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Losing weight is usually not an easy process and it’s easy to want to give up if you don’t see results within a week.
I’ve been on my fitness journey since the beginning of the year AND there have been more than a few times where I have wanted to quit.
Over these past 8 months, I’ve had progress, setbacks, AND finally was able to put together a solid plan that’s been giving me consistent results since the end of June, thanks to focusing on three main things.
Since August is usually when everyone starts thinking about getting into a fitness routine again, I want to share the three things you need to focus on when trying to lose weight.
Did you know that 75% of your weight loss results are going to come from your diet? As the old saying goes, “Abs are made in the kitchen.”
When I first started out, I completely ignored this, and it slowed down my results.
For example, a couple of years back I eliminated fried foods from my diet and sodas. I felt that sticking to baked foods and fruit juices was all the work I needed to do to get back to the weight and body shape that I desired.
While making minor amendments does help, there’s so much more involved in switching your diet to a healthier one for weight loss.
After months of jumping from app to app, I’ve finally found my flow with My Fitness Pal.
Since My Fitness Pal is based on calorie counting, it was a pain getting used to scanning or manually entering everything AND trying to reach 1000 calories each day and not go over 1200.
Most days now I do make it to 1000 calories or I’m only 100-200 off. I’ll save the entire discussion about calorie counting for another post, however, if you’re looking for some low-calorie options, I suggest the following:
- Minute Maid Lemonade (15 calories): Trust me, you’ll want to get this. You know those fruit juices I mentioned I switched too. Well, they’re just as worst as soda. They have between 90 – 100 calories. At that rate, you’ll easily find yourself drinking all your allowed calories each day.
- Pink Salmon Skinless Fillet (130 calories): Salmon works well for any mealtime. I usually pair it with rice or a salad and the meal comes in at under 300 calories. I section each meal at about 360 calories max.
- Fruit (varies): When it comes to snacks fruit is your friend. You can make a fruit smoothie to get a filling breakfast or post-workout treat while also quenching your thirst.
- Green Tea (0 calories): Green Tea has a ton of health benefits and the best part is it has 0 calories. I usually like to pair mine with lemon juice, which also has 0 calories. If you add in a tablespoon of sugar you will bump it up to 49 calories. However, that’s much lower than many fruit juices and sodas still.
- Honest Kids Juice Boxes (40 calories): These juice boxes are very healthy, taste great, AND only have 40 calories. Despite having kids in the name, I love these drinks as an adult. They are so addicting, but they’re not bad for me.
But you should never judge food and drink based on calories alone. After all, some beers boast 0 calories, but you wouldn’t recommend drinking them on a regular basis as part of a healthy diet.
What you need to be looking at is low-calorie food, but without all the added sugars and other processed ingredients. It does take some practice when you’re in the supermarket to know what to look for, but you’ll get the hang of it.
An easy way to do this is to avoid looking at how much of something is in a product and look at how much sugar, salt, and carbs it takes out of your daily recommended allowance. Just look for the percentage right next to the amount.
New Products I’m Considering Adding to My Diet
For the past month, I have really been zoning in on my diet. Calorie counting is pretty much second nature and I’ve built up quite a collection of healthy foods and recipes to keep things interesting. However, I have had my eye on the following items, and I plan to incorporate them into my lifestyle within the next couple of weeks:
Cleveland Kraut Co: This product is sauerkraut with a twist. It’s raw, unpasteurized, and has been Lacto-fermented to give a taste and flavor that has been recommended throughout health circles.
It comes in seven different flavors and has been recommended by both nutritionists and celebrities alike. It’s an excellent product for upgrading any small side dishes you want to add to your day.
Go Filtr: Another great choice to add to your day is Go Filtr. This water filter can ensure that your water is full of electrolytes, which you see sportspeople obsessing over all the time. It’s the most advanced type of ionized mineral alkaline water filter around.
All you must do is add it to your water bottle and begin filling. You’d pay a lot of money to get this same water if you bought it in the stores!
On the other hand, only 20% of your weight loss results are going to come from exercising.
Exercising is usually the part that everyone spends 80% or more on (including myself).
This past couple of months you can say that I’ve somewhat become obsessed with working out.
I started out doing 95% cardio (another mistake) and now I’m doing 50% cardio and 50% weight training.
Yet the math just doesn’t work out. If you take up running, which is a high-impact exercise, you can expect to burn around 100 calories for every mile you run. Unless you’re a hardcore runner, you’re not going to make a huge dent in your calorie intake by just exercising all the time.
You could run two miles and burn 200 calories, or you could get the low-fat, low-calorie option of your favorite meal and not run two miles. Which is easier?
That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t work out, of course. You need to work out in order to achieve a balanced diet. The problem is nearly everyone starting their weight loss journey for the first time believes that a high-intensity workout schedule is an answer.
I do 95% of my workouts at home and what has helped me keep my exercise mojo going is the Gixo Fit app. By the way, if you haven’t tried out Gixo Fit yet make sure you use my code Giveaways4Mom to get a 7-day trial and 20% off of your subscription if you decide to use it longer.
What I love about Gixo is that they have a variety of live and on-demand classes. You can choose from Running, Walking, Yoga, Weights, HIIT, and more. I won’t go into too much detail about them in this post, but I’ll work on doing a review about my experience for you guys so you can see what my experience has been with them for the past six months.
How I Became Obsessed with Exercising
When I started using the Gixo app I fell in love with running. I looked forward to running 1-2 miles per day.
My first run took me a little over 20 minutes to make it to a mile. About a month later I was consistently able to do a mile in 15 minutes. Another month, I was able to run the entire time and not switch between walking and running. AND now, just a few days ago I ran a 10-minute mile without having to do any walking.
As you may have picked up, I became obsessed with exercising because I love the results I am receiving, and I look forward to seeing what results I can get next.
I know many people become discouraged when the scale doesn’t move. I’ve been there.
Since June, I’ve only lost 8.4 lbs. However, the results from my running and now the results that I’m starting to see peeking out from weight training have been keeping me from weighing myself faithfully each morning to see if the scale is changing.
When you stop focusing on the scale and being obsessed with weighing yourself, you’ll be able to see other results that are hiding in plain sight.
Maybe your clothes are fitting looser. Maybe you have more energy during the day. Any change that has started since you got into an exercise routine is results worth celebrating.
The way I like to look at my fitness journey is that it took me about 2 years to let my body get this way. Therefore, I can’t expect to be able to snap back in 2 months. This is a journey, but a year from now, if I keep at it, I should be where I want to be.
Bonus Tip for Motivating Yourself to Workout
Most people don’t find working out fun. However, once you’ve made it past the first month, you’ll find yourself looking forward to your daily workouts and missing them when you must skip a day. Sometimes, you might even find yourself unmotivated.
In the beginning, you’re trying to implement something new into your life. It takes time for a daily ritual to become a daily habit, but once you master it, you’ll find it all becomes second nature.
What I like to do is shop when I feel like I may try to find an excuse not to work out. This could be something as simple as getting some new running shoes, a new fitness watch band, or even some new workout attire.
For example, some cute exercise attire I like is the Brooklyn Leggings and the Brooklyn Sports Bra.
Additionally, Cove also has some cute exercise leggings as well.
When you make a monetary investment into your fitness program, you feel terrible if you don’t take advantage of it. You feel like you’ve wasted your money, so even when it’s cold you’re more likely to get out there.
Read Also: How to Find the Right Exercise Attire
To lose weight you need the right amount of sleep per night. For most, this is between seven hours and nine hours. It depends on the person as to the ideal amount of sleep. What we do know is that women who slept five hours per night were 32% more likely to experience major weight gain.
The scary thing is that this applies even if you pair sleeping less with eating less. There’s a reason why professional athletes preach about the need to train like a beast, eat like a king, and sleep like a baby.
Why is this the case?
We don’t know. We’re aware of the connection but can’t confirm why this is the case. What we do know is that there’s a big connection between sleep and exercise. If you struggle to get the right amount of sleep per night, exercise can make a big difference.
The fact is that 44% of non-exercisers have a moderate risk of sleep apnea. This is compared to around 10% of people who exercise.
The reason for this is simple. Your body is more likely to be tired out after you exercise. There are some theories that it’s due to the drop in your body temperature post-exercise, as well as general fatigue.
Exercise also can decrease arousal and banish anxiety and depression, which is another advantage when trying to sleep.
Even if we don’t know why more sleep promotes weight loss, at the very least the right amount of sleep increases your ability to exercise, which then promotes weight loss.
But how do you know what the right amount of sleep for you is?
That depends on the person. You need to test. We do know that between seven hours and nine hours is the general range for healthy sleep, for the majority of people.
There are no hard and fast rules for this. Start at the bottom of the seven-hour range and try it for a few days. How do you feel? What is your body telling you?
Figure it out and then keep moving your sleep an extra 15 minutes towards nine hours. Eventually, you’ll settle on an amount of sleep that makes you feel great. That’s how much you need per night.
Want to Sleep Better? Don’t Forget Your Pillow
Even if you have a fabulous mattress (my mattress recommendations are Nectar and Novosbed), your sleep can still be disrupted if you have a crappy pillow. If your neck and head aren’t aligned correctly, you’re asking for trouble. Save yourself from having to invest in monthly chiropractic visits by upgrading your pillow.
I’m currently using the GX pillows on my bed after having my Nectar pillows for a couple of years. It’s currently recommended that you change your pillows every one to two years.
A great way to figure out if you need to replace your pillow is to fold it in half. If your pillow remains that way, you need to replace it.
I decided on the GX pillows because:
- The double “X” internal ties combined with hypoallergenic hollow fiber filling allow it to retain more of its plumped shape throughout the night.
- It helps eliminate neck and shoulder pain.
- Offers ultimate comfort as the shell is 100% cotton, so it feels extremely light to touch.
- The material reduces sweating and discomfort through the night.
Conclusion: There Are Three Focal Points to Succeed at Losing Weight
Diet, exercise, and sleep are the three things you need to focus on if you want your weight loss journey to end successfully.
If you’ve been trying to lose weight without much luck or you were doing well but are stuck now reevaluate each of these three sections of your life and see if some tweaks can be made.
Have you successfully reached a weight loss goal? What helped you the most?