1. Weigh yourself at least once a week (in the morning after you go to the bathroom naked.. LOL). Knowing where you are at weight wise and having a (REALISTIC) goal of where you want to be is the best way to drop the pounds. (FYI ladies certain times of the month the scale will go up about 5+ pounds, you know why, don't stress.)
2. Exercise. Everyone has that one thing they enjoy, be it mall walking, Pilates, swimming, jogging or actually going to a gym. Increase your activity and commit yourself to a minimum of 30 minutes 3-5 days a week. For stay at home Moms/Dads work out tapes, running/walking pushing a jogging stroller, body weight exercises like push-ups (on your knees is OK) or sit-ups and at home exercise equipment may be easiest for you.
3. EAT. Dieting does not mean starving yourself. You can eat and you can eat a lot. You NEED fuel. You just have to know which foods will not bust the calorie bank. Foods like carrots, celery, and green peppers are great for snacking. I have found the 100 calories items like popcorn and granola bars to be lifesavers!! Another tip is to use bowls. What I mean is have your tortilla chips but put the serving size in a bowl and close the bag. This will make you aware and help you avoid boredom eating of an ENTIRE bag.
4. Be accountable for what you put in your mouth. We all have our comfort food, which is generally something which hits above 400 calories and mostly from fat. Since I have been running I have taken a MAJOR shift in the way that I approach food.
100 calories= (roughly) 1 mile of running
3,500 calories= 1 pound
Every bite that I take is mileage in my mind. So the more high calorie items I eat, the farther I have to run to get it off and the farther I will be away from my weight loss goals. So I can eat my mini Take5 bar that is 110 calories, but I know that is one more mile that I get to run... Eat your comfort food, enjoy a meal with friends! When you splurge (Like me with my Pizza and cupcake) consuming plain salad, soup or cucumbers for a couple meals and/or increasing your exercise can get you back on track.
5. Find a weight loss/fit partner (preferably your spouse). Meeting goals is much easier with support. Find a work-out or dieting buddy. I am lucky because Dave (aka Muscle man) and I are on the same page and support each other every day. Without my husband I would not have achieved my goals!! I also have a running partner Shelby, together we are speeding through our mileage. Your partner should be positive, and understand how to motivate you.
6. Think of creative ways to cut calories. I love to start the day with a mocha/latte which means that I consume 300-500 calories with my morning jolt. Every other day I will have plain coffee with a splash of fat free creamer or tea. This produces the same result with little or no calories. For dinner you do not always need a starch. Have your protein with vegetables, by doing that you can save 200+ calories and still get a great filling meal. Fill your plate with the low calorie options and reduce your portion size on the fatty foods. You can go to a Restaurant and ask that they box half the meal before bringing it out, or even pick a meal you can share... Charity and I get Thai food and split a plate, we get our fix without over stuffing.
7. You can go to fast food. Reality there are days, especially when you have kids, that convenience is the only option. You can have a Whopper, try ordering it without the mayonnaise (get a ketchup packet because your burger will be dry). Condiments, even salad dressing, can be a killer on calories especially when you order in the drive through, a salad is not always the best if you pack on the nuts, croutons, and crispy chicken. Order grilled chicken, use half or none of the condiments, ask for fat free dressing and do not use the whole packet. Water is free folks and it is much better for you than anything served at fast food.
8. Get the junk out of your house. I LOVE ice cream but do not buy ice cream, it is not in the house so I don't eat it. Smart choices at home start with wise shopping at the grocery store. You may think that your kids need the snacky junk foods, not true. My kids LOVE pretzels which are much lower in calories than chips. And Yogurt is a great substitution for ice cream. Leave the junk at the store!!! And clean out your pantry. Healthy foods cost more, but the results in how you feel, and how you look, will be worth the cost.
9. Pay attention to what you drink. Fruit juices may be healthy but are often full of natural sugars which could be killing your diet. A few low calories options are water with a splash of lemon juice, Zipfiz or Emergen-C added to water, homemade tea or sparkling waters with fruit flavoring. If you are a soda drinker try to cut back on even the diet version because sodas are known to slow the metabolism. You do not need to cut out the alcohol, just know that each beverage has a value...I LOVE Margaritas but for the 400-600+ calories I think I would prefer a light beer or glass of wine.
10. Be proud of yourself!!! If you read my Blog you know I am not scared to boast about my successes, LOL!! My view is that I should be proud of myself and not afraid to let others share in my joy. Who knows who you can inspire with your achievements? One pound, one good choice at a meal, one inch, one pant size, one week of working out, or whatever it is. Be proud of what you have done. DO NOT get in the habit of beating yourself up about what you did not do. Change your focus to what you DID do. I LOVE to watch the Biggest Loser because it is amazing to see what sure will and extreme focus can do. The slogan is "What have you done today to make you feel proud?" Ask yourself that and it is amazing how your attitude toward diet and exercise can change.
HAVE A GREAT DAY!!