Monday, June 22, 2015

#MotivationMonday: My Go-To Weight Loss Tips

My Weight Loss Tips

Ever since I've been on the weight loss roller coaster one thing has rung true. There are a few tried and true strategies that have always helped me lose the weight. Things that I know are non-negotiable to lose the weight in a healthy and timely way. Things that are so totally boring and non-glamorous, but that we hear over and over again on blogs, in magazines and from celebrity trainers.

When I get down in the dumps because my weight loss plateaus, or I over indulge and put on a few pounds, I remind myself to:

Drink water. I know. Ugh. Water. Not a very sexy tip but it's so true. I have figured out that on the weeks where I've lost a pound or two, or gotten my belly bloat  under control, it's because I've drank my water every day. And for me, that means I have to down 2 Litres of water per day...which is just as much as drinking 8-9 glasses a day. Check out these water calculators from the Mayo Clinic and Fitsugar to help determine how much water you need to be drinking per day (everyone's needs are different).

I don't drink my calories. I pretty much stick to water all day, with the exception of one or two coffees. I treat myself to half and half cream in my coffee, but I use Agave Nectar or honey instead of sugar (thanks to my sugar intolerance). I don't like pop (or soda) or juice. So this one's pretty easy for me to follow.

Keep a food diary. I learned this one when I did Weight Watchers years ago. Even though I absolutely hate tracking my calories, I find it so helpful to write down what I've eaten throughout the day, to keep me on track. It also helps to plan and prep meals for the next day. Then when I have a gain, I can go back and see where I may have lost track of my portions, or where I maybe gave myself too many treats. I flop between using My Fitness Pal and my Fitbit tracker but I love them both because I can access them both online or through Apps on my iPhone.

Eat whole foods. This is so hard, I struggle with it, but I mostly only eat foods that I make from scratch. Not only has it helped me cut down on calories, but it's really helped keep my food intolerance's in check. I'm not going to lie, I find this one a bit of a pain in the ass. But I keep reminding myself that the alternative is being sick, and that's not something I'm willing to live with.

Get moving. This one is also a pain in the ass. Especially after the kids are in bed at 8:30, the last thing I want to do is jump around for 30 minutes. But, for me, eating healthy, and working out go hand in hand. I've learned over the years that I just can't have one without the other if I want to lose weight.

Weekly weigh In. I have a love hate relationship with my scale, and I once tried to track my weight loss based on how loose my favourite jeans got. But that didn't work, because I just stopped throwing them in the dryer so they were always loose. But somehow my dress pants for work were getting smaller. So I ditched that ritual, and decided to weigh myself every week to keep track of how I'm doing. When I'm done, I hide the scale so I'm not tempted to weigh myself every day.

Progress pictures. This one's a scary one and something I've just started doing over the past year. We'll talk more about it at next week's Motivation Monday post, but it's worth mentioning here as well. I think a picture is so telling as its physical proof to document progress. When I feel like I'm stuck and my weight hasn't moved, I pull out my before pictures and I'm amazed of how far I've come. Even if the weight isn't melting off as fast I want it to, I can appreciate my efforts better when I see proof that I've slimmed out in certain areas, gained muscle in my legs and can almost say bye to my back fat!

Set goals...and tell people about them. OK well I didn't broadcast my starting weight and goal weight to the world, but I definitely have not been shy about sharing how much, in total, I'm trying to lose. And it helps to bring close family and friends in the loop about my goals, that way they can celebrate the little milestones with me along the way, and also, it just helps me stay accountable and focused.

Be realistic. I think in the past I always failed at weight loss because I was really unrealistic about my expectations. I fell for all the gimmicks and fads. If Dr. Oz promoted a weight loss supplement, you bet I'd try it. But what I've realized the hard way is that slow and steady really does win the race. It's taken me literally almost a year to lose 14 pounds. Pathetic? Ya, maybe a little. But you know what? I'll never put those 14 pounds back on because it's been so hard to get it off. And when my next 12 pounds are lost, you better believe I'll be thinking twice about giving up on healthy eating and exercise. I truly believe that the longer it takes to lose the weight, the longer it will stay off.

80/20 Rule. I suck at math. And I'm even worse at figuring out percentages. But this article from Best Body Fitness really helped me grasp the concept of the 80/20 diet rule.

What are your tried and true weight loss tips? Don't forget to share them in the comments below.


Monday, June 15, 2015

#MotivationMonday: Starting a 21-Day Fitness Challenge

My Fitness Journal and Meal Planning Notebook: 21 DFX Day 1
I love starting new projects at the beginning of the month. And while I'm about two weeks late to my own challenge, I finally decided on my monthly challenge.

A few months ago I purchased the 21 Day Fix Extreme and while I've started the program a few times, I've never gotten past the first week - or past day 3 on the eating version of the plan. So this month (or what's left of it) I'm committing to 21 Day Fix Extreme...workouts and meal plan (fat burn plan, where you eat every 2 hours for a total of 6 mini meals).

Eeeeeek I'm nervous. Whille I can committ to relationships and a favourite pair of jeans (hello dark wash flares circa 2005) I find it so hard to stick to fitness and nutrition plans. Even remembering to take my Metamucil twice a day at the demand of my doctor is a struggle!

So anyway, I went grocery shopping this afternoon and this evening I cooked, steamed, chopped, baked and roasted most of my proteins and veggies and carbs to last me the week. I even made a few salads (on plan of course) to last me until Wednesday.

I'm excited at the prospect of getting fit and officially completing my first round of 21 Day Fix Extreme and finally reaching my goals this year.

What is your goal for the month of June? Don't forget to share in the comments below.

Source: Autumn Calabrese

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