I know we’ve all seen it. Articles on how to lose weight. Things to eat and not eat. Activities to do and not do. How to stay motivated. There are thousands upon thousands of articles out there on this topic, with photos of skinny and fit girls (that probably have oodles of time to work out) that are supposed to motivate you.
I used to be super fit. I used to be super skinny. And it was always easy for me to stay lean. And then I had a baby. And all of this changed. I no longer had hours to spend at the gym. And I can no longer eat whatever I want and still be skinny and fit. My body changed; and not for the better. I’m sure I’m not alone here right?
It has been a constant battle for me since I stopped nursing Little A. The hardest part for me is having to consciously watch what I eat. I think we all know that diet is the key to a fit body, but some of us don’t like to accept that. I am for sure one of those people. I’m probably at the top of the list for continuing to eat not so great a lot of the time, but hoping things will change for the better. I just can’t give up my pasta for good. 🙂
But when I’m on, I’m on. Give me 3 days of complaining about the change, but I will make the change. And I’m always happy with the results.
So I wanted to give you a list of 8 little things that have helped me lose weight, and keep it off.
#1: Eat your veggies
This is probably the hardest one for me because I’m not a huge veggie lover. I really do like my salads, but I never want to make them at home. But they are obviously an important part of your daily diet, are packed full of fiber which helps aide digestion and are chock full of vitamins and minerals, important to weight loss.
#2: Walk 10,000 steps a day
Seems simple right? But if you sit at a desk for 8 hours a day you realize how few steps you actually take throughout the day. It can sometimes take a real conscious effort to get those steps in, but when you do you feel like you’ve accomplished something. And pretty soon 10,000 steps will be a piece of cake and you’ll set a new goal of 15,000 steps.
#3: Relax, stop stressing
This can be beneficial in more ways than one. A lot of women tend to eat when they’re stressed, which can really pack on the pounds quickly.
Also, when your body is in a constant state of stress, your cortisol levels are elevated, increasing your appetite and ultimately driving you to eat more. Letting go of things that are bothering you, taking a deep breath and even smiling more often can really help your body to relax and get you out of that stress zone.
And don’t forget to have some me time every now and then.
#4: Portion control
This one can be really hard to do. Especially right after you’ve had a baby and if you’ve been nursing for some time, cutting those extra calories out can be difficult. I was amazed when we did the Advocare Challenge what an actual serving size was, and how much less I should be eating based on my body type. I couldn’t believe how much more I was eating than I should have been! And yes, you may be hungry for a day or two (it takes some time for your stomach to adjust to the correct portion size), but getting your portions in check will really help you keep that extra weight off. Your hand can be a great tool for measuring out serving sizes.
#5: Water, water, water
Get those ounces in ladies! The average intake for a female is 2.2 liters, or about 9 cups of water per day. You read that right, 9 cups, not 8. And that’s just to maintain. If you’re more active, sick, nursing or pregnant, etc. you will need more than 9 cups.
You can get your water from other sources (fruits and veggies, juice and even milk have water), but I still try to drink at least 9 cups a day.
#6: Prepare your meals ahead of time
When I’m running short on time, I’m more likely to grab something unhealthy to snack on, or not eat at all (which can sometimes be just as bad as eating a sugary snack). If you take the time to prepare your meals for the week (or at least a few days) ahead of time, you’re less likely to reach for that bag of chips when you’re feeling snacky.
Huebie and I usually try to prepare our lunches for the week on Sunday evening. We’ll cook up a bunch of chicken and divide it into separate tupperware, add in some veggies or a salad, fruit, nuts and some yogurt and we have our lunches and snacks for the week.
This is also where the crock pot can be a handy little tool. I’ll crock pot once or twice a week and that gives us dinner and lunch for a few days. The less time I have to spend in the kitchen, the more time I have with my sweet girl.
#7: If you can, take the stairs
I work on the 6th floor of my building and if I could, I would take the stairs every day. Unfortunately they are only open for emergencies, but we have an internal staircase and that is all I use during the day at work. I very rarely take an elevator if I have the choice to take the stairs. Not only will this help get your steps in, but it will also get your heart rate up a bit and burn some extra calories.
#8: Park further away
The next time you go to the grocery store, try parking further away from the entrance and not grab the closest spot you can find. Parking just 10 or 15 stalls away from the door can get you a little boost in your steps for the day. I walk about 1/2 a mile or so into work every day. That’s a mile or more than I wouldn’t be getting if I chose to park in our parking lot and take the shuttle bus to the building.
I always park further away at the grocery store, mall, Target, etc. when we go places. (Added bonus, less people to door ding your car!).
Those are just a few things I’ve found that are easy to incorporate into your daily life and don’t take a lot of extra effort. Small changes can lead to big reward in the long term.
Do you have little things you do to help keep those extra pounds off, or a secret we should all know about that will make us successful in keeping those extra pounds at bay?