Friday, December 20, 2013
I started my weight loss journey 4 years ago in January, so yes you can make a resolution, stick to it, and make it into a new lifestyle. I lost 89 pounds in about a year and I kept track of all the steps along the way. I hope that by sharing some of these steps I can help a few people feel better. Of course these are the rules and tips that worked for me, but check with your doctor if you have conditions that require special care.
1. Decide to make a lifestyle change and make it part of the rest of your life. Success only happens if you are willing to make big changes and work hard.
2. Invest in a few items, food scale. measuring cups, measuring spoons, notebooks. If you can get a good scale with body fat measurements invest in one as well.
3.Commit to following your plan 6 days a week, eating and exercising 6 days a week. Take one day off a week to eat what you want. This will help boost your metabolism and help prevent diet fatigue. It also will help people curb binge eating. Knowing that you have one day a week where you can eat any of the items you are craving helps .
4. Believe in the in versus out theory and do the math. I used the in versus out theory and it worked for me. It takes a few minutes to figure out a plan for yourself but basically you need to burn off more calories then you take in to loose weight.
If it takes 3000 calories over what you burn to gain a pound reverse that and burn 3000 over what you eat to loose a pound. It is a pretty simple formula I used, of course it is not an exact science but here is how I did it. Note you need to rework your in versus out plan as you loose weight. First look online at basal metabolic calculators or rmr calculators, they will usually ask your age, height and weight. It will give you a number of calories per day that your body burns off just being alive not including any exercise you may do. Look at Spark People or other sites and see what weight you should be at, figure out a goal weight you want to be at. Figure out your time goal for your weight loss, 1-2 pounds per week is usually what is recommended.
1200-1500 calories is what is usually recommended per day but figure out what is right for you. Use spark people or another site to figure out how many calories you will burn off with your exercise, you will need to enter type of exercise and duration of minutes you will work out per session.
Then you will be ready to make your in versus out plan something like this.
Here is a mock in versus out plan for example
In 6 days of food 1300 calories per day x 6 days 7800 calories in
Out BMR or RMR 1400 per day x 6 days 8400 calories out out
exercise 6 days x 400 calories per day 2400 calories out
*you may want to add some calories to your out if you do a lot of housework or move around at work a lot, don't overestimate this though
add up all the in calories 7800 calories
add up all the out calories 10800
the difference between the two is 3000 calories
3000 calorie difference is a pound a week. You can adjust this to reflect your goals.
4. Use Spark People, it is a wonderful site, with calculators, information, recipes and more, and its available 24 hours a day!
5. Start a notebook, write in it daily, everything you eat and drink. Write down all your exercise. It makes you look carefully at everything you are doing.
6.Weigh weekly measure monthly. In your notebook before you start your plan take all your starting measurements, body fat%, weight, hips, thighs, chest, calves,neck,bicep,waist,ect. Weigh yourself once a week on your off day, always weigh at the same time morning is best. Measure yourself monthly to track progress.
example for your note book
January End difference
weight 6 lbs
body fat 2%
waist hips ect
7. If you don't know how many calories are in it don't eat it. Track everything you eat every calorie including beverages. Spark People has a great calorie tracker even recipe trackers so you can enter a homemade dish number of servings and get a calorie count for it. Do not forget to weigh and or measure your food. Do not forget to add everything including coffee creamer and ect. Every calorie counts. My thoughts on beverages are go for water or calorie free, who wants to drink your calories when you can eat them? Don't forget alcohol counts too.
8.Ratios use spark people and look at your protein,carb ratios. Make sure you are consuming the correct amount.
9. Salt watch your salt, it bloats you makes you retain water. You can track your sodium on Spark People as well. Switch your seasonings you cook with use salt free ones like Mrs. Dash.
10. Fiber, I can't say enough about fiber. You can track your fiber on Spark People as well. I lost more weight and felt better after I started consuming enough fiber. I am a big believer in Fiber One cereal and bars. I eat the original Fiber One cereal 60 calories per serving everyday, I mix it in my lowfat yogurt.This will keep you regular, help with bloating, and keep you fuller longer. The cereal is not much more expensive than other cereals, buy it on sale and stock up, your health is worth it. The bars are great as well.
11.Exercise is so important. I exercise at home and prefer it. There are no excuses when the gym is in your home. Traffic, weather,drive time, ect. are all great excuses to skip the gym. If you have room for home equipment it really helps, there are great deals out there for equipment, you don't have to buy the best just something that works well for you. Find a few things you like to do and rotate them so you don't get bored. If you work out at home try doing it in front of the tv, use services like Netflix stream a few of your favorite shows and the time will fly by.
12.Hit the exercise hard. Work out hard 6 days a week. Sweat is your friend. I did 60-90 minutes per day of cardio and a full body strength training. Cardio and strength training. I believe in daily full body strength training. Don't be afraid of strength training, it will help you build muscle, make you leaner, and help you loose weight. I use a Jillian Michaels Body Shop machine, it is like a Total Gym. You lift a % of your body weight on it, you can also use it for pilates.
13. Water is important drink plenty if it. There are online calculators that can help you figure out how much to drink based on weight, activity, and the climate where you live.
14.Set a realistic goal for yourself and adjust your plan as needed as you loose weight.
15. Rewards, set small goals for yourself at milestones, maybe every 10 pounds reward yourself with something small. Maybe a new pair of work out pants, a dvd of your favorite tv series, a book, ect. This gives you little rewards along the way.
16. Precook. Pick a day a week where you prepare meals, portion them out and freeze them.This helps eliminate any excuses to eat out or cheat.
17.Protein bars are your friend. Protein bars are great full meal, full of protein, minerals, and vitamins. Have a protein bar and a banana for lunch and you will be full for hours. It is also a great low cost meal for under $2 you will be satisfied.
18.There are lots of food choices out there for every budget, whether you cook or don't, have allergies, or ect, just do some research you can find healthy meals.
19.Skip the fastfood, if you must eat fast food try Subway, they have all their calories listed on their website and have some healthy choices.
20.Enjoy your 7th day work hard all week and make sure to enjoy the 7th day, eat what you want.
21. If you and your significant other do this lifestyle change together it will be so much easier, if not maybe see if you have a friend who is interested. Let people know you have changed your lifestyle. Do not let anyone derail your plans or goal. Do not let people talk you into cheating or eating something you don't want to eat. If you must go to a restaurant on a regular day, try a chain that lists their calories online.
22. There are a few exceptions in a year, I allow Thanksgiving, Christmas, and 2 or 3 other days per year. These are days that I will eat outside the plan whatever I want. I don't want a diet version of Thanksgiving, I work hard all year and I enjoy that day and a few others. I add an extra work out day in that week instead of 6 days I work out 7 days that week. This does not mean to make an excuse every time there is cake at work or someone has a party, this means you plan a few days per year.
Do not let others make you feel bad about not having the slice of cake at work or a drink at a party, who cares what they think, your goal is most important!
23. Vacation. If you go on vacation, you should enjoy it, but have a plan. I only stay at hotels that have a full gym. I am at the gym at 3am on vacation, that way there is plenty of time to enjoy the day but I have gotten my work out in. Have a plan, if you are going to Vegas for 3 nights, plan to eat and enjoy for like two days, make sure to work out. Get right back on track when you get home.
24. Quinoa and Chia seeds, try them and work them into your food plans the benefits are amazing.
25. Sleep early, get plenty of rest.
26. Put you first, this is a hard one but it must be done. Put your health first before anything else, take care of you so you will be healthy and able to care for the rest of your family.
27. Dinner and done. After you eat dinner no more food. Have a healthy balanced dinner and that is it for the food for that day. I cut my food off for the day at about 4 pm, but I am an early riser. Get into the habit of no snacking after dinner. If you need some type of sweet have one Hershey's kiss after your meal, it's only 25 calories and it will curb the cravings.
Hope these tips help!
Happy New Year !