So you’re tired of feeling tired and sluggish. You’re tired of being overweight. You’ve decided to embark on a new healthy lifestyle. Awesome! So where do you start?
There are a few things to keep in mind as you take off on this new journey to a healthy lifestyle.
1. This isn’t a quick fix or a fad diet. This is a lifestyle change, and it will take time. You hear this all the time. That’s because it’s true! If you want to lose 10 pounds in the next week, your goals probably aren’t where they need to be. After your initial water-weight loss, you can expect to healthfully lose 1-2 pounds a week. As you learn to make healthier food choices, it becomes habit, and that weight that goes away will stay away! Hang in there and stick with it – you definitely won’t regret it once you step on the scale and you’re at a number you haven’t seen in years!
2. Don’t jump in too quickly and risk burn out. Just as you wouldn’t go from your life in snowy Minnesota to a week-long vacation in Hawaii without taking some precautions against the sun, you don’t want to go from not exercising at all to trying to run 3 miles at once, or eating only vegetables all day long. That will only lead to burn out, and you’ll be right back where you started. Start small. Go for a walk, 3 to 4 days a week. Cut out the soda. Vow to eat salad for lunch 2 days a week. You can easily keep adding things as you progress.
3. 100% dedication required, and it’s not going to be easy – at first. This is a tough pill to swallow. It’s not easy to turn down delicious, but unhealthy food. Who doesn’t love free donuts at work meetings, or sleeping in on Saturday mornings? It’s hard to say no to those sugary circles of deliciousness. It’s hard to pull your tired self out of bed on the weekends to get your workout out of the way. But here’s the thing. You’ll feel so much better for saying no after the temptation has passed, than you would if you’d given in. You have to learn to be strong, and if you’re not 100% dedicated to this new lifestyle, you’ll give in, and struggle with feelings of guilt. You’ll be starting over quite often, and starting over isn’t a great feeling. Keep your goals at the forefront of your mind, and remember that you CAN do this.
4. Eating healthfully doesn’t have to be boring and tasteless! But it’s up to you to see that it doesn’t become boring. Don’t eat salad every day. Don’t vow to never eat another cupcake again. Who would wanna do that anyway? Sheesh…Stock your fridge with options, and keep variety in your diet. Try new foods and recipes, like this mexican black bean dish. Yummy! Experiment with your favorite recipes to see if you can “healthify” them to your liking. Keep healthful eating fun and exciting!
5. Water, water, and more water! In my opinion, water is the key to losing weight. If you’re not used to drinking at least 64 ounces of water a day, it will take some getting used to. You’ll be making trips to the ladies or mens room much more often! I learned, in my weight-loss journey, that my weight could fluctuate as much as a pound or two a day, based on whether or not I drank enough water. It will get you started by ridding your body of water weight, and it will keep your metabolism moving as you keep getting rid of those pounds.
6. Set mini-goals, and reward yourself for each milestone. If you’re trying to lose 30 pounds, celebrate each 5 that come off! This could be new shoes, new jeans, a manicure, whatever makes you happy. Believe me, it’s quite fun to go shopping and discover that your previous pants size is now too big!
No one said weight-loss was easy. Don’t get discouraged. No need to jump straight to the adipex diet pills. Once the pounds start coming off, you’ll be more motivated to stick with it, and once you reach your healthy lifestyle goal, you’re going to feel like a million bucks! Remember these 6 little pieces of advice, and go for it. You’ll be great!
Photo Credit: ncoca.org