After losing 85 pounds on my own, I feel I can share some lessons from journey with you. Here are some ideas that helped me:
1. Find healthy foods you love, and eat them consistently.
Establish some go-to foods you love to eat and ask yourself “Can I eat this forever?” If the answer is yes, keep eating them! Find some staple lean meats, fish, vegetables, fruits, and brown-colored grains you enjoy and learn to grocery shop on auto-pilot. I love chicken, salmon, vegetables, yogurt, and apples. Once you find real, healthy, and nutritious foods you enjoy, your taste buds will adapt and you’ll start to crave these foods.
2. Find exercise you love and do it to FEEL GOOD.
I love running and I love yoga. I will run for as long as my ankles permit me because if I don’t I’ll get cranky and depressed. Conversely, I detest Zumba and spinning. Find exercises you enjoy and would do even if you reached your ideal weight.
3. Start a food journal and track everything from sleep, bowel movements, and your appetite.
There is no one-size-fits-all approach to good health. Some people prefer small portions of everything and others prefer volume. I’d rather eat a large quantity of healthy stuff over a bite of something indulgent. So I’ll spend my calories on more vegetables rather than more salad dressing and prefer to eat my biggest meal at dinner after a run rather than midday during work followed by afternoon meetings. Everyone has their own routine, so find what works for you.
4. Do not follow fads or give up food groups if you don’t need to.
Almost every diet — Mediterranean, vegan or Paleo — encourages us to eat whole foods and avoid processed foods, refined starches and sugar! The common denominator among all these popular diets is eating real foods closest to their natural state. When you label something “good” or “bad” you will tend to want the bad even more. Steel cut oatmeal is not Paleo and Greek yogurt is not vegan, but both are nutritious and healthy. Enjoy them if you like them!
5. Always be prepared.
Carry fruit or some other snack with you. I often tote a yogurt and granola with me to family dinners because I know there will be copious amounts of sweets served and I don’t want to succumb to temptation. Know your triggers and find healthier alternatives.
6. Remember: You are not Beyonce prepping for “Dreamgirls” so don’t impose added pressure and a timeline.
It took me years to lose 60 pounds but I never gained it back. Exercise and healthy eating are a lifestyle, not a project. Don’t just do it for a vacation, wedding or reunion. Do it forever.
7. Find ways to nurture yourself emotionally.
Yoga has quieted the negativity in my head. There are days when I need extra sleep, extra water, and extra rest, and on those days, I listen to my body and what it needs. Make sure to stay well rested, hydrated, and positive. You are your own best doctor, trainer, nutritionist and chef. Trust yourself and let common sense to be your guide.
Stay Happy ,Healthy ,Fit and Just Dance 😊