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In the midst of all my job applications and the Christmas rush, I'm trying to keep my blog as active as I can because of all the positive things people have said about it. Hello if you're a prospective employer having a snoop after seeing this on my resume! I promise you'll love employing me!
This week is about the 5 things that helped me achieve healthy and sustainable weight loss which I feel might help other people overcome what may possibly be hindering their hard work. I'm not going to ever give out meal plans or workout routines because I don't hold the relevant qualifications so I think it would be morally wrong but I'm more than happy to share generic guidance.
I know for me I just laze around if I don't have some kind of schedule or regime planned for myself and I think lots of people can benefit from planning their time effectively. I'm not saying you need to be super strict and allocate your time down to the last minute but a rough idea of what you need to do each day might help and lessen the likelihood of excuses being made.
You can find really nice and inexpensive planners that stick to your wall or a diary you can keep in your room so there's no need to spend a lot on a planner specifically designed for fitness. Even a quick Google search here brings up lots of printables you can have for free or buy. There is a wealth of workout routines online already planned out whether it be Blogilates or from Body Building but please be mindful of whether the routine you have found is suitable for you and is made by someone that knows what they're talking about.
Planning out your meals can take away some of the effort when it comes to thinking what to eat that evening and reaching for junk food as well as saving you money. It saves you money because you might buy less food on the go or not waste food in your refrigerator that you may have forgotten about. Meal planning is handy if you struggle to eat the correct amount and need a bit more guidance so you can divide your daily requirements up into extra snacks to keep you feel, larger or smaller portion sizes etc. This meal plan can then be turned into a shopping list and so you'll always have everything you need as well as letting you work in cheat meals or cheat days so you know that you're having them in moderation.
2. Maintaining Motivation
Basically everyone that has tried to lose weight feels that huge rush of motivation, you do all your workouts, eat great for a few days but then it starts to fade away and your bed is much more appealing than a workout but nobody is going to workout and eat well for you.
There aren't any magic words for motivation but finding out what drives you can help. I gave myself a reward system for every 5 lbs I lost where I would buy something like a new DVD, nail varnish, clothes etc. You could also put money in a pot and then use it to buy new clothes when you get towards your target weight.
On my bedroom wall, I had a piece of paper with numbers counting down from my start weight to my goal weight and I would cross them off every time I lost a pound. Next to this was my workout schedule and both acted as a form of accountability so I was reminded of what I was trying to achieve every single day.
Creating a social media profile such as blogspot, tumblr or instagram means you can document your journey and progress whilst talking to other people who have either achieved what you want or are at the same stage as you. Having my tumblr helped me immensely not only in terms of accountability but making friends who supported me along the way and being able to look back at my old photos to see how I had changed.
3. Be Realistic
On numerous occasions I've spoken to people that give up losing weight because they aren't losing it fast enough or the exercise they do is hard. Lots of people feel that way about things when they don't get results quickly but we have to remember that it doesn't take a day to gain weight and it won't take a day to lose it.
Sustainable weight loss is 1-2 lbs a week, depending on your current body fat percentage, and unfortunately we see lots of magazines with huge titles saying "lose 15 lbs in 15 days" etc. that make us think we're supposed to lose weight fast.
I'm also a strong believer in not adding time goals to weight loss. By all means think 2 years down the line but don't say "i'm going to lose 5 lbs this week" or "lose 15 lbs this month" because you're only rushing yourself and you will get disheartened when you don't hit those targets. Weight loss is more of a marathon than a race and you probably won't lose weight at a steady rate anyway so give yourself time.
4. Measure Yourself
I've spoken about natural weight fluctuation before but I think it is so important to know how much the numbers on the scales can change without you gaining any actual weight. The only real way to better understand what your body is doing is to periodically take your key measurements or have your body fat percentage measured.
I measured my upper arms, under my bust, waist, tummy, thighs and calves every few weeks or so. My weight would sometimes stay the same or even go up due to natural fluctuations but my measurements would show that I was in fact physically smaller. Your weight can go up or remain the same when you gain muscle but because it is much denser than fat it will take up less small on your body but your body fat percentage has decreased.
There are online calculators for measuring your body fat percentage but I wouldn't be one to quote on their reliability because they work of different equations. Some gyms and doctors will be able to measure it for you using a caliper or an electronic device but I'm assuming they're not suitable for people like me with heart implants!
If you don't want to measure or weigh yourself, you can also take comparison photos to compare after a few months. I know that I didn't see any changes when I looked in the mirror every day because I was used to what I saw but I was shocked when I compared myself in photos. Seriously! Go take some now if you haven't! I wish that I had taken mine sooner so I could better see how my body has changed. Nobody is going to see them and you don't have to show them to anybody if you don't want to but I just think they're the best way to motivate yourself and see progress.
5. Stay Hydrated
It's totally normal to confuse hunger with thirst, it happens to lots of people, and the way to combat this is to learn the difference and stay hydrated. Our bodies require water for so many basic bodily functions to work properly and if you're going to workout then you will need to drink more water to counter what you lose through sweat.
Drinking adequate amounts of water can help clear up your skin, regulate your digestive system and help you lose water weight/bloating which may make you appear slimmer. The general recommended amount of water varies but from what I have seen it is about 1.5 to 2 litres a day but it is worth giving this webMD page a read to decide for yourself.
Apps can help you track your water intake, these include Myfitnesspal or iDrated. I think iDrated is more useful because it works based upon your vita statistics and can be set to tell you when you need to have another drink. If you don't have access to these, figuring out your needs then dividing it up into glasses throughout the day, such as with every meal or certain times, and tracking your daily intake in your fitness planner/diary can help you stay on track.
Source: 5 Tips For Healthy Weight Loss
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