10 Ways to Prepare to Lose Weight

10 ways to prepare for weight loss

Have you ever tried to lose weight, been unsuccessful, and made this declaration to yourself and your family?

I’m just not ready to lose weight.

I know I did. I said those seven words over and over again during the 10 years that I struggled with obesity. I’d start a diet, lose a few pounds, quit the diet and say those words. It was a vicious cycle and one that negatively affected my self esteem and my physical well being.

The more I failed at dieting the more fearful I became that I would never lose the weight. The more fearful I became the longer it took me to try again to lose weight. The longer I took between dieting efforts, the more weight I gained. It was tough.

If you are struggling right now with getting started losing weight or beginning to falter in your weight loss efforts, take the time to analyze whether you have the tools, the knowledge, and the commitment to seriously begin your weight loss efforts right now.

Here is a list of 10 ways to prepare to lose weight. As a hint, it’s okay if you don’t have all of these down quite yet, but being prepared for challenges and issues that come up during your weight loss journey will help you get started and stay committed.

1. You know what a healthy diet looks like. 

Until you know what a healthy diet is, it is very, very difficult to lose weight in a sustainable way. Educate yourself on nutrition by reading reputable websites, talking with your doctor or nutritionist, or picking up a book on nutrition. When you understand the importance of a balanced diet, you are ready to go onto the next step.

2. You have a plan. 

Although “eating healthy” is an excellent goal, it is not much of a weight loss plan because you can still be overweight or even obese while “eating healthy.” Plus, it is still possible to gain weight even when your diet is pretty clean if you do not consider calories/fat/nutrient content. So find a plan that is sustainable, realistic, and one that you can follow even after you reach your goal weight.

3. You know about exercise. 

Exercise alone won’t generally make you lose weight because the calories you expend often get eaten back or you may overestimate how many calories you burn, according to research. That being said, if you are physically able to exercise, I believe it is important to include exercise into your weight loss plan. Find an exercise routine you enjoy, a time that works for you, and do it.

4. You understand the importance of keeping track. 

I am not a calorie counter, but that works. I watched fat percentage, and that works. Other people track successfully by keeping track of how many servings of certain foods they eat, and that can work too. The thing to remember is that having a method to track your food/exercise can help you lose weight, even if you do not track every single day. Also keep track of non-scale victories, improvements in fitness, and body measurements.

5. You have analyzed bad habits.

We all have bad habits but mine are probably different than yours. Don’t sweep bad habits under the rug but instead acknowledge what they are and figure out how to change the bad habit into a good one.

 6. You have a support system in place.

Support during the weight loss process is very important so prepare yourself for weight loss by getting a system lined up. It can be one person or a group, or even a combination of the two. Going it alone is never easy.

7. Rewards are planned.

Who doesn’t like a reward for a job well done? I’d encourage you to have some planned rewards for your weight loss efforts as you go along. They don’t have to be big but you should plan on doing something special for yourself as you reach weight loss or fitness milestones.

8. You have realistic goals.

I’ve talked about this before, but setting realistic goals is really important in weight loss. Until you can acknowledge that it will take some time to lose weight, you are not really ready for a lifetime commitment of changed eating.

9. You are ready to deal with the emotional aspect of weight problems.

This is a biggie and one that trips a lot of people up. If you have more than a few pounds to lose, you’ve probably got some emotional ties to food. Be really honest with yourself when it comes to how your emotions affect your food choices as you begin to lose weight. Prepare yourself for some surprising discoveries.

10. You have a plan for getting back on track after falling off the wagon.  

Not everyone falls off the wagon when it comes to weight loss, but a lot of people do. Have a plan for what you will do when you begin to stumble. It may include acknowledging the problem, turning to your support group, starting fresh, or a combination of all of those.

I hope this list of 10 ways to know if you are ready to lose weight helps you and that you will share this article with friends or family who may be struggling.

How did you prepare for losing weight? Have you ever said those words: “I’m not ready?” Diane

29 thoughts on “10 Ways to Prepare to Lose Weight

  1. Patrick says:

    The only tip I’d add is ‘celebrate small victories’.

    It’s really an extension of ‘rewards are planned’ – but if something goes right, whether it’s cooking a great and healthy meal or making it up the stairs without catching your breath, pause, think about it and do a little victory dance.
    Sounds corny but really does help.

  2. Mona says:

    This is such a great topic Diane because I am totally guilty of just barging in without truly being ready for this hard process – and it is hard. But understanding what’s involved AND facing the challenges that will come is important.

  3. Mark Miller says:

    I started to lose a ton of times but often failed simply because I went into my plan without knowing what I was doing or how I was going to keep it up. I emailed this to my buddy who is faltering with trying to lose 50 pounds.

  4. Carmen says:

    I recently lost 42 pounds and I think what made it different this time was the fact that I was more prepared, more ready, more realistic about what I needed and what was going to work.

    I pinned this list and shared it because I think we don’t hear about this type of thing often enough when it comes to weight loss. Would you do a list on weight maintenance?

  5. HappinessSavouredHot says:

    One of my friends said exactly that to me yesterday (that she was not ready). I wasn’t sure what to tell her. You can’t wait to be ready. Nothing will ever happen if you think that way.

    However, getting PREPARED is important. You have good points here.

  6. Cyndi says:

    I too can relate to this. One that I completely failed at every time was the emotional aspect part. I was not dealing with that and really didn’t understand. I have to say I read your book and loved how you really hit the nail on the head when it came to emotions. Only someone who has been there can do that.

  7. Frank says:

    I read often but haven’t commented much. I am just starting to lose 125 pounds and this is a great read. I realize I may not be quite ready in some ways but having this will help me get more ready. Wish me luck!

  8. Caron says:

    Each time I’ve lost weight, I was totally mentally ready to lose and I did. The sad part was that I had no idea how to keep the weight off. So, now it is obvious that I had no plan to sustain the weight loss and that is so very important. Great post, Diane. 🙂

  9. Cat B says:

    Thank you so much for writing this, Diane. Unfortunately, this is exactly where I am now, and have been, repeatedly. You are literally the first half of my story, I’ve been battling increasing weight over the last 10 years, and I’m desperately hoping to make the latter part of your success story happen for me too. But I literally said those words to my husband last week. 🙁

  10. Lori says:

    Great tips. All of these – so true. In my desires I am always ready to lose weight. In my actions I am nearly almost never ready. I will exercise and follow for a while and then bam I blow it. I recently decided to make a calendar where I could put a success or two for the day, log my exercise, check off that I logged my food for the day, check off that I drank my water and also what a suggestion might be for another day. It helps me to see what I have done.

  11. Dr. J says:

    Excellent, Diane! “Fail to plan, then plan to fail, 🙂

    I always start off telling people that they have to want to, and that want to better be a WANT TO!!! I think you know what I mean.

  12. E. Jane says:

    This was very good for me to read, Diane. If I don’t have a plan, I will be lost fairly quickly. I need a roadmap to get where I need to go.

  13. michelle says:

    to Lori and E.Jane I would suggest checking out sparkpeople.com, I know Diane has mentioned this website before. I love it for being able to track everything from nutrition/calorie counts, exercise, water intake, etc. The best feature for me is the recipe pages–where you can enter your own recipes to get the nutrition breakdown, or just use the thousands of recipes posted there. Spark certainly gave me the roadmap I needed!

  14. Marc says:

    Hi Diane – I might not have said those exact words, “I’m not ready!” but the thought process was similar. I went through a mental phase where I convinced myself that my metabolism had irreversibly slowed down, and I was doomed to a life of obesity for the rest of my days. That was a safe but unhappy state of mind. I could eat whatever because I was going to be fat anyway. To pull away from that mentality, I had to convince myself that I was capable of change mentally and physically.

  15. Janis says:

    Yeah … “Ready” isn’t something that just falls on your head from out of the sky. You have to get ready. It doesn’t just happen.

    BTW, THANK YOU FOR SPELLING “VICIOUS” CORRECTLY! Every time I see that spelled “a viscous cycle,” I imagine a clothes dryer filled with rubber cement. That is a “viscous cycle.”

  16. Leah says:

    When I started this [my last] weight loss attempt I was so scared of failing a diet I simply told myself I had to do something, I had to change at least one thing. Planning and preparing had always been the easy part, but this time I knew I just had to start making some changes.

    I committed to moving 30 minutes at least 3 days a week and then I cut out one thing from my diet that wasn’t beneficial to my health. For me, that was cutting my soda down to only with meals. Silly as it seems it was the first step that lead to many, many more.

    Within a couple weeks I slowly began changing more and more about my food, began blogging and just made my commitment that I would not, could not quit. 🙂

  17. Heather says:

    I’m definitely still working on realistic goals, and addressing bad habits! Still, I feel like I get a little better every day, and I know if I keep at it, I’ll succeed.

    I wanted to stop by to thank you for your comment, as well. I’m going to try interval training, and I’m STILL trying to quit smoking! Talk about an important part of getting healthy!

  18. Joi @ Rx Fitness Lady says:

    Knowing your bad habits and figuring out how to conquer them is super important as is setting realistic goals. No use in setting yourself up for disappointment. Preparation is the key to success with any endeavor. This is a wonderful outline for weight loss planning.

  19. Jennifer says:

    Hi, Diane
    I beg to differ with you on this topic. I don’t think a person needs to prepare for weight loss- in fact, it could result in procrastination and never starting. A person might look at that list, and say “Oops, don’t have #8 and #9, so I can’t start”. Personally, I feel the best way to lose weight and keep it off is to tackle one step at a time. My first goal was just to write down everything I ate. Not a big change, and not alot of prep needed. But, I lost 20 pounds in one month, which spurred on other healthy changes. I never analyzed my emotional state or a plan for getting back on track. Not that everyone follows my personal example. I just feel that you can no more prepare to lose weight than you can prepare to have a baby! Most supplies/support you gather does not get used or does not give you what you really need.

  20. Lara Laverne says:

    This is a great post for many reasons. I think rewarding yourself is very important but the biggest thing is, you have got to REALLY want to lose weight. It’s requires a 100% committed effort. great tips here 🙂

  21. MIchelle Cook says:

    Diane, as always such straightforward, sound, strong, and solid advice! I really love your posts! Thanks for helping me with my weight loss efforts!

  22. Linda says:

    This is one of your best posts Diane! I can’t remember the amount of times I used that saying “I’m just not ready to lose weight”. Too many times to count really. Or I would lose some and then gain more back and use the saying again – but in the past tense – I wasn’t ready ‘that’ time but maybe one day I will be.

  23. HopeK7117 says:

    Yeah, there have been times when I wasn’t ready, when I was aware that I was gaining weight, but still I was on the sofa, eating ice cream. It’s like I have to get to a certain point of being overweight before I put my foot down and dig in my heels and get started. Which is not good. I’m hoping to keep on going on this weight loss journey of mine (17 pounds down so far!) and then MAINTAIN it for GOOD. I’m hoping I will learn as I go.

  24. blackhuff says:

    No 10 I have learned along the way. I did not even think about no 10 before I decided to lose the weight, I just learned that along the way.
    Great strategy plan in losing weight.

Leave a Reply