I recently participated in a lose 20 in 6 weeks challenge, run by a local gym in my community. I had seen so many postings of success stories on Facebook and was at the point where 20 more pounds would get me pretty close to where I wanted to be.
Before I go into what worked for me, I want to say that programs like this are difficult and pretty extreme. I am not a medical professional and participation in any kind of program like this should be discussed with your doctor. It’s a program that’s not made for everyone. It’s also not meant for sustainability. That’s important to remember. I saw this challenge as a reset. It was meant to wipe the slate clean and give me a strong foundation.
The challenge included 1 hour, High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) workouts an average of 5 times a week and a meal plan provided by the gym. They gave me the tools. Here’s how I reached the end.
Tips for Weight Loss Challenge Success
- Know your WHY. Understand why you’re doing this. Don’t just say “I want to be skinny”. After you answer the question, ask yourself why again. Keep asking ‘Why?’ until you really dig deep into what will drive you. Write it down and remember it. Re-visit it every week to remember why you put yourself on this journey. #whywednesday
- Tackle your nutrition program. Prior to starting this challenge, I already made the decision to start making smarter choices. I tackled my eating habits first. Eat leaner meats. Increase your vegetable intake. Cut more sugar. I didn’t go cold turkey but built my choices into my daily life. When I started the challenge, the meal plan wasn’t as hard as I thought it would be since I already made the changes I knew I had to make.
- Be in it mentally. If you’re already making excuses, take a step back and decide if it’s a step you’re really ready to take. The excuses, the mental game, is much harder than the workouts or the meal plan, in my opinion. When my alarm went off at 5 am, it was so easy to press the snooze button and sleep it off. The hardest part was getting out of bed and making it out the door.
- Workout early. I’m not an early morning person but starting my day with a workout did wonders for me. I didn’t have a full day to make up excuses. I did it in the morning and it’s done!
- Measure your food. Buy a food scale (afflink) for the kitchen. You’ll be surprised how much 4 oz of meat is or how much 2 cups of veggies will get you. Don’t eye ball it. If you’re meal prepping, it’s good to know that your food is measured to what you need.
- Prep for success. Prep your meals and bring them with you. When I’m out with the kids or just out running errands, it was a lifesaver to have a prepped meal or snack with me. It’s easy to grab a latte or hit up a drive through. Don’t get pulled into that. Prep your food for the week, grab a box as you go out and have it readily available. If I was at my kids’ gymnastics or baseball practice, I grabbed a box and was prepared when I started getting hungry. No hot dog stand for me! I used these Meal Prep Containers (afflink) and did my prepping over the weekend.
- Don’t weigh yourself every day. Stop! It’s tempting. Your body changes constantly. Pick a day of the week to weigh yourself and stick to it.
- Celebrate EVERY win. Big or small. It’s rewarding and empowering to discover every change and improvement.
Now it’s time to maintain and create new goals. After such a great accomplishment, I am feeling more empowered and energized by what I am capable of. Stay tuned for my progress report of life after the challenge.
Do you have a weight loss success story? I’d love to hear about it and any tips you have!