Today has been exactly three months since I started my new healthy lifestyle. When I went in for my flu shot in December, I was told I weighed 168.8 lbs. To many that may not seem like a lot, but when you’ve weight 135-140 your entire life, it is way too much to handle. 30 lbs had to go away and for that to happen I had to make lifestyle changes. So I researched, removed junk food and began my weight loss journey.
Today, I have lost 24.8 lbs almost 25 lbs! I’m only four lbs to my goal weight of 140! My previous BMI was 24.9 which means for my height of 5’9” I was 1 ounce away from being overweight. Not acceptable. Today my BMI is 21.3, normal weight for my height. If you are not aware, BMI is an estimate of body fat and computes your risk for diseases when being overweight, such as high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes, heart disease among many others. I couldn’t risk my health as I am a mom of two beautiful children who need their mom healthy. Check your BMI here.
Here is how I started out my weight loss journey, how I lost the weight and tips on what YOU need to start doing now to begin your own weight loss journey.
Weight Loss Journey Tips
- Quit drinking soda and sugary drinks. I’ll be the first to tell you my best friend was Diet Pepsi. I mean it is diet so it couldn’t be hurting my health, right? Wrong! Soda in any form may be why you are overweight not to mention diet soda is linked to a higher risk of stroke, heart attack and vascular-related deaths. Oh and kidney problems, dental issues and a huge list of other issues. Did I mention the chemicals inside such as high fructose corn syrup, artificial flavors, aspartame and caffeine. Think of it like this. A 12 ounce can of regular soda is equivalent to 10 tsp of granulated sugar. Soda, juice even sports drinks are nothing but sugar. Just get rid of it. Get it out of the home today.
- Drink water water and more water. I wake each morning drinking warm lemon water. After sleeping for 7 hours my body is thirsty and needs hydrated, which is exactly what water does. Aim for at least (8) 8 ounces glasses a day. I’m more than double that on most days. If you feel you need flavor, add fresh lemon slices or a tablespoon of 100% pure cranberry juice. It takes time to adjust but you can do it. I would go nuts without water now, it has become part of me. If you are having cravings, just drink a glass of water. After you go to the bathroom, drink water. At meals, drink water. Just drink water!
- Start snacking. Snacking between meals is necessary for your metabolism. You do not want your body to feel hungry. Aim for 100-200 calorie snacks every 2-3 hours. You should be eating a nutritious breakfast as soon as you get up or within a half hour. Mid morning snacks are usually a slice of whole grain toast with 1 tablespoon of peanut butter, fresh fruit, a hard boiled egg or two, Greek yogurt with fruit or almonds. Other choices throughout the day could be sugar-free Jello, pretzels, air popped popcorn, dry cereal, protein smoothie and a 1/2 sandwich. Choose healthy snacks, not sugar laden or fat filled.
- Exercise. Yes you have to do it. I never exercised a day in my life until January 2 when I started this journey and when I did I always quit. Trust me, you want to scream, swear, yell, give up and quit never doing it again, but you can’t. YOU CAN DO THIS, don’t say you can’t. You have time, don’t say you don’t. If you can afford a gym great. I can’t so do all my routines at home. I exercise to Just Dance Wii games, where I burn over 300 calories in a 30 minute session. Just Dance 3 is by far my favorite as there is a 7-day just sweat challenge I do daily. I have a kickboxing DVD and to get my body to look like the after photo above, I faithfully got my ass kicked by doing Jillian Michaels – 30 Day Shred. Do whatever you have to do. Walk, do jumping jacks when a commercial comes on, take the stairs, go out and get your garden looking fab, deep clean your home, go for a quick walk and add in a jog. I understand it is difficult to start, but the benefits are tremendous. You’ll begin to feel good just by moving around 30 minutes a day. When you can and are able, work up to more challenging routines such as any of Jillian Michaels DVDs.
- Get rid of the processed and junk food. I was never a junk food eater, however chocolate is my nemesis. I have to have it daily. I now eat 1 ounce dark chocolate daily. My favorite by far is Endangered Species dark chocolate. If I need salty, I eat an ounce of Sunchips, Green Giant Veggie Chips or Tostitos with Salsa. If I’m craving cookies, cakes or donuts, I’ll choose a better option such as Newman’s Own O’s Creme filled cookies or eat a TLC Pumpkin Spice Flax Bar. I also make myself healthy muffins and whole wheat cookies. We all know processed food is filled with saturated and trans fats, refined sugars and unhealthy oils. Start eating whole grain breads, use olive oil or coconut oil when cooking, choose lean proteins, whole grain cereal, low-sodium broths and canned goods and stock up your fridge with fruits and vegetables. Those freezer meals are horrible, start cooking homemade. The internet is chock full of easy recipes to help.
- Read Labels. I know you are saying no I can’t, but you can. You need to know what a serving size is as it is simple to eat two, three or more servings in a sitting. When a label says 1 ounce, that is your serving. This means a Digital Kitchen Scale is necessary. I weight out EVERYTHING I eat from almonds, to cereal, sandwich meat to tortilla chips even my dark chocolate. Yum Yum Dishes are a wonderful portion control bowl, that will help with snacking. We’ll talk more about label reading in a future post.
- Track your progress. Sign up for a service such as MyFitnessPal. MyFitnessPal.com is allows you to track your calories, track exercise, lets you weigh in so you can see how you are doing. If you have a Smartphone you can download the app which makes scanning foods for your journal simple. Keeping a journal allows you to see what you are eating, if you are overeating and to physically see which foods you shouldn’t probably eat whether high fat, calories or sodium. Once you see the progress, you’ll want to continue tracking, it is a proven success tool. You can even follow me if you’d like.
I’ll be doing a weekly series to give you more tips on how I’ve lost this weight. I’m a normal mom on a budget, that has made simple changes just like you can too! Sure, it can be difficult especially when I have a husband who refuses to change his lifestyle, but I do it. I’ll be sharing snack ideas, dinner recipes, easy changes you can start doing and much more. Eating healthier doesn’t have to make you crazy. You’ll begin to love the foods you eat especially when you see the changes week after week.
For a start here are some delicious and healthy breakfast recipes to get you started.