Wow. Sometimes, when I look back on old photos, I don't recognize myself.
Once upon a time, I was negligent about my health. I lived off of Chik-Fil-A kids meals (because that's all I could afford) while working to pay my way through nursing school at the local GNC. I smoke cigarettes some days and drank like a fish. Ironic, dont'cha think?
Then, finally, I was so sick and tired of feeling sick and tired. I was 21 years old and too young to feel this terrible. My body jiggled and I had piled so much weight onto my petite barely 5 foot 3 inch frame.
I got up one day after watching a documentary called Food INC and I threw out all of the crap and started a new, healthy, fit lifestyle. It was not easy, but I stayed motivated. I spent years yo-yo dieting and trying every new fad diet on the block. Until, I realized that health cannot be some one week, two week, three week thing-it had to be for LIFE
Here are some tips as to what I did:
- Instead of 3 big meals, I aimed for 5-6 meals daily.
- I constantly snacked every 2 hours.
- I never skipped meals. Ever.
- I quit alcohol and smoking.
- I only drank water or lemon water.
- I ate more protein at every meal.
- I stopped going out to eat. Instead, I made my meals at home so I knew what was in it.
- I counted calories and read nutrition labels.
- I went for daily walks after dinnertime.
- I said no to fake sugars. I did eat fresh fruit.
- I practiced moderating my proportions.
I went on to lose almost 45lbs in 9 months from basically clean eating alone. I want you to know that it IS possible. You gotta wake up and fight for it every day.
Even throughout my pregnancy, I treated my body with the utmost care by eating clean foods and going to the gym 5 days per week. I can honestly say that U have a better body now than I did before
pregnancy-all because of hard work and learning to love my body for what it has done for me.
Here are my 5 tips to keeping the weight off-for life:
Plan your meals & cook them at home. Planning has lots to do with maintaining weight loss. You don't want to go into a battle unprepared, right? You do not want to go into a craving battle unprepared either. I recommend meal prepping each week! It has been the key to keeping me on track of my daily routine because at the end of the day, I know what I ate, how many calories I consumed, and I don't have to stress about what to make the next day. Here are my 5 steps to meal prepping to begin!
Drink lots of water. We all have heard this tip a thousand times over, but most of us still refuse to abide by it. Personally, I get bored with the taste of water so I like to add fresh lemon juice and slices to my water pitcher. Water regulates the balance of body fluids and also helps you to regulate your calories. You drank lots of water to lose weight, right? Now, drink the water to keep the pounds from coming back on. Aim for at least half of your body weight in ounces of water daily. If you weight 120 lbs, aim for at least 60 oz. of water.
Follow a consistent exercise routine. When maintaining weight loss, it is a great idea to stay consistent with your workouts. If you start doing too much, you'll end up burning more calories thus losing more weight. On the other side of the spectrum, if you do too little activity, you are more likely to gain-especially if your diet is staying the exact same (in this case, you'll have to change your diet to fit your altered workout plan). Stick with a good plan that involves at least 45 minutes of activity per day and get moving!
Be consistent in your diet, as well. Always eat the same amount of meals daily-this keeps your body on track of a schedule which helps keep things more static. If you skip one meal one day and eat the same the next, I doubt it is going to throw you off altogether. But if you consistently keep skipping meals or eating 4 small meals one day and then 6 small meals the next, this will confuse your body and you are guaranteed to see those pounds shift-one way or the other. I am not saying to eat the same boring chicken with broccoli everyday; just stick with the foods that do your body justice and find new ways to create them and spice them up! Healthy never has to be boring.
Create a motivational board to stay inspired. I love this idea. Creating a motivational or inspirational board always drives me. I would also suggest this idea when wanting to reach a weight loss or weight gain goal, not just for maintaining. Simply, make a collage of everything-people, things, quotes-that inspire you to reach your journey.
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