4 Tips That Helped Me Lose Weight (and Keep It Off)
A few years back, I decided I wanted to shed a few pounds. I was recently engaged, and my goal was to lose about 10 to 15 pounds and to be able to maintain that weight even after the wedding. I implemented a few guidelines into my lifestyle to help me achieve my goal. And, I’m excited to share that three years later, I’m still under my original, target weight.
Here are four tips that helped me lose weight and keep it off:
The first step I took to lose weight was downloading a calorie tracking app on my phone. The app calculated how many calories I could consume daily to reach my goal weight, and it tallied up my calories for me. I logged each meal and snack in the app, never skipping on a single item. I honestly had never thought about calories before using this app. Tracking my calories really made me aware of what I was putting into my body. And in my first week of tracking calories, I lost five pounds.
Decreasing my sugar and alcohol intake
I love candy and sweets, and I also love to reward myself with an adult beverage after a long day. To put it into perspective, I’d allow myself to binge eat several bags of candy once a week. But, I didn’t have room in my new, daily caloric intake for extra sweets or alcohol. I drastically decreased the amount of candy I was eating to one (smaller) binge session every few weeks. I still allowed myself to enjoy the regular beer or glass of wine. However, I counted the calories from any alcoholic beverages towards my daily calories, which was a new concept for me. Sometimes that meant choosing between a beer or a cookie for dessert, but that was okay.
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Omitting breads, pastas and potatoes
Because I was counting my calories, I had to fill my diet with real foods that would fuel my body. So, I omitted breads, pastas and potatoes – which were and still are – some of my favorite foods. Instead of these items, I bought fruits, green vegetables and proteins. I had grilled chicken spinach salads for dinner many times because it was a low-calorie meal that packed in the protein.
Packing my lunch
I began packing my lunch for work to ensure I made healthy lunch choices. Packing my lunch also made it easy to track my calories because I knew exactly what was in my food. If I did go out with a friend for lunch, I’d make sure to choose healthy options that seemed to be low in calories. (Remember, not many restaurants including calories on the menu three years ago.)
Making these adjustments to my diet was truly a game changer for me. I don’t track my calories anymore, but I am now mindful of the calories in each item I consume. I also still pack lunches to ensure my husband and I don’t go through a drive-through for lunch. And because I do allow myself to eat unhealthy things, I just make sure that I counteract it with healthy choices before and after. It’s all about balance and moderation.
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These diet changes not only helped me to lose and maintain my weight, but they’ve also boosted my confidence because I’m more comfortable in my skin than ever before.