Thursday, June 20, 2013

Making a Change

The most intimidating part of weight loss or maintenance is getting started, and once you have gotten to your ideal weight, maintaining it. Most people get caught in the same traps which end up sabotaging their goals. 

I have a few tips that I've used to both drop weight, and keep it off. They're simple- certainly nothing earth shattering, but they work. 

Be consistent. Consistency is important in all aspects of healthy living- especially with food and exercise.  I typically eat the same few things for breakfast. I know they are: healthy, easy to prepare, tasty, and fill me up. Lunch tends to be somewhat repetitive as well, and dinners switch up often. If you find something that fits your needs for breakfast, who cares if you eat the same thing almost every day?

Plan ahead. Meal planning is a very important and useful way to ensure you stay on track with your food. Unhealthy lunch and dinner choices usually happen when you have nothing planned and grab something quick out. If you're new to healthy cooking, find a few recipes (try some of mine!) and put them into the rotation. Once you have healthy cooking methods, you can adapt your favorite recipes to be healthier. Check out my healthy recipes for some ideas. 

Workout planning is JUST as important as meal planning. Pick a day (I like Sunday for this) and look at your calendar. Maybe there are 2 days that will be impossible to work out based on your work and social schedules. Make those your rest days. Once you know which days you're working out,  think about the kind of workout you're going to do. Maybe it's a class at the gym, a run, or a circuit workout at home. Whenever I see people wandering around the gym floor aimlessly, I'd bet they had nothing planned, and as a result, are getting a workout that isn't as effective as they'd like. 

Weigh in. Everyone has their own opinion of how often you should weigh yourself- if at all. I think it is important to check in regularly. Maybe that's once a week, maybe twice (I usually weigh myself twice per week). The number on the scale certainly doesn't define you, but if you don't weigh in you're more likely to eventually step on the scale and realize you've gained ten pounds. That won't happen in one week, but if you see a 2 pound gain, maybe you'll step back with dessert for a bit. Weighing in is especially helpful if you gain weight evenly on your body (I do). In that case, it really can be hard to tell when you've gained. There have been times I swore I shrunk my pants in the wash....yeah, no. That's when I needed to check myself and remember to weigh in!

Food Journal. This is a tool that I find especially helpful during the weight loss process, and depending on your preferences, even during maintenance. I think people really underestimate the calories they take it. Often, you think you're eating something healthy- because it's marketed that way- but it's way too calorie dense. Olive oil is a perfect example of something that everyone thinks of as "healthy" because it contains low saturated fat. There are still 120 calories per tablespoon, and if you measure it out you're probably using a lot more than one tablespoon! Those calories add up, and can quickly turn a simple veggie side dish into a calorie bomb. 

Think about these tips and how they might help YOUR weight loss and healthy living. Pick a workout and get it done!

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