In no way am I weight loss expert – but I do know a thing or two about how to lose weight and keep it off (see My Story and My Story: Part II). I’ve learned a lot throughout my journey and I want to share it all with you!
Some of my reasons for starting this blog were to show people that weight loss doesn’t have to impossible – healthy eating doesn’t have to be boring – and working out doesn’t have to be a chore.
Ultimately, weight loss comes down to good old-fashioned healthy eating and exercise. It’s true – there’s no way around it.
Please keep in mind that everyone is different. What worked for me may not work for you, just as what works for you may not work for me.
Tips From My Own Personal Experiences
Don’t got on a diet. Just don’t. Diets don’t work. Diets are short-term. If you truly want to make a change than you have to change your lifestyle. Plain and simple. I did, however, make it a point to educate myself on correct portion size, essential nutrients, and a balanced diet.
Do it for the right reasons. I know it can be hard to see the big picture, but I believe that this was one of the most important aspects of my success.
- Don’t do it for a specific event/day such as a wedding, school reunion, or vacation. This is often why people strive to lose the weight, but in my opinion this is setting yourself up for failure. If you have a specific day for a goal, then you might just abandon your plan as soon as that day passes. I realize I’m generalizing here, but I’ve seen it happen.
- Of course, wanting to tone up or get on top of your game is only natural when you’ll be in a social situation—but don’t make that your sole reason for getting fit.
- See the big picture—see yourself healthy and happy for years to come.
It will be there tomorrow, so why stuff yourself? If you struggle with portion control, remind yourself that this won’t be the last time you have this food. This sounds cheesy but it really works. I used to struggle with portion control daily – I felt as if I needed to eat 5 pieces of pizza just because it was there. Now I can have two pieces of pizza and be satisfied. Why? Well, I know that I will have pizza again—why make myself uncomfortably full for no reason at all?
Get moving. Exercise and eating healthy go hand-in-hand—when you’re doing one, you want to do the other. When you exercise, you want to fuel your body properly with healthy, whole foods.
Ask yourself why you’re hungry. Keep a food log to see if there is a pattern that causes you to overeat. Simply jotting down your meals can truly give you insight into what’s going on. I kept a journal for the first month or so and it was so helpful. I didn’t write down every little morsel I ate, but I simply jotted down meals and snacks. It was definitely enough for me to see what habits I needed to change.
Shop the perimeter in the grocery store. Don’t buy foods that you know you can’t control yourself around – especially at the beginning. As you change your habits, your willpower will get stronger. But why tempt yourself? Shop the perimeter and fill your cart [and your plate] with veggies, fruits, whole grains, and healthy fats.
Be prepared with snacks and meals. Pack your lunch and your snacks! Don’t let yourself be caught empty-handed at a time of hunger. I personally like to have a larabar, an apple, or a bag of raw unsalted nuts in my purse/car at all times. You can never predict when you may need an extra snack for a boost of energy.
Make simple switches. Do you normally use mayo on your sandwiches? Switch to mustard, avocado, or hummus. Do you normally use creamer in your coffee? Switch to skim milk or almond milk. Small changes add up.
Finally, be patient. These changes don’t happen overnight. In fact, you don’t want them to. You will learn, adapt, and form new habits over time – allow that time to pass. A lifestyle change may not bring instant gratification, but it sure does bring long-term satisfaction! There are no quick fixes when it comes to weight loss.