After years of trying to lose weight and failing, I had a break through last year. I lost over 40 pounds and went down five sizes in six months. This journey was surprising, and in the end, satisfying because I did it with simple adjustments, and all it cost me was some time. You can do it, too!
These are the adjustments I made:
- Drink plenty of water, at least eight cups.
- Eat your calories, don’t drink them. I rarely drink fruit juices, pop, or alcoholic beverages. My beverages are one cup of milk with my breakfast and water the rest of the day.
- I used www.myfitnesspal.com to figure out how many calories I could eat to reach my goal and to keep track of how many calories I ate each day. This free site is wonderful because you can find many foods already in the database; but if you have recipes to add, you can determine the calories per serving for that very dish. They also send helpful e-mails that give tips on healthy eating and exercise. After you put in your goals, you simply keep track of what you eat and what you do for exercise. Eventually, you’ve made a new habit!
- Measure your servings. I have to admit that I was shocked to learn serving sizes and calories for some food items. I did feel like crying when I found out how much a small McDonald’s shake cost me. Soon you will figure out how to eat through trial and error. I lost one to two pounds per week, even when I splurged on the weekends. You have to know that it is okay to have desserts once in a while. The key is that it is really a treat because it is not something you consume daily. Soon you will know a serving size and not need to measure.
- I also cut sugar. Sugar is everywhere in the American diet. Cut it and you will see a difference. I bake banana bread and other short breads less often, and when I do, I eat less. I love ice cream and baked items. Okay, I love to bake! Anyway, I do that less now. Cutting the amount of sugar in a recipe is something else I do. Don’t be afraid to experiment.
You have probably heard that you need to spend more calories than you take in. That may be true, but it certainly isn’t as easy as some people make it sound. To burn off a 500 calorie item, you have to walk for an hour at four miles per hour. I don’t have an hour for exercise every day, but I try to at least five times each week. I have always exercised, but now I change up the routine. I especially enjoy walking with friends, but I also add in some biking or step aerobics or working for half an hour on the elliptical. Weight training is important also. That is something that I need to work on now. I’m not an exercise fanatic. I don’t think it is all that fun unless I have a friend to talk with; then it doesn’t seem like it is such hard work. Again, I like a brisk walk the best. Running is great exercise. I, however, haven’t gotten passionate about that one yet. I exercised for years without losing any weight. It was the addition of the above tips that brought success.
The reward has been smaller clothes. I’ve never been much of a shopper, but it is exciting to go down sizes instead of up.
When I set out on this weight loss journey it was because I was told I was pre-diabetic and that I ought to lose weight. It took some time before the pounds started coming off, but once they did, they came off easily. I just kept going until I met my goal. Figuring out how to maintain was tricky, but now I’ve been maintaining for several months staying at about the same weight. I believe there is such a thing as being too thin. I don’t want to become frail.
Life is short. Let’s rejoice with each other when we succeed. Let us not compare our journeys, but encourage each other in our journeys.
I praise God for good health and for helping me. I hope you will be equally blessed in meeting your goals. The most important part of this is being healthy and content with your body. The key is to be the best you.
God bless you!