My Best Tips For Losing Weight and Staying in Shape
Everyone wants to lose weight from time to time. Whether you're looking to get in shape for a particular event, or for a healthier body you need to know where to begin.
Over the years I've tried countless ways to keep my weight in check. Throughout my 20's I stayed in shape to keep up with the current demands of the modeling and pageantry industry. As I neared my 30's I began to stay in shape for the health benefits. Today I stay in shape out of respect to the Creator, God my Father. I believe my body is a temple to the Holy Spirit and I try to keep in shape out of reverence to that.
I am not perfect, and I don't keep a perfect fitness routine, but I stay consistent in my efforts and in my way of thinking. If I take good care of myself, I increase my likelihood of a healthier and longer-lasting life with fewer complications. When bad times arrive (which they inevitably will) I am more equipped to effectively handle them if my body has been well cared for.
But don't get me wrong. I know that caring for the body can be hard. It takes learning, and practice along with commitment and perseverance. All of which requires discipline.
Today I am sharing with you my best tips for losing weight and staying in shape
Make it a priority
My biggest weight loss came after I gave birth to my 4th child Emmanuel. One week after giving birth to him I weighed myself and was shocked to see I'd allowed myself to gain over 70 lbs. I committed myself to reclaim my pre-pregnancy body and over the span of a few months lost every pound and then some. I learned a very important lesson during that experience and it was that when I make weight loss a priority I lose weight! I made it a priority by journaling about it, setting a schedule, finding enjoyable exercise breaking my relationship with food, and staying hydrated.
. Journal about it
- I wrote down all of my weight loss goals, and how I planned to achieve them.
- I wrote down tips that I picked up along the way (for example drinking water throughout the day contributes greatly to weight loss and healthy-looking skin and hair)
- I wrote down my progress. Looking back on what I accomplished provided encouragement to continue to move forward.
. Set a schedule
Weight loss became easy for me when I learned to live by a schedule. I trained myself to wake up before the sun and work out first thing before life could get in the way. I admit, the first 3 days were difficult, but it became second nature and even essential to happy calm days. Setting a schedule makes a healthy lifestyle become second nature as opposed to it being a chore. Try to schedule when you will practice physical fitness, as well as when you will eat. If you're able to do it, try scheduling multiple aspects of your life.
. Find an activity you enjoy
I've had major success and gain throughout my fitness journey and major set-backs as well. Today I am well aware of what works for me and what doesn't. One of the best tips I could give for a successful fitness journey and healthy lifestyle is to find a physical activity that you love. Too many times have I seen former friends of mine purchase a gym membership but then despise going to the gym.
Your physical activity should be fun. It should be something that you like to do, and not something that you have to do.
My personal experience is that weight loss happens on its own when I do activities that I love.
The thing is that you have to figure out what you love. Sometimes as adults we forget what fun feels like and it can be difficult to tap into that again. My advice to you is to get in touch with your inner child and discover how you like to play. Did you love to splash around in the water as a child? Then you should try swimming for a healthy lifestyle. Did you love riding your bike and coming home before the street lights came on? Then you might enjoy spinning class. Or maybe you were like me and enjoyed pretending to be a ballerina or gymnast. If that's the case you may enjoy pilates or yoga.
Some of my most fun activities are
. Dancing in the bathroom
. Doing yoga flows to my favorite music
. Hula Hooping to retro 80's music
. Pilates that makes me sweat
. The swing at the playground
. Running uphill and taking long walks with the baby
Do what's fun, and if you don't know how to do it, learn how. Start as a beginner and enjoy the journey without focusing too hard on the destination.
Break Up With Food
Many of us can admit to having a relationship with food. There have been multiple periods of my life where food was used for comfort, as a confidant, as a celebratory act, and even as a friend. Breaking off my relationship with food contributed to me getting and staying in shape.
When I am healthy and feeling in shape I am in a state where I view food as fuel for my body, as medicine and as preventative care. I stopped eating because it tastes good, but instead, I ate to live and as a means to an end. I grew away from being excited about what I was eating for how it would taste in my mouth, but learned to be excited for what it would do to benefit my body.
This helped me to easily make healthy choices about what to put into my body.
I chose dark colored cherries for the antioxidant and melatonin (great as a late-night snack)
I chose whole grains to keep me full throughout the day
I choose leafy dark greens for iron and hair growth
and garlic rich foods for heart health.
When I break up with food, I can form a new relationship with nutrition.
Water is the source of life and drinking plenty of it contributes greatly to weight loss and healthy living. Water keeps you full which helps you to avoid overeating. It also aids in digestion which prevents food from sticking around in the body. Staying properly hydrated also keeps your organs functioning properly which of course helps your body maintain a healthy weight. To stay hydrated:
. I sip water throughout the day (aim for half a gallon per day)
. I add lemon, mint, or fruit to your water to make it fancy and tasty
. I drink canned sparkling water like AHA or Bubbly with dinner. They taste like soda :)
. I drink tea first thing in the morning and an hour or two before bed.
I also limit the amount of caffeine that I consume as caffeine is a diuretic and contributes to dehydration which is counter-productive.
What are some ways that work for you to stay in shape? Do my best tips work for you too, or do you have your own that aren't listed here? If so I'd love to know about them.