So I set myself some goals for August [ check them out here if you’re curious ] and one of the more important ones was to take the time to exercise and improve myself. I’ve gained weight over the last few years due to medications I take and lack of motivation. And truthfully lack of giving much of a crap. But I’ve been looking back at old pictures I was jealous of me! It’s typical really because I’d kill for the figure I had 3-4yrs ago. Even though at the time I still felt like a hot mess.. oh the irony!
But I’m tired of being all miserable about it and decided I’m going to be a better version of me. My self esteem has gradually improved and I started to take notice of this. I’ve made a few changes to the way I think and how the way I analyse myself and figured sharing it would be good for others who might also be in the same position.
So here are my top 5 tips on on how to stay on the weight loss train.
Set yourself realistic goals – Magazines and sponsored ads are everywhere. They tell you that you can lose 20lbs in a week by drinking some magic tea or by eating 3 grapes and a handful of almonds. It’s rubbish.. and quite frankly, dangerous. Don’t limit yourself to something you can’t sustain because when you fall off (and you will) you’re going to be right back where you started. At the same time, don’t tell yourself you’re going to run 10k every night because you’re no,t and you can’t. Not unless you’re Mo Farah or a gazelle. Scale it back and give yourself achievable goals.
I told myself I would work out 4 times a week for 30 minutes and it wasn’t restricted to running, or swimming. It could be a combination of things that get me to my 30 minute target. This has worked so well for me! By not limiting myself to one thing it makes hitting my 30 minutes a lot easier. So I find I’m encouraged to do a little more each time.
Don’t beat yourself up – If you do slip a little or you simply cannot say no to that yum yum that your boyfriend brought home, don’t make it such a big deal. If you deny yourself everything you’re going to trip up and fall off the wagon a lot faster. I’ve eaten things I maybe shouldn’t have and skipped a day when it wasn’t my rest day. Mayyybe taken an extra one. But who cares? By not beating yourself up about it means yo’ll give up. Just go at it for a little longer or make sure you eat just a little bit better. Don’t look at it as failure, look at it as a reason to do better next time. Because it isn’t the be all and end all.
Avoid your scales – They are evil and they will make you cry! But if you absolutely HAVE to, make sure you weigh yourself first thing in the morning before you’d had anything to eat or drink. Weight can fluctuate like crazy over the course of a day and can mean the difference between 2/3lbs! So to avoid upset and stick to the morning rule.
We’re programmed to expect immediate results because we’re in the era of “instant”. We want to find out something.. it’s there at our fingertips, we want something the next day.. we use amazon prime and it’s on the doorstep.. we want to watch a show we missed.. it’s on demand ready for you. Plus all the “before and after” photos we get bombarded with don’t give you all the details of the hard work and time people have put in to get there. So if you’re anything like me you’ll eat well for 3 days, do 5 push-ups and then wonder why you don’t look like that skinny girl on the box of diet pills.
Personally I’ve found best way to track your progress is to take regular measurements and pictures rather than relying on the numbers at your feet. Muscle weighs more than fat, so you can get disheartened thinking nothing is happening even though things might actually be going in the right direction. Plus you don’t always “see” your body change until you look back at images of yourself – so it’s something I really recommend doing.
Drink shit loads of water – People really underestimate this, thinking it doesn’t actually do anything but it’s so beneficial in aiding weight loss. Drinking more and regularly helps to suppress your appetite, aids in burning calories and reduces water retention. That can be a big scale tipper.
Apparently drinking 500ml of water 30 minutes prior to eating your 3 main meals helps to DOUBLE your weight loss. So get chugging! I find that when I think I’m hungry, I’m actually just thirsty. So I down a glass and the hunger pang tends to go away so it really does help curb your appetite.
Don’t compare your progress to others – I don’t care if Sandra down the street lost 6kgs in 2 weeks. I’m not bothered if Rita from your yoga class lost all her baby weight in a month. How fast or how slowly you lose the weight is not a reflection of the effort you are putting in. Every BODY is different and will burn/change/adjust at it’s own pace. What works for some doesn’t work for others. And the faster you lose it by crash dieting, the faster you’re going to put it back when you stop. I’ve been there myself.
It’s a gradual process and as cliche as it sounds, it is a lifestyle choice. You have to be willing to put in a little bit effort and will power to say no. It will add up and once you incorporate this into your daily life, it’ll just become 2nd nature. You’ll see the results when you least expect it.
These are just the things that help me focus and stop me sobbing into a bowl of ice cream. If you have any of your own tips I’d be really interested to hear them!