I’ve learned a lot of things during my journey to lose 100 pounds and keep it off. Some of the things I learned were a huge “duh” moment, but honestly sometimes the simplest stuff is the hardest to learn. I wanted to share a few things that worked for me. The biggest tip I can give anyone trying to lose weight: make it as easy as possible to make good choices. This means don’t keep tempting junk food in the house, don’t go too long without eating a meal, keep healthy options in the house so you don’t slip up, and so on.
Here are some more tips I’ve discovered along the way:
Keep a gym bag in car. This is a useful tip because you never know when your plans might change and you have the opportunity to workout. I keep some spare workout clothes at work and in my car just in case. It’s nice to have that option.
Go straight to the gym after work. I’m not a morning person so I usually head to the gym after work. This sometimes makes for a long day but I always feel better after I do it. I found that if I went to the gym or pool straight from work instead of stopping at home, I was more likely to actually DO it! Going home first just makes me tempted to stay home. It’s easy to get sucked into TV, computer stuff, chores around the house…Eliminate the option to be lazy!
Pick a gym close to your house or office. This is similar to the “go straight to the gym after work” tip. If you are like me, you don’t want to commute very far, especially after a long day at work. I have always known that if the gym was too far from my house I’d be less than motivated to go. Also, it should be easy to get to if you don’t have a car. There have been a few times where my car broke down, or something happened and I wanted to work out but didn’t have transportation. Luckily I was within walking or biking distance.
Get into the habit of eating fruits and veggies for snacks. This little tidbit really does work. Even when I was 250 pounds, I still loved fruit and ate it quite a bit (sugar tooth!). But getting into the habit of eating fruit and veggies as snacks made it so much easier to get used to healthy eating. It became such a habit that I didn’t even think about it–when hungry in between meals I would reached for an apple or strawberries. Eating fruit and veggies feels normal to me, and eating junk food feels weird.
Drink some water first. Sometimes I think I’m hungry when in reality I’m just thirsty. This trick also works well when I’m feeling “snacky” and just want junk food.
Pickles. This might seem like a weird tip but it works. If you crave salty and crunchy (i.e. potato chips), grab some pickles first. I am definitely a sugar person but once a month I get a mad craving for salty things. Pickles satisfy that craving for me and they are only about 5 calories!
Surround yourself with positive, supportive people. I cannot emphasize this enough. It is really easy to get stuck in that “woe is me” trap. I had some friends who also struggled with their weight and we would commiserate together–whine about how we weren’t losing weight, complain about the process, talk about the fatty foods we missed…and before you knew it, that resolve to do better was gone. Kind of like that “misery loves company” thing. It’s so much easier to lose the weight and stay on track when you have cheerleaders pushing you forward!
Be the change you want to see in other people. When I decided to get healthy and change my lifestyle, I never once told any of my friends who struggled with their weight that they should lose weight, exercise or eat differently. It wasn’t my place to say anything. But I was happily surprised when several friends started to follow suit after I lost some weight. It was cool to hear that my losses inspired them to make their own changes.
QUESTION: Have you learned any tips and tricks in your own journey?
I don’t know if its a tip or trick, but for me, trying to stay positive everyday helps. If negative feelings or thoughts enter my mind, I try and recognize them for what they are. Why am I having these feelings? How will they help me be a better person or improve my day? The answer is always they will not. So I banish them by forgiving and forgetting, go for a walk, listen to upbeat music or some other activity that requires motion. Doing this creates a healthy mindset to keep focused on the goal. In this instance it is going from fat to fit. It doesn’t happen in a day. It takes continual vigilance. But I’m preaching to the choir:)
Marc recently posted..9th video weigh-in
That’s a great tip, Marc. I think staying positive is really important. There are so many ups and downs in a weight loss journey and staying positive definitely helps when the road gets tough!
Marilyn @ Lipgloss and Spandex
AWESOME tips. Those are all things I do also. When it comes to fruits and veggies, I try and make them as easy as possible to serve up (roast them in the oven, dice and then put a little greek yogurt dip on them, etc). When it’s easy and available–as a snack, or as a side dish–I’m more likely to eat it. Which is also why I don’t keep chips around the house! They’re my kryptonite. If I have a whole bag of them, I’m pretty much guaranteed to eat multiple servings. Pickles really help satisfy my salty cravings.
I’d add that looking at nutrition labels is really important. Many products that are *marketed* as being *healthy* or *good for you ingredients* also have extra sugar, extra calories, or a whole bunch of additives. It’s ideal to cook a lot of your own food, but it’s not always practical. So taking a look at nutrition labels, and keeping healthy options in the freezer makes it easy to whip up a meal quickly.
Marilyn @ Lipgloss and Spandex recently posted..MAC Styleseeker – Eyeshadow Duo in Marche Aux Puces
You make two great points. Yes, it has to be easy and convenient: i.e. grapes you grab a handful of, carrots already chopped and ready to snack on, etc. Having chips or crackers on hand make that my go-to snack when I don’t have quick, easy options for healthy stuff. And yes! Read a label! It’s so important. Those labels can often be deceptive!
These are great tips! Especially the one about “misery loves company”.
My tips would be: never have any junk food at home. If you have a family member who needs/loves it politely request that they keep it in a container which is not see through, and they never offer you any.
Weigh daily, but use caution when interpreting the numbers. If you gained 500g in one day, that doesn’t mean you gained fat, similarly if you lost 500g in one day it doesn’t mean you lost that amount of fat, and you shouldn’t celebrate (yet).
If you’ve lost your mojo, maintain rather than gain. I’ve only read one WL blogger who didn’t lose their WL “mojo” at least once. It will come back, and you don’t want to have to lose the same kilogram/pound twice.
John recently posted..August goals recap / September goals
YES! If junk food isn’t in the house, I rarely eat it. The only place I eat treats and junk like that is at work. That’s my downfall. I am so good at home because I never have temptations around.
What do you mean exactly by losing your mojo? Do you mean plateaus or stopping althoughether?
Yeah, that’s what I mean. Just stopping and having that “can’t be bothered feeling”.
John recently posted..August goals recap / September goals
Gotcha. I never had that. I was 100% in and going to reach my goal. Definitely has setbacks and plateaus that were hard but I wasn’t quitting!
Alex @ Brain, Body, Because
These are great tips! Not stopping home between work and the gym is huge for me.
The “surround yourself” tip is also good. I like MyFitnessPal a lot.
Alex @ Brain, Body, Because recently posted..Week 1
Do you have a pretty good support system?
I ❤ 2 Eat
What an awesome post with great tips! When I was regularly going to the gym (now working out at home), I used to go directly from work, and always kept a gym bag in the car. Now, it’s to schedule a time right after my at-home work schedule. Thanks for sharing. 🙂
I ❤ 2 Eat recently posted..Do Unto Others…
It’s so easy to choose “lazy” over “gym” and keeping the bag in the car helps me so much!
Carrie @ Season It Already!
Since we have gym equipment at home, I have no excuse. However, my tip is that when I get home from work, I have to change into my gym clothes *right away*. I can’t sit down or do anything else… otherwise I won’t work out. Very similar to going to the gym right after work!
Carrie @ Season It Already! recently posted..Thanksgiving Wine Pairings – Traditional & Unique
That’s an excellent suggested. It’s really hard to find motivation when you go home to workout and the couch looks really good. It’s easy to get distracted with chores, or laziness. 🙂 That’s why I go to the gym right after work, no stops along the way, and get it out of the way asap.