I know I can’t be the only one who has had “cabin fever” during the last few months. With Coronavirus causing people all over the world to stay home for extended periods, many of us — including myself, turned to the one friend that was always there…the pantry. While there were a lot of great habits that were established during quarantine like getting outside more, learning new recipes, and discovering how to appreciate the little things…there was also the dreaded “quarantine 19”. For those of you who are unfamiliar with this term, many believe that they have gained 19 pounds during the “Stay at Home” order. I, too, was in this type of situation about a year ago. Over the last year, I lost 45 pounds and wanted to share some of my tips about how I lost weight! Hopefully, these tips will help anyone shed those pesky pounds, so let’s jump in…
- Patience: Too often, people expect change to happen instantly! This is not the case for most people. Losing and keeping that extra weight off doesn’t happen overnight. It takes hard work and dedication to lose and keep weight off. It is recommended that when trying to lose weight, you don’t lose more than two pounds per week. Dieting in a way that makes you lose more than two pounds a week could be unsafe and cause you to relapse and gain more weight in the long run! Just remember, the path towards losing weight isn’t a sprint, it’s a marathon!
- You Don’t Have to Starve Yourself: There is a common misconception when trying to lose weight that you will be starving all the time; this is not the case. Nutrient-dense foods can help alleviate this problem. Foods such as vegetables, beans, and fruits are high in fiber. Eating more of these types of food will help you fight hunger, and they also can be delicious! In addition to eating foods rich in fiber, making sure that you are getting enough protein in your diet will help fight “hunger pains.” It is recommended that you have one gram of protein for every pound of weight. For example, if you weigh 150 pounds, you should have 150 grams of protein every day. Incorporating these foods into your diet will make you feel more satisfied and fuller!
- Take Baby Steps at the Gym: Usually, people try to push themselves so hard — that they end up dreading going to the gym. Remember patience is key! You can’t go from not working out at all — to running five miles in a single workout session. I recommend starting off walking or jogging a mile, and then slowly work your way up from there. Even something as simple as going on a walk in the neighborhood is considered exercise. Remember, something is always better than nothing! Once you gain some endurance at the gym, I recommend HIIT workouts. HIIT stands for “high-intensity interval training” and they are shorter workouts with bursts of high intensity. HIIT workouts are all about hitting your peaks and valleys, and they burn calories long after you are done working out. Stay tuned for more information on HIIT workouts in the coming weeks and how they help with your cardiovascular health! Lastly, don’t forget to weight train. No matter how big or small the weights are, they will make a difference! People often think that the only way to lose weight is through cardio, and this is simply not true. Weight training allows you to burn calories while working out, as well as after you’re done working out due to the muscles repairing themselves from your weightlifting session.
- A Food Journal: This is my biggest tip to those of you trying to lose weight. I found that a food journal helped me keep track of calories, stay disciplined, and realize how much food I had consumed over the course of the day. Without having a journal to keep you accountable, you’re eating habits can go down the drain! For me, it always begins with that one chocolate — and one chocolate turns into 10. That’s when you can go down a slippery slope — but with a food journal, it makes you think more about what and how you are eating! This step can be crucial in the weight loss journey!
- Give Yourself Some Grace: The one mistake that most people trying to lose weight do, is make themselves feel guilty when they cheat. To be successful in losing weight, you must give yourself some leeway. If you never allow yourself to eat that donut or cookie, you will drive yourself crazy! It’s all about balance. If you have a cheat meal one day, make sure that you plan out the rest of your week to try and make up for the cheat meal you had. If you don’t, guess what? It’s not the end of the world! One meal won’t set you back. The problem is when one bad meal turns into a whole day and that day turns into a bad week. Again, it’s all about balance and patience! When you get on that scale, and you lost a couple of pounds, reward yourself! By doing this, it allows you to maintain your diet longer and adhere to it more strictly.
Now… it’s time to get after it! Go out and make some changes in your life. If this pandemic has taught me anything…it is to seize the day! Stop putting weight loss off and go after it, you won’t regret it in the end.