific account for this. You will be surprised by how much support you receive. Tweet your results, successes and failures.
6.Challenge yourself. After three or four weeks, the dieting honeymoon usually ends, so give yourself a challenge to meet each week, for example:
* A week without bread
* A gluten-free, dairy-free week
* A meat-free week
* A vegan week
* A smoothie and one buckwheat crepe every morning for breakfast for one week
Create your own challenges. Stimulating your creativity and constantly keeping yourself focused on new ways to lose weight will keep you at the top of your game.
[Read More: Tips to Stay Fit Over the Holidays]
7.Don't slack off. Being active might not have been your cup of tea before you started on this journey, so you may have started in overactive mode -- like long daily workouts at your new gym -- but now you're not feeling the same incentive to go every day, even if the results are coming.
To break this pattern, shake things up: Try one new group class each week and invite your supporters to join you, or change where and when you work out.
8.Go shopping. Buy a new gym outfit -- one size down. Keep it somewhere you see it every day so your mind will get used to this new possible size for you and it will motivate you to kick yourself in the butt and keep going.
9.Don't use food as a reward. I know you know this one, but let's reinforce it: Never ever reward yourself with food unless you cook it. Food is a pleasure that you should not deny yourself, but the method to success is to prepare it yourself from scratch.
10.Make yourself accountable. Be accountable, publicly and personally: Write a weight-loss blog, share it with your coach and your friends. Wake up and fall asleep repeating your mantra, "Yes, I will make it happen this time." In the end, it is the accumulation of all those little steps, daily battles, weekly successes and sometimes small setbacks that will help you reach your goal.
Readers -- Have you lost more than 25 pounds? How did you lose the weight? Did you incorporate any of the tips mentioned above? What was the hardest part of losing the weight? How long did it take you to reach your goal weight? Leave a comment below and let us know.
Valerie Orsoni is a health and wellness expert, lifestyle coach and the creator of LeBootCamp, a popular online weight-loss and lifestyle program with more than 1.2 million members worldwide. A survivor of both a brain tumor and cancer, Valerie channeled the energy and knowledge she discovered through her own health challenges into a unique, four-pronged coaching method to help anyone achieve their personal goals.
One of the most widely recognized personalities in Europe for weight loss and fitness, she's known for her effective techniques based on simple fitness routines and healthy lifestyle choices that don't require grueling diet restrictions, counting points, supplements and endless hours in the gym. Instead, she makes it her mission to bring French joie de vivre to a healthy lifestyle.
She is the author of numerous books, including Le Personal Coach: A French Trainer's Simple Secrets for Getting Fit & Slim Without the Gym and Un Corps de Rêve pour les Nuls/A Dream Body for Dummies. She is also the face of the Wii and Sony Move game "My Body Coach," as well as an ambassador for Nestle Fitness Cereals in Europe. She's been featured in hundreds of top magazines, including Self, Glamour, Food & Wine and Brides and has appeared on numerous television programs in the U.S. and abroad.