“I have chosen to control the narrative of my life and it will be nothing short of great.” - Opeyemi Awoyemi
There are plenty of things in life we can’t control: the weather, traffic, world events … the list goes on. While these variables undoubtedly impact your daily routine, they don’t have to stop you from taking control of your life and achieving your goals.
Easier said than done, right?
When it comes to weight loss, taking control can feel overwhelming and challenging — we get it. Between work, family and everything in between, eating healthy and putting yourself first might seem impossible at times.
But you can do it. You just need some determination and the courage to start.
If you’re ready to take control of your life and weight loss — know that you can succeed. Read on for our best tips to take charge and achieve your goals.
11 Tips to Take Control of Your Weight Loss
1. Set a goal – and don’t be afraid to make it ambitious.
Ready to feel powerful? Start by choosing your goals. Research suggests that setting a goal can lead to higher self-confidence, motivation and autonomy.1 While you want to set reasonable and achievable goals, don’t be afraid to make them ambitious. One study published in the Journal of Consumer Research found that those who set ambitious goals were happier than those who set the bar low. The lead researcher explains, “The moral of the story is don’t sell yourself short.”2
Here are a few ideas to get started:
- Reach a healthy BMI. Do you know your body mass index (BMI)? Find out if you fall into a healthy range here. Reaching a healthy BMI is a great goal to set as research shows that your BMI is directly correlated to various chronic diseases including diabetes and cardiovascular disease.3
- Lose 5-10% of your body weight. By just losing 5-10% of your body weight, you may be able to experience some pretty incredible health benefits. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, you could improve your blood pressure, blood cholesterol and blood sugars.4
- Fit into your favorite pair of jeans. Your goal doesn’t need to be centered around the number on the scale. A great way to keep tabs of your progress is by noticing how your clothes fit. Pick out your favorite pair of jeans or pants and make it your goal to fit comfortably in them by a certain date.
Photo by Jess Bailey on Unsplash
2. Create a plan.
You’ve set your goals — now it’s time to craft a plan for success. If your goal is to lose weight, you’ll want to start by creating a calorie deficit — burning more calories than you consume.
Since approximately 3,500 calories equals one pound, cutting between 500-1,000 calories from your daily food intake can result in 1-2 pounds of weight loss per week.7 While you don’t need to meticulously count every calorie to lose weight, focusing on eating quality foods and avoiding empty calories is a great place to start (think eating plenty of non-starchy vegetables and avoiding pastries, candy and soda.)
Your plan can be as simple as eating 5-10 fruits and vegetables a day — or more structured with a complete weight loss meal plan. Whatever your plan may be, make sure it’s clear. You might even want to write it down to ensure you stay on track.
If you’re a Jenny Craig member, your plan is laid out for you — so the hard work is done!
Remember to always consult your health care provider before beginning a weight loss program.
3. Get started.
Sometimes the hardest part of taking control of your weight loss is just getting started. But once you take that first step — you’re well on your way. Commit to your goals. Stick to your plan. And keep going! You’ve got this.
4. Check-in with yourself daily.
As you start working toward your goals, remind yourself why you started this journey. Do it daily to keep yourself motivated. Perhaps you read your goals every morning before you start the day. Or maybe you journal at night and jot down your successes like eating healthy, drinking enough water or squeezing in some exercise.
5. Eat more veggies.
It’s one the best ways to fill up on fewer calories and take charge of your weight loss aspirations: Eat more non-starchy vegetables. From spinach and cucumbers to carrots and tomatoes, there are so many delicious options that complement every kind of meal.
When in doubt about what to eat, make sure there is some kind of vegetable on your plate. Even better: Make sure half of your plate is filled with non-starchy veggies. Check out this list of non-starchy vegetables to get some more ideas!
Photo by Jonathan Ybema on Unsplash
6. Be kind to yourself.
There will inevitably be challenges along your weight loss journey: It’s part of life! There are certain things you can’t control (like the big cake served at your friend’s birthday celebration), but there are plenty of things that you can. When life doesn’t go to plan (like eating more than you intended of said cake), be kind to yourself. Just because you overindulged, doesn’t mean you’re destined to fall back into your old habits. Get back on track at your next meal. Remember: You have the power to make healthy choices.
7. Get moving.
Not only does exercise help to control your weight, but it’s also a great way to boost your overall health and mood.8 Aim for at least 30 minutes a day of moderate activity like walking, swimming or biking — or crank up the intensity to really get your heart pumping. Don’t forget to include strengthening exercises at least two times a week. Building your strength and stamina can enhance your self-esteem and confidence.
Photo by Victor Sanchez Mestre on iStock
8. Take a social media break.
While social media is one way to stay connected with friends and family, research published in the Journal of Social and Clinical Psychology suggests spending too much time scrolling through your feed might not be the best thing for your health.9 Instead of focusing on achieving your goals, you might be spending your time comparing yourself to others.9 In fact, the research found that limiting your social media use to 30 minutes a day could significantly improve your well-being.9 So the next time you find yourself mindlessly scrolling, put down your phone and go do something just for you. Take a walk, listen to relaxing music, journal — do something that makes you feel good!
9. Ditch the drinks.
One of the simplest things you can do to help control your weight loss is to nix alcohol. Alcohol hinders weight loss in several ways: First, boozy beverages are typically loaded with calories. Drinking 1-2 cocktails can quickly add up to over 500 calories!10 Second, imbibing can also lead to poor food choices — you may be more tempted to reach for salty or sugary foods instead of nutrient-dense foods.11 Lastly, excessive alcohol intake can lead to long-term health issues such as a weakened immune system, high blood pressure, heart disease and digestive problems.12
Instead of sipping a calorie-packed margarita, opt for a sparkling water with lime and lemon. Or, order an unsweetened iced tea. There are plenty of healthier choices that taste just as refreshing and will help you feel in control of your weight loss journey.
Check out these 6 drinks you can say yes to on Jenny Craig.
10. Lean on your support system.
You don’t have to lose weight all on your own. Research indicates that having positive, supportive people in your life could take you one step closer to reaching your weight loss goals.13 Whether it’s a friend, a family member or your weight loss coach — choose a person who will keep you motivated, share their best tips and listen to you.
Did you know? You could lose 3X more weight with support than dieting on your own?14
11. Enjoy the journey and stay positive!
Weight loss is a journey. It has highs, lows and all the feelings in-between. Along your journey, you will experience thrilling wins like shopping for clothes in new sizes. You may also tackle challenges — like a weight loss plateau.
When you do face a bump in the road — do your best to stay positive. Your mindset can make all the difference when it comes to achieving your weight loss goals.15 Instead of having an all-or-nothing attitude (for example, thinking your entire day is ruined after eating something unhealthy), think about the positive. You enjoyed a treat — that is A-OK! Now, think about the next positive, healthy choice you’ll make.
Experts at the Mayo Clinic advise to recognize negative-self talk and turn it into a positive thought.15 For example, let’s say you went out to lunch with friends and indulged in some fried food. Instead of being hard on yourself, seek out the positive. I enjoyed lunch with my friends. I enjoyed the food. Now, I’ll go back to my regularly scheduled plan.
Taking control of your weight is no easy feat — but we know you can do it. If you want guidance and a science-backed weight loss plan to help you achieve your goals — Jenny Craig can help. Get the support of a dedicated weight loss coach and start enjoying delicious chef-crafted meals today. View Plans.
Elisa is a content marketing manager for Jenny Craig with over ten years of experience working in the health and fitness industry. She loves sharing her passion for living a balanced and healthy lifestyle. An endurance sports enthusiast, she is usually swimming in the pool, biking along the coast highway or running by the beach in her free time. Elisa holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from California State University, Chico.
Favorite healthy snack: mozzarella string cheese with a Pink Lady apple
Reviewed by: Briana Rodriquez, RDN
Briana Rodriquez, RDN Briana is a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist and Certified Personal Trainer for Jenny Craig, based in Carlsbad, California. She is passionate about utilizing food as functional and preventative medicine. Guided by a simplistic and optimistic approach, Briana’s philosophy is to help people improve their health and achieve their goals through the development of sustainable habits to live a healthy life. In her free time, you can find her strength training, indoor cycling, coffee tasting, and at local eateries with her husband and two dogs.
Favorite healthy snack: peanut butter with celery alongside a grapefruit-flavored sparkling water (so refreshing!)
This article is based on scientific research and/or other scientific articles and is written by experienced health and lifestyle contributors and fact-checked by Briana Rodriquez, Registered Dietitian Nutritionist at Jenny Craig.
Our goal at Jenny Craig is to provide the most up-to-date and objective information on health-related topics, so our readers can make informed decisions based on factual content. All articles undergo an extensive review process, and depending on topic, are reviewed by a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist (RDN) or Nutritionist, to ensure accuracy.
This article contains trusted sources including scientific, peer-reviewed papers. All references are hyperlinked at the end of the article to take readers directly to the source.
Edited by Elisa - Jenny Craig