You decide to lose weight. You start a strict exercise and diet regimen. You manage to stick to it – you’re ecstatic! But after awhile it becomes difficult to stick with it because it’s unsustainably extreme and requires substantial discipline. You start slipping and you gain some weight back. You become frustrated and give up and gain all the weight back.
If this has happened to you, you are not alone. 90% of people who lose weight gain it all back. A major reason people fail is that their plan of attack is too severe so they can’t stick with it and it doesn’t take psychology into account. We here at Worth The Fight in Denver have spent time figuring out a method for losing weight that can be sustained long term – after all, no one wants to lose weight and gain it all back the next month. We are passionate about teaching people how to achieve their weight and fitness goals without quick fixes, sketchy supplements, super restrictive diets, or six-week challenges, just moderate manageable lifestyle modifications – and fun! Here are our simple steps to lose weight and keep it off.
The How-to Guide to Weight Loss From Downtown Denver Gym WTF Boxing
One of the co-founders of downtown Denver fitness studio Worth The Fight lost a significant amount of weight ten years ago, and kept it off, through a diet and exercise regimen based on the steps laid out in this post and the two subsequent posts. She is an anomaly – the vast majority of people who lose weight gain it back. WTF realized they could help tens of thousands of people who are struggling with their weight if they published these steps. That’s how these steps were born. The dramatic transformation she experienced is what inspired the opening of WTF Boxing & Fitness Studio, which offers boxing fitness, HIIT, and bootcamp classes. They want to bring to others the transformation she experienced. Let’s get into some important background information first.⬇️
If you’re ready to take a small step toward losing weight or getting fit, sign up here to receive the best promotions on founding memberships from WTF Boxing so you can learn the steps to long-term weight loss in Denver directly from WTF’s founder who’s been through it herself!
🔸Quick fixes for weight loss don’t work long term.
Quick fixes and shortcuts to weight loss don’t work for sustainable weight loss. Full stop. Questionable supplements, very strict diets, insane exercise regimens, etc. don’t lead to long-term weight loss for the simple reason that they are not sustainable. Quick fixes for weight loss tend to lead to rapid weight loss followed by slowly gaining that weight back.
So then why do we still constantly receive advertisements offering every quick fix and shortcut to weight loss under the sun? Because we all wish that quick fixes did work. Wouldn’t it be great if we could just take a pill and have the body we want? Deep down inside we know that such a pill doesn’t exist, but that bit of hope that we have silences that rational voice in the back of our head, and we click ‘Buy Now’ to yet again purchase a quick fix that won’t work. Companies that sell these products prey on our hope.
We have very little to show for the billions of dollars we’ve spent on quick fix weight loss products. The prevalence of obese and overweight people is growing. Sustainable modifications to diet and activity level are better for long-term weight loss than quick fixes and silver bullets.
🔸Fun and indulgence is important to losing weight and keeping it off.
But take heart! Even though there isn’t a pill to get you the perfect physique, the process of getting healthy need not be drudgery and deprivation. In fact, the absence of significant deprivation is critical to sustainable weight loss. This is where quick fixes to weight loss fail – they involve substantial deprivation and/or discipline that you can’t sustain long-term. Will power is a muscle – if you use it too much, you will tire it out. This is why you can resist treats for a period of time but afterward you often end up bingeing. You exhausted your will power. You shouldn’t beat yourself up over this – this is how human psychology works. You need to understand this to structure a weight loss plan that will actually work.
🔸Here are three steps to lose weight and keep it off downtown Denver style.
Okay, enough talk, let’s get into the nitty-gritty of how to lose weight and get in shape sustainably.
➡️Start with small achievable changes to diet and exercise, not big changes.
One reason that people fail with weight loss is they try to do too much at one time. They try to cut out all carbs and start a rigorous exercise routine. Making big sweeping changes is putting yourself at risk of failing in your goal because will power and discipline is like a muscle, and they can get tired. Maybe you make it for a few weeks or a month with your new diet and exercise regimen but eventually you tire your discipline out and binge on sweets or stop exercising, putting you at risk of completely abandoning your efforts. This is how people end up yo-yo dieting.
Small achievable changes avoid the issue of exhausting your will power because they don’t require nearly as much of it. The change to pick is different for every person, but WTF recommends picking a change that is relatively easy for you because it’s very important psychologically to get that initial validation of ‘hey I can do this’. That initial success is very important to eventually being able to build to larger changes.
Because will power is a muscle, this also means that you can build your will power up through practice. But if you’re building up your physical muscles, do you go straight to lifting the heaviest possible weight? No. Because you know you couldn’t lift that on the first day. You start with lighter weights and work your way up. Building your will power works in a similar way. Start small. As you form the habit of making small changes, you will build up your will power and motivation slowly to eventually be able to tackle the harder changes. Seeing success with the small changes gives you a sense of accomplishment and that in turn breeds motivation (and, once you start seeing results, you will be doubly motivated).
By way of example, WTF’s founder’s first step toward her long-term weight loss was swapping sugary soda for diet soda. She did nothing else – she did not exercise; she did not change her diet in any other way. She simply swapped her sugary soda for diet soda. She wasn’t even drinking that much soda but this small change led to her losing a lot of weight. Seeing the results on the scale was exciting and motivated her to continue on trying to lose weight and get more fit.
Some other examples of small changes you could consider are:
- park your car half a mile from work;
- sign up for weekly personal training or group fitness class (Worth The Fight would love to have you at WTF Boxing’s free fitness class);
- drink a glass of water before you eat a meal or have a snack;
- substitute healthier but satisfying alternatives for some of your snacks – check out our article on healthier alternatives; or
- switch from sugar soda to diet soda or reduce sugar soda by one can a day.
Or any other small change to your diet or activity level! Stick with just this small change for a month or two. Do it consistently but give yourself permission to not do it perfectly. If you’re lucky, you might see results just from this small change, but don’t worry if you don’t because, well, it is a small change. If you successfully complete your first small change, you’re ready to add a second small change. You should feel good that you’re on track and, be assured, 🔸you will get there🔸. This is just a slower way of getting there, but it is more sustainable, and that’s the whole point.
Pick another small change to add. WTF recommends picking something different from your first change – that is, if your first change was parking your car half a mile from work and walking in, don’t make your second change parking your car a mile from a work and walking in. But everyone is different. If you think you have a better chance of achieving a second change in the same vane as the first, do that.
After that, it’s time to add a third small change and, after that, a fourth, a fifth, etc. It will probably take you years to make all the changes needed to finally reach your goals but that’s fine. The whole purpose is to move slowly enough that your changes are achievable and you don’t get discouraged – the number, and difficulty, of the changes you’re making should grow as your discipline and motivation grows. Do not strive to adhere to your changes perfectly. The third weight loss step delves into this in more detail but you should aim to be consistent, NOT perfect.
If you ever fail to make the change or fail in the middle of making the change, that’s fine! Maybe the change you tried was too big or maybe there were other things going on in your life – stress plays a huge role in our diet and exercise habits. Don’t give up! Instead regroup and try something even smaller. The goal is to pick something that you can achieve, not the change with the biggest effect. It’s very hard for us to stick with something when we feel like we’re failing – conversely when we feel like we’re succeeding we are motivated to keep going. Make your psychology work for you instead of against you.
➡️Choose a form of workout that you find fun. (You can always sign up for Worth The Fight’s free classes in downtown Denver!)
Exercise is a bad word at Worth The Fight when discussing losing weight in Denver. It is associated with drudgery and obligation. Working out should be fun! If it’s fun, you’ll do it more and you won’t avoid it the way you would with something associated with drudgery and obligation. After awhile, it becomes a habit, and it’s easy. But the key to this is the fun which makes it easy to form a habit.
Instead of exercising, 🔸move more in whatever way you find most enjoyable🔸. There are thousands of ways to move, everything from dancing in your room to hiking to some types of yardwork/gardening to building houses for Humanity, to our favorite – going on a walk with a close friend, etc. – it need not be running on the treadmill or doing CrossFit. (If you’re considering CrossFit, though, check out this article on the pros and cons of CrossFit.) Think about what ways of moving you enjoy the most.
Now make a plan to incorporate more of that movement into your life. Think about how you can incorporate more fun into your movement. For example, if you plan to hike, bring a friend or bring a podcast to listen to or bring a camera to take pictures – whatever you would find fun. If you’re gardening, buy some cool flowers or trees to plant. Honestly we have found that listening to a podcast makes many forms of working out more fun. The more fun a workout is, the less discipline it will take to do it. That’s why fun is key.
We recommend doing something that involves accountability. Sign up for a class or plan to do your exercise with a friend. As a backup you can always join a weight loss support group online and use the group as accountability. The point of accountability is not to beat yourself up if you fail to adhere to your scheduled movement – it is merely to apply some supportive motivation which will help you move toward your goals.
In fact, 🔸you should strive to NOT beat yourself up🔸. Beating yourself up puts you at risk of concluding that you’ve failed and giving up. That is why it is important to let go of failures and stay in the present. Just recommit to do it next time. Get right back on the horse. Don’t tell yourself that since you’ve failed to do XYZ you have messed up and you may as well quit. Realize that everyone – and I mean everyone, even the best athletes in the world – slip up from their diet and exercise regimens.
➡️Strive to eat healthily and exercise consistently, NOT perfectly.
This step is probably the most important of all. It may sound like a good idea to do your healthy diet and workout regimen perfectly, but that is a trap. If you strive to do it perfectly, you are putting yourself at risk of failure for the same reason that quick fixes and unsustainable diet/workout plans put you at risk of failure. No one can do anything perfectly forever. If you aim for perfection, you may get frustrated when you inevitably fail and frustration is a dangerous place to be with something like weight loss. That’s when you’re at risk of going on a big binge of doughnuts and thereafter giving up.
Instead of frustration, you want to feel accomplished, motivated, and determined. The best way to do that is to aim for an achievable goal – to do your diet and workout regimen consistently, not perfectly. Consistency is much more achievable than perfection. The truth is that life happens. Stressful things will happen and you’ll reach for a piece of cake. You’ll get injured and not be able to work out, etc. You have to take these things in stride and get back on track when you can. Don’t get frustrated. Realize that it’s normal to have setbacks. Progress is not linear. Think progress, not perfection.
Just to be clear, under our method of weight loss, you are required to occasionally eat treats and sweets and occasionally not do your workout. You need to be aware of your body and aware of what’s going on in your life. Recognize when you may need the comfort of a favorite dessert or when you’re too tired or stressed to workout. If you never treat yourself and never deviate from your workout regimen, you are very likely to eventually fail in your efforts. That’s why you shouldn’t just think of it as you are allowed to have a treat – rather think of it as 🔸you must have a treat and give yourself a break from working from time to time, as needed🔸.
We hope this guide to weight loss in Denver was helpful to you. This is the first of three posts outlining a sustainable method of losing weight Denver style. Check out our posts on three more steps to long-term weight loss and another three steps to long-term weight loss for more helpful tips! Also, please share this link with your friends and family who are struggling with their weight – we want to help as many people as possible!