Tricks that have helped me lose the weight and keep it off

I’m sure many of us have, for countless hours on end, browsed through various websites claiming that the secret key to instant weight loss is only a click away. We fall into the traps of “magic pills” and crazy drink concoctions promising our hopeful selves that we too can lose 30 pounds in and absurdly short amount of time with no effort at all. I bet we have all tried at least one insane diet that has tested us to our limit, and showed us absolutely no results in the end, or worse, we end up gaining back more weight than we had lost. I am a shameful follower of one such dastardly diet. I once tried The Lemonade Diet, which consisted of only drinking a sickly brew of water, fresh lemon juice, cayenne pepper, and Grade B maple syrup. ICK! I only made it through Day 6 of 21 before deciding that I needed to hurry up and write my will because I was going to keel over at any second.  I lost 8 pounds, but gained back 12. Not a great trade-off to say the least. We are always looking for the quick and easy fix in life for any given situation, though the fast way is not always the right way. It’s better to take your time and really put effort into achieving your goals. The weight will stay off
indefinitely if you change your whole outlook on life by trying to promote a healthier lifestyle. Here are my tips and tricks that have helped me lose weight and stay healthy in the long run.

 1. The true solution to weight loss, as corny as it sounds, comes from within. Be motivated enough to push yourself to your limit. You need to be willing to do whatever it takes to reach your goal. If you want it bad enough, it can and will happen. A good tool for me was cutting out pictures of my “ideal body” and posting them all around the house or on the refrigerator (which also helped me not snack so much). These pictures will get you motivated and you will realize that you too can have your dream body if you want it badly enough. I also bought a super cute swim suit to help motivate me to get “bikini-ready”. Whatever works for you!

2. Ditch the scale! Honestly, whoever invented those scales should be killed. Just kidding! I don’t believe in murder, but…. You get my drift. These contraptions have been bringing women’s self-esteem down since god knows when they were invented! Half the time I swear mine doesn’t work because it says I’ve gained an estimated 7 pounds in one day, which obviously cannot be true in the slightest, or at least I keep reassuring myself this. I measure my weight based on how well my clothes, particularly my pants, are fitting. If they are too tight, then I obviously need to start working out or watch what I’ve been eating. If you feel good in what you’re wearing and are confident in yourself, then rock on! Whatever you’re doing is working.

3. Eat smaller-portioned meals. I have read in an article that having 6 mini-meals is better than 3 normal meals. Honestly, the difference hasn’t been relevant to me much, but I have learned that I should eat about half of what I normally would eat. I try now to only eat one bread product a day, whether that is cereal, a bagel, or a sandwich. Then I fill the rest of my meals up with vegetables, fruit, and lighter meats such as chicken and turkey. Another tip is to drink a lot of water before you eat; it literally fills you up to the brim. I am an avid water drinker, so I have learned that it works wonders. I nixed soda and coffee from my diet, but have added green tea, which is amazingly delicious and is great for your metabolism also! Another tip is to keep a food journal. I never realized the quantities of posionous foods I was putting into my body until I wrote down every single item of food I ate in a day. It is definitely a reality check and motivated me to obtain
healthier food options.

4. And now comes the dreaded portion of my tips: EXERCISE! *Moans and Groans Erupt* O come on guys, it’s not that bad! I used to fear working out, so much so, that I would be embarrassed to step into a gym. If the gym’s for you, by all means sign up! It has amazing perks such as classes,
swimming pools, and my old gym even had TVs on each machine. All in all, it was great, but I came to realize that after a while, it just wasn’t for me. I’m much more of an outdoorsy soul, so I found out that there are amazing ways to exercise in the great outdoors. I have picked up running, kayaking, biking, and hiking to name a few activities and have not regretted my decision to exercise
outside in the slightest. Nothing beats fresh air and the escape from the monotony of a gym. Grab some friends and it becomes a fun way to socialize and lose weight! You won't even feel like you're exercising!

5. Speaking of friends, it helps a lot to have someone else either converting to a healthy lifestyle with you or motivating you every step of the way. My mother is somewhat of a health-nut (all we ate growing up was the newest organic foods available) so I have had the privilege of her motivation to help me reach my full potential. She actually dared me and my best friend this past summer to run a half-marathon with her! I had sworn off running in the past, but since she had dared me, of course I had to show her I could do it. I ended up training and completing the half-marathon and realized afterwards how great I felt about myself and how much I actually didn’t despise running. Having her push me along really helped keep me on track towards my goals.

6. And lastly, Smile! Having positive energy and laughter absolutely does make a difference in maintaining long term healthy goals. No one ever got far in this world without a positive outlook on life.

Good luck with all of your healthy goals! There is never a better time to start improving yourself than now!

*Here’s a sample of my workout plan when I only have a short amount of time to exercise.  I understand that everyone has a busy schedule, but that is no excuse to not get at least 20 minutes a day in of exercise! Instead of watching your favorite tv show at night, do this workout. It will benefit you far more.  

2 min  jump rope

2 min stairs

1 min pushups

2 min stairs

2 min sit-ups or crunches

2 min jumping jacks

2 min stairs

2 min running in place

2 min stairs

1 min weights

2 min stairs

Try to not take long breaks in between each exercise, as it helps that you are giving it your all in order to see results faster. When I started these exercises I noticed my face was more contoured and my whole body had started to tone up just after 10 days! Seriously, I swear by the stairs, those things work wonders! The best part about them is that they are everywhere! So no excuses! Crank up that music and get your sweat on! 

Mountain Biking