I have been thinking about what I would tell someone if they were just getting started on their weight loss journey. I jotted down some of my tips and advice. I hope this helps you. (Remember, I am not a doctor, nutritionist, or personal trainer… these suggestions only reflect my personal experience)
•Make a list of foods that you love and don’t want to live without…
Breakfast, Lunch, Snacks, Dinner, & Desserts
•Find ways to make healthier versions of those ideas. (Google will lead you to tons of healthy living blogs…) Hungry Girl is an awesome resource… sign up for her email list! Making simple healthy substitutions to recipes allows you to enjoy the food you love and still get the nutritional benefits.
•Have a list readily available for times when nothing sounds good or you need help deciding what to eat. (I have my list taped to the backside of a cabinet in my kitchen) I also keep a list in the car of the most healthy options at different fast food places and sit down restaurants. You could keep a list in your purse or on your phone. Update it every so often when you find new recipes and ideas.
•Learn to bulk up your meals by adding extra fruits or veggies (roasted veggies, spaghetti squash, spinach, sweet bite size tomatoes, bananas, strawberries, etc) It adds bulk and extra nutrition to keep you satisfied.
•Think in 3 hour blocks of time. You should eat every 2.5 to 3 hours to keep your blood sugar stable and maintain energy throughout the day… Each time you eat food…. try to assess if this meal will sustain you for the next 3 hours.
•Plan your day/week in a way that works for you.
(Dry erase board, calendar, notebook, journal, etc.)
•Track your daily food intake in a way that works for you.
(dietSNAPS iPhone app is a perfect visual food journal)
•Find a variety of exercises that you love… I rotate between running, elliptical, walking inclines on the treadmill, weight lifting, boot camp classes, etc. Working out with a friend or in a class with like minded people is always more fun! It becomes a social thing that you look forward to and can’t live without.
•When you exercise, be sure to eat a little more so that you aren’t exhausted. Your body needs the extra nutrition, but that doesn’t mean junk food. Adding a protein shake or one extra healthy meal usually does the trick.
•I print a blank calendar at the beginning of each month and tape it to my bathroom mirror. I keep track of my workouts on my calendar and cross off each day as they go by. This keeps things in perspective for me. The changes are not going to happen over night. It’s also a great reference to see if I might need a day off.
•I think it’s important to hold yourself accountable to someone or something. My personal blog FireLitesFire keeps me accountable. Knowing that I will be checking in each night helps me make better choices during the day. When I have fallen off the wagon, it makes it more difficult to post. Make sense? It can be a good thing in the long run… it helps me to get back on track faster.
•Read other people’s before and after stories. It really motivates me to see an example of an everyday person that has had success. It offers hope and inspiration! I have learned countless tips from others. Don’t be afraid to reach out and ask questions. Most people love to help!
•Be flexible and have fun with the process! Life is supposed to be fun. We are all here to help each other, share ideas, and offer encouragement. If you mess up and don’t stick to your plan exactly, it’s OKAY!!! Make a better choice for the next 3 hour block of time. Love and be accepting of yourself!