I will share my personal story with you first and then how I have developed a plan that works for me and hopefully you too.
When I was 13 years old I was fat, I'd even go as far to say obese. I was sick of the teasing I received at school and decided then and there to make a change. Was it easy? Yes at first it was. Being unhealthy large, I found all I had to do was swap my regular Coke to Diet Coke, eat more salads and fruit and go for a leisurely walk every afternoon. Weight was falling off and I got down to a healthy size, which I remained for a few more years. What I didn't factor in was that I had my teenage metabolism on my side and I could still binge out on fast food and ice-cream and it not affect my weight. The image below is myself at 13 years old.
However after High School was a different story, I gained 10 kilos within a year and was lost as to why it was happening, when I wasn't doing anything different. Looking back now, that was the problem, I wasn't doing anything different. Being naturally curvy already, I really noticed the weight gain and felt extremely low and depressed. I joined a gym which helped, but I didn't enjoy that form of exercise so my motivation levels were down. It wasn't until 3 years later that I learned the secret. Sticking to a healthy diet 85% of the time and finding an exercise regime I enjoyed, that burnt fat and toned - such as running and doing floor activities like push-ups. I lost that 10kgs a couple of years ago and can proudly say I have kept it off since. I found it was a total lifestyle change, not just a diet. The image below is what I currently look like.
Step 1 – Be committed It won't work if you go into it half-heartedly. Identify the factors and food that have made you gain weight or prevented you from staying in the weight range you want to be in. Be prepared to make the necessary changes.
Step 2 – Set a realistically goal Trying to lose 6kgs in the first week would be highly unrealistic, unless you were on The Biggest Loser or only drink those slim shakes for a week (which I don't recommend, as it's not a healthy or long term solution).
Step 3 – Get Support Doing something that requires mammoth amounts of will-power, generally goes great with the support of loved ones and friends. If they know your goal, they can help out or even better, join in with you.
Step 4 – Clean out all the junk Living in a household where my dad has a big sweet tooth can be very tempting, but we arranged a system where I have the bar fridge and they have the large fridge. We also have different cupboards; this helps because when I reach for almond nuts, I'm not tempted to have a bag of chips instead. Figure out a system that has minimal temptations.
Step 5 – Research before you go grocery shopping
It's tricky to just jump into a diet, you have to cook all new dinners and lunches. It's great to stock up on some healthy recipe books and research the benefits of certain vegetables, fruits and other foods to help assist you. tip - I found a set of 6 veggies and fruits that I absolutely love. Each night I prepare them and put them on a platter board for the next day. I hate waste, so I always end up eating them and feeling full.
Step 6 – Finding an exercise regime that works for you Some people love the effect a gym has on them, while others enjoy the outdoors. Joining classes is also a great way of losing some weight. Take a look at my Pole dancing review. The key is to mix it up so that your body doesn't get used to it and to push yourself further each time. Try to exercise 4-5 times a week, even if you have to move other commitments around or find a designed time. Tip - for maximum results, work out in the morning before eating breakfast.
Step 7 – Waiting game If you haven't seen results in 4 weeks, it's time to reassess. Are you doing enough? Is your exercise, catering for your weight lose needs? What type of foods are you eating?
Step 8 – Staying strong.
Once you start noticing your smaller frame, this usually gives you the extra push to stay on your diet and be good, but sometimes it can have the opposite effect and you think, "well now I'm down to my goal weight, I can have fast food every few days". That's not how it works, you must remain strong and see it not just as a diet until you lose the weight, but a change for good.
Step 9 – Allowing yourself to still have treats
If you haven't already been able to tell from my other articles, I absolutely love food, so I would never ever suggest cutting out treats, but you must have them in moderation. Some people have "cheat days" where they binge for one day a week, then be good for the rest. If that works for you, then why not, but I find a safer way is to treat yourself a couple of times a week and not for the whole day. Dedicating a day to eating fatty food is risky. If you have a naughty lunch, then have a super healthy dinner and snacks and make up for it the next day with exercise and more healthy foods.
Step 10 – Enjoy your new and healthy lifestyle
Embrace it, you are finally there. Energy levels are up, you will enjoy going clothes shopping and going to the beach won't be your worst nightmare anymore.