How to lose 20 pounds – guide to long term weight loss
Hi ! Alexandra from FIT Couple here. So you’ve started losing weight. Wonderful ! Now it’s time to know how to lose 20 pounds, as a way to learn and establish a set of habits that keep your weight off. Better yet, these habits are what will help you lose more weight in time.
So how to lose 20 pounds ?
Buckle up because this is going to be a longer read than the first part. If you’ve read our article on how to lose 10 pounds then you know that lowering carbohydrate and sugar intake is one of the most important steps you have to make.
Now, we’re going to go one step further and discuss creating and sticking to the habit of eating less carbs and sugar. Yes, we know this can be a scary thought at first. Say, if you were to give them up (partially or completely) for just a few weeks and then come back to them, maybe it would be easier to think about.
But for the foreseeable future ? Now that’s a thought I would’ve shuddered at, had I not known how easy it actually is. Let’s break it down a bit.
They’re good or bad, depending on where they lead you. Anything can become a habit. You can develop the habit of working out every evening, the habit of staying up late, the habit of skipping breakfast, or the habit of always writing 1000 words daily to keep your mind sharp, etc.
This means you can learn and UNLEARN any habit. Including the foods you eat.
Maybe you’ve been born and raised in a family that has pasta every night, for example. While it might seem like a very weird thing, to not eat pasta for dinner — because you and the people you love and trust always have — that does not mean it’s necessarily the end of the world.
Here’s an example. Actually it’s about me and how I stopped having bread at all (except breakfast).
My family always ate a lot of bread, they still do. So, naturally, I grew up eating bread, like them. Once college rolled around and I left my hometown, things changed. I always loved food. Half the reason I ate was because I loved the taste.
But the bread was always in my way. Kept muting the taste of the food. That meant that about 30% of an entire meal was just bread, and I was not happy with that. I liked the food not the bread.
So I began having less bread. It was a bit weird at first, everyone I knew always ate bread. And here I was, the weirdo who doesn’t. But I liked the food more. So, once I got mentally used to it, I began to branch out. Try soup with no bread. Maybe a salad ? And I’m doing just fine.
What you need to remember from all of this is that you can re-learn everything you’ve known about food. You can eat better AND keep that habit. If i did it, so can you 🙂
(P.S. You if you like us so far, consider sharing post this with your friends !)
Your diet, and health are so much more important than cravings, peer-pressure, or convenience.
- Stick to your diet, even when you’re eating out. Don’t let friends teasing and mocking you get in your way. It’s not their body, is it ?
- Try as much as possible to stick to your diet, even when you’re visiting someone. Without offending them, of course. There has GOT to be something on that table that fits into your diet, at least partially. If not, then eat only half of what you’d normally eat and drink lots of water.
- Rethink your entire fridge and pantry if you have to — weight loss is a commitment.
- Eat before you go shopping — it’ll make a huge difference. It will also help you stick to the shopping list.
- If all else fails, call a friend you trust. Let them know you need some support with this, and you’ll be surprised how effective they can be.
If you need some pointers on general weight loss meals, you can check our article here. It’s about low carb meals, and you can find the basic principles to guide yourself by as well. And some meal ideas. You’re welcome.
Another important part of keeping the weight off is working out, doing some form of exercise. If you’re not a very active person, it can be daunting. I wasn’t active at all. I mean, I did do what was asked of me. But only when I had to, like P.E. and as you might already know, I wasn’t always in attendance there.
But I did learn to like it, and actually found that I do like working out. Believe it or not, this can be your story too. You too can re-learn your workout habits. Transform them from not really wanting to start, to being excited when your workout rolls around.
If I managed to not be scared of entering the gym, so can you. I was so hyper-aware of every soul present there, I thought everyone would look, they’d laugh I didn’t do my sit-ups right. No one cared. No one looks at you in the gym. They’re too busy checking themselves out.
Okay but how ?
Well, if you want to know how to lose 20 pounds, you got to know persistence is key.
- If you’re tired, get over it and at least show up. 80% of life is just showing up, I think you’ve heard that before.
- If you feel like not doing anything, at least go out for a walk. Every day, 30 minutes. Teach your body to be active.
- Don’t know what kind of exercise to start with ? Cardio will always help. It melts fat all around. Try and aim for 15-20 minutes at the beginning of each workout.
- On the days when you feel very stressed go out for a run, or hit the gym. Workouts do a 180 on your mood. Really !
Train your willpower
If you want long-tern weight loss, you have to know that it’s gonna take a while to get to the weight you want. And then it’s going to take literally forever to keep that weight. What does than mean ?
It means that the vast majority of what you do to stay in shape or lose weight — diet, exercise, supplements, etc. doesn’t mean a thing if you lack the willpower to actually do all of them. That means you always stick with them, forever. It’s either that, or putting the weight back on.
It takes willpower to have discipline.
It takes discipline to have a routine.
It takes a routine to have habits.
It takes habits to see results.
So how do you train willpower ?
You only have so much of it. Don’t waste it on day-to-day arguments or trivia, focus on what is important for your goal, whatever that may be. And do try to remove as many temptations out of our life as possible. The first step in training your willpower is keeping yourself accountable.
- Go public. Tell friends and family about your weight loss, explicitly ask for their help if you think you need the extra push. You might forgive yourself for those fries you sneaked at lunch but would your friends ?
- Keep a journal. Get a notebook, write your weight every day. Measurements in inches, everything. Track your progress, and congratulate yourself on every little progress you make. If you think that means you’ve earned some sort of carb (like a cookie or some pizza) you’re doing it very very wrong.
- Get a buddy. This goes one step beyond your friends. This means teaming up with someone who is actually losing weight, right there with you. Become the greatest pair to ever diet, fueling each other’s energy.
- Daily reminder. Get yourself some nice article of clothing. Something you’re dying to put on, but in the size you want to be. Look at it, touch it, put it against you and look in the mirror. Keep doing it until it fits. Don’t fool yourself, do it until it fits properly.
- Think in perspective. Cravings are just that. Cravings. They come and they go. Weak moments are just moments. Don’t let a few minutes of relapse undo the hard work you’re put in so far. Put the cupcake down and go make yourself some tea. Liquids fill up your stomach and trick it into believing it’s full.
Weight loss shouldn’t be painful of stressful.
Yes, you’ll worry a bit here and there, but in the end you are getting where you want to go. Give it time, be reasonable with the goal you set and with what you eat.
We hope you’ll find this article useful, including the ones to come.
You can also check out our article on how to lose lower belly fat
Or maybe our article on intermittent fasting for fat loss – actual fat, not just weight !