Modified on

How to start a weight loss journey

Take the quiz

How to start a weight loss journey

Any journey requires research, planning, and commitment. You need to figure out where you’re going and determine the best path to get there. Weight loss is no different. Without a clear map and check-points along the way, you can easily get lost.

Weight loss programs are the best maps you can use on your weight loss journey. 

They’ll teach you the right path to take to lose weight sustainably and healthfully. Furthermore, they can get you back on track if you take a wrong turn. Keep reading to learn more about how to start a weight loss journey, why a plan can help you, and how to be consistent to achieve success.

Why follow a weight loss plan?

According to the CDC, steady and gradual weight loss is more sustainable and healthier. Unfortunately, many people want the opposite – rapid weight loss. Our instant gratification society has taught us that we should want everything now. 

This doesn’t work for successful weight loss. 

True lifestyle changes that lead to healthy weight loss require patience, hard work, consistency, and perseverance. Weight loss plans help you understand this and give you a clear roadmap to success. 

Among the many benefits a weight loss plan can provide are:

  • Help you manage expectations – One of the nice things about weight loss plans is that they help you manage your weight loss expectations from the beginning. High-quality plans will help you lose 1-2 pounds per week and will map out how you can expect to progress along each step of your journey. This prevents you from falling into the trap of being disappointed when you don’t lose 15 pounds in the first week.

  • Provide you with valuable information – Wondering what are the best foods for weight loss? Weight loss plans also serve as educational tools. It’s impossible to eat more healthfully if you don’t understand the basic components of nutrition. Weight loss plans explain why your body needs certain foods and how it uses the nutrients found in those foods to function.

  • Keep you on track – Furthermore, weight loss plans keep you on track. It’s normal to experience setbacks. With a clear plan, you can make sure that missteps are temporary and you can get back on the road to success quickly.

  • Lead to sustainable change – Weight loss plans keep you away from fad diets and help you adopt sustainable life changes. If you’re going to do the work to lose weight, you want it to stay off. Losing and regaining weight over and over again is unhealthy, and it can be emotionally frustrating.

What’s the first thing you should do when starting your weight loss journey?

If you’ve been thinking about losing extra weight, the first thing you should do is start now. Don’t wait for the right time because the “right time” may never come. 

But how can you just begin?

Consider going for a 20-minute walk and choosing a healthy option for dinner. Maybe reach out to a friend to see if they’d like to join your journey. Or decide you’re going to get a full eight hours of sleep tonight. 

Simple actions like these are the first steps of your journey.

Next, you should speak with your doctor. Discuss the benefits of weight loss, how much you should try to lose, and any impact medications or existing health conditions may have on your progress. This will give you a set of expectations to begin working with.

Finally, you’ll need to create a workout plan that works for your life. Be realistic about your commitments, preferences, and abilities. Then, once you have your plan, stick to it even when it gets difficult. 

Consistency equals success

The most important thing you can do for your weight loss success is to be consistent. Here are our top tips for consistency when you’re following a weight loss plan. 

Tip #1: Consider what you’ve done in the past

If you’re like most people, you’ve probably tried and failed to lose weight in the past. Take some time to look back on your past attempts and ask yourself what went wrong. Did you have trouble fitting exercise into your schedule? Were you constantly hungry? 

Think about why you weren’t successful and how you can address those reasons on this journey. 

Tip #2: Don’t set unreasonable goals

As noted above, an unrealistic weight loss goal will only set you up for disappointment. A weight loss plan can help you manage your goals and choose reasonable targets. When you know what to expect, it’s easier to stick with your plan. Consistently following your plan will ensure you see steady weight loss.

Also, set goals that are specific. 

Instead of saying “I’m going to work out more,” say “I’m going to spend 45 minutes per day walking, swimming, or lifting weights.” 

Specific goals are far easier to stick to consistently because they give clear guidelines. This is what weight loss plans do. They give you concrete steps to take to stay on target.

Tip #3: Get better sleep 

Sleep has a significant impact on your weight loss success and is a primary weight loss tip. If you aren’t getting enough quality sleep, you won’t have the energy to exercise. You’re also more likely to overindulge in unhealthy foods as your brain seeks energy from calorie-dense foods that are high in sugar and fat.

A lack of sleep also interferes with your hormones and metabolism. Your body is more likely to store fats when your biorhythms are not in sync. To get consistently better sleep, you should:

  • Aim for 7 to 9 hours of sleep per night.

  • Avoid caffeine after 2:00 P.M.

  • Stay away from screens for at least an hour before bed.

  • Create a bedtime routine that includes calming activities like a bath, reading, or meditating.

  • Keep your bedroom dark.

Tip #4: Manage stress

The connection between stress and weight gain is clear. Stress causes your body to release cortisol, the stress hormone. This can trigger your body to want to eat more because it tricks it into thinking that it has used calories to deal with stress. Over time, this will wreak havoc on your weight loss plan and knock you off track.

Managing stress can be tricky but some proven techniques include:

  • Yoga

  • Meditation

  • Breathing exercises

  • Exercise

  • Talking to someone

Tip #5: Get creative

One of the best ways to stick with your weight loss plan is to make it fun for yourself. It doesn’t have to constantly be a struggle. Don’t be afraid to try new, healthy foods and exercises to keep yourself motivated. Shaking it up now and again will help you stay on track and prevent boredom and burnout. Some things you can try include:

  • Cook new, healthy recipes every week

  • Take a cooking class

  • Explore your local natural foods store

  • Sign up for a new fitness class

Tip #6: Develop healthy habits

Weight loss plans can help you lose weight. However, their most important feature may be helping you develop sustainable healthy habits. When you follow a plan consistently, the steps you take become a regular part of your day. 

This leads to a healthier you. 

Some habits a good weight loss plan can encourage include:

  • Eat the rainbow – High-quality weight reduction plans include plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables. They’re low in calories and packed with nutrients, vitamins, and minerals. When you constantly challenge yourself to eat as many colors of the rainbow as you can each day from fresh produce, you’ll quickly realize how much better you feel when your body is fully nourished. 

  • Take the stairs – Little things, such as taking the stairs instead of the elevator, can add up over time. Sneaking in small bouts of physical activity throughout your day can help you stay energized as well.

  • Eat mindfully – Taking time to sit down and eat your meals slowly can help you feel full faster. It can also increase your pleasure in the food since you’re taking the time to savor the flavors and textures rather than rushing through.

  • Exercise daily – Not only does consistent exercise help you lose weight but an active and healthy lifestyle is key to figuring out how to break a weight loss plateau, relieve stress, and lower your risk of diseases. When you’re on a weight loss journey, experts recommend that you get at least 150 minutes of moderate aerobic activity per week. The more you exercise, the more you’ll begin to enjoy it. Instead of being something you have to do, it’ll become something you look forward to. 

  • Track your habits – There are many applications you can use to track your habits. You can even go low-tech and use a pen and paper. Whichever you prefer, writing down your habits can help you spot patterns in your behavior. You can see where you struggle and come up with strategies to overcome poor eating habits and exercise struggles. Tracking can also help remind you of where you started and how far you’ve come on your journey.

Ready to get started?

You’ve read our tips for following a weight loss plan and jump-starting your excess weight loss goals. Now you’re ready to get started on your journey—but maybe you still have questions. Like, how long does it take to notice weight loss? 

Don’t worry, we’re here to help.

Found can be your map to guide you safely down the path to a happier and healthier you. We have an online support community, experts, and prescription medications to get your biology working for you, rather than against you. 

Take our quiz today to see if Found is the right choice for your needs.

Find out what path is right for you