Weight loss. In my world, this is a never-ending subject. There are many advertised shortcuts to losing weight: no carbohydrates and high protein or drink yourself skinny with shakes. Unfortunately, the only way to truly lose weight and keep it off is to eat real food in appropriate portions. The shortcuts are only that: short-term weight loss. For long-term change and to keep the weight off, you’ve got to do it the right way.
Recently, I had my fourth baby. I almost cannot believe it myself. This time around, it was a bit more difficult to shed my baby weight. I think the pounds came off slower because I am now in my thirties where as I had my first baby when I was 28. Also, I am now extra busy, keeping up with my three other kids, school, activities, work, etc. So, I had to really work extra hard on several levels. Here is what I did to lose fifty pounds in five months.
- I logged my daily calories using the free “My Fitness Pal” app. Never went below 1,500 calories to prevent starvation mode (meaning zero weight loss) or over 1,800 calories (to keep my metabolism burning).
- Prepped my meals on Sunday in advance for the week in small Tupperware containers. I was able to stay on track with healthy, calorie appropriate choices instead of running to a quick, high calorie option.
- Ate real food: fruit, carbohydrates like whole wheat bread and sweet potatoes, lean meats, and a lot of vegetables.
- Stayed away from processed sugar. Sugar is the devil.
- Regularly (attempt to) try on my skinny jeans. When they would not button, it was time to keep going, not cheat on my diet. Clothes are a great scale to measure your success.
- Told myself every day not to compare my journey or my body to anyone else. Comparison is the thief of joy.
- Weight is a number. Do not let it defeat you. I only weighed and measured every two weeks. I could not handle the disappointment of weekly weigh-ins when I lost zero pounds. However, it should be noted that some weeks, I lost inches instead pounds, and vice versa.
- Big picture: I am going to mess up; expect that. But the day after messing up, I MUST get back on track. That is non-negotiable.
- YOU MUST EXERCISE. IT IS LIFE. IT IS ENERGY. IT IS EVERYTHING.
- Yes, I yelled number one at you. Seriously, get over your excuses and get moving. You are missing out on life if you are not exercising. You don’t even know it.
- I worked out five to seven times a week. For weight loss, five times a week at 45 minutes a session is the bare minimum. Seven times is just about the maximum your body can handle and still recover (unless you’re a professional athlete, which I am guessing you are not if you’re reading an article on weight loss).
- Early morning workouts are the best for the busy person. For me, that meant waking up at 4:30am five days a week to get to my 5am workout.
- For weight loss, focus on workouts that have cardio and strength training. Your body needs both to burn fat and build lean muscle that continues to burn the fat. It all works together.
- Give each workout all you’ve got. Don’t mess around and simply exist. Strength is found in the struggle. Deep thoughts, I know.