In the last 5 months I have lost just over 10 kilos (about 1.5 stone) and have gone from a size 18 to a comfy size 14 (whoop!). It hasn't been easy but it also hasn't been impossible either. I have been trying to lose weight for a while and before I guess I just tried to change my routine way too much and would ban everything I loved so after a few weeks and no results I would get fed up and give up. But this time I have stuck with it using a combination of eating better and exercise. I am so much happier,
I feel more confident and better about myself and I know that it's off for good because it's been a gradual process and done properly. You have to want it, you have to be determined and you have to put in the time but it's totally worth it. So here are my top 5 tips to getting fitter.
1. Get a Goal – a realistic but challenging one. It may be to drop one dress size or lose 25 kilos but it has to be practical and be able to fit into your current life. Set a target and stick to it and visualise yourself at your goal. I didn't put a timeframe on mine I simply just knew I would be happy at size 14, but you could set a timeframe for Christmas, or a mates wedding or by your birthday. Pick whatever works for you and whatever will drive you to keep at it and to stick with it.
2. Portions – this has been key for me, all I have really done is to have smaller portions than I used to, I haven't necessarily changed what I eat but I have cut down on the amount, so one piece of toast instead of two. I still have proper meals and the things I love (I simply cant give up my Starbucks mocha with cream), and I still sometimes have carbs after 7pm (eek sorry) but for me its about balance and moderation, if you have big meat and potato meals every night then clearly that will have an effect, but combining with something healthier and lighter like salad, eggs or soup a few nights a week has totally worked for me.
3. Get technical – I downloaded an App (which is free) called my fitness pal (which was recommended by a mate) has really helped me through the whole process. You basically add in your personal details how much you weigh, your goal weight and your lifestyle etc, then it calculates how many calories you should have each day, and then you add in all the food, drink and exercise you have and it adds or takes off remaining calories accordingly.
Mostly it has just opened my eyes to how many calories are in the food and drink I have and also allowed me to see the errors of my ways with some things I thought were okay, which were in fact very bad. I am a writer, so seeing it in black and white for me was key, especially seeing the chart with the graph points continuously coming down as I recorded my weight. Plus it acts as a mini social network site, so you can do it with mates.
4. Exercise – You can't really avoid this however in lovely sunny Australia you can do forms of it that don't really feel like exercise. Swimming for example. I have been lucky as I have a pool where I am staying, and just swimming (which I enjoy anyway) 25-50 lengths a few days a week gave me pretty quick results. Walking too, I love walking along the beach, its so relaxing and stunning to look at and its great for you. I have started walking along the beach 2 days a week from college, so instead of taking the bus I walk the 40 minutes along the beach, which is great cardio and to me doesn't feel like exercise.I also try to go to the gym a few times a week just for 45 mins each time. Most days I really cant be bothered but I get myself up first thing and I find myself back on the treadmill and each time I am so glad that I do, because it starts off my day in a positive way.
5. Give yourself a break – For me this is the most significant one. Don't be hard on yourself when you have something bad for you. Its so easy to give up when you have a lapse, and we all have them, the trick is to not feel guilty and not to think well what's the point I have ruined it. I have said this so many times to myself in the past; "well this week is ruined now so I'll eat what I want and start again next week". Now I still have my days where I want comfort food and that's fine, everyone should enjoy themselves and indulge occasionally otherwise life would be very dull. I just simply balance out the next day with an extended gym session, an extra long walk or eating really light.
So nothing revolutionary, just a few small changes that add up to making a huge difference. Good Luck!
*Check out my other article on Personal Trainers here.
Awesome Sarah - congratulations on getting to a goal weight! I find the trick for me is to find exercise that I think is fun and interesting - I love my zumba class - pretty much a dance party that torches loads of calories and kicks up your metabolism; and I enjoy cycling on the weekends, especially to catch up with friends if it's not too far. I'm always on the lookout for new fun fusion workouts too!
Your note on portion sizes is good - I love to eat, so I should just have a little instead of a lot - I think if we could have everything in the recommended size we're supposed to eat we would be far better off in judging our calorie and fat intake.
Well done Sarah. I too have been loosing weight since Feburary. I joined the Million Kilo Challenge on line, that ran for 10 weeks and was free. Then along with heaps of others online we were transferred over to the mother site called weigh it up also free. You are given a menu there are options mine is vegetarian. I have not done the exercise that has been prescribed, but do walk with friends on the weekends on the wonderful walking tracks or in the bush nearby. I have lost 27kilos so far and have had to buy some size 14 clothing too. I feel great so I know just how you must feel :)