How I lost 30 pounds
Because I know some people are going to want to know how I lost the first 30 pounds, I’m going ahead and including it here. Clean eating and exercise is the bottom line. The more blogs and instagram pages and facebook pages you read, you WILL see a theme. There is no magical pill, there is no easy fix, you have to work. Eat right, and exercise.
Keep Track of what you eat
I use the free SparkPeople app to count calories and activities, and I try to keep it at 1500 calories a day. I have also done macro counting which has also been successful. Try not to go under 1200 calories because too few calories can be just as damaging as too many, and you may not see results. Sometimes adding 100-200 calories can help you get over a plateau.
Eat Clean, always Know what you are eating
I eat clean 90-95% of the time. At the beginning I tended to eat out a lot and I realized that I was making bad choices at restaurants too often. It’s not hard to make a rule to indulge only in a restaurant if you’re eating in a restaurant 3-4 times per week. Takeout counts too! ALWAYS know what you’re eating. If the restaurant is a chain, it will have nutrition calories listed. My motto is that I can eat it but I have to eat it mindfully. If a meal is 1,200 and I really want to do that? Ok but I’m going to go into it knowing it’s nearly a day’s worth of calories. Ask for things to not be cooked with butter, some restaurants put butter on everything. Don’t eat the bread, if possible ask they don’t even bring it. Make the restaurant meal your “cheat” meal, but again you still have to be mindful about it. A cheat meal isn’t an opportunity to gorge one’s self on chemical crap.
Keep temptations and unhealthy food out of the house
I don’t keep chemical crap and/or sweets in the house. If I have cookies, I will eat cookies. If I really want ice cream, and I have to leave the house to get it, I’m less likely to eat it. Artificial sweeteners, aspartame, even splenda (yes sorry!) are just as bad a sugar, but in a different way. Don’t go to the supermarket and grab the “diet” ice cream and candy and cookies. Don’t buy processed “fruit” snacks that don’t actually contain fruit (apple juice concentrate as the 10th ingredient isn’t a good, healthy thing!) Don’t buy gluten free crackers that have 30 ingredients you’ve never heard of in them. Gluten free does NOT MEAN HEALTHY! Minimally processed is the norm of a clean eating diet but if I just have to have a kitkat, I will eat a kitkat not a diet kitkat knock-off. Better yet something high quality and made locally.
If you live with others ask your family not to bring home sugar filled processed food. If you have roommates, ask them to keep that stuff in their room – they’ll probably appreciate you not eating their food in a moment of weakness!
Move every day
I walk my dogs several times per week. This is good for them too because they need exercise as well! I also try to get to the walking trails near my house 2-3 times per week unless it’s the dead of summer. (We hit 100+ during a Mississippi summer.)
I am lucky that I have a treadmill but there are also lots of free home exercises that you can do on YouTube or find home exercise routines online.
Log activities, use a step tracker
I wear a Fitbit activity tracker and my current step goal is 8,000 per day. That’s a realistic stretch for me because I have to spend a lot of time sitting while I work, driving long distances for work, sitting and talking to patients, and being sedentary.
Do Cardio. Slow is better than not at all
For the first 30 pounds, I tried to do cardio 3 times a week, specifically this free Couch to 5k mix. I stayed on each week until I could run all of the intervals without stopping, no matter how long that took. It was slow going but that was ok!
ladies, lift weights! muscle burns more fat
I weight train 3-4 times a week. I’ve lost almost 10% body fat so even when the weight on the scale doesn’t move much it’s cool to see that body fat % go down. Women are sometimes afraid of getting too ripped but let’s be really honest here, you aren’t going to look like a body builder by lifting weights a few times a week. People have to work very hard to look like that. Even during times that I have gained some of the weight back, I’ve never gained back much of the body fat. Check out my Workouts board on pinterest for ideas on how to start.
if it doesn’t challenge you it doesn’t change you. Get uncomfortable.
I push myself. I hate being uncomfortable and getting sweaty but you don’t see results if you don’t work hard. I do try to do things I like as opposed to things I hate though. I don’t like running, I just don’t. I’ll walk faster, for longer, than I will run. So I walk instead of running.
I have rarely actively quit healthy eating and working out. What I have done is allow life to get in the way, start to slack off, and wake up one day four months to a year later and realize I’ve gained weight back. While I have never said “I’m going to quit eating healthy” I am aware when I get off track and I find that I get overwhelmed thinking about how tough it will be to “start again.” Truly I have never started again because I’ve never hit my starting weight or body fat and I never will again. I have however made my life really difficult by deciding that it will be too hard to start again. Life happens, we all have setbacks. When you realize you have gotten off track just get back on track.
I’m not paid to endorse any of the things/products listed here, nor was I given any of them for free! Just fyi.