August 24, 2015

So You Wanna Lose 50 Pounds???

Well, maybe 50 pounds isn't the exact number. Maybe it's more? Maybe less. Whatever the number is, there are a few points you should take into consideration when trying to lose a significant amount of weight. Now, remember that everything may not work for everybody and these aren't scientific facts that are approved by the FDA, the President and Jesus himself. These are just a few things that worked for me in my own weight loss journey. This is not everything I did, I'll probably have to do a continuation in the near future. Nevertheless, it's up to you to take these into consideration and eventually find what works specifically for you in your own journey.

1. It's a journey, not a race.
The number one reason people give up losing weight is because they don't see results in the first 2 days!! Ok, maybe not the first two days, but many people quickly get discouraged when their muffin top isn't gone within the first week of them working out and eating right. What we have to remember is that those pounds weren't packed on in a week. It took months, even years of eating unhealthy for you to gain that tummy, so guess how long it's going to take to lose it?? Exactly! What you also want to remember is that it's actually better (& healthier) for you to lose the weight slowly because that means it's won't come back as fast. It will stay off longer and you won't have to deal with the "I put back on all the weight I lost" blues.
2. 70% diet, 30% exercise...or something like that.
I've found that a startling amount of people are under the misconception that if they eat right and skip
the gym they can lose weight or if they're in the gym 24/7, that gives them free reigns to eat whatever they want. Now, for some unicorns that may work, but for us normal folk, that's a no go! Granted, I don't think anybody really knows the exact percentage ratio of diet to exercise, we just know you have to eat right more than you workout! "The key to weight loss is to consumer fewer calories than you burn. For most people, it's possible to lower their calorie intake to a greater degree than it is to burn more calories through increased exercise. That's why cutting calories through dieting is generally more effective for weight loss." -Mayo Clinic, Donald Hensrud M.D. Now, put a healthy diet and an effective workout plan together and you're ready to kick butt!

3. Make small changes. Find healthier alternatives.
Very few people are able to give up anything cold turkey. It's just not that easy! If you've been addicted to Diet Coke all your adult life (Which btw, is NOT healthier than regular Coke.) There's no way that you're going to be able to completely give it up just because you say you want to. I found that making small changes here and there, eventually turned into me making significant changes that helped me drop pounds AND KEEP THEM OFF! If you drink soda every single day, you may want to start out only allowing yourself one can of soda if you drank nothing but water the previous day. Next, reduce it to only drinking soda during the weekends, then only once a day until you don't have that craving for soda anymore. Trust me it works! I used to be addicted to white rice (It's a staple in our wonderful Panamanian culture!), then I started decreasing my servings sizes, then substituting white rice for brown rice or quinoa. Now, I hardly buy white rice or keep it in my house.

4. Drop the alcohol!!!
I know, I know! What's a Friday night happy hour without a couple shots of Patron, three margaritas,
and a Budlight Lime, to wash away the week's sorrows? Or is that just me? If you're known for frequenting your town's hottest happy hour spots, it may be time to rethink that while on your weight loss journey. Alcohol is your worst enemy when it comes to losing weight. From the high sugar content in mixed drinks, to the yeast in beers, to the lowering of your inhibitions and increase of your appetite. Try to stay away from alcohol as much as possible. Especially when it comes to mixed drinks, e.g: margaritas, daiquiris, Coke & _____, or a ____ & Sprite. These drinks alone can start out at 350 calories! Imagine drinking 2 margaritas while gobbling down chips and salsa AND an entree. Your night alone just cost you close to 1000 calories....if that! Instead, opt for a glass of wine or a vodka tonic. Only one though!

5. Cheat meals are a must!
At the end of the day, we are all human. Eating fruits and veggies 24/7 can be monotonous and downright boring for some people. Especially when you're a foodie like me with a strong love for the sweet, the savory, and everything in between. Your weight loss journey is not a diet, it's not a prison sentence, nor is it punishment for eating "bad" your whole life. It's a lifestyle change and a way for you to be the healthiest you, possible. If you're craving a slice of red velvet cake, guess what? Eat it! Just remember that you don't need that second slice or to wash it down with a big ole Coke A Cola. Look at what you had to eat that day (start a food journal) and determine whether that slice of cake is really a good choice. It's all about will power and learning to make the right decisions!

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