I’ve never been a hardbody (and likely never will be). Even when I’ve been in fairly good shape and at a healthy weight, you’d never compare my arms to Madonna’s or say you could bounce a quarter off my you know what. I’m not a trainer, nutritionist or an expert by any means but I am someone who has lost, maintained (for years…) and then did something I thought I’d never do, I gained most of it back, lost it and then gained it back again (sigh…). My tips and tricks are more about staying motivated and the process, nothing scientific or earth shattering here. Right now, I’m back in need to lose mode so these tips and tricks are a reminder to me…I know what I have to do, just need to do it…
You can read about my personal ups and downs here… Now let’s get to the tips and tricks!
If you bite it…write it. What gets me into a situation is the little things. A couple of chocolates here, a few cookies there, ice cream and chips…all in one day. A little this, a little that adds up. If I’m journaling my food, I plan healthier meals and know how much treats I can fit in. Writing down how you feel after each meal can also pinpoint foods which are a trigger for you, make you feel yucky or don’t keep you satisfied.
“You can have it all but not all at once” Bethenny Frankel…Never say never…I don’t ever say “I can’t eat that”. I’m in it for life, not just a quick fix. Being too restrictive never works for me. I can have my key lime pie, mojito or french fries, just not all in one day and not every day.
Veggies and fruits are the bomb…Fit in fruits and veggies at each meal. Salsa or mushrooms with my scrambled eggs, an acai bowl at lunch and a salad made of mixed greens with protein for dinner. Frozen grapes are yummy, strawberries are heavenly, eggplant is delicious and kale is satisfying. If you don’t like certain veggies or fruits, don’t give up, try and try again. There are so many varieties and different preparations, something for everyone. Don’t be afraid to try something new.
Frequent smaller meals…I don’t feel hungry or run down with four or five small meals or snacks a day rather than three large meals.
Shake your booty, jump around or run like the wind. It’s not diet or exercise, it’s both. Try a new sport, walk with a friend or join a gym. If you don’t like one activity, just try another but give yourself a fair chance. We all feel a little embarrassed when we try something new. The first time I went to spinning I felt hopeless, awkward and out of shape but I didn’t quit, just went at my own pace. Before I knew it, I loved it, was a regular and could spin, spin, spin with the best of em. Mix it up…when I was in the best shape of my life, I was doing a little flexibility, strength training and cardio.
It takes a village…I need support and knowledge to succeed. I’ve used both weightwatchers (paid) and sparkspeople (unpaid) which have online tools, great articles and offer an online community experience. I read a little every day to stay motivated and keep learning. Fit from Within is one of my favorite motivational books.
Patience is a virtue…I don’t set a timeline for losing weight. My body will lose at it’s own pace, it doesn’t know what a deadline is. Losing time is also your time to learn how to maintain. If you lose too quick on an extreme diet, you won’t have developed the tools you’ll need for long term maintenance.
Non scale goals…I do have a range of what I’d like my end weight to be but along the way I set interim goals and rewards related to the process, not the number on the scale. Trying a new exercise class, working out four days a week or cooking a new healthy recipe are some examples.
Again…I’m not a professional, this is merely a summary of what worked for me. Everyone is different, do your research, talk to your personal and health care team but most importantly, listen to your body.