4 Ways to Lose Weight That Don't Involve the Scale

You can do this! Alison Sweeney's sane guide to getting in shape is all about celebrating success.

alison sweeney

I've never been a big fan of New Year's resolutions — they so often set you up for disappointment. "I want to lose 15 pounds." Great! But how are you going to do it? And if you "only" lose 13, does that mean you failed? Don't get me wrong: Goals are an important part of staying fit. But I think there's a way to make them more meaningful and manageable. Take these steps and you'll get there, I promise.

Fitness maven Alison Sweeney is the star and co-executive producer of Hallmark Movies & Mysteries' Murder She Baked franchise.

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1 Set a goal that doesn't involve the scale.

I learned a long time ago that focusing on my weight only stresses me out — every time I step on the scale and see that the number hasn't changed, I'm ready to quit. It's a terrible way to live. So instead, I set goals like these: I want to be stronger, or, I want to stay fit so I can do the things my kids want to do. Each time you make a choice that gets you closer to that goal, it's a success. And guess what? You'll probably lose a few pounds along the way.

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2 Make one small change at a time.

You can't go from 0 to 60 overnight. First, you need to sit down and find windows of time when you can make a home-cooked meal or take a class at the gym. (When I first trained for a marathon, I figured out that I could squeeze in a distance run while my son, Ben, was in karate class.) Start with just one or two workouts a week and one healthier meal a day — even if it's just swapping your raisin bagel for whole-grain bread — and build on it from there.

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3 Reward yourself early and often

Don't wait until you can make it through spin class without feeling like you might die, or for a co-worker to say, "Oh, have you lost weight?" No, treat yourself anytime you feel that you've earned it. Stop for a manicure on your way back from the gym, or binge-watch Empire only after you've cooked a healthy dinner at home. (Leave the dishes if you have to!) I've learned that I need positive reinforcement just as much as my kids do.

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4 Don't give yourself such a hard time.

You might find that you actually hate yoga. Or you might get sick, and before you know it a week will go by and you'll be no closer to your goal. That's okay. You can start fresh any day — any minute, really. So sign up for a class you've never tried, or commit to running every morning until it becomes habit again. When it gets tough, remind yourself why you set your goal in the first place and how great it felt when you were on track. Then get back to it. Start with one healthy meal a day. That's it. You can do this! Her totally sane guide to getting in shape is all about celebrating success.

From: Redbook
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