It’s cool starting a new year, you know, “new year, new you,” and all that. But many times, the excitement of attaining your goals can wane within the first few days of the year, especially if you don’t have a plan or any direction. Many people want to lose weight this year, including you. You are excited about a new beginning, achieving noticeable weight loss, getting that sexy body, getting healthier, cutting back on medication, and looking delicious in the mirror. But, in all the excitement, you either don’t know what to do or you may have gotten in over your head. Here are a few tips that helped me to lose 10 pounds in the first two months, then 20 pounds in 4 months AND KEEP THE WEIGHT OFF for over a year (within 5 pounds)!
1. I cut back on many fast foods including Subway. Did you know that while Subway is not as bad as many fast food places, a 6 inch sub can still have over 20 grams of fat? And that one sub can have at least 430 calories, chips at least 130 calories, and a cookie at least 200 calories? When I was trying to lose weight, that was about half of my calories for the day! And I liked to eat, so that wasn’t going to work for me…at least not a couple times a week.
2. I made low calorie, low fat substitutions whenever possible. So if I was having fresh fruit and whipped cream for dessert, the whipped cream was not regular whipped cream, it was fat-free and only 10 calories. (Same thing for the chocolate syrup when I wanted it.)
3. I cut out sodas. Sodas are chock full of empty calories and too much sugar and they don’t even hydrate you! And depending on how much you drink, just by giving up soda you can lose 10 pounds or so in a year!
4. Obviously, I cut out fried foods. Yeah, it was tasty, but my body already had enough fat on it, never mind the fat that had to be floating around my heart! So it was either fried foods or my goals. I chose my goals.
5. I drank a health shake either for a meal or as a snack. I started out with Boost Low-Calorie, then Boost High Protein when I started working out, then I ended up on Shakeology because it had absolutely everything my body needed including vitamins, minerals, lots of protein, probiotics, prebiotics, etc.
6. I cut out Kool-aid. Laugh if you wanna, but I used to kill some Kool-aid! I started substituting Crystal Light for Kool-aid and found that not only were there a lot less calories, it counted towards my water intake for the day.
7. I increased my water intake. I don’t like water, so if I wasn’t suffering trying to drink it plain, I either flavored it with fruit like lemons, or I Crystal Light, or one of those water flavorers you squirt directly into the water.
8. A big thing I did that taught me a lot about food was getting the app Myfitnesspal. The app helped me figure out how to reach my goals and I learned how much fat, protein, vitamins, sugar, etc. were in the foods that I was eating and how this contributed to my overall health. To read more about my experience with Myfitnesspal, click here.
9. I started moving more–on purpose. I went to the gym. First all would do was walk on the treadmill. Then I graduated to the stationary bike, then to the ominous elliptical. I struggled to do 5 minutes on the elliptical, at first, but by the time I needed to move on to weight training, I had worked up to 35 minutes or so on the elliptical. Now, for me, THAT WAS SUCCESS. Now, I participate in fitness programs like Focus T25, from time to time, and am about to start my body sculpting journey once again.
10. I cut back on desserts and junk foods. And when I wasn’t cutting back, I was substituting foods. So, instead of eating Original Lay’s for 240 calories per bag, I’d eat Baked Lay’s for 100-130 calories per bag with a lot less fat. You get the picture.
11. I allowed myself a cheat meal about once a week, usually one day on the weekend. That way, I didn’t feel like I was depriving myself. I recommend the same thing to anyone about to embark on a weight loss journey. Keep everything in moderation while you keep your goals in mind, and take it one day and one week at a time.
So, for me, I was able to gradually slide into my lifestyle change. I didn’t do anything drastic. I made healthier substitutions whenever I could, and began slowly exercising, which helped to burn fat and calories and make me lose weight at a healthy pace. I always kept my goal in mind and I still use Myfitnesspal to keep me on track. And, here it is, a year and a half later, and I am 20 pounds under my highest weight, which is pretty much where I want to be.
From time to time, I may have a fitness challenge group, and if you think you may be interested in joining, let me know on my “Contact Joy” page and I’ll let you know when I run my next challenge group, including details for joining.
To your health, fitness, weight loss, and sexiness in 2015,
P.S. Stay tuned for some body sculpting pics in a few weeks!