5 Things You Can Do in the Next 24 Hours to Start Your Weight Loss Journey

5 Things You Can Do in the Next 24hrs to Start Your Weight Loss Journey

One of the biggest struggles people have with losing weight is simply just getting started. There is so much diet and weight loss information available it can become quickly overwhelming. What to eat? What not to eat? When to eat? When to exercise? The options are seriously endless. Now combine that with today’s busy lifestyle and I can see why people throw in the towel before even getting past the first day. I understand because I have been there many times.

To successfully lose weight and sustain that weight loss you need to look at the first 24 hours very differently than you have before. For many people – including myself at one time– a typical first day would include a list of extreme changes. Perhaps you would join a gym and exercise for a couple hours. Then, on top of that, you would drastically change your eating habits removing all carbs, sweets, salt, and every other food you love. After a day or two you realize this is not sustainable and you order a pizza and go back to the couch. Yep, I understand.

Of course changing your eating habits and prioritizing exercise needs to happen in order to lose weight but you are not going to change DECADES of eating habits in 1 day. Not going to happen. And if you try to then most likely you will just become frustrated. Changes will come over time as you start to slowly creating sustainable healthier habits.

MY OTHER RECIPES

So, if I shouldn’t work out like a mad woman or throw out all the pasta and ice cream then what should I do in the first 24 hours of my weight loss journey?

Great question. I believe the first 24 hours or so is all about laying the groundwork to start rebuilding your foundation. You want to take this time to really think about and plan out how you will make time and prioritize your healthier lifestyle. Lifestyle changes are the hardest to make and they do not happen “just because”. You need to make them happen by becoming intentional with your actions and planning.

Below are 5 things I highly recommend you doing during the first 24 hours of your weight loss journey. This can happen in the next 24 hours or maybe wait till the weekend when you have more time. Personally I don’t think there needs a be a perfect time to start so don’t wait for one. However, there are better times than others. I suggest taking a day where you have some extra time to focus and really think about the changes. If you are trying to do this in the midst of your busy week or on a day you have a couple birthday parties and other things you might find yourself overwhelmed. However, don’t procrastinate either. You need to make this a priority.

Now don’t get worried or stressed out if you can’t get all these actions done within 24 hours. The whole point is to create a realistic plan and strategy to make your healthier lifestyle a priority. If that takes 2 or 3 days then that is fine. Just don’t try making any big changes until you have thought it through first.

Get on the scale, take measurements, and a picture

I know getting on a scale is scary and so is taking measurements. But you need to know this information to get started. Without it you will not be able to set goals, measure progress, and/or identify any issues. Don’t be scared. You can do this. Plus think of it this way – after today – you will never see that number again. YAY!

Also, I HIGHLY recommend taking a before picture along with monthly progress pictures. This is something I did not do and wish I did. I have some random before and after pictures but I really wish I more intentional with this. As you begin to lose weight your body will transform and it is awesome to see that progress through pictures. So learn from my mistake and take pictures.

This entire action should only take about 10 minutes maximum.

Here is a resources/link you might find helpful:

Assessment and acceptance

Sign up for My Fitness Pal

Many people ask me how to figure out the number of calories they should eat to lose weight. My Fitness Pal does all that for you. After you sign up you plug in your height, weight, activity level, and some other information then My Fitness Pal will give you the number of calories you should eat a day to lose weight. You can also use this to sustain weight or gain weight.

Once you sign up play around with it for a few minutes and start getting familiar with the functions. This online tool was a complete game changer for me. It was the one thing that finally helped me get my portions under control.

Signing up for MYP should only take about 10 minutes. Don’t spend more that 20 minutes playing around with it cause you have other things to get done today.

Here are some other resources/links you might find helpful.

How to start and stick with an online food journal

Combine your food journal and menu plan

Completing a food overhaul

Getting the most out of My Fitness Pal

How to figure out nutritional information using My Fitness Pal

Write out a two week menu plan with grocery list

Creating a menu plan and becoming intentional with your food is key to your weight loss success. Take some time in the first 24hrs to write out 2 weeks worth of meals with a grocery list. This way you don’t have to think about what to eat every single day because you will already have it planned.

Menu planning can get overwhelming so I suggest keeping it simple. Don’t try filling your menu plan with a brand new recipe 3 times a day every day for 2 weeks. Heck no. Use the recipes you already know and maybe throw in a couple new ones to try. Once you get into the habit of menu planning you can add in more new recipes.

Creating a menu plan might some time on your first day. I would suggest setting aside 1-2 hours to focus on your menu plan. Once you get the hang of it you will be prepare them more quickly.

Here are some links/resources you might find helpful:

Beginner menu planning tips

Menu planning does not always go as planned

Simply menu planning with rotating menus

Look at calendar and schedule in time for grocery shopping, meal prep, and exercise

I don’t know about you but if it is not in my calendar it does not exist. In order for new habits to form you need to make them a priority. Which means you need to make time for them. The only way to do that is to look at your calendar and physically put in the things that need to get done. It might sound silly to put exercise or grocery shopping into your calendar but with busy schedules if it is not in there as a reminder then other things can easily take precedent without you even thinking about it. Plus, once it is in your calendar you can set reminders to help you remember when something needs to get done.

I really try to use my calendar in this way each week. I find it very helpful and motivational to see the reminders that pop up on my phone telling me to lay out my exercise clothes or to take out dinner that morning to thaw. Things that I would easily forget about I don’t when I put them in my calendar.

This action should take about ½ – 1 hour to complete.

Here is another helpful resources/links you might like:

Use google calendar to organize a healthier lifestyle

Make your smart phone work for you

Creating an exercise routine

Clean out and organize fridge, pantry, and freezer

I saved this for last because it most likely will take the longest. Now I am not suggesting you throw out every last piece of junk food – that might be a little too drastic for the first day. What I am suggesting is you start to clear out and make room for the healthier foods you will be filling your kitchen with.

Of course, don’t try to organize all three at the same time because that will get very overwhelming. Start with one, finish, and then move onto the next. As you create a healthier lifestyle you will be spending more time cooking healthier meals so you want a kitchen environment that makes it easier to do so.

Plus, once you have your kitchen clean out and organized you will just feel revived and ready to start your new lifestyle. I know I was.

A resource/link you might find helpful:

How to create a healthier kitchen

What are some suggestions, tips, or actions you have for people who might need a little help getting started on their weight loss journey?

If you like this post then I highly recommend checking out my popular post “15 Habits of People Who Have Successfully lost 20-30lbs and Kept it Off”. Lots of super valuable weight loss information.

 

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Comments

  1. Great advice, I whole heartedly agree with all 5. MFP is a great tool!

  2. Cathy Kirchner says:

    I’m taking advantage of the weather. Monday, during lunch I walked 1.55 miles. Yesterday, it was 1.57 miles. Today, 1.5 miles. It’s just too nice to stay inside!

  3. I love your blog, Facebook pintrest and everything else that in follow you on. I have problems picking out food to get started meals and snacks. I’m really having trouble losing weight. I get so overwhelmed with everything. I Don’t have a lot of money to spend on food and I need to please the family as well. Could you give me some suggestions on how and when to eat. How did you get the motivation to lose weight?

  4. Jean Marie says:

    Thanks for the great tips. The beginning of this new month means a beginning of a new plan. Although I do want to lose weight, I really just want to be healthier and more fit. After 2 days at a workshop out of town, I was struck with the reality that 1) I clearly ate too much, 2) I didn’t go out with the girls, because I was way too tired, and 3) I avoided walking around because I am so out of shape. I am getting my whole family in on the fun, and so far, they seem receptive. I love the fact that you’re tackling not just the fitness and nutrition aspect, but the fact that you need to have the organization and the mind set to reach one’s goals. Being a mother, being a college student once again, a wife–all while working–means that I’ve let everything go by the way side. I used to work out and eat right, then I just got comfortable. Here’s for hoping for transformation…

  5. Kate Davis says:

    Great list! One of my go to’s is the Fitbit activity tracker. It makes you accountable for every step you take (or don’t take!). It also links with MFP, so you can really keep track of your progress. Do yourself a favor and purchase some type of pedometer! Just one more tool in the arsenal of healthy living 🙂

    • My Fitbit made all the difference for me, too. I wanted to lose weight, but my ultimate goal was to feel more fit. I love being able to track my food and steps with one app. The ability to challenge friends and set goals was a huge plus for me.

  6. I have restarted over and over again. I am going to use these steps to finally get on track! Thank you

  7. Ok Wt.-check measurements – check (I’m an apple; same measurement on all three areas). Picture – as soon as my hubby gets home to take it. I really want to do this but I really need some extra help. My husband eats what he eats and will not change, I just found out, today, that my Mom has diabetes (so that may be of help to me and her), my son lives here and he’s pencil thin…..so needless to say, I can’t really clean out the fridge and pantry. But I see my husbands eating habits as a real stick in the wheel. Whenever I decide to finally go on a new healthy living routine my husband surprises us with creme sticks and rides to the ice cream stand, it’s almost like he enjoys torturing me.

    • Jennifer says:

      Stick with it and explain how important your weight loss is to you. He should understand and support you every step of the way. My husband and I are 40 this year and we are both seeing what you are talking about. I have struggled with my weight for years after having children and for the first time ever my husband is getting chunky. He has always been very fit. He still exercises a few days a week but his diet has caught up with him.

    • Janalyn Taylor says:

      Christine,
      I feel your pain. My husband cooks most of our meals since he gets home first. He is a great cook and loves to make good southern comfort food. I began by buying lots of fruits and vegetables. At supper, no matter what he cooked, I made a colorful salad and ate that before eating anything else. I also drank a big glass of water. Then I ate a very small portion of what he made. Slowly he has begun working to change the way he does things. He too loved bringing home a big ice cream treat. I began telling him the treat that I could eat like a small cup of sherbet. Now that is what he shows up with. I’m down 40 pounds now and still working at it everyday! Hang in there.

  8. I have friends who have lost a lot of weight and attribute it to MFP, as well. I personally have found having plenty of good, healthy food around the house and a menu plan to be key to eating well and the resulting weight loss. Thanks for the tips! I really need to get my discipline on track again.

  9. REALLY hard to do this foodwise when you live with someone who refuses to eat veggies and fruits. Very difficult to plan and cook two different menus, shopping, etc.

  10. Miko Radcliffe says:

    Eatingwell.com launched a 12 week weight loss challenge last week on FB, and this website is getting a lot of mention in the comments!

  11. I love the idea of meal planning. I do that every week in our house and it works! Although I always forget to plan out what I can keep on hand for snacks and the occasional dessert which results in me eating junk! I would also add to this list to DRINK WATER! Only water and lots of it!
    I’m going to be doing a meal planning post in the near future on my blog http://nikkieandbabies.blogspot.com and if you like it, you can feel free to add me to your list of resources!

  12. I am extremely discouraged and frustrated! For the past 2 months, I have been following Weight Watchers online and doing aerobics/fast walking for 30-60 min 5-7 days a week, and I have not lost a pound! By stomach is just expanding….what can I do?!

    • Tina Tufarolo says:

      Suzanne, have you tried mixing up your workouts? Adding muscle building, strength training? Muscle boosts metabolism. also, are you drinking plenty of water? At lease 1/2 your weight in ounces. More if you are exercising. And how is your sleep? plenty of rest helps too. (Easier said than done, I know!)

    • Green tea, green tea, green tea! If you don’t like drinking tea, or don’t have the time, You can take a green tea pill or extract. If you take the right one, it basically amounts to 3 to five cups a day. Which is what is suggested to speed up your metabolism and lose weight. Green tea also has wonderful antioxidants that improve skin tone and overall health. Best Wish!

  13. Great article and I totally agree! Meal planning changed my life! Thanks for a great post

  14. I really enjoyed this article. I shared your post link on my Facebook wall, I think a lot of people can benefit from reading this. I appreciate you taking the time to post this. 🙂

  15. Gathered table.com is a great website for meal planning! It does three meals and a snack and will also generate your grocery list for you with how much of what you need. It does cost monthly ($10) but it is very easy to use. You can use their recipes or upload ones from Pinterest or even add your own. Makes meal planning super easy. I’ve been using it for a few months now.

  16. Marilyn Pamplin says:

    Thank you for the great tips. A great help as always.

  17. Weight Watchers really does work, IF you follow the programme. That means you have to be honest about what and how much you eat. You have to weigh and measure your food. I lost 15 pounds without doing any exercise while I was waiting for back surgery, just by following the Weight Watchers programme. I am now able to exercise and do both cardiovascular and strength training exercise. You need to mix it up and you need to push your body, too. I prefer the Weight Watchers plan over MFP. I find just counting calories to be too fiddly. I like the idea of food points and learning how to spend my daily and weekly portions to get the most bang for my buck. I eat a large bowl of raw veggies every day – a whole pepper, 10 baby carrots, sliced celery or fennel, radishes, sugar snap peas. It takes me quite a while to eat them because I chew them very well, and I like the crunchiness. Changing habits takes time but it’s worth it. I have wine on Friday, Saturday and Sunday. I eat two homemade ginger molasses cookie every night after dinner with my tea. I never feel deprived because I know I can eat whatever I want. I just have to track my food and I choose to make healthy choices 90% of the time.

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