So you’ve made the decision to lose weight.
You finally said enough is enough! I am over this and I want to change.
I hit that point too. I was over feeling big. I was over not fitting into my favorite clothes. I was over being ashamed of pictures. I get it, I was there.
Congratulations, you made the decision! BUUUTTT, Now what? Where do I start? Do I count calories? Do I eliminate fats, carbs, and sugar from my diet? Do I work out seven days a week? HELP!
During my journey, many people asked, where did you start? Starting can be difficult due to the massive amount of research out there of things you “shouldn’t” have when you are losing weight. Many people go with elimination diets that subsequently force them to starve and miss their favorite foods.
Below, I have compiled a list of six tips to get you started!
1. Train your brain that this is a LIFESTYLE.
I have written a whole blog post about this before. Repeat after me: DIETS DON’T WORK! If you want to truly lose this weight and KEEP it off for the long term, you cannot go into this thinking it’s temporary. I swear by this. Establishing a LIFESTYLE will change your life and your weight. Dedicate to making this your life for the rest of your life.
Now, this is not to say that you will never have pizza ever again. Let’s be real, you will. The important thing is establishing balance in your life. Splurge now and then but keep your head in the game. See my post on diet vs. lifestyle.
2.Water, Water, Water
WATER!!!!! Your body is ⅔ water. That’s more than HALF! It uses water to create more blood cells, for digestion, for the fluid membranes that protect your organs, to power your brain, to keep your body temperature in check, to keep your blood pressure in check, etc! Get it now? Water is so important for health and for weight loss.
The majority of when you feel hungry you’re actually not, you’re thirsty. One trick I always do when I am starting to get that afternoon hunger, I drink some water. If I am still hungry 20 minutes after drinking water then I will eat but usually if my body was just craving water, I forget all about my hunger.
The easiest way to get your water consumption is by getting a water bottle with measurements on the side, and dedicate an amount of water per day you will drink.
I personally love Nalgene bottles. I drink three full bottles a day. I have gotten to the point where I absolutely hate all flavored drinks except coffee. Now and then I will take a sip of soda, and drink a tea but that's about it. I love water and I take my water bottle everywhere with me. Yes, you will have to use the restroom a lot but over time as your body adjusts to drinking this amount of water, you won't feel that urge as much. I will go as far as to say that you WILL NOT lose weight without adequate water consumption. So if nothing else, drink your water!
3.Eliminate ONE bad eating habit
So when I first started losing weight, I had a bad habit of bored eating. I would eat all the junk in the house when I was home, so I eliminated everything that I usually snacked on. Chips, candy, cookies, Cheez-Its, Pop-Tarts, you name it. I replaced it with lots of fruit. Not having it in the house helped so much and to this day, if I keep any junk in the house, I will eat it.
Yours could be soda. Eliminate all sodas and sugary drinks from your everyday life for a start. Add water instead. As you get more comfortable with the new habit of drinking water, eliminate another bad habit.
My second one wasn’t exactly eliminating but more adding. I was determined to add one green thing to every meal. I still struggle with this because I am a fruit over veggies kinda gal, but it still helped when planning dinners!
4.Cook at home at LEAST three times per week
Restaurants generally give you a portion size three times too big. Also, you have no idea how they made that food. A lot of times, sugar is hidden in processed foods, sauces, and entrees. Your body naturally craves sugar as a survival mechanism, but get real, you aren’t on a deserted island searching for food. Sugar keeps you coming back for more. To keep you from overeating, cook at home. Know exactly what's going into your meals. Also, this is a way cheaper alternative. It doesn’t have to be anything elaborate. Half the time, my husband and I eat bean burritos for dinner. Simple easy meal planning is not as hard as it may seem.
5. Move your body at LEAST 3 times per week
What you eat is key to losing weight, but you also can’t do it alone. You don’t need to be a bodybuilder or a marathon runner to lose the weight. I lost the vast majority of my weight by just walking my dog for 30-45 minutes a day. I also did light cardio with some simple strength training. What I mean by that is I spent 20-30 minutes on the elliptical every other day, and then did some basic abs, arms, and legs workout. Nothing fancy. Half the time I looked up workouts on Pinterest, and I walked almost every day in the evenings. Doesn’t seem hard right? It isn’t! My workouts got harder as I gained more confidence.
Dedicate three days of the week to working out for at least 30 minutes. It is a lot more manageable than you think. If you have some way to track your steps, count them and get at least 8,000 to 10,000 steps per day. There isn’t a lot of evidence out there proving that this helps you lose weight but it does get your ass off that couch. Trust me.
If you need accountability, get into competitions with someone on the same journey as you. See who gets the most steps, or completes a workout. Maybe dedicate three days to working out with a friend. Knowing someone is waiting for you is a huge motivator!
Please, please, PLEASE, do not think you are going to become a size two in three months. This is a process, and if you do it right, you should lose about 1.5 lbs per week! There is a lot of research suggesting that this is the healthiest way of doing it. So for example, if you want to lose 30 pounds, it should take you about 20 weeks. That's five months. It took me about eight months. It's a good idea to give yourself grace, you will get in ruts. There will be weeks where you actually gain weight even though you are doing everything right. Up your cardio then, do something more challenging. Your body will get 0used to the same workouts over and over. Be patient. It will come if you are dedicated.
You also won’t see much results until about month three. I remember I posted “a before and after” pic after about three months. I had lost 17 pounds so far and you could barely tell. It felt like the few months following that picture, the weight just fell off and more and more people started noticing. It will come, do not try to rush it! Take your time during this journey and learn as much as you can about the food you eat and the workouts that work best for your lifestyle and body.
I hope this helps you guys as you embark on this life changing journey. It can be so hard, so fun, and so eye opening. If I did it, you can too, just in your own way. Please feel free to comment below or reach out to me on any social media form for any questions, suggestions, or feedback. Also, if you felt this was helpful please feel free to like, share, and follow!