How To Start A Weight Loss Journey

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Are you looking to start a weight loss journey?

In this video, I’m going to take you through eight steps to get you on track to losing weight.

I’m so glad you’re here because it means that you’ve decided to start a weight loss journey and you want to do it right.

Just Start!

And the first thing you want to do is just start.

Don’t wait for the perfect time, because it’s never going to come. There’s always going to be stressful things happening in your life.

The last year has been incredibly stressful for everybody. I’ve had clients who went through relationship breakups who had injuries, illness, one even had COVID-19 yet. They were still able to make progress towards their goals.

So don’t wait and start.

Start Small

Now, the next thing is start small. You don’t need to do a complete overhaul of your lifestyle in order to lose weight, small changes can make a big difference.

Over time, small steps will add up reducing the amount of processed food that you’re eating can be really helpful, drinking more water and skipping. One calorie-laden latte can also help even just a couple of exercise sessions per week can make a big difference over time.

Don’t Give Up Everything

My next tip is don’t give up everything.

So this is along those same lines. You want to make smaller changes that are a bit more sustainable, rather than just giving up everything you love.

Many times people have the idea that you’re not actively pursuing weight loss. If you still allow yourself to have the occasional junk food or treat or however you want to call it, but it’s possible to have a healthy weight loss diet that includes a bit of ice cream or some chicken wings or fries or chips or whatever your favourite thing is.

In fact, including the things that you really enjoy can make your diet much more sustainable for you.

And there are two things that I think are really important for a successful weight loss program:


Make sure that you’re able to do these things on a regular basis consistently, and that they’re sustainable for you. So you haven’t decided to do something that doesn’t make sense.

Working out every day might make sense for a professional athlete, but if you’ve got a full-time job and a family and other things to do, then it might not make sense.

Track Your Progress On Your Weight Loss Journey

My next tip is track your progress.

You can’t manage what you don’t measure.

Tracking Your Weight

For a lot of people weighing themselves once a week or once every other week is really helpful. I don’t think it’s a great idea to focus too much on the scale because there are variances from day to day and from week to week. And you certainly don’t want to get obsessed with the number on the scale, but it is a helpful guideline.

Tracking Your Waist:Hip Ratio

You also want to consider how your clothes fit and your measurements, particularly your waist and hips. The waist to hip ratio is an important measure of health. So it’s something that you want to keep track of as you’re losing weight.

Tracking Your Exercise Programs

It’s also important to keep track of your exercise program, your workouts, what weights you’ve lifted, how much time you spent doing cardio so that you can see your progress. It becomes quite motivating over time.

When you can see that your weights are increasing, that you’re getting stronger and you also want to pay attention to how you feel.

So are you feeling more energetic from this exercise?

Are you feeling better as you progress on your weight loss journey, those are important things to keep track of as well.

Write them down that can help you maintain your motivation to continue on your journey.

Tracking Your Food Intake

Keeping track of the food that you’re eating is also really helpful.

Studies have shown that people who write down what they’re eating on a daily basis, even if they don’t actually attempt to change, anything, tend to eat less and then are able to produce weight loss. So just that process of writing things down and being aware of what you’re eating can be really helpful.

Tracking Your Calories And Macros

Obviously keeping a closer eye on your calories and your macros can be especially helpful. It’s not for everybody.

And I’ve done a video about whether that can be useful for you. So you might want to check that out so you can make that determination for yourself.

The more things that you keep track of, the more aware you are, of how you can modify your plan in order to keep moving towards your goal.

Skip The Fad Diets

Now diets do actually work if you’re able to sustain them. And no matter what the diet is, they work through producing a calorie deficit.

So if you’ve always been drawn to the idea of intermittent fasting, skipping breakfast, sure.

You can have a go with that, but it’s important to realize that you don’t actually need to pursue weight loss in that way. If it doesn’t suit you, I’m not against trying things. If it really feels like the right thing, you know, it’s going to be sustainable. You know, it’s going to be a small change for you and it’s not going to be a big deal.

But for most people I find it’s easier just to make those little changes and not label it and tie yourself to a particular diet. Because then when you don’t follow those very strict rules that most of those diets have, then you’re going to feel like you’ve failed or that you’re no longer following your diet. And that means that you might give up altogether for most people.

Making Small Changes For Your Weight Loss Journey

I think the best approach is just to make small changes that we know are beneficial. Reducing processed foods, increasing protein to the right amount, reducing carbs, perhaps, if you’re suffering from a lot of cravings. These are small changes.

It doesn’t mean that you have to eliminate carbs. Or that you have to eliminate processed foods. It doesn’t mean getting rid of everything. I talked about that a little bit before, because I really think that sustainability is what’s going to make you successful with your weight loss journey.

Will It Work For YOU?

So look at it right from the beginning and say, “Can I do this for six months? Can I do this for two years? Is it something I want to do for six months?”

Because if you look at a diet and think, “Oh yeah, that sounds like it could work, but there’s a lot of things about it that are iffy for me. I’m not sure that I can give up carbs for that long. I have all these events to go to and I know I’m going to want to have carbs.”

So there are alternate strategies that will allow you to still live your life without pursuing a fad diet. So I recommend you try those instead.

Get Support

My next bit of advice is get support. So whether this comes in the form of a professional coach (like an online coach, like myself) or just having a friend or partner or someone who’s supportive in your life to guide you through and tell you the right things at the right time, perhaps apply a little bit of tough love when you need it.

A lot of people when they’re not trained to be good, coaches will often send you, set you off on the wrong path. So if they find out you’ve gone on a weight loss diet, they might still encourage you to like:

“Oh, have that extra slice of cake. I know you want it. You might as well enjoy yourself. Treat yourself.”

All these things that people tell you in order to push you off track from your journey. Now, sometimes these people are well-meaning and they just don’t want you to suffer and miss out on something. But really you need to focus on what your goal is.

The Right Support For Your Weight Loss Journey

You need to surround yourself with the kind of people who are going to give you the right feedback and support you on your journey. And if you haven’t got anyone like that, find yourself a professional coach or a group of people who are pursuing the same goal.

I’ve created an online course, which is being released soon. And part of that course is going to be a private Facebook group, where you can interact with people who are also on a weight loss journey. So that’s something to look out for soon!

Learn To Accept Imperfection

Many people expect weight loss to be linear.

So you’re losing a pound a week every week, and then you’re on track and it’s going well. That’s actually one of the reasons that people start to lose motivation, because if they don’t lose weight one week, then they’re going to be a bit discouraged. And then they might not keep following the plan.

Weight loss is never linear. There are ups and downs and all around sometimes. So you have to expect that there are going to be some bumps in the road. Things that you have to overcome, your weight may stall for one reason or the other. And you might have to modify your strategy several times as you go through your weight loss journey.

If you want to be successful on your weight loss journey, you really need to let go of that all or nothing idea.

Even if you skip one workout, it doesn’t mean the whole week is a waste. If you have a couple of extra treats, it doesn’t mean that your whole diet is screwed up. You just need to accept that things were not be perfect, but as long as you’re making small steps and progress on a regular basis, that’s all that matters.

And my most important tip kind of follows along the same lines.

Be Patient

Weight loss doesn’t happen overnight. It took a certain period of time for you to put on this weight. And it’s going to take some time to take it back off again, especially if you do it in a sustainable way, something that you know that you can do for years and years, don’t let a minor setback like the scale, not moving for a couple of weeks, make you give up on your journey altogether.

Maybe you get sick or you might get an injury that you have to work around. That doesn’t mean that you have to give up on the nutrition plan that you’ve designed.

Focusing On Nutrition For Your Weight Loss Journey

In fact, you’re going to get most of your results from nutrition anyway. So focusing on the nutrition side, it’s really what you want to do, especially if exercise becomes too challenging. Now, obviously if it’s been a month or so, and you see no progress at all, there’s been no change in your weight.

There’s been no change in your measurements or how your clothes feel. Then it’s probably worth taking a look at the strategies that you’re using, and maybe they aren’t as effective once you get closer to your target, but it does help to be patient and take your time. Wait for those small steps to add up.

It’s often just as we’re about to reach the goal that many people end up giving up. The important thing about your journey, that you continue on your path, even if you’ve been stalled or you went in the wrong direction for a little while.

You just need to get back on track again.

So let me know in the comments, how you plan to start your weight loss journey.

Ivana Chapman

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Ivana Chapman

Ivana Chapman

Ivana Chapman BSc BA CSCS is a Canadian fitness and nutrition coach, happy wife, and mom to an energetic 6-year-old boy. She is a writer, published fitness model, speaker, 3rd Dan black belt in Shotokan Karate, former World Cup Karate Champion, one-time marathoner, and CBBF National level Natural Bikini competitor. She loves weight training and chocolate, not always in that order of preference.
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