27 Habits That Helped Me Lose 83 Pounds
A couple of months ago, I decided to share my weight loss journey and since then, I've been asked by a few people how I lost the weight and how I was able to stay motivated. I'm not going to lie to you and say it was easy because it certainly wasn't puppies and rainbows all of the time. I skipped workouts, gave into junk food cravings, had lazy days and ate more than I should have at times but you know what? I never gave up this time around. If I ate bad one day, I tried to not beat myself up over it (yes, it's easier said than done) and tried eating better the following day. If I ate too much at lunch, I went to the gym and ate a healthier dinner. I simply stopped treating weight loss as an all-or-nothing mentality.
While some individuals remember the exact date they started their weight loss journey and when they hit their goal weight, I am not one of those people. I can tell you that I was fed up with myself when I saw 233 pounds on the scale and that my initial weight loss goal was 100 pounds but it's been such a long process for me that I can't actually tell you when I actually started losing the weight or the date that I hit 150 pounds. However, it honestly doesn't matter to me because I've been able to lose 83 pounds and keep it off while feeling the best I ever have and that is what matters to me.
With all of that being said, I would love to lose another 10 to 15 pounds (or maybe even 17 to get to 133 and say that I officially hit my goal of 100 pounds lost). I have subconsciously been in maintaining mode for the past few years and I have been okay with that but I'm ready to make one final push. Therefore, in order to help remind me what worked in the first place, I decided to gather all of the habits and tips I have used in the past to successfully lose the weight....
1.) I learned what portion sizes were and started measuring/weighing my food.
2.) I downloaded the MyFitnessPal app and actively used it every single day.
3.) I started eating at home more rather than going out to restaurants all of the time.
4.) When I did go to a restaurant, I always looked the menu up online and knew what I was going to eat before I even got there.
5.) I didn't force myself to eat foods I didn't like (I'm looking at you bananas and vegetables).
6.) After doing a ton of research and listening to what others were saying, I decided to stop letting everyone tell me how I should be eating and the foods I should be avoiding. I've heard it all - not enough protein, too many carbs, not enough vegetables, too much protein, too much sugar, not enough carbs, too much fruit, too many processed foods and it felt like I was being pulled in so many different directions. Therefore, I just decided to stop caring and found what worked best for me.
7.) Even though I didn't force myself to eat anything I didn't like, I started trying new foods and discovered so many healthy food options that I actually enjoyed.
8.) I switched from regular pop to diet. I saw a dietician back in middle school when I was at my heaviest and she told me something that's always stuck with me. She told me that if the only change you make is from regular to diet pop, you can lose roughly 12 pounds. I'm not sure if that is true or not but it's something that I've always remembered.
9.) Water became more of a permanent fixture in my life. If I didn't want plain water, I'd throw a couple lemon slices in it or a Crystal Light packet.
10.) I began eating breakfast every single day, even if it was just something small.
11.) I started cooking with brown rice instead of white rice and whole wheat pasta instead of white pasta.
12.) When a recipe called for milk, I began using almond milk instead of dairy milk.
13.) I bought a FitBit and used it every day to start tracking my steps.
14.) I tried setting small and realistic goals. Instead of saying, "I want to lose 100 pounds in six months," I broke it up into five and 10 pound increments so it wasn't so daunting.
15.) Instead of cutting out my favorite foods (hello pizza), I found ways to make them healthier to stay within my goals.
16.) I honestly wasn't afraid of processed foods. If I wanted something that was processed, I ate it, but measured it out to one serving size. Through all of my trial and error, I learned that if I deprived myself of something, I would binge on it later and hate myself afterwards so instead of fighting it, I embraced it.
17.) I'm lucky enough (in my opinion) to be a creature of habit when it comes to food. If I found a healthy meal that I liked, I was fine eating it multiple days in a row.
18.) I developed a schedule for eating instead of just eating whenever I was hungry.
20.) I committed to doing some form of exercise at least three days a week for 30 minutes (if not more), even if it was just going for a long walk.
21.) I counted calories before I ate my meals; not after.
22.) At a party or event, if there wasn't any foods that fit within what I wanted to eat, I would eat before I went or after I got home. It may have frustrated some people but no one says that you have to eat.
23.) I began eating healthy snacks between meals instead of eating 3 big meals. My go-to's were apple slices with peanut butter and strawberries with cool whip.
24.) I started packing my lunch for work (and dinner if I knew I would be working late).
25.) I finally realized that I was making a lifestyle change instead of simply going on a diet.
26.) I learned to treat food as fuel for my body.
27.) If I had a bad day or just wanted to give it up, I simply tried to remember why I started in the first place and that if I gave up, I would end up right back where I started.
I hope you are able to gather some inspiration from this list but please be aware that I am in no way shape or form trying to tell anyone what they should or shouldn't do in order to lose weight; these are simply just examples of what I did and what worked for me. I've said it before but everyone is different and what works for me may not work for you just like what works for you may not work for me.