Everyone knows the benefits of good nutrition and an active lifestyle. Like so many people, I’ve read articles, watched videos, and even bookmarked some sites. Understanding the need to lose weight to look and feel better is easy. Not as easy is committing to actively pursuing the lifestyle change that needs it.
For the longest time, I have struggled with both weight gain and weight loss. From a skinny college student weighing at a hundred and ten pounds to an overweight employee, I have worked my way up and down the scale. The struggle can be frustrating. How many of us have paid for gym memberships we barely used? How many times have we gotten up at 5AM for a morning jog, only to fall asleep again?
But don’t lose hope. It only takes grit and determination to be consistent and committed. Here are some useful tips that will help you lose those unwanted pounds.
DON’T SAY “NEXT TIME”, MAKE TIME.
If you keep on pushing the start date of your lifestyle change, you will seriously get nowhere. Mark a date on your calendar and plan your activities ahead. If you find gym memberships expensive, try running or biking at the local park. Once you’ve set a date, commit to it. Never settle for one round at the oval. Make each trip count by ensuring you’ve pushed yourself enough to mechanical exhaustion. Remember, no pain, no gain.
Added tip: Get enough sleep, and if you can, work out in the morning – you’ll feel more energized at work.
HEALTHY OPTIONS ARE EVERYWHERE.
How many times have you heard the saying “abs start in the kitchen”? There’s no way getting around it. Making better food choices will greatly improve your health and in turn, help you to lose weight. This doesn’t mean having salad every day or skipping meals. Choose fish and chicken instead of beef and pork. Order grilled food instead of fried. Drink water instead of soda or juice. Lower your salt and sugar intake.
Added tip: Using a small plate creates the illusion of a bigger meal but don’t pile on the food too much.
IT’S A CHOICE, NOT A CHORE.
A good mindset is always a great start. If you’re thinking that a few days or even a few weeks of lifting weights or dieting will get you results, you’re in for a harsh dose of reality. You have to be consistent. If you keep getting discouraged when you look at yourself in the mirror, get rid of the mirror. Push yourself to attend every Zumba class you signed up for. Run every mile you told yourself you’d run this morning. Need inspiration? Get it free from friends who are just as determined or meet new ones.
Added tip: Walk when time is not an issue. Take the stairs instead of the elevator.
SET REALISTIC GOALS.
This is something I have to remind myself every time I feel discouraged. When your target is to lose 30 pounds, focus on losing the first five pounds instead of the whole 30. Planning to run every day of the week? Start with twice a week and move up from there. When you set goals that don’t align with your time and energy, you could easily become discouraged, lose interest, and give up altogether. Small victories can be uplifting and motivating.
Added tip: Keep a calendar and track your journey. You’ll learn a lot about your body’s capabilities.
YOU’VE ALREADY SAID YES TO THIS, LEARN TO SAY NO.
You may be concerned about how this lifestyle change will affect your social life. Do you worry about being the party pooper who only drinks water on a night out with friends? Maybe you’re not ready to lose the weight because doing so requires making sacrifices. Commitment is important.
Added tip: If your friends aren’t supportive of your health choices, it may be time to rethink the friendship.
A complete 180 will definitely be difficult. And based on my experience, there will be a multitude of haters and doubters. If you’re easily affected by words like I am, prepare yourself for a lot of insensitive or ignorant remarks. I’m sure you’ll be greeted by lots of “Ay, nagpapayat ka?” or “’Di ko alam kung tumaba ka or pumayat ka.” However, I am telling you, ignore them. Rally on and keep on working. Your weight is nobody’s business but yours alone. You will eventually reach your goals, and come out a better person.