I have struggled to lose weight for as long as I can remember. Poor body image issues and dreadful self-esteem color my past.
I know now more than ever what to do and not to do when it comes to weight loss because I have lost 14 KGS in 10 weeks before and can do it again.
Here’s what I did and plan to do over the next 90 days (follow my journey on IG @shelah_body_transformation:
1. Plan your meals
One of the things that helped the most and that I plan to do now is having a meal plan. When you have those, you can’t go wrong in food choices. If breakfast specifies an egg or an apple, you’ll be more inclined to have that.
Weight loss is largely about what you eat! Choose the foods you consume carefully. Our body types also influence what we should eat to lose weight. There’s no one size fits all.
It might help to engage a weight loss coach or a fitness trainer to get a plan that best suits you. Fad diets are not meal plans. This is a lifestyle change that can easily be adopted. Plan your meals weekly and watch the pounds melt away.
2. Portion control
Eating a whole watermelon may not be a healthy thing to do just because it is a fruit.
It is important to eat only what’s enough for your body. I struggle to count calories and have never really been able to get my macros right. So, I intend to eat only until I am full. Conscious eating is a discipline that can save you from consumption is those extra 100 calories per meal. Pay attention to how you are feeling during your meals and stop immediately you’re full!.
3. Plan your snacks
If your sugar levels plummet as fast as mine do, then you know that snacks are lifesavers. However, if unplanned, these create loopholes in your day for high fat, high salt or high-calorie snacks.
I plan my snacks! I love bananas though they’re not advised for weight loss so I might opt for an apple or an orange. The trick is to incorporate these into your meal plan and effectively do away with the unhealthy snacks and unwanted pounds.
4. Change your eating patterns for effective weight loss
I have found myself reaching for a cake at 10 pm! Horrid stuff! (not the cake though…the cake was delicious)
Consider adopting regular eating patterns and stick to them. ( Preferably between 8 am and 8 pm) It could go something like:
8:00 am Breakfast
10:30 am Snack
1:00 pm Lunch
4:00 pm Snack
7:30 pm Dinner
If you prefer, intermittent fasting (IF) works wonders. I prefer the 14:10 type where I don’t eat for 14 hours and eat within a 10-hour window. The most common is the 16:8 IF structure.
I am unsure about the sustainability of IF as a lifestyle habit but I have seen a friend of mine develop it and lose quite a bit of weight. Once in a while, she will eat from 8 am to 8 pm but her default is now IF mode. Quit the midnight snacks or late dinners and watch your body transform.
5. Get enough rest & drink water
This is the most underrated weight loss discipline! Get those 7-9 hours each night if you are battling the pounds. This helps combat those cravings that try to get you off track during the day. It also generally puts you in a better mood and sets you up for success. Drinking water also helps suppress appetite.
The body has been known to confuse thirst signals with hunger signals. Down the 8-10 glasses and avoid this completely. Keeping hydrated is also good for your skin.
Nothing burns fat like good old fashioned cardio! It has taken on many forms over the years including my personal favorite: High-Intensity Interval Training.
While it is true that cardio may not be necessary for you to lose the fat, I have found that 10-20 minutes daily are a good supplement to your diet efforts. This may also be greatly influenced by your metabolism and how your body retains or loses the fat. I would advise consultation with a physician before starting any exercises. I have a torn meniscus because it did not.
7. Strength training for weight loss
Build muscle as you burn the fat to avoid looking emaciated. Grab a dumbbell or kettlebell once ina while and train your muscles. If you have qualms about weight training, do bodyweight exercises like squats, lunges and the like.
However, I am not a fitness coach and would advise that you consult appropriately to find out what works best for you!
8. Track your weight loss progress
Take before and after pictures every once in a while. As you lose fat and build muscle, your weight fluctuations may discourage you but a picture will should you just how far you have come.
I would also encourage the measurement of hip width, waistline and body fat percentage to get a comprehensive picture of the reward of your efforts. Do not measure every day though! Once or twice a month will suffice.
9. Publicize your goals or get a weight loss buddy
This has helped keep me on track. Recording my workout videos pushes me to use proper form and to give it my all. A weight loss buddy comes in really handy as you are shopping and itching to reach for that tub of ice-cream or bag of chocolate chip cookies.
You can follow my progress on my Instagram page @shelah_body_transformation and support or advise me accordingly
Last but not least, COMMIT! Your unwavering determination is what you will need when your friends are going out for pizza on day 4 of your weight loss challenge.
Commit to making the right decisions for your health and your body even if that means taking rest days. Stick to your guns through thick and thin! It is only for a season. Your reward will last a lifetime (as long as you continue practicing healthy weight loss habits).
Until next time,