I have been overweight my whole life. I was always that chunky kid in high school who never did well in gym, and was not a fan of physical activity. I guess you could say I was lazy.
At age 34, I was at my heaviest — 301 pounds — and decided I really needed to lose weight. Just like many other points in my life, but this time I set out to accomplish my goals. I had tried all types of fad diets and pills, but nothing ever worked.
Today, I am a healthy and positive person. Losing weight and keeping it off is not a “diet." Diets are temporary. What I did to lose 150 pounds is make lasting life changes. It's the only way to get healthy and stay healthy. Here are my top 10 tips for losing weight and maintaining that weight loss:
1. I ate breakfast every day.
The truth is, whether you're hungry or not, you need to fuel your metabolism in the morning. Your body needs nourishment to get a strong start for the day. Now, when I say breakfast I don’t mean sugary cereals, oatmeal, or donuts, and a cup of coffee. I mean a well-balanced nutritious breakfast like eggs, whole-grain toast, fruit, and other whole, real foods.
Also, who says that you only need to eat foods that society has labeled as breakfast foods for breakfast. If you want chicken or vegetables for breakfast — go for it. As long as you are staying with a balanced and nutritious diet, eat it. Your body will thank you by having more energy and clearer thoughts throughout the day.
2. I ditched processed foods.
The foods most people consume these days are over processed and loaded with chemicals and additives. All you need to do is simply learn how to eat, what to eat, and how much of it to consume (more on that later). Clean up that diet and ditch the junk food and you will have the weight falling off of you.
3. I avoided these five items.
- Soda: This was the first thing I gave up and never looked back.
- Sugar: Become a label reader, sugar is in just about everything these days.
- “Diet” foods: Most “diet” foods are highly processed and are loaded with alternate ingredients, and not to mention a boat load of sodium.
- “Fat-free” foods: Fat-free foods contain a lot of sugar, which everyone already knows is not healthy for you.
- “Sugar-free” foods: Sugar-free means it has a sugar substitute, and most of the time those substitutes are more harmful to the body than sugar.
4. I ditched foods that had labels.
Eat cleaner by consuming whole foods. I always tell people to try and avoid the middle aisles of the grocery stores as much as possible. Everything your body needs is normally located on the outer perimeter of the store, like produce, meats, and dairy. Label-free foods are the healthiest and most rewarding for your body.
5. I drank lots of water.
It has zero calories and it keeps your body hydrated. Infuse your water with fruits for flavor. I have a note hanging from my monitor at work that says “drink water,” so every time I look at it, I take a drink of water. To help curb my appetite, I also would drink a glass of water as soon as I woke up in the morning, and a glass of water before each meal.
6. I eat a balanced diet.
I used to eat nothing but processed and frozen food. I never ate fresh vegetables — it was just easier to open a can. My diet was horrible and I ate way too much. Today my diet consists of a majority of whole foods, meats, proteins, vegetables, fruits, and grains.
You can’t expect your body to go, go, go, without fueling it properly. Make sure you are eating three balanced meals through the day. Watch your portions, because even though you are eating healthy you can still overeat on healthy foods. Your body needs a mixture of proteins, fruits, vegetables, fats, and carbs on a daily basis.
7. I get enough sleep.
Your body also needs a proper night's sleep. Nothing is worse than a rundown “you” most of the time that will result in getting sick because your body is exhausted.
8. I stay up to date on health news.
I have no official education in health or wellness, everything that I have learned is from reading, researching, or watching others. I am a huge social media person and like just about every healthy eating page out there. This is where I get all of my healthy recipes from! It is so easy to research and find tips to help you stay on track.
9. I am positive.
For me, staying positive was not hard to do. I was never a super negative person, I just needed to learn a different way of thinking. I try and stay away from negative people as well. Anyone who constantly tells themselves “they can’t” probably won’t. Mind over matter plays a huge part in the success of your dreams and goals .
10. I exercise at least five days a week.
I started exercising slowly. I purchased a recumbent bike and a small elliptical. I worked out about 30 minutes a night for five or six days a week. Six months later, I joined a gym and now it's like a second home for me. I continue to work out about six days a week.
I have maintained my 150-pound weight loss for the past two years by sticking to all of these trips. I am definitely a stronger, more confident woman since my transformation and I believe in myself so much more. I never thought I would be able to accomplish what I have, so have faith — you can do this too!
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Photo courtesy of the author