You’re probably well aware of this, but our society is driven in many ways by instant gratification. What’s the first thing you do when you want to know something? Google is probably your go-to, where you can get an instant list of thousands or even hundreds of thousands of answers to your question. We’re so used to having more information than we could ever need right at our fingertips that we think anything we want to do should be as easy as a Google search. If only…
It’s the same with weight loss. We want a magic solution to hitting that dream number on the scale. We want a plan handed to us that will help those pounds seemingly evaporate much quicker than they appeared on our bodies. But we all know that weight loss is not something that happens overnight, as much as we all wish it was that easy.
Q: What is the magic way to lose weight?
A: Sadly, there isn’t a magic way to lose weight, but there is magic when—during the process—you discover things about yourself that you didn’t know and when you build routines to keep you moving forward that benefit your overall life and all of your goals now and in the future.
I know…you’re thinking that’s not the kind of magic you were hoping for. You thought I had THE new way to see those pounds “magically” drop. Sorry…but not really sorry.
I do know one thing: You’ve always had the magic within you to achieve your transformation goals. You just have to realize it and then seize that magic. Ready? Let’s make some magic!
The “Magic Formula” to Lose Weight in 3 Steps
This formula only has 3 steps, and while they might not sound magical, believe me, they are. I think you might actually be surprised at the things you need to do to achieve your weight loss goal. Here’s some additional magic for you: The formula I’m sharing can work for any goal, which makes it even more magical!
Here are THE 3 steps to lose weight:
- Step #1. Set a SMART Goal + make a small promise (or two) to keep every day that will get you closer to that goal.
- Step #2. Set your focus on overall wellness, not just diet and exercise.
- Step #3. Forgive yourself when things don’t go as planned and keep moving forward.
Yes, that’s it. Those 3 steps will guide you on your transformation journey from beginning to end and everywhere in between.
#1. Want to lose weight? Set a SMART Goal + make a promise (or two)
If you’ve followed me for any length of time, you know that SMART Goals and promises are the foundation for anything and everything I teach and do. When you continuously build your personal integrity through making and keeping promises (like drinking more water, practicing gratitude, tracking your meals, getting better sleep, etc), you will get to that finish line on any goal. Promises kept leads to goals achieved—it really is that simple, and it’s actually pretty magical too.
Let’s compare promises and SMART Goals to a ladder:
Every promise is a rung on the ladder that leads to your SMART Goal. If you try to take on too many promises at once, it’s like setting the rungs of the ladder too far apart. If you have to jump to reach the next rung, eventually, you are going to miss it and fall.
This is exactly what happens time and again with weight loss attempts. We get so excited and take on too much, wanting the fastest results. But this is unsustainable for the majority of humans, and when we are unable to keep up with the pace and start breaking those promises, it breaks our spirit and belief in ourselves.
Keep single, simple promises and keep climbing that stable ladder. When you feel confident enough, take on two, then three. And maybe that is all you’ll need to get there! Just keep going until you reach the top of the ladder and your goal. I’ve watched this process with the thousands of clients I’ve worked with over the years, so I know with 100% certainty that it can work for you too. And that’s a promise!
The main thing I want you to remember about promises is that each one needs to be SO small and SO simple that you can keep that promise 100% of the time every time. That’s the key.
Since I want to dive deeper into steps #2 and #3, I’m sharing the basics about promises and SMART Goals in these other blog posts, so be sure and check them out:
- Keeping Promises: Why It’s Important for Weight Loss + Your Life
- Keeping Promises: Top 10 Tips for Success
- What Are Three Main Components of a Successful Weight Loss Plan?
#2. Find a wellness plan that will work for YOU and follow it.
Bet you were expecting a fitness and nutrition plan, right? While fitness and nutrition are definitely important for losing weight, long-term success is really all about overall wellness—becoming your best self physically, mentally, and emotionally. Sleep quality, breathing exercises, mindfulness, gratitude, and random acts of kindness are all vital components in stress management and laying a solid foundation for long-term transformation. So, when it comes to weight loss or any transformation goal, making overall wellness a priority is the key.
Physical: Fitness + nutrition
Let’s start with fitness. We all know that regular exercise is good for our health. What does “regular” mean? According to the American Heart Association, it means 150 minutes per week of moderate intensity aerobic exercise and at least 2 strength training sessions (hitting all major muscle groups) each week. But let’s get real: For 90% of us, 150 minutes a week and 2 weight training sessions just ain’t gonna’ happen. So how about increasing your step count daily and maybe doing 10 minutes of weight training a couple days a week? If you can do more, great. It not, totally fine!
Every little bit counts, and the benefits are amazing:
- Lower risk of diseases like type 2 diabetes, certain types of cancer, osteoarthritis, stroke, hip fractures, and heart disease.
- Lower risk of depression, dementia, early death, and falls (especially for the elderly).
- Improved sleep, stress levels, self-confidence, energy, and mood in general.
That last one explains the link between fitness and overall wellness. You can’t have one without the other—fitness and wellness go together! When it comes to those weekly recommendations, don’t get overwhelmed because they are totally doable! Here are some ideas:
- Take advantage of small blocks of time. Only have 5 minutes? That’s enough, and those 5 minutes at a time can add up. Get creative and find small bits of time throughout your day to move.
- Make workout appointments with yourself. Schedule workouts in your calendar and then do not cancel those appointments with yourself.
- Use your amazing body. No time to go to the gym or no access to gym equipment? No problem! Your body is a great form of resistance, and you can do so many exercises with just your body.
- Just do your best. While I’ve shared the ideal, if you can’t hit those numbers, just do what you can do. Something is always better than nothing!
Want more? I’ve got a fantastic movement idea for you and it only takes 2 ½ minutes!
Download my FREE Move One Million app and get 2 ½ minutes of easy movements that can be done anywhere and by anyone to get your body moving, any time of the day and/or as a warmup for any workout session.
Where nutrition is concerned, simple is key here too because we all know that the more complicated we make things, the less likely anything will happen consistently or even at all. Here are some ideas for keeping nutrition as simple as possible:
- Add instead of remove. The first thing we usually do when we begin a weight loss program is try and stop eating the things that might not help us drop those unwanted pounds. But those changes usually aren’t sustainable short-term or especially long-term. Instead, I want you to add something. Here are some ideas to show you what I mean: Add a side of broccoli to your mac & cheese, drink an extra cup of water, add a protein shake to a snack (even if that snack is a cookie!), and so on. When you add instead of remove, eventually, those positive additions will replace what needs to be removed. And you won’t even miss them!
- Use your hand to create your meals. When in doubt, your hand and a thumb are all you need, and you always have them with you! Check out the graphic below to see how easy it can be to create any meal.
- Aim for calories first. The only way to lose weight is to eat fewer calories than you burn, which we call a calorie deficit. Want to know how many calories you burn? Click here to get YOUR NUMBER. Once you’re hitting your calories consistently and you want to up your nutrition game, then aim to eat an adequate amount of protein, which is .7-1 gram for every pound of your current weight.
- If that protein is too difficult to hit, aim for .7-1 gram for every pound of your goal weight.
- Fill your remaining calories with healthy carbs and fats, keeping things as simple as possible.
- Follow the 80/20 rule. It’s nearly impossible to stick to a plan that only has 100% real, whole, natural foods. When we deprive ourselves of foods that we love we have more of a tendency to overeat those foods down the road. Instead, fill your daily calories with 80% on-plan healthy foods and with 20% room for flexibility to eat where life takes you. Remember: We’re aiming for wellness here, and part of wellness is enjoying your life!
Before we move on to mental and emotional wellness, I want to emphasize two very important things about both fitness and nutrition, and these two things will really add some magic to your progress on your weight loss goal. Or any goal, actually.
- Baby steps, baby steps, baby steps. It’s all about taking those tiny steps, one after the other, until you get to where you want to be. Those baby steps really do add up! And if anything ever feels overwhelming, start with that first, super simple baby step and go from there.
- Keep things simple and doable. Again, anything you can do is ALWAYS better than nothing. No time to go to the gym? Do a quick workout at home. No time to meal prep? Create an easy meal with a protein, a healthy fat, and a healthy carb. A handful of veggies or two is always a great addition to any meal! No matter what you do, keep it simple and doable every single day.
Mental + emotional
I’m grouping these two components together since we’re going for simple magic here and because they overlap so much. While I’m not offering a specific plan for the mental and emotional part of your wellness program, I do have some suggestions that have worked for me and for others I’ve worked with. And don’t feel like you need to implement all of these ideas. Just do what works for you!
- Be kind. Make it a goal to do one Random Act of Kindness for someone else most days of the week. When we take the focus off of ourselves and put it on others, it’s an almost instant mindset change, which can not only put our own problems into their proper perspective, but help someone else who is also struggling. And that, my friends, is a win-win!
- Be grateful. Having an attitude of gratitude can benefit us in so many ways, and it can be a simple—and magical!—key to unlocking better mental and emotional health.
- Get quality sleep. This one’s a biggie since it can affect us both physically and mentally/emotionally. Sleep sets the foundation for our physical and mental health, and its impact on our long-term health has been underestimated for way too long. How much sleep should you be aiming for? Experts recommend a minimum of 7-8 hours a night.
- Meditate. There are so many ways to meditate, but the key is to do something that will remove you from the stress of real life for even a few minutes at a time, give you some time to breathe, and just be. It can be a game-changer!
- Create a morning routine. A morning routine is a great way to get some wins first thing each day, which strengthens your personal integrity, which then spills over into all the promises and habits—those rungs on the ladder—that will get you to your goal!
#3. During the weight loss process always forgive yourself.
You are human. I’m not sure who said this, but it’s powerful…
When you screw up, skip a workout, eat too much, or sleep in, it doesn’t make you a bad person. It makes you human. Welcome to the club. There’s like 7 billion of us.
So, when you do mess up, because you will (that’s a promise!), be kind to yourself. Give yourself the grace you’d offer to others. And forgive, be kind, and offer grace to yourself every single day because no day will be 100% perfect! Here’s another thing to remember: You never fail until you quit. Yes, you’ll fall down, but as long as you pick yourself back up, forgive yourself, learn from that fall, and then go again, you are winning! Forgiving yourself will equip you with the fortitude and strength to keep going and succeeding in the long-term.
Ready to create your own magic formula? If you’re creating a brand new weight loss plan, start with step #1. If you’ve already got a SMART Goal and are keeping a promise or two, work on another step and ONE thing in that step.
Remember…it’s all about baby steps. That’s where the magic happens!