Last winter, I packed on about 8 pounds – a lot for a medium build woman. This 8 pounds was in addition to weight that I already wanted to lose. Facing the scale is never easy, but in April, for the first time in a few months, I forced myself to see what I weighed. It was then that I decided I was going to get my health back on track.
Since April, I’ve dropped over 25 pounds and about 12 inches. I am back to what I weighed as a freshman in college. I feel so much better. These are a few things I did to get myself in shape.
1) Delaying breakfast time – This might seem crazy since we know it’s healthy to have breakfast. My issue was that I wake up by 6 a.m. and had breakfast, and then was starving by 10:00 and would have a snack. Now I have lemon water and coffee at 6 a.m. and drink a green smoothie or yogurt at the office around 9 a.m., and I am full until lunch. This was huge for me.
2) Portion control – When I forced myself to start portioning out my food and looking at what 300 calories was, I was shocked with how out of touch I’d become with my portions. I had to re-learn healthy portions and it helped tremendously.
3) Hydration – Everyone seems to tell us to drink more water, but frankly sometimes water is just boring. So in addition to drinking more water, I drink fruit-infused water and herbal tea with stevia. It especially helps curb cravings in the afternoons.
4) Lots of veggies….and fresh fruit too– If you’re not a veggie lover, learn to become one! I recently read an article that said we can train our brains to crave healthy food. I actually do crave healthy foods more than junk and I really believe it’s because that’s what I’ve eaten for so long. Vegetables are great for having a lot of volume for very few calories. That means they really fill you up – more bang for your caloric buck. Fresh fruit is great for a sweet tooth as well as to give you a load of vitamins and antioxidants. Fruit such as a whole orange gives you volume to fill you up without a lot of calories. A fresh organic apple is something I have nearly everyday.
5) Moderate exercise – You have to find something you can actually stick to, and I did – Pilates. I typically workout for 20-25 minutes about 5 days a week. Nothing insane, but my body is so much more toned and strong for it.
6) Cutting out the whites – Which means no-no to breads, sugar, and most starches (such as white potatoes, pasta, and rice). I will occasionally have a small potato, a bit of pasta, or one slice of Ezekiel bread, or a slice of pizza on a special occasion, but other than that, I steer clear of these foods.
7) Weekly weigh-in – Perhaps the most important for me personally is my dedication to weighing myself every week. For some people this might not work, but for me, it has served as motivation and a personal challenge to meet goals. It also helps me to see how far I’ve come when I look back at previous weeks.
I am not a medical or nutrition professional, these are merely some things that helped me lose weight.
What has helped you to lose weight naturally, or helped you to maintain a healthy weight?