It’s 2 days after Christmas, and if you are like most, you are feeling bad about all the cookies and wine you’ve indulged in for the last 3 weeks. But…….next week is a new year, and you’re thinking about getting off the holiday pounds, and then some. Losing weight seems simple enough. Burn more calories in a week than you take in.
But, you can quickly become a slave to the scale that doesn’t seem to move as easily as it used to.
On January 1, 2013, my New Year’s Resolution was to lose some weight. I felt sick, tired and bloated all the time and had 2 little ones to be my best for! I was DONE feeling like sh*t. Needless to say, I was super motivated and had a decent plan. I lost 7 pounds in the first month, which I credit for my long term success. I changed things up a few things along the way and learned a lot! All in all, I lost 40 pounds in 8 months! I no longer need to count calories, but instead use nutrient dense meal replacements for 2 meals a day, which makes my life a lot easier!
Here are my top 10 tips to losing weight (and keeping it off)!
- Have a plan. You know WHY you want to change. But, you need to plan out how. Create a meal plan, pick the days you’re going to the gym, find a friend to take walks with, etc. “Failing to plan is planning to fail!”
- Ask a family member or friend for support. Or, even better, an accountability partner who wants to go on the journey too. I’m not going to lie, it is tough to go about this alone, especially if your closest peeps are eating Oreos in front of you . If you can’t find someone to do it with you, ask them to support you. Plus, there’s lots of support online, too.
- Change how you eat. I initially lost weight by keeping track of what I was eating via the MyFitnessPal app. I abandoned the old philosophy of dinner being the biggest meal of the day, and “front-loaded” my day with 3-4 smaller meals that were high in protein, but low in calories. I had a sensible dinner and always saved 200 calories during the day so that I could have a snack at night, my reward! I also strongly believe in limiting condiments. You have to especially be careful with salad dressings. Just when you think you’re doing something healthy by having a salad, you end up with 900 calories, of which 500 is dressing! Same goes with drinks ( fancy coffee drinks, juices, sodas). Don’t drink your calories! Eat them!
- Move more. I find that when I wore a step tracker, I am much more likely to run around the house a few times to hit my goal of 10,000 steps a day. Can you say jumping jacks in front of the TV?
- Sleep! Sleep! Sleep! Sleep is an incredibly important component for weight loss and is often overlooked. Everyone knows that less sleep equals more stress. But, what you may not know is that more stress leads to higher cortisol levels (and overeating too). Higher cortisol levels make it more difficult to lose weight, and in fact, can make you gain weight.
- Don’t skip meals. Hunger quickly leads to angry becomes “HANGRY”, leading to bad decisions. “A sleeve of Oreos sounds great for lunch!” Breakfast is the most important meal of the day, and a protein rich first meal of the day helps you avoid becoming “hangry”.
- Limit your options. Don’t want to eat junk? Don’t buy it. Plain and simple. I LOVE OREOs more than a human should. I am fairly certain they are responsible for 20 of the 40 pounds I gained back in the day. So, now I don’t buy them. But….let me say this. If I encounter a stray Oreo, I will eat it. It’s called BALANCE!
- Weigh yourself 2 times a week. Believe it or not, weighing yourself is good. When you see a little gain, you stay motivated. However, don’t get obsessive. Weigh yourself no more than 2 times a week.
- Be consistent. There are a lot of great programs out there. I’ve done a handful of them. But, pick 1 and stick to it. Be honest with yourself. If the weight isn’t coming off…it’s not the program that’s not working, it’s probably you. Refocus and keep going!
- Put yourself first. This may feel a little selfish at first, but think about it. A lot of people are counting on you. You are giving them your best if you take care of yourself. So, spending the time to eat right, exercise, sleep and distress is OK. You will begin to feel good, and when we feel good, we do GOOD!