11 Things to Do Before Starting a Weight Loss Program

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What should you do before starting a weight loss program? Before jumping in feet first without a plan, try these 11 tips that will set you on the journey towards meeting your fitness goals! 

Thank you Jenny Craig for sponsoring this post. Tried other weight loss programs? It’s time for Jenny Craig!

Keep reading to find out how to save 20% off your first week of Jenny Craig food!

Jenny Craig getting started guide

Starting a Weight Loss Program

I’ve been on previous weight loss programs in an attempt to lose weight. Some of them worked – when I stuck with the strict rules and put in all my free time and effort. But with such little flexibility and eliminating certain food groups, I just wasn’t able to stay with the programs long enough to meet my goals. I’m a busy mom of four and I work from home. I needed a program that took out all the guesswork and made it effortless on my end. 

I’m all for body positivity and loving the skin you’re in. But I don’t love that I struggle to catch my breath when exercising. Or that I don’t feel good overeating, without a healthy balance. And that cringe when I see an unflattering photo of myself? I really don’t love that. The fact is that I’m in my mid-40s and as we age, our metabolism tends to slow down. 

It’s not too late for me to make BIG changes in my lifestyle. It’s not too late for you either. Keep reading for my tips on things to do before starting a weight loss program. Following these 11 tips will set you up for success before you even begin!

Talk to Your Health Professional

Before starting a weight loss program, check in with your doctor. You’ll want to verify that you’re healthy enough to begin and get some understanding on a healthy goal weight.

Write Down Your Reason Why

Everyone has their own personal reason for joining a weight loss program. And a great way to start off your journey is to journal your reasons why. Get yourself a personal journal to log your thoughts about the process. 

What is your reason for starting a weight loss program? Do you want to improve your health by getting within a lower weight range? Is there a big event coming that you want to look even more fabulous for? Do you want to be healthier so you can play with the kids? At Jenny Craig, they call that the “Jenny Craig Moment” (follow the hashtag #JennyCraigMoment on social).

I’m not going to tell you to stick to “reasonable expectations”. If you have more than 100 lbs to lose and that’s your goal, you can totally do it! If you have a long journey ahead, break up your goal into a year, months and weeks.

Take Pictures

When you’re in the thick of the program, it can be a challenge to see the changes in yourself. Document yourself with a good front, back and side photo. You’ll be amazed to look back in a few months and see how truly far you’ve come! Be happy that you don’t have to share your photos with anyone if you don’t want to (like I am here!).

Before starting Jenny Craig*

Buy Your Supplies

Be well prepared from day one and ensure you have everything on hand that you need to succeed. These are a few items I’ve found necessary when starting a weight loss program. 

    • Tape measure – a retractable Tape Measure means less stretching and better accuracy.
    • Scale – there are scales that measure body fat, muscle, water and heart rate! If you want to geek-out with the scale, go for the bells and whistles. Otherwise just a regular scale that measures weight is fine.
    • Water bottle –  choose a large capacity bottle (like this 40 oz. water bottle) that will help you increase your fluids. I prefer a straw and drink a lot more this way. Get in the habit of taking your filled water bottle with you wherever you go.
    • Measuring Cups – many weight loss programs require food measurement. Having your own dedicated Measuring Cup Set to portion out fruits and veggies is crucial.
    • Food Scale – can you eyeball a 6 oz. portion? Probably not and that’s okay if you have a food scale to give you the proper measurement. Leaving it up to guesswork means you may be unintentionally overeating.


Clearing Out Unhealthy Foods

If you’re a single person living alone this should be easy. Just get rid of (toss, donate) anything that’s not good for you on the diet. If you’re living with someone or have kids in the house, that’s obviously not practical! While you’ll be following the weight loss program, there will still need to be food in the house for everyone else.

But nobody, even the kids, needs to be eating junk. Make this change as an opportunity for the family to all get on the healthier bandwagon. Obviously talk to your husband before tossing all his favorites and make sure he’s on board. This is a great chance for you to discuss with your family about how they can help you towards your goals. If the unhealthy stuff isn’t in the house you’ll be less likely to slip up and indulge.

Freezer stocked with Jenny Craig foods
No room here for anything unhealthy!

Choosing a Weight Loss Program

There are some people that have amazing self-control and can stick to their goals without any help. I am not that girl.

When I’m trying to lose weight, I just want someone to tell me what to eat, when to eat it and give me encouragement along the way. I chose the Jenny Craig weight loss program for these reasons. This weight loss program is designed to fit into a busy lifestyle. I have so much flexibility towards meeting my goals with Jenny Craig. As a busy person, I’ve been able to choose a weekly meeting time with my personal consultant over the phone. My Jenny Craig food is delivered to my front door. Meeting at a center is another option if you prefer a face-to-face connection.

Jenny Craig shipment of food
Jenny Craig arrives at my front door, making my life easier!

Download the Jenny Craig App

While I also use the paper tracker, the Jenny Craig app is another way they make it easy to stick to the plan. Before starting a weight loss program, download the app to your phone. Input starting weight and measurements. Each day I plug in how much exercise I did and check off the foods I ate. This week after my weigh in, I’ll include that update and the app will track my progress. It’s another great way to stick to my goals!

Jenny Craig app on a smart phone
The Jenny Craig app helps you keep track of everything in one place

Shop for Healthy Fresh & Free Additions

Now that your cupboards, fridge and freezer are freed up, you’re ready to fill them back up with healthier options. The Jenny Craig weight loss program outlines Fresh & Free Additions including non-starchy veggies, flavor enhancers (like spices and condiments), sweets and beverages. It’s great to have a variety to avoid boredom. I never feel like I’m “missing out” when I’m well prepared and have great foods to eat throughout the day.

Jenny Craig fish and chips with green beans veggie side

You’ll want to buy a big box of mixed salad greens to have on hand. Most lunches on the plan require a garden salad. Add in a few approved vegetables like cherry tomatoes, cucumbers and baby carrots if you wish. Fruit is on the plan as well and you’ll want to stock a variety, like apples, grapes, melon and berries. Dinner includes veggies of your choice so you can cook them to eat with your plan dinner. I usually just steam some broccoli, green beans or Brussels sprouts to serve the family and take my portion as well!

Serving a green salad alongside the Jenny Craig Butternut Squash Ravioli

Fortunately I don’t have to give up my one diet soda a day on the plan! But mostly I drink lots of water. Black coffee with sugar substitute, unsweetened tea and carbonated mineral water are okay too. If you’re craving something sweet, sugar-free gelatin, ice pops and gum are an occasional treat.

Consider Adding Exercise Right Away

Yes, you’ll lose weight on the Jenny Craig weight loss program right away. Rapid Results is based on the body clock’s circadian rhythm and can help users lose up to 16 lbs in the first 4 weeks. Taking a 12-hour break from eating while you sleep can boost your weight loss. It may also be beneficial to your metabolism and health.

Consider adding in exercise to your weight loss program to help boost energy as well as firm and tone muscles while you’re losing fat. 30 minutes of movement, 5 times a week is ideal and can include walking, cardio and weights. A few things to have beforehand:

  • Weights – Using weights will boost weight loss and improve bone density. Choose pairs of soft-grip handheld weights in a variety of sizes (I have 6 lbs, 8 lbs and 12 lbs).
  • Walking Shoes – Consider professional sizing for the best fit. Start by wearing your exercise shoes in the house for a few weeks to break them in before hitting the pavement.
  • Supportive Exercise Clothes – A well-fitting sports bra that will support your breasts is imperative. Choose workout clothes that will adjust as you lose, with drawstring waistbands.

Decide Upon Incentives Before You Lose

For many, food treats are the reward for a job well done. We all celebrate with food (ie: birthday cake, a glass of champagne, dinner out on our anniversary). If you’re trying to stay on track, it’s time to come up with some new reward incentives. Come up with a list of non-food treats to reward yourself upon the completion of each goal. Here are a few ideas:

  • Manicure/Pedicure
  • Lipstick/Make-up
  • Art Class
  • Massage
  • Haircut
  • Jewelry
  • Special Experience (museum visit, theme park, weekend hike)
  • New workout clothes
  • Wardrobe refresh
  • Dream Vacation
  • A new lipstick is my go-to reward!

Positive Affirmations

Are you a person who does well with lots of positive encouragement? You won’t always find yourself surrounded by it, especially if everyone around you is still just living life as usual. Stick with your weight loss plan and you’ll start to feel transformed. But we all hit lows. Affirmations can help us continue to move forward. Research and write down as many positive affirmations as you can. Put them up where you can see them daily. A little corny? Maybe. But it’s a nudge forward on your journey, not a step backwards.

Even if you feel like you’re goals are being minimized by others, the support of a personal Jenny Craig consultant in your corner is invaluable. Your in-person or virtual meeting happens once a week. But you’ll also have 24/7 access to a consultant through the Jenny Craig app.

*Avg. weight loss 1-2 lbs/week for members following the program

Want to Save on the Jenny Craig Weight Loss Program?

Sign up for the Jenny Craig Weight Loss Program, then enter the discount code JBIG20 to save 20% off your first week of food*** (New members only. Valid for online purchase at Jenny Craig.com. First order only. No cash value. Not valid with any other offer. Valid with purchase of full menu bundle. Ends 11/16/2019)

This post was sponsored by Jenny Craig but the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.

 

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