3 Stages of a Weight Loss Journey

3 Stages of a Weight Loss Journey
Kicking off a weight-loss journey can seem like a mammoth task and so overwhelming that more often than not, it's put on the backburner, delayed or sometimes not started at all. After more than 13 years of working as a personal trainer and weight-loss coach, I've worked with people from all walks of life and seen time and time again people struggling not only to find the motivation but maintain their new lifestyle long-term. Over that time, I've been able to put together what I believe to be the most effective program to suit most people and help my clients begin their journey, keep motivated while enjoying the process and equip them with the knowledge and tools to keep it going as an enduring lifestyle.


Before I discovered Thermomix, I was a pretty crappy cook. I had all the information and know-how on nutrition to pass onto my clients but no clue how to put it all together (in an edible way, anyway). This saw me consuming a lot of packet foods and sauces that just weren't serving me in the best way and certainly weren't the tastiest meals I've had. When that beautiful kitchen companion came into my life, I just fell in love (as I'm sure many of you have too). It was the missing piece of the puzzle that unlocked a plethora of new ways to help my clients and educate other Thermo uses on how to use it to its full potential.

This new-found knowledge and passion coupled with my years of coaching experience has led me to curate a three-step approach to helping clients lose weight, develop healthy habits and maintain a lifestyle that's sustainable and enjoyable. By following these steps and my carefully designed programs, you can learn how to take the weight-loss focus out of a weight-loss journey and make it a lifestyle that's non-restrictive and deviates away from a harmful diet culture that inevitably leads to an unhealthy mindset and unsustained results.

1. Getting started – it's all about mindset.

When getting started, our mindset is so important. This will determine how easy or hard the journey is, how you get started and how far you go with it. The best way I've found is to have a clear goal you want to achieve as well as a reason 'why'. Having a goal is so helpful to motivate and drive you and provides you with an objective and purpose. As important as the goal is your reason why. The 'why' has to be strong enough to keep you going when times get tough. Once it gets hard (which it generally will, simple and enjoyable yes, but not always easy), you need a reason 'why' that's strong enough to pull you through. Every time you do your goals, list what you want, establish your why and then step-out the 'how'. Say your goal is 10kgs – why? To feel better? Fit into your clothes better? Then, how can you achieve that? Break it down into ways you're going to achieve it and turn that into habit-based goals rather than purely number-based goals. What do you need to do each week to achieve this? Don't just focus on the end result, especially if that result is numbers based. Losing a certain amount of weight should simply be a biproduct of leading a healthier lifestyle and not so much the sole focus. The harm in placing a numeric value on your final result creates a strict mentality toward diet and exercise that simply isn't sustainable. Furthermore, if you don't reach that exact number, you're likely to be incredibly down on yourself and it will take away from all the good you have done like increasing energy levels, improving brain focus and feeling better overall. The reward is who you become, not just the amount of weight you lose.

A great way to combat this way of thinking is to focus on other tools of measurement that aren't weight related i.e.: your mood, energy, sleep, digestion, mind clarity, feeling better in your clothes. A tip I was give my clients for tracking progress is to take photos every 4 weeks. This serves as a great reminder to give yourself the credit you deserve and keep you motivated.

2. Building habits and enjoying the process.

The main question I get when challengers and clients begin their journey is 'how can I make it enjoyable?' and my answer is always the 80/20 rule. This is truly what I believe is the foundation of a successful plan. I've written a complete blog all about this rule which you can find here, but for a basic rundown: If you were to take a look at everything you eat in a week, 80% would be clean, nutrient-dense foods and the remaining 20%, the not-so-healthy treats we occasionally like to indulge in. So, say you're eating 3 main meals a day and no snacks, that's 21 meals, so you can have about 4 things considered not 'great' for your health. You can choose to spread these out during the week or if you have a birthday or an event that week, do it all in one night. I find this rule key to help you stay motivated and enjoying the process as you can still enjoy the things you love, just in moderation – so you're developing long-lasting healthy habits that will serve you well in the long run. Like I always say, this is a lifestyle, not a diet. Don't stick to this program or any program 100%, because that's not life. Life and food is there to be enjoyed and treating ourselves is a big part of that. If you're being too restrictive, you're much more likely to relapse and default back to unhealthy eating, as dieting is not fun.

It's important too that when you're indulging in those moments, try to eliminate the guilt and know that you'll get back on track again. It's also likely that once you're cutting your treats down and eating nutrient-dense whole foods 80% of the time, cravings for refined sugar and excess salt will start to go down. It only takes about three days to really kick a sugar craving and habit. Once you kick that craving, the longer you go without, the less you'll want it.

3. Tying it all together and sustaining it.

As much work as you need to do during the challenge weeks, there's still some remaining work to do in order to makes your newfound habits last long-term. Often after diets, you can find yourself right back where you started soon after they're finished, and you're no longer confined to a strict meal plan. This is where I find it so important to treat my plans as learning tools for developing new habits and lifestyles, rather than diets. I've designed my programs to educate and empower you to continue your healthy habits long after the challenge or plan is over. To help you in the aftermath, all plans have a 12-month access period so you can tap in to challenge meal plans, information and guided support throughout the year.
Something a lot of my challengers do is kick off in October, have a Christmas break, then jump back in for February completely free! I know better than anyone that a lifestyle shift doesn't just take 6 weeks, it's a long journey.

If you're looking to level-up your challenge with workouts, there is an optional add-on exercise plan for $25. This library contains a host of workouts to choose from including strength, pilates or follow the 6-week planner of 4-5 sessions per week that you can add in where you like. This planner has at least 3 workouts along with stretching sessions to keep you flexible, feeling good and lowering your injury risk.

I hope this has helped to remove some of the fog when it comes to beginning your health journey and empower you to get started. The Thermofit community and I are always on-hand for support and motivation as well as a tips and learning tools we've picked up along the way to get through challenges in the happiest, best way.

Author: Noni Jenkins
Noni Jenkins is a Personal Trainer, Weight Loss Specialist and Thermomix® Enthusiast. With over 10 years experience helping people live a healthier lifestyle.
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