Good morning all! I hope you had a fabulous weekend! We had a full one, and now I’m ready to tackle another busy week.
I don’t know about you, but one of the hardest parts of my week is keeping a good handle on eating well and getting some exercise in. When you’re away from home for nearly 12 hours a day and have a toddler, it makes it difficult to balance. Despite that, I’ve been on a roll with my weight loss the past few weeks (down 1.6 in two weeks!), and I’m here to share with you what’s really been working for me. I’ve got 48.6 pounds to go, and I know these things are going to help get me there.
- Track what you’re eating. This is probably the one you hear the most and the one you dread the most – but it’s also the one that works the most. The weeks that I’m good about tracking what I eat are usually my most successful – even if I’ve splurged a bit. If you don’t track what’s going into your mouth, it’s a lot easier to deny it or forget about it. Tracking really encourages you to look at your choices throughout the day and make adjustments as needed. It doesn’t even matter how you do it. You could use My Fitness Pal, Weight Watchers, paper and pencil… as long as you’re getting it down somehow. I personally like to utilize both Weight Watchers and My Fitness Pal. My Weight Watchers tracking is what I really go by to measure my week, but I love the community aspect of My Fitness Pal that allows you to cheer on your friends’ accomplishments and receive your own. It’s a little more work for me to track on both, but it works for me. Do whatever works best for you, but track every bite that goes in your mouth!
- Move more. This can be anything from workouts to just walking more, but just work on adding more movement to your day. I’m a big fan of my Fitbit, but do what works for you. In fact, I feel lost without my Fitbit. Without it, I wouldn’t even realize how much I was sitting around doing nothing, and I’ve now hit my goal of 12,000 steps a day every day since November 1st. I firmly believe all that movement is what kept holiday weight gain at bay for me. Every little bit counts. I’ve also got an app on my phone called Stand Up that I set to go off every 40 minutes during the workday.
- Drink water. Not soda, not coffee, not crazy concoctions you swear are good for you. WATER. Drinking water is one of the best things you can do for your body. Your body needs water to function correctly, and drinking enough makes a huge difference. I’m not going to sit here and list off everything it does…because if you really want to know, you can google that. That said, I can tell a difference when I’m not drinking enough water – I get headaches, I get cranky, my skin is dull… it’s just not a good thing. As to how much, advice varies. I typically go with my own thirst, but always a minimum of 8 8-ounce glasses per day. Another good barometer is something Jillian Michaels has said – go by the color of your urine. It should be pale yellow, like the color of lemonade. Any darker, and you’re dehydrated. I keep a big water bottle on my desk and drink from it throughout the day. It also helps fill you up so you don’t overeat – a great bonus!
- Concentrate on quality. By this, I don’t mean organic vs. non-organic, meat vs. vegetarian, etc. I mean concentrate on the quality of the nutrients in your food. For me, that means making sure I get plenty of protein and fiber. Since I’m not a huge red meat eater, I eat a good amount of dairy along with some chicken or fish almost every day. Admittedly, protein is one of the hardest nutrients for me to get, so I really have to work hard at it… but when I get enough, I can tell the difference. It makes you fuller for longer and it great fuel for your body. Fiber does a lot of the same things as far as keeping you full, but it also keeps your digestive system moving. So important in general, plus if you eat something not so great for you, the fiber in a big salad will help get things moving out of there, if you know what I’m saying.
- Allow yourself to live your life. We all know things happen. Birthdays, anniversaries, holiday, a random bunch of cookies in the break room at work, a well-meaning aunt trying to give you more food, finishing your toddler’s lunch… it happens. Don’t beat yourself up about it. You’re allowed to have treats every so often, and in fact, I encourage it. Just don’t dwell on it. Have the piece of birthday cake, and go about your day. It’s all about balance. On the plus side, I’ve found that the better I eat on a regular basis, the more I don’t want those things anymore. We had Pizza Hut on Saturday night… and it just didn’t agree with me. It’s a sign my body wants the healthy stuff, and I welcome it. Slow and steady changes.
What do you think of my tips? Any you would change or any to add?