Well it’s officially Spring so many of us are thinking about the coveted “bikini body.” The diet schemers are spending extra marketing dollars on their get-thin-quick diets and pills. All of us are wanting to look good this Summer so we get the cute smirk and not the squinted eye at the pool.
I’ve been working on my weight loss for longer than I’d like to admit–around 8 months–give or take a little. This go-around is one of many by the way. My family has weight issues on both sides. Lucky me. I feel like I eat ok for the most part and I would even exercise several times per week but the weight seemed to go up and down and want to stay. Or maybe I’d lose 5 pounds and then get stuck. Either way, I was not getting the results I wanted without sacrificing too much time at the gym.
Have you ever heard anyone say that weight loss is 80% what you do at home and 20% what you do at the gym? I’ve heard variations of that throughout my life but never really stopped to think what it meant. Here’s what I have learned over the past 8 months: If you eat healthy, you only need to tone in the gym. Sure, you can spend 4 hours a day in the gym if you want to…but who has time for that?!
I like easy-to-read steps so below you will see the 5 steps I used to lose weight.
1. Change your frame of mind: Think about it–we spend our time doing things that are important to us. Make weight loss one of your top priorities. Re-arrange your schedule, make time for YOU. You are worth it! This is the most important step because if you don’t make it a priority, you won’t succeed.
2. Find a healthy eating plan that works for you: I used Fitness Pal to calculate my calories. It does require some time invested upfront to save your recipes and save your favorite foods. But, it is a free program that has a free app for your smart phone and you can talk to others who are counting calories too. When you realize how many calories you are actually eating each day versus how many you should be eating, it truly helps you to understand why the weight won’t come off.
If you have a few extra bucks and less time, try Weight Watchers. It’s not too expensive and does the same thing but with a point system. This makes life easier for you because they have assigned points to every food you can eat and tell you how many points are allowed for the day. I have personally known 2 people who have lost a lot of pounds thanks to Weight Watchers.
3. Exercise: I know, the nasty “E,” word. But let me tell you–you will regret it if you don’t do it. Exercising is essential to toning your body. If you eat properly, you will lose weight–but what about the loose skin that needs to tighten? Check out what the Mayo Clinic has to say about the benefits of exercise (It even makes your sex life better!). I usually do 30 minutes of cardio 3-5 times per week. This is usually walking at a brisk pace uphill on the treadmill (3 speed, 6 incline). I also do the bike for easy days or the Elliptical if I’m really feeling it. Once or twice per week I will do sets of push-ups, planks and light weights. You can develop a work out plan that works for you… if in doubt, consult a doctor or personal trainer.
4. You’re going to mess up: Yes, you heard me right. It may be a cheeseburger today and a missed work out next week. We all mess up–the trick is to get back on track and don’t give up. Nobody is perfect. I’m addicted to Chinese, Mexican and Ted Drewes. I mess up at least once per week but I’m keeping my pounds off because I continue to get back on track.
5. Make realistic goals: I’ve heard 1-2 pounds per week is considered healthy weight loss. Know your body. I know without a doubt that my first two weeks I will remain the same weight because I am gaining muscle and losing fat. (Yes, muscle weighs more than fat.) After my first two weeks, I lose about the average of 1-2 pounds per week. I also know that my belly fat is literally the last thing to go. You cannot target weight loss. Fat will fall off where your body wants it to–doing sit ups will not make it leave faster, it will just build up your stomach muscles.
To end this, I will tell you that I estimate to be around 5 pounds from my bikini body. 2013 is my year and I may be too shy to wear the bikini but I’ll know that I have the body for it!
Feel free to comment if you have any suggestions from your own journey or if you have any questions.
Here’s an amazing inspiration story from Facebook: My Journey to a Healthier Me.
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Picture courtesy of: ljayhealth.wordpress.com