I’ve only been on this mission for a little over a week, but already I’m noticing some changes. Some of the changes I have seen are I’m not as tired as I use to be and I feel as if I have more energy. The second change is I’ve lost a total of 8.5lbs since I began the #31days Challenge with the Lean 11. (eating Lean Cuisine Meals & snacking on Skinny Cow) The thing I don’t see is where is it all leaving me at? I know many of you like those before and after shots and I promise you once I see a change in the pictures I will post more, in the meantime I’ll be posting a video every Friday to update you on my status. So what have I learned from this challenge?
1. Admit it: I had to admit to myself how much I really needed to lose weight and why.
2. Reason: What is the reason you are losing weight? If you don’t really have a reason you will end up losing the battle of wills. You must be able to remind yourself daily what it is you are doing this for, whether it is something you have to do or you will die, want to do to look better, want to do because you want to run with your kids, etc.
3. Willpower: I don’t care what anyone says, in order to lose the weight you will have to have the willpower and determination to do it. If you are weak it will show and your body will cave, but if you are strong you will make it through the challenge.
4. Portions: Believe it or not it is all about portion size. Stop piling your plate with a ton of food and eat the correct amount and you will notice the pounds begin to drop. Am I saying you can lose weight just by reducing the amount you eat on a regular basis and that is it? No way, this takes work.
5. Cut the Junk: You know those cans of soda you drink a day? Well they all add up and chances are you are sitting down when you drink them and not walking around, therefore many of those calories are staying inside your body just piling up. Same goes for all the junk food and other sugary drinks. Some can quit the junk cold turkey, it isn’t easy but it can be done. Others find that gradually reducing the amount they have a week, day, etc can help them cut it out.
6. 6 Small Meals: I was always told that by eating 6 small meals a day you could be healthy and happy. I never believed it and I’d have 3 but my dinner was always a big meal because I was always hungry. You can be healthy with just your regular (not super-sized) 3 meals a day plus 3 mini meals (snacks).
7. Healthier snacks: Instead of eating that candy bar, bag of chips, etc you should replace it with something healthy. I like to eat raisins, grapes, oranges, etc. There are also those snacks that have low calories such as Skinny cow ice cream and many Special K type snacks. If you need a sugar boost I highly recommend Mariani’s Island Fruits, they are fruit chunks with a glaze of sugar on them. (but I wouldn’t eat the whole bag in one sitting)
8. Water: Replace all that soda/fraps/etc with water. It is recommended that a person drinks 8 (8oz) glasses of water a day. This also helps keep you from feeling hungry, drink a glass with every meal and you’ll be amazed how full you begin to fill. I use 4 (16oz) water bottles to fill up a pitcher and place in my fridge, I know when it is gone I have met my quota for the day.
9. Exercise: Make a weekly/daily goal that you will stick to and exercise. Did you know you can burn 300+ calories just shoveling the snow for 30 minutes? Some like exercise bikes, walking the neighborhood, riding their bikes around town, running, watching exercise videos, etc. I like to walk on the treadmill at 3.5 mph for 30 minutes, next week my goal is to increase that to 4mph for 45minutes. Make sure not to over do it, start small but make sure you exercise.
10. Increase Workouts: As you get comfortable at one level of exercise increase it to the next, but never over do it.
11. Journal it: By logging all your calories every day you will begin to watch what you eat, especially if you have a goal you don’t want to pass. I like to journal my calorie intake as well as my exercise (burning calories) and a good tool for that is www.myfitnesspal.com
12. Don’t Skip: Never, ever skip a meal. When you skip a meal your body wants that meal and will have you overeat the next time you do eat.
13. Don’t Cheat yourself: I know many people think oh one banana split won’t hurt as long as no one knows, or one frap, one hamburger, etc. But if you are counting calories they do count no matter who you lie to. Just like if you want to walk for 30 minutes but stop at 10, 15 or even 25 what good does it do. The only person this hurts is yourself. Take that will power you have and make sure you make it to that goal.
Got any recommendations or tips? I’d love to hear them.
Disclosure: I am being compensated for the #31days Challenge by CollectiveBias. However, all ideas, articles, pictures and opinions are mine. They just jump-started me on the path that I was hesitant to take.