The key to successfully lose weight and keep it off doesn’t have to be as difficult as you think. There are a few important rules or lifestyle changes you will need to make, but they aren’t as bad as you think and not everything must be changed at once.
I get it, it’s a new year and you want to hit the weight loss goal hard. Keep that momentum going by making changes you can really live with, then slowly add more.
When weight loss changes are made gradually, healthy habits are formed to replace the unhealthy habits created years ago. It’s the rule of science, matter replaces matter when thinking of lifestyle choices. Instead of giving up those chips you love think of replacing those chips with a healthy food you will discover along your healthy lifestyle journey.
The following tips will help you successfully lose weight and keep it off.
Keys to Successfully Lose Weight and Keep It Off
Healthy weight loss begins with protein, period. Protein is the master of keeping us fuller longer, reducing cravings, boosting metabolism by helping to build muscles, especially when as women over 40, our muscles need rebuilding.
Studies show women over 40 should be lifting weights at least 3 days per week. Weight lifting not only strengthens muscles, it increases bone mass to prevent osteoporosis, reduces depression to name a few. Weight lifting provides a more toned look while increasing metabolism dramatically.
Be Consistent with Workouts
It isn’t enough to exercise once or twice a week. Workouts or exercise should be a regular part of your life. Ideally, if possible, it is most beneficial to include cardio, weight training and a good stretching regimen to your weekly schedule. The combination of the different levels of exercise will meet all of your body’s needs to maximize weight loss efforts.
Put Maximum Effort in Workouts
Before I got into shape a few years ago, I didn’t know what I didn’t know. When I started P90X, I realized what workouts are really supposed to “look” like. I was not aware how hard I needed to push through a workout to really make a difference. When I began the program, it was impossible for me to finish the entire workout. But thankfully, I stuck with it and within a few weeks was able to complete the entire workout. It was then that I was able to see progress.
For those who are new to working out like I was, the key is to push harder than you thought you could ever do. Motivation is a great tool, and without Tony Horton pushing me along (I felt like he was right beside me motivating me), I am not sure I could have stuck it out.
Diligent Healthy Eating Habits
Diligent may be too strong of a word to start off with. I highly suggest taking things a bit slowly, making gradual changes for long term loss results are the best practice. Different methods work for different people, although I have yet to find someone who changed everything overnight, loss the weight and didn’t gain it back within a year.
Your body has become accustomed to your favorite junk foods. Certain foods such as sugar are addictive and need to be weaned off for the long term.
Right Amount of Calories
Many people (me included years ago) think restrict, restrict, restrict food intake for weight loss. When too few calories are consumed, our metabolism slows down, which causes the food we eat to be less productive for our body. Our body should be burning the foods for fuel and repairing muscles resulting in weight loss and a toned sleek look. By eating too few calories, our body feels the need to store the nutrients resulting in stored fat and deteriorating muscles.
If you have a lot of weight to lose, the reduced amount of calories may be more than you think it should be. By working with a nutritionist or using a reliable app such as MyFitnessPal, you will know the right amount of calories for your goals.
This sounds pretty obvious, but you would be surprised how many consume too many calories after being so hungry after exercising. Instead of falling victim to the snack cabinet, reach for a healthy protein shake to fuel the muscles and keep you more full for longer.
Stay Away From Low fat or Diet Foods
If you ever tried to diet in the 90s, it was the decade of low-fat foods that everyone devoured. Remember the Snack Wells Devil Food Cake cookies? They were so healthy for you! Not…
Beware of foods that are low-fat or low-sugar. Often they have been processed (more on those later) or ladened with artificial sugar replacements.
Now, after much research, we know the whole, natural foods are much better for you even if the calories are a little higher or there is fat. In fact, we now know that sugar is much worst than fats for diseases such as heart disease.
Eat More Vegetables
Another game changer…vegetables are the name of the game. Vegetables, my newest discovery! I always thought I ate a decent amount until I incorporated the 21 Day Fix plan into my life. It’s a whole new world. A world of good food, not craving junk and losing weight the healthy way.
Your mother was right, eat your vegetables! Vegetables will continue to help you lose weight and keep it off.
Stay Away From Processed Foods
This may take some time to truly incorporate into your life, especially if you are a busy mom, but so worth the effort! Take a look around your kitchen and pantry. How many foods are you eating that are processed? Pick up one of the boxes and look at the ingredients. Gross, huh?
By just cutting out the processed foods and going whole food, your body will function much more efficient. Your body knows exactly what to do with the natural food instead of storing the artificial chemicals.
When grocery shopping, stick to the perimeter of the store as much as possible.
Track Your Foods
There are many ways and apps to track your food. Choose one and just do it. It will help train you to what and how much food you should be eating every day. Make sure to use one that you can input your exercise because that will also change the amount of calories you need for the day. A lot of the trackers will sync to your fitness tracker.
Fitness trackers are such a big motivator. Again, so many to choose from. After having several, I currently have a FitBit Blaze (be my friend! Stephanie@fitfoundme.com) and have been the most satisfied with it. There are personal challenges and goals plus some, like the FitBit Blaze, have features to participate in group challenges. You can be prompted to walk every hour to help meet your 10,000 step goal to lose extra weight.
A good practice to continue to lose weight and keep it off.
In my opinion, this is such an easy way to lose a few pounds. If you drink anything else but water on a regular basis, evolve into making water your go-to for drink consumption. Not only is water great for hydration, which of course is necessary for good health, water is such a big player in weight loss.
Still not convinced? Make sure to input your sodas or anything else you are drinking into your food tracker to see the impact it’s making.
Just the very thought of taking supplements used to sound so unnatural to me until I did a little research. The supplements I take are natural and have been so beneficial to my personal weight loss and fitness journey.
Supplements, which chosen correctly, can naturally speed up your weight loss goals. For example, I started off my weight loss journey taking a protein shake supplement knowing that would be a healthier choice than what I would grab when hungry. I was just learning to eat healthy, natural unprocessed foods. Protein shakes really curb your appetite and cravings. The best protein shake I have found is Beachbody’s Shakeology. Truly full of all natural ingredients.
I continue to use supplements in my life as I suggest everyone to do to lose weight and keep it off.
Take Before Pictures and Measurements
I wish I had more pictures of myself before I started my weight loss journey. Pictures show so much more than the number on the scale. When the weight loss and fitness is really working, inches are so much more revealing than the scale.
When done properly, your body is rebuilding muscles in addition to burning and losing the fat which creates a gorgeous toned and younger looking body.
For example, I am the same weight I was many years ago, but my clothing size is much smaller than I ever thought possible. I went from a size 14 at my largest, surpassed my average size of 8/10 and reached a size 2/4 where I have stayed at for the last couple of years.
Ultimately, you have to go at a pace that won’t be overwhelming for you so that you are able to continue to make progress. Be consistent in your efforts, progress at your natural rate and you will successfully lose weight and keep it off!