Losing weight is an individual journey we all take in our own way. Learning where to start when you have more than 100 pounds to lose can be overwhelming, but it doesn't have to be. Breaking this down into easy steps can help moving forward to your 100 pound weight loss goal much simpler. Notice I said simpler, not easier. Healthy weight loss is never easy.
Where to Start When You Have More Than 100 Pounds to Lose
Where do I start? While this answer will be different for everyone, my goal is to help you get some ideas so you can make a solid weight loss plan.
Because the scale doesn't tell the full story (more about that below), taking measurements is important! If you don't have a tape measure, cut a piece of yarn or string to measure yourself. Put the piece of yarn around your arm or stomach or whichever area you're measuring, and cut it or mark it to measure later.
Mindset is key!
Your mindset going into this journey, through this journey, and after this journey are all critical to your long-term success. Fast weight loss is not what we are going for, but it may be fast in the beginning which is a great way to get the motivation needed to keep going. If you don't experience quick weight loss, don't fret. Slow and steady wins the race. Keep this in mind every time you weigh in.
Be prepared to fail.
We just talked about mindset, now we are going to talk about “failure”. When it comes to losing weight, especially 100 pounds or more, you're bound to have weeks where you don't lose as much weight – or any weight at all. Especially as you get closer to your goal weight, losing is going to be more difficult. You may hit a plateau or two along your journey.
Don't look at these as failures, but as times to reset. Mix things up a bit. Use your Weeklies, or stop using them if you already were using them on a regular basis. If you usually walk, try jogging instead. If you usually do a video at home, head to the gym. Mixing things up is the best way to tell your body “hey, I want to lose more weight!”.
Don't rush it.
Start slow. Don't go from sitting on the couch all day to training for a marathon overnight. Injuries are one of the main reasons people start to lose weight and then stop. If you lose 20 pounds then injure yourself, guess what's going to happen? Chances are, that 20 pounds (and maybe more) are going to come back on like your body is a magnet.
Make small changes.
You've heard this before, I'm sure, but it's one of the best pieces of weight loss advice I've ever gotten. Making small changes means these changes have a greater chance of sticking. If you make huge, drastic changes all at once, it's going to be a long fall if you crash and burn. Taking baby steps – start by tracking everything you eat – will help you in the long run. Trust the process.
Create healthy versions of your favorite meals.
If your favorite meals are unhealthy, swap out the unhealthy ingredients for healthy ones. Use whole, unprocessed ingredients whenever possible. Swap out butter for pan spray, sugar for stevia, and pork for chicken. Get to know your zero point food list, no matter which plan you're on, and build meals around those foods. Zero points does not equal zero calories or zero carbs, so be sure to watch portion sizes. These foods are zero points, not “free”.
- Purple Plan with Carbs, Calories, and Portions
- Green Plan with Carbs, Calories, and Portions
- Blue Plan with Carbs, Calories, and Portions
Hold yourself accountable.
Create a food diary by taking a photo of everything you eat. Put the photos all in one album, and review them once a week or so. Are you making choices you can be proud of? Would you post this food diary for the world to see, knowing you're trying to lose weight?
Meal plan for weight loss.
Fail to plan, and you're planning to fail. Meal prep helps me a ton when it comes to weight loss. I pre-track all of my meals, and I prep chicken and veggies at the beginning of every week. As long as I have my chicken and veggies, I know I have a little more wiggle room for my other meals. Here are my 8 myWW meal prep hacks.
Always be prepared.
Keep healthy, low point snacks on hand at all times. If you're out and about, the last thing you want to do is grab fast food out of desperation because you're hungry. If you keep protein bars or other low point snacks on hand, you'll always be prepared.
Don't eat it all.
On the topic of eating out, if you decide to go to a restaurant, it's best to split a plate. Either save half of your meal for later, or split with a friend. When you order, ask for a to-go box immediately so they can bring it to you with your food. This will erase any temptation you may have to eat some and then split your meal in half. 😉
Drink all the water!
The amount of water you need to drink for optimal weight loss varies from person to person. You may drink 8 glasses of water a day and lose weight just fine, or you may need to drink half your weight in ounces (200 pounds = 100 ounces a day) to see the scale move.
Give up sugary drinks and replace them with water. If you are addicted to carbonation, swap your sodas (1 point per ounce) out for carbonated water or diet soda. While diet soda isn't the healthiest, it can be a stepping stone towards switching your drinks out for water.
Find something you love to do.
If you love walking but hate the gym, walk! If you hate walking but love spin class, take a spin class. There are so many options for exercise, there's no reason to say “I hate exercise”. You can swim, walk the dog, whatever you want to do… as long as you're moving, you're doing what you should be.
Don't use lack of time as an excuse to avoid activity: get up and move on your lunch break, walk the dogs every evening before bed, do what it takes to make it happen. We all have the same 24 hours in a day, and we fit in what we prioritize. Prioritize your health and you will be well on your way to your weight loss goals.
Don't make excuses.
Just because you work out doesn't mean that is an excuse to eat crappy food. Just because you stayed on track all week doesn't mean you get to binge eat without guilt on the weekends. Staying on your weight loss course means being honest with yourself and not excusing the behaviors that got you to be 100 pounds overweight in the first place.
It's not just about weight loss.
The number on the scale is one measurement of success, but it's not the most important one nor is it even close to being the only one. Feeling good is far better than losing a certain number of pounds so the number on the scale is lower. Toning up is far better than losing a certain amount of weight, too.
Ways to measure weight loss beyond the scale:
- are your clothes fitting better?
- are you feeling better? more energy?
- measure yourself: are you losing inches?
- are your blood sugar levels evening out?
- has your blood pressure improved?
Do you have a support system?
If you don't have a support system already, you're going to want to get one ASAP. Support looks different for every person, so whatever you need is what you should work on setting up. The support system I have is 100% online, plus my wife of course!
You need some cheerleaders, a few folks who will PUSH you when you need it… when you aren't feeling like getting up and moving… when you feel like binge eating. You need a friend to call you out and make sure you're making the right decisions to push you forward on your weight loss journey.
Lose 100 pounds in a year
In order to lose 100 pounds in a year, you need to lose about 2 pounds a week. 2 pounds a week is a healthy amount of weight loss. Not too slow, not too fast. However, depending on your age, gender, and other factors (like health issues or hormones), 2 pounds a week may not be realistic for you and that's okay. Set a goal that is realistic for your body, your lifestyle, and your abilities.