There’s an old axiom that holds that “failing to plan is planning to fail,” and this holds true in countless facets of life, including weight loss.
You see, while it’s admirable to have a weight loss goal, those calories aren’t going to burn themselves nor will those weights lift themselves. Furthermore, if you don’t have a plan for how you’re going to go about creating the calorie deficit that’s required to lose weight, it’s virtually guaranteed you won’t get the results you want.
That’s where having a behavior action plan comes in handy.
A “behavior action plan” is a planned series of actions, tasks or steps designed to achieve a goal(s). It also helps you identify and list key behaviors you can modify to achieve your goals, which in this case, is weight loss.
If you’ve never created a behavior action plan before, or are looking to really dial-in the key things you need to do to get the best possible results during your transformation challenge, then stick around and see the top 6 steps toward creating an effective behavior action plan for weight loss.
#1 Make Definitive Plans
As we mentioned above simply having a goal in mind, while admirable, isn’t enough to ensure success. You not only need to have a goal, but it needs to be specific and something that you can take actionable and realistic steps to achieve.
For instance, many people will say they want to lose weight, but this goal is very amorphous -- how much weight do you want to lose? When do you want to accomplish your goal? Do you simply want to lose weight or do you want to lose fat?
Success with weight loss begins by establishing concrete goals and then building an actionable plan with steps you can take beginning right now to achieve them.
This is why we’re fans of using the SMART system.
SMART stands for:
An example of a SMART goal would be “I want to lose 10 pounds over the next 8 weeks.” This goal is specific, measurable, realistic, achievable and time-bound. You can track your progress along the way so that you can see whether or not the steps you are taking are bringing you closer to or farther away from you goal.
#2 Create a Plan that Works for YOU
There are a bajillion weight loss diets, fads, and gimmicks out there. Just because they’re popular and may have worked for your favorite celebrity or influencer doesn’t mean it’s right for you and your lifestyle.
In order for a a weight loss plan to be effective over the long term (i.e. you maintain your weight loss results for weeks, months, and years to come), it must be something that is repeatable and sustainable.
For instance, can you really subsist on never eating another carbohydrate for the rest of your days?
If so, then maybe ultra-low/no carbohydrate diets like keto and carnivore may be for you. If, on the other hand, you’re someone who enjoys carbohydrates, then adopting a very restrictive diet like carnivore or keto, is akin to shoving a square peg in a round hole. It “might” work if you force it hard enough, but it’s going to require a lot of extra effort, attention, and stress.
As such, when deciding on a workout program and nutrition plan to follow for weight loss, take stock of what it requires you to do. If you can do it day in and day out without overly stressing your body mentally or physically, then give it a go!
And, if you need help figuring out a solid training program or a reasonable calorie intake to help achieve your goals, log into the 1UP Fitness app where we provide customized diet and training programs based on your age, sex, training experiences and goals.
#3 Have a Contingency Plan
Look, life happens. We understand, 100%.
There will be that work get-together, family birthday, or some other life scenario where you’re going to deviate from your normal daily diet and exercise regimen. Heck, you might even just have one of those days where you just don’t feel like eating “healthy” and go for the cheeseburger, fries, and milkshake.
If that happens (and it does to most of us from time to time), it’s important to not freak out and think that all of the hard work you’ve invested thus far has gone to waste. It hasn’t...not in the least.
By being aware that things may go “sideways” every once in a while, you can start to plan for those situations. You might not know when they’ll happen, or you might (e.g. a family member’s birthday party), but you can have a strategy in place to help you during and after those situations.
For instance, if you oversleep one morning and can’t get in your fasted cardio session, make a plan to take an extra walk at lunchtime or after you get off work.
#4 Be Introspective
Understanding your triggers that cause you to skip workouts and/or eat things not on your diet plan are an important part of the weight loss process.
One of the most common culprits that cause us to delve into unhealthy behaviors is stress, which can manifest in many forms throughout the day. Quite often, we use food as an escape or panacea for stressful situations, but more often than not, these foods lead us to overeat and don’t really solve the thing that is causing us to be stressed.
As such, if/when you do deviate from your weight loss plan, take some time to reflect and try to understand what caused you to do so. Then, figure out what you can do to avoid that from happening again.
For instance, if you find that you invariably polish off a bag of chips or pint of ice cream after a particularly stressful day, then see if there’s steps you can take to reduce the stressors in your day. If that’s not an option (e.g. a really overbearing, micromanaging boss), make sure you don’t keep high-calorie junk foods in the house. You can also try getting outside and going for a walk or meditating, both of which have been shown to help lower stress as well as support weight loss!
#5 Stay Positive
Mistakes or errors in judgement are bound to happen. We’re human after all.
It’s important that you do NOT beat yourself up when these situations arise. You must stay positive.
There’s also so much negativity in the world between the news, social media, etc, that it’s easy to get stuck in a downward spiral and ultimately abandon your healthy lifestyle.
Punishing yourself or constantly exposing yourself to negativity isn’t doing any favors for your weight loss results or mental health.
As such, focus on something positive -- a new gym PR, better sleep score, closer connections with family & friends. Even taking a few moments each day to just be grateful that you’ve gotten another day to see the sun, walk, breathe, and enjoy life can be a huge benefit for your behavior action plan.
#6 Get Support
We all have periods of low intrinsic motivation, such as not wanting to get up for morning cardio after a night of crummy sleep.
In these situations, it can be immensely helpful to have reminders to stay motivated to keep up your healthy lifestyle habits, whether it be in the form of physical reminders (such as notes posted around your house) or checking in with a group of like-minded individuals, such as those in our private Facebook Group, which you can gain access to with the 1UP Fitness App.
Losing weight requires consistency, dedication, planning, and action. Use the tips above to create your own behavior action plan for weight loss success.
And, if you need further help with your training, recovery, or hunger management, check out our line of top-rated supplements, including our pre workouts, appetite suppressant, and post-workout recovery formulas.
We devote endless hours of research, development, and testing to create the best supplements possible to help you get the results you want.