TOP TEN TIPS FOR GETTING ON TRACK TO LOSING WEIGHT
Mary is back with her top ten tips for losing weight!… If you look at your body in the mirror and you hate what you see, you can change it. But I’m going to be completely honest with you, it isn’t easy. There are no magic formulas, no magic pills or diets. It takes real dedication and hard work. This isn’t your typical top ten ways to lose weight, this is an honest evaluation of your lifestyle and I bet you’ve never heard it put like this before! Ready to take it on? Here are my top 10 tips for getting started and staying motivated with weight loss!
1. Research. There is so much you need to know about your body and its needs before you even think about losing weight. Okay, ladies, time for an honest evaluation. This is the only time I will tell you this, get your scale out, step on it. Go do it now, I’ll wait. Okay, did you do it? You see that number that’s staring back at you? It does not define who you are! You need it for one reason, research. This number will help you figure out your BMI and how many calories you need to eat to make that number smaller.
Now, I’m not going to throw numbers at you and tell you that you should weigh this much or eat this much, because every single one of you are different.
So go do your research. Take that number from the scale, search online for a BMI calculator and figure out which category you fall in to. Write it down! Then search how many calories you should be eating for your goal. Write them down! There are several really good websites and apps to track your calories and weight loss. I’m partial to My Fitness Pal, but find one you are comfortable with and stick with it.
2. Get (and stay!) Motivated. January 1st is usually the day that everyone is motivated to lose weight, and then by January 7th, that motivation has fizzled, leaving you feeling defeated. Or, you say ‘I’ll start on Monday’ and then eat all the junk food you can over the weekend, leaving you on a major sugar high and your body craving the sweet stuff for an entire week, and setting you up for failure!
That’s why I tell everyone when they decide to lose weight, just do it! Don’t wait until Monday or January 1. I started my weight loss journey on a Thursday in October and never looked back! So the number one way to get motivated is to commit and do it, no matter what day it is, JUST START!
My second suggestion to get motivated is to build a playlist that you LOVE! It doesn’t have to be fast songs, or slow songs, they just need to be songs that you enjoy listening to. My iPhone is loaded with country music, pop, rock, alternative, fast, slow. It’s all about what gets you in the mood to move! Change your playlist as you get bored. I add new songs every week!
3. Make Yourself Accountable. It’s easy to say you’re going to lose weight, but if you’re the only one who knows about it, there’s no one to hold you accountable. Shout it from the rooftops! Tell your friends about your new lifestyle, tell your kids, your husband. Post it on twitter, Facebook, create an Instagram account for your before and after shots!
You can not do this alone! You need support and someone to get you back on track if you slip up. My husband and friends have been amazing about supporting my journey and it’s because of them that I share my knowledge with others. Reach out to someone who has recently adopted a healthier lifestyle and ask them for advice. I do my best to share what I’ve learned with anyone who has asked me. Being healthy is something to be proud of and you should want to share what you know with others!
4. Throw Out The Scale (or at least hide it!). The scale does absolutely nothing except make us crazy! I remember when I started I weighed myself every, single day. I drove myself insane! Once you weigh yourself for your research, don’t do it again! If you are exercising and eating healthy, you’ll see the result and you won’t need that number to tell you that you’ve lost weight.
I know it’s difficult to not weigh yourself, so if you must know that number, only weigh yourself once a week. Choose a day and time and weigh the same day and time every week.
5. Set a goal (or 50 goals!). There is no steadfast rule that says you must make one goal and stick to it. Over the course of the last year, I’ve had about 300 goals. Make long term and short term goals! My very first goal was to exercise 3 times. That was it. I was going to exercise 3 different times and then decide if it was something I wanted to stick to. My second goal? Stick to a 3 day exercise routine for one month. As I accomplished each goal, I added a new one. At one point, a long term goal for me was to have six pack abs by June 1, but an injury sidelined me and I knew I wouldn’t accomplish it. Instead of giving up and beating myself up, I changed the goal. My new goal? To recover from my injury by June 1. Goals can change as you see it’s necessary!
Create a visual goal. I used neon index cards and wrote down what I wanted to accomplish, and then taped them to the wall where I workout. One of those accomplishments was to comfortably wear a size 6. Every time I met an accomplishment, I took the card down and tore it up. It was motivating to see the cards becoming fewer and fewer as I met my goals. Try to stay away from pound related goals, instead aim for other measurements of your success (a certain size clothing, being able to run for 5 minutes without stopping, measuring out all your food for a week, feeling good in a bikini, working out with weights 2 times a week for one month, etc). Add in motivation cards (why are you doing it?). Look at the cards as you work out to remind you what you are working towards!
6. Take Me Time. Every single day, set aside me time. Whether it’s the time you workout or just an hour to shower without interruptions, every person needs time to decompress from the day. How is this helpful in your weight loss? Well, obviously, if you’re working out, you’re getting closer to your goal. But if you are taking the time to relax, stress goes down and your body doesn’t produce as much cortisol, which is a hormone that increases fat retention. Less stress=closer to your goal!
7. Portion Control (learn to fuel your body the right way!). If I’m being honest with you, I have to tell you that weight loss is 80% what you eat and only 20% working out. That’s why it is so important to learn how to eat correctly. If you take a look at what you eat right now, chances are it isn’t 100% healthy, but you’re probably not eating the serving size either. If you didn’t change anything you’re eating right now, but instead read the serving size and started measuring your food and eating just what 1 serving size is, you’d lose around 10 pounds this month. We live in the supersize, double-, triple- size society. Drinks are huge and usually equal about 3 servings. We often eat enough calories in 1 sitting to fuel our bodies for the entire day.
While calories are not equal (a cheeseburger can’t come close to a boneless, skinless chicken breast in nutritional value), just starting out by measuring and eating serving size will change your body drastically! Once you’ve learned serving sizes for your body, start focusing on nutritional content. Trade out fried foods for baked foods, French fries for sweet potato fries, soda and tea for water or unsweetened drinks. It’s a long road, but quite easy when taken in steps!
This is where I have to tell you that I still eat chocolate, it’s my downfall! But,I limit myself to 1 serving of whatever it is and I only have it 2 times a week. My eating lifestyle focus is on the 80/20 rule. I eat healthy 80% of the time and allow myself a 20% treat time. This way I never feel deprived of anything, but I still feel like I’m giving my body the best nutrition I can!
8. Lift Weights. Do not be afraid! I started out lifting 5 pound weights and now I lift up to 20 lbs, 4 times a week. I’m not bulky, I’m long and lean and I love it! Lifting weights creates muscle and muscle burns fat, and you want to get rid of fat!
Now, I’m not saying you don’t need cardio, because cardio raises your heart rate and helps burn fat as well, but muscle has something called the afterburn. Afterburn is where you continue to burn fat days after you lift weights, can’t say that about cardio!
So get your cardio in, I do 6 days a week, but I also do 4 days of lifting and I always take one full day to rest so that all of my muscles get a break and can repair themselves. Is my schedule right for you? Maybe not, and that’s where my number 9 tip comes in.
9. Listen to your body! No one knows your body as well as you do, so listen to it and it will tell you what it needs. This goes for food and exercise. Are you hungry? EAT! If you’re hungry, you’re doing it wrong! But before you eat, look at what’s going in your mouth. Is it junk? That’s why you’re hungry. Eat something like fruit, veggies or protein. Your body can use those things to fuel it. Fried foods, sugar and processed foods do one thing, store up with other fat. You’re body can’t use it, therefore it keeps asking you for something to fuel it! Give it something to help it help you!
Are you sore after a workout? Great! That’s your body repairing itself! Push through it and you’ll see amazing results. Do you hear snapping, clicking, popping when you exercise? STOP! That’s your body saying it can’t do that move, or you’re doing it incorrectly. Research the correct way to do it, or look up an alternative exercise.
All you have to do is listen to your body, it will tell you exactly what you need! Don’t punish it by letting it go hungry or get injured!
10. Learn to Love Your Body, No Matter What! You have something amazing to contribute to this world, and your body is your vehice to do that. No matter your size, love your body for what it allows you to do.
Do you have stretch marks? Does your stomach roll up when you bend over? Do your love handles proudly make an appearance when you wear your skinny jeans? Do your thighs rub together when you walk? Guess what? I was all of those things and more! I have lost 40 pounds and I’m lean and my muscles are toned, but I’m not going to be the next Mrs. Fitness Universe and I’m okay with that, because it wasn’t one of my goals. I’ve reached almost every goal I set for myself, and that makes me happy. It makes me proud. I love my body for what it has allowed me to do, to achieve! And once you see what your body can do for you, I know you’ll love yours too!
Don’t ever look at someone else and compare where you are with where they are. Everyone is at a different point in their journey and all of our bodies respond differently to lifestyle and exercise changes. Encourage everyone as they take their journey through weight loss! But most importantly, be proud of YOU!
Do you have tips for achieving weight loss? I’d love to hear em!