This post is by OYS writer Alexis from Trading Cardio for Cosmos. You can also find her on Facebook and Instagram sharing her awesome weight loss tips and motivation!! She’s lost over 100lbs so she has lots to share!
When I think about my -115lb weight loss journey, it’s most easily explained through making (and breaking) of habits.
I know what you are thinking. “This is when she’s going to tell us we have to meal prep,” and you’re right! That is the #1 piece of advice I give anyone on their weight-loss journey. But we’ll skip it for today, and check out these ten habits that can make or break your weight loss:
All of these habits are moot if you are smoking or vaping or doing anything else that is putting tobacco and chemicals into your lungs. You raise your heart rate, your blood pressure and make it harder to breathe during normal daily activities (let alone exercise) when you smoke. Smoking can also be a stimulant that keeps you up at night. And yes, while smoking can be an appetite suppressant it’s negative impacts far outweigh that one positive.
I know this sounds easier said than done, but a good night’s sleep makes a world of difference in your mental acuity and your physical ability. Even your rational, decision-making capabilities benefit from a good nights sleep. I am more likely to make a poor food decision on the fly when I’m tired. Also, when sleep deprived, I’m more likely to just go through the motions of a workout – but not really work out – or skip the gym entirely. Neither of which is getting me to a healthier body, so sleep is essential!
Plain water, lemon water, water with fruit infused, seltzer water… just do it! Your body needs good, all natural water to function properly. Your body needs eight, 8-ounce glasses of water each day, and I firmly believe that every time you have a caffeinated beverage you need to add one more glass of water to the tally. Caffeine is a stimulant and dehydrating, so every coffee and iced tea is actually taking away from your hydration. I still have three or four coffees in a day, but gone are the bottomless Diet Cokes and endless iced teas. I’ve also eliminated powdered or artificial drink mixes whose chemicals can slow my weight loss.
Here’s some other posts on hydration:
I had a reader recently asked what she should do to stimulate her weight loss. I asked her how much weight she was losing, and she said 1 pound per week. I had to tell her, one pound per week is terrific weight loss! It’s slow and steady and it’s also sustainable. She felt like she should be losing 2-3 pounds, and I suspect it is because she set an unrealistic goal of being a certain weight by a certain date. In the majority of weight loss journeys I have seen, getting to goal and staying at goal takes longer than we anticipated! So it’s important to build in a buffer amount of time, for those weeks that don’t go as well as we hoped and for those stubborn pounds that take a little longer to come off.
Your health and your weight loss journey are important to you, and it is OK to say “No, I don’t want to eat that,” or “Thank you for the offer, but I don’t want a cupcake today.” In our desire not to hurt anyone’s feelings and to make others feel good, we often sacrifice our own happiness. So I am hereby giving you permission. If you do not want to eat a food someone is offering, you can say no. If you don’t want to go to Taco Bell for lunch, you can say no. If you want to bring your own food to your mother-in-law’s house, you can. You should be respectful and polite when declining or bringing your own, but I have found that the people who love us generally accept our desire to better ourselves as a good thing and are much more understanding than we anticipate!
I am a firm believer that planning = success. I don’t mean you have to plan out every minute of every day, or plan every snack for the entire week. On Sundays, I review my calendar with Mr. Big to determine what days or nights I have meetings, what nights he has meetings, what nights we might go out to dinner, etc. This allows me to better plan my breakfast and lunches to accommodate bigger dinners out, or it allows me to know I need to eat a lighter dinner on those days I have business meetings over breakfast or lunch. Sometimes I will even go as far as to check the menu of the restaurant I’ll be visiting. This gives me a rough idea of what I might have and how many points or calories that will leave me with for the rest of the day. If I don’t plan ahead, I’m more likely to overdo it because I didn’t plan ahead, or because I made a poor food choices on the fly.
Here’s some other posts on planning ahead:
Exercise is essential to a healthy body, so even though you can lose weight without exercising, you shouldn’t. You should absolutely consult your doctor if you have concerns about starting an exercise routine, but whether it is walking or biking or something more strenuous, it is so important to build strong muscles and get your heart pumping! Cardio workouts helped me take off more than 100 pounds cleanly and evenly. Now toning is helping me to firm up my muscles and my skin, and helping me get my body ready for the beach!
See all of our home exercise routines and tips here.
I thought I had a really good week last week, but when it came time to weigh in I was down less than 1 pound. I felt like the level of activity I completed and my food intake should have yielded better results, until I took a more honest look at what I ate. Then I realized there were a few tablespoons of peanuts I had not accounted for, and extra serving of tortilla chips at the barbecue, two nights of pretzel rods right before bed and a few bites of some other items that I did not track. These BLTS (bites, licks, tastes and sips) added real calories and real carbs to my diet, and they need to be accounted for. If they had, I would have realized that my good week was more of an “okay week” and I need to tighten up my mindless snacking.
Our weight loss journeys are not about perfection. It’s about making better choices than you used to, making better choices than you did yesterday and resetting yourself if you have a bad day. This journey is about learning healthy habits and balance that you carry with you for the rest of your life.That is why I am a huge advocate for staying on program every day, no matter what. This doesn’t mean that there are not days when I overeat, overindulge or just really blow it, but it means that I track my intake and attempt to repair the indulgences with exercise and a lighter diet for the balance of that week. The concept of a “cheat day” implies that your journey or your weight-loss program is temporary and you can turn on and off at will. That means your weight loss journey is temporary, not a sustainable, longterm change and for many of us, particularly those who have more weight to lose, this is a dangerous way of thinking. Also, why eat so well all week only to erase your progress on a cheat day?
One of the biggest emotional changes for me through my journey has been learning to love myself and the skin I’m in. To do that, I had to embrace the things about myself that I love, change some things about myself that I did not enjoy and recognize that I am a better partner, daughter, colleague, auntie, friend, etc when I am happy with myself and where my life is going. I see a lot of people who feel like they need a weight loss friend or an accountability coach, or think their spouse has to do this diet with them. But we can’t lose weight to please someone else, or to fix a relationship or make someone proud. Your weight loss is about you feeling like the best possible you and you can only do that for yourself.
What do you think? Are these habits that would make or break your weight-loss? What essential habits have I missed? Let me know in the comments below!
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