According to a survey conducted by the CDC, nearly half of all American adults tried to lose weight in the last 12 months. But try as we might, the sobering truth is that studies show that 90% of those who are successful with weight loss will eventually gain back within 12 months.

Unfortunately, I’ve seen this firsthand many times over and it usually looks something like this:

  • A person feels fed up with the way they look and/or feels.
  • They choose a “get slim fast” weight loss plan.
  • They lose weight.
  • They go back to their old habits.
  • The weight comes back on.

Sound familiar? It’s like we’re all destined to be on the same hamster wheel of misery. But it doesn’t have to be that way. The key to losing weight for good is changing your lifestyle habits for good, and here are two hard truths about it:

  1. It’s not easy.
  2. It will take longer than you want.

But if you’re finally ready to stop the roller coaster of weight loss ups and downs and are willing to commit to real weight loss that’s sustainable, this article is going to help you kick start your weight loss journey in a healthy and maintainable way. The following 15 tips we’re sharing are all lifestyle based meaning these are habits, tips, and tricks that you’re going to want to master so that you can not only lose the weight but keep it off.

How We Chose Our Kickstart Weightloss Tips

weight loss journey start it

As a Personal Trainer, Nutritionist, Macro Coach, and Women’s Health Expert, I am passionate about helping women reach their weight loss goals in safe and sustainable ways. I believe that every woman deserves to feel great in the skin she’s in and that pop culture has done a serious disservice to womanhood by promoting fad diets and other unsafe and unsustainable practices for weight loss.

Our team chose the following 15 ways to kick start your weight loss journey by sticking with the fundamentals of living a fit and healthy lifestyle. There are certain habits and practices that must be in place in order to achieve your desired outcome and we’ll outline all of those for you below.

With decades of combined experience helping women to look and feel their best, and a serious distaste for diet culture and fads, you can count on our team to deliver real weight loss tips that will work as long as you’re willing to trust the process and make the required commitment to yourself to change your life for the better.

Kickstarting weight loss is made possible because:

Perfect for Beginners To Get Started Losing Weight

If you’re brand new to the idea of getting healthier and losing weight, I understand that you might be incredibly intimidated by all the information out there. Rest assured that the weight loss tips we’re offering here are 100% beginner friendly and honestly quite simple to implement into your routine right away. No hard or crazy asks here!

All of Them Are Safe

At FHM, we would never recommend a weight loss strategy or program that’s unsafe or unsustainable. Every tip on this list is safe for most of the population. Of course, we always recommend speaking with your doctor before starting any new weight loss practices.

They Are Healthy Ways To Lose Weight

The number of unhealthy and BS ways to lose weight out there is maddening. We only promote and share healthy ways to lose weight.

They Have Proven to be Effective

Every tip we’re going to provide is proven and backed by both science and personal experience. We’ve seen firsthand how implementing these tips and strategies can help women like you lose weight and keep it off.

The Best Ways to Kick Start Weight Loss

As they say, the hardest part is getting started. So let’s make getting a kick start on our weight loss journey simple, painless, and, dare I say fun. The best ways to kick-start weight loss? Let’s dig in!

starting weight loss journey

#1. Optimize Your Nutrition

Optimizing your nutrition has to be the number one tip on our list as it’s quite literally the driver of all weight loss. In fact, the only way to lose weight is to be in a calorie deficit which means eating fewer calories than you are expending each day. And, no, you can’t out-exercise a bad diet. It just doesn’t work ladies, so let’s just let that one go, ok?

What does optimizing your nutrition look like? Well, it starts with awareness of what you’re eating and how much of it you’re consuming. For us, tracking macros has been a God send but tracking calories is very similar. Macros are simply the stuff that all food is made up of. It’s the protein, carbs, and fats that make up the food we eat. Whether or not you’re aware of macros is irrelevant because we are all consuming them.

Since we’re all already eating macros, it makes sense to learn to understand how each macronutrient works in your body. We have a complete getting started with macros guide that will walk you through how to kick-start your macro journey step-by-step, so make sure you spend some time reading through and taking the necessary actions to get started.

But the main thing to know about optimizing your nutrition is that this does not in any way require you to starve yourself, or eat too few calories (not sustainable and can actually backfire), and you’re certainly not going to be cutting out any food groups.

An optimal nutrition plan includes plenty of whole foods, including lots of fruits and vegetables, and also a nice balance of sweets and more indulgent foods, too. Nothing is off limits when we learn to eat for our bodies and with mindful moderation.

#2. Get Enough Sleep for Weight Loss

When you’re ready to get serious about kicking off weight loss for good, one of the most important foundational habits you need to master is your sleep. Getting enough sleep per night, which for most adults is between 7-9 hours per night, has been shown to help improve your weight loss efforts. 

So what happens when you aren’t consistently getting enough sleep? Well, research shows that inadequate sleep during dieting can reduce the amount of weight you lose as well as encourage you to overeat the next day.

Think about the last time you didn’t get great sleep. Were you hungrier the next day? More apt to reach for sweet and/or salty snacks? That’s because your body is low on energy and attempting to compensate by increasing your cravings and hunger cues.

Developing a healthy sleep pattern that includes a minimum of 7 hours of uninterrupted sleep per night will help make sure that you’re not sabotaging your weight loss efforts.

#3. Drink More Water: Hydration Is Key

Consuming ample water daily will 100% change your life and your ability to lose and maintain weight. Water is completely calorie-free, it hydrates your body, helps you to burn more calories, and even suppresses your appetite. Furthermore, when you replace any sugary drinks like juice, soda, alcohol, energy drinks, etc, with water, you’re saving yourself hundreds of calories.

I know it’s easy to say “drink more water” but the actual act of doing so can feel rough, especially for those who aren’t accustomed to it. I recommend to my clients that they aim for at least 100 ounces of water per day, but if you’re currently nowhere near that mark, start slow and work your way up.

Don’t prefer the taste of water? Try adding in some low or zero-calorie sweeteners or trying a nutritional supplement like one from Mixhers (CODE TAMIS10 saves you 10%) or grabbing some hydration sticks like these ones from 1st Phorm or these ones from Clean Simple Eats (CODE TAMI) to help make the process easier and more pleasant.

#4. Track Your Steps: Walking

Walking is one of the most underrating weight loss hacks ever. It’s so simple and obvious that I think people discount its effectiveness for shedding pounds and keeping your body fit and healthy. 

If you’re currently sedentary, aim to slowly increase your steps to kick off your weight loss journey in a slow, sustainable, and manageable way. One of the biggest mistakes I see and hear around the industry is sedentary folks hearing the magical 10k steps per day recommendation and attempting to go from nothing to hitting that each day. Spoiler alert; this mostly doesn’t work as it’s a too-much, too-fast situation that will quickly lead to burnout, frustration, and eventually quitting.

Start from where you’re at and aim to aid about 1k more steps on average per week to your total step count until you get to 10k or the number that’s manageable for you. The best part about this weight loss kick-off tip is that it’s so simple to implement. It’s a matter of consciously remembering to stand up and walk around every so often or to make sure you get out for a walk at least once per day. Doing so will help you reach your weight loss goals that much faster. Plus, if you keep up with your walking habit, you’ll be able to maintain that weight loss.

#5. Meal Prep

This one ties back into our number one tip which was to optimize your nutrition. Once you have a firm grasp on what you need to eat and how much you need to it, you’ve got to make some plans for execution. This is where meal prep or meal planning can become absolutely essential as you kick off your weight loss journey.

Meal prepping can feel a tad intimidating, but it doesn’t need to be! Prepping some food for the week can be as simple as bulk cooking a batch of protein i.e. chicken breast and putting it into a container that you can pull from all week. One of the biggest pitfalls I see when it comes to eating a healthy, balanced diet is poor planning which leads to making choices that set you off track.

I recommend taking some time each week (Sundays are most popular!) to plan out what meals you’ll be eating for the upcoming week. From there, head to the grocery store or order your essentials to be delivered, and pre-prep any foods you can to save yourself time and excuses later in the week. The key to sticking with your nutrition plan is to set yourself up for success. If you fail to plan when it comes to your weekly meals, you plan to fail because there are far too many variables and obstacles to eating healthy that will crop up if given the opportunity.

#6. Start a Fitness Challenge

Feeling motivated to just one day wake up and commit to kicking off a weight loss journey doesn’t happen very often. For many of us, we need a little push to get going. This is where a fitness challenge or program is ideal. Personally, I love a good challenge a couple of times each year to allow me to re-focus on my goals and really dial in for a period of time.

Fitness challenges range from simple and straightforward like a plank or squat challenge to more intense and time-consuming like the 75 Hard Challenge or Tighter Together Challenge from Madeline Moves. Both types of challenges have their place and I highly recommend that you take some time to explore what’s available and commit to the one that you know you can be successful with.

#7. Join a Gym

This one sounds cliche, but each year thousands of people commit to kicking off their weight loss journey by joining a gym, usually on or around January 1st. Beginning the habit of making your way to the gym a few times a week is a great way to get started on your fitness journey and to shed some weight when you combine your new gym habit with a healthy nutrition plan.

Take advantage of being a newbie at a local gym as many offer low introductory pricing. And if you’re feeling a little lost or intimidated, don’t! Everyone in the gym was once new, ease yourself in by starting with the machines and/or areas of the gym that you’re already familiar with and work your way to some new challenges. If you don’t know how to do something, ask!

#8. Try a Group Fitness Class

Group fitness classes can be so much fun and so motivating, especially if you’re required to reserve your spot in advance. Find a local class that sounds fun and book it in your calendar and even pre-pay for it, that way you’re far less likely to back out or not show up.

For those who don’t like the often independent feeling that comes with going to the gym, a group fitness class can provide the direction and community you need to stay motivated to keep showing up and making strides toward your weight loss goals.

#9. Invest in At-Home Fitness Equipment

Sometimes going to the gym or to a fitness class just doesn’t work for your schedule. Trust me, I get it. I have been an early morning exerciser for years - it’s just what works for my schedule in this season of life. But that means that I work out from home, and in order to do that effectively, I needed to invest in some at-home fitness equipment to kick off my weight loss and home workout journey.

Keep in mind that you can start as simply and as small as you would like or as your budget dictates. You certainly don’t need to go out and buy a fancy connected home fitness machine, you can start as small as a pair of dumbbells or a subscription to a fitness app that you can do from anywhere like Obe Fitness, Beachbody On Demand, or FitBod.

Of course, if you have the space and the budget to get yourself set up with some higher-end equipment, that’s great, too! I recommend the Beachbody Bike (MYX Fitness Bike) or the Hydrow Rowing Machine as both provide you with an all-in-one fitness solution and are a surefire way to kick-start your fitness journey.

#10. Find an Accountability Partner

If getting your butt up and going is difficult, one way to combat that is to find yourself an accountability partner. Knowing that you have someone else relying on you to show up and put in the work or to check in on you will make you exponentially more adherent to your weight loss plan.

And the great news is that you can find an accountability partner just about anywhere these days thanks to the internet and social media. There are many online groups where you can join and connect with others on a similar journey, including our very own community, Wellness for Womanhood. Or, if you have someone in your family and/or friend circle who’s willing to jump on board, take advantage!

#11. Keep a Journal

When you’re ready to jump start your weight loss journey, a great way to get out your thoughts, feelings, emotions, and plan is to start a daily journaling practice. I recommend that you begin your journey by writing down why it is that you want to get started in the first place. What’s your “why” behind weight loss? Do you want to feel better in your clothes? Look good for an upcoming vacation? Be able to play with your kids or grandkids more easily?

Dig deep, write everything down, and re-visit your journal every day to reflect and put to paper how you’re feeling along your journey. Your journal will not only serve as a place of reflection, but it will be a motivator as you discover what works for you, what doesn’t, and what’s required for you to keep going.

#12. Practice Gratitude

Gratitude is about more than just being thankful. It’s about really feeling the extent of your emotions, appreciating what you have in this very moment, and joyfully anticipating all that is sure to come your way in the future. Being grateful means you’re content and appreciative of where you are right in this exact moment while simultaneously being excited about all that’s to come.

Practicing gratitude will look different for each individual, but it’s a great way to get in the right head space as you kick-start weight loss. Appreciate all that you are right now while being intentional about cultivating feelings of gratitude for all that’s to come in regard to your health, fitness, and weight loss journey. 

#13. Find Ways to Make Weight Loss Pleasant

If you’re starting your weight loss journey by doing things that you absolutely hate doing and eating foods that aren’t at all appetizing, how likely do you think you’ll be to stick with it? Not likely. It’s only a matter of time before you throw in the towel and seek something more pleasurable.

But here’s the secret; fitness and nutrition can be fun! Choose foods that you love and enjoy them in moderation (macros are a great tool for this!), choose a fitness style that suits your needs and what feels fun and enjoyable for you, and work on cultivating a positive mindset that will carry you through the tougher days.

#14. Try A Weight Loss Supplement

Maybe you’ve implemented the most basic healthy habits but you’re still struggling to get any traction, at this point, trying a weight loss supplement might give you the kick start you need. The supplement space is a tricky one and can be very deceptive, so navigate at your own risk and check with your doctor before starting anything new.

However, there are a handful of great weight loss supplements that we recommend for the right candidate including:

#15. Consider Medical Weight Loss Programs

Last but not least, if you’re really struggling with getting your weight loss going and you meet the criteria, you might consider a medical weight loss program as a way to get off the ground and start making some headway with your fat loss mission.

Programs like Form, Found, and Calibrate all offer prescription weight loss medications (to those who qualify) along with expert coaching and support throughout your entire journey.

Take The First Step To Jump Start Your Weight Loss Journey

When you’re ready to truly commit to losing weight and keeping it off for good, you’ll need to be fully prepared and committed to doing what it takes to succeed in the long term. But despite what the media wants to tell you, it really doesn’t need to be as complicated or painful as you think.

Kick starting weight loss can be as simple as prioritizing sleep, drinking more water, and making some small dietary changes. With these healthy weight habits firmly in place, you’ll be ready to take the additional steps required to shed the weight and continue living your life with the energy and vibrancy you deserve.

For more information, motivation, tips, and tricks then be sure to join us inside our community, Wellness for Womanhood.

About the Author
Tami Smith, CPT, Nutritionist

Tami Smith is a certified Nutritionist and an ACE certified fitness trainer, specializing in pre and post-natal fitness. She studied business and earned her bachelor's degree in Business Economics. Tami is a mom of two and women's health advocate. Her passion is to help people live a fit, healthy life through proper nutrition and exercise!

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