At the end of May 2017, I sat in front of my mirror thinking about how skinny I wanted to be. That sounds so bad but it’s the honest truth!
But where was I going to start? What was I going to do to get there? I knew two things, I needed to change my eating habits and I needed to exercise. After 10 months I was 55 pounds down and have been kept it off.
After a while, my goal of “skinny” turned to “healthier” and I attribute these 5 things that help kick start my journey.
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Cardio! Cardio! Cardio!
Cardio (running specifically) was my knight and shining armor. I used to run cross country in elementary and junior high so thinking of taking this on didn’t spark fear into me at all. But when I hit the treadmill I could barely make it a mile running without feeling like death would soon come.
For Tips on Getting Started as a runner, Fit & Awesome has a featured story written by me!
For me running became more than just my time to exercise and I truly believe it’s healed me in so many ways. I started out walking and then running and moved into interval training. Interval training is when you walk for a short time, then run, then sprint in a series of set times.
I still run at least 4x a week but my runs have gotten longer and I’ve even competed in a few 5k’s in NYC.
Cardio is short for cardiovascular exercise, it is any movement that gets your heart rate up and increases blood circulation throughout the body. So if running isn’t your thing there are plenty of other cardio exercises to choose from; swimming, dancing, Zumba, kickboxing, cycling, hiking, rowing- essentially, whatever makes you sweat and your heart beat faster.
You can follow me and my fitness journey on new running and fitness lifestyle Instagram page – where I will be sharing running tips and my weight loss experiences.
Increase water intake
Staying hydrated is not a weight loss tip, but something we should all do in our daily lives no matter what! Although water is necessary for living, we often lose sight of how important it is but when thinking about weight loss water consumption is key.
I started out drinking 32 oz a day but quickly upped that to 64 oz daily, sometimes more. I used a 32 oz water bottle and kept it with me all day, having that little thing really helped me track and see my water intake goal.
Changed Eating Habits
I always knew that leading a healthier lifestyle would lead me down a better path in my weight and in overall well being. It wasn’t until I was serious about losing weight that I began to see how making small changes could help me on this path.
Here are the things I began to cut out or began to do for my diet:
- Red Meat
- Low Sugar
- Switched to Raw Sugar
- Less Coffee / More Green Tea
- Reduced Carb Intake
As of September 2018, I am a vegan because I felt like that would be best for me and my body. I did however slowly transition to a vegan diet. I do not attribute my 50-pound weight loss to a vegan diet because when I lost the first 50 I was still eating chicken, fish, and turkey.
Overall, changing my eating habits really helped put me into a place of being able to live a healthier lifestyle. I learned how to cook whole foods, learned where my food was coming from and also how to incorporate new food to my entire family.
If you’re interested in transitioning to a vegan diet, check out my Amazon Store for my favorite books, recipes and more.
Counting calories is always a touchy subject, depending on who you ask. I for one needed to do this, it helped me to learn what I was putting into my body and determine how much. I used a calorie tracker which also linked to my Nike Running app so when I burned calories I earned them back in my daily calorie bank.
I learned a lot about processed foods, what I should and shouldn’t eat and it truly helped me be able to measure food and see nutrition facts.
To help me I used a digital food scale to measure any and everything, I learned it & mastered it! So much so that I don’t count anymore because at this point I can pretty much eyeball what 3 oz of fish looks like or a cup of grapes.
Counting shouldn’t last forever, but this was vital in helping me stay anchored to a daily attainable goal.
Never skip your meals
You might think you’re doing yourself a favor by skipping meals or fasting, but I found that doing this only did the opposite in achieving my goals. Say that you do this and you’re losing weight in the short term but, the weight you lose comes at a cost (as do many things), and may not be long-lasting.
Skipping meals can do a number of bad including slowing your metabolism, missing nutrients, and overeating. Like I said in #4 counting calories helps keep you in line with your meals and tracking your eating so don’t miss a meal thinking it’ll do your body good.
While these 5 things helped me kick off and get started on my journey, there’s much more to losing weight and maintaining a healthier lifestyle. Sign up for my updates to find out more as I share!
Do you have any tips you want to share? Leave a comment below.