November 3, 2011

My Tricks to Weight Loss

About 5 years ago I lost nearly 50 pounds.  Since then, I have kept the weight off and in the last 9 months have started losing more weight while toning and gaining muscle.

This is one of the hardest things I have ever done.  But it has gotten easier over time.  Healthy living becomes a habit, you just have to make it a habit.

Most of these things I have listed below are in all the health magazines out there.  They are in those magazines because they are true.  They are what has worked for me.

  • Give yourself permission to make time for yourself.  Exercise and cooking healthy meals takes time, you need to have "me" time to do what you need to do.
  • You need to make the decision.  It has to be a concious choice to get healthy.
  • Planning is so important.  Plan your workouts, plan your meals.  I plan my meals because if I don't I will end up making poor choices, like grilled cheese sandwiches (which I haven't had in forever and love) or perogies or just plain old toast and butter.  Not healthy.
  • If you are going out and don't know where your next meal is coming from, have a snack in your purse.  Some dates balls or a mini sandwich with some peanut butter.  Have something or else you'll get so hungry that you'll eat anything that is put in front of you.  If you know where you are going to eat and the restaurant menu is online, look it up and decided prior what you're going to have.
  • Start with an exercise that you enjoy doing.  My weight loss journey started with a yoga video.  I would wake up at 3:45 in the morning to do this yoga video so I could be at work for 6:30.  After work, I felt so good and had been sitting in a desk all day I would go to the gym.  My endorphins had already been lifted for the day and it would cause me to want more.  Exercise does get addictive.
  • Have some protein with every meal.  This may not be the case for everyone but when I was told that I need more protein in my diet 9 months ago, weight loss became easier.
  • Don't be afraid of protein powder.  I was always adament that I didn't want to consume it.  Who knows what's in that stuff right?  There are some good ones out there.  SunWarrior is great.
  • You will spend more money on groceries when you eat clean.  Fresh vegetables and meats are more $$ than your average frozen pizza and boxed cereal.  I used to not want to spend more money on clean eating but I've really realized that I don't function well on crap.  I need fruit, vegetables and clean proteins.  I am a happier person when I eat yummy healthy foods.
  • Find a day that you can prepare some food for the week.  Then you don't feel as stressed that you have so much food to prepare in one day.  I make my food on Sundays and eat the same lunch and breakfast for a week.  The following Sunday I switch it up.  
  • Make food you enjoy.  Healthy food does not have to taste bad.  There are a ton of recipes available to you out there.
  • Have a conversation with your loved ones.  I had to ask LW to stop offereing me chocolate.  He has a big sweet tooth and is a big sweetie so he would always offer me chocolate not once but two or three times.  It's easy to say no once but again and again is hard.  I asked him to stop offering me chocolate and it makes it easier for myself to avoid.
  • If you are craving something sweet, drink water with half a lemon juice.  I don't know what it does but it works. 
  • Make yourself treats.  Instead of having your sweetie going down and getting a carton of ice cream (yes, sometimes this happens) make yourself a batch of Raw Brownies or Cashew Dreamcake.  These are filled with healthy ingreadients, which are higher in calories than a piece of fruit but are way better than a processed cookie or a huge bowl of ice cream and you feel like you're splurging.
  • Eat when you need to.  Most magazines and fitness forums will say 5 small meals a day.  This works for me. I prefer to eat this way.  Some people, whether it be their schdule or personal choice don't need to.  Do what works.  
  • Every one is different.  There is no cookie cutter method for getting in shape and weight loss.  For example, I've had someone tell I should reduce my yoga practice while I am exercising and lifting weights.  I lost interest there.  I love yoga.  Yoga keeps me supple and mentally, physicall and spiritually happy.  Yoga has been a part of my weight loss since the very beginning and yoga has given me the confidence to continue to get in shape.  I will never stop my practice.  For some people this may be dance or swimming.  Do what works for you.
  • Don't beat yourself up if you have some ice cream or honemade Mac & Cheese.  Enjoy it and move on.  These little treats keep me sane.
I think the key is you need to figure out YOUR method.  Find out what works for you and start small.  Make little changes one day at a time.  It is a lot less overwhelming and you will be more inclined to stick with your changes.

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