Back in March, Adam and I booked our tickets for a week-long summer getaway to the Cayman Islands. This was when I decided I wanted to finally commit to getting in shape!
I made a couple of fitness vlogs while I was starting out; now that it’s been 6 months I wanted to share my process and final results with you all!
I downloaded an iPhone app called MyFitnessPal that tracks calorie intake and calories burned through exercise. Based on my current weight, goal weight, and deadline, the app would give me a number of calories to stay under. I believe my initial number was around 1350 calories per day, and it would allot me more calories if I worked out. My favorite part was when I submitted my food and workout diary for the day and it would give me my projected weight in 5 weeks “if every day was like today.” That was SO motivating, seeing actual numbers I could realistically achieve with what I was doing! I completely stopped eating out, because 1) You really don’t know what they’re putting in the food, and 2) If you can actually find nutrition facts, most meals at restaurants are packed with enough calories for two days! Cooking was really fun and made me more conscious of nutrition facts while shopping.
Besides making sure I stayed under my calorie cap, I was going to the gym. A LOT. I was going about 5 days a week. I’d even wake up at 5 so I could work out before my 8AM classes. At the gym I would do 1 hour of cardio (the elliptical) and a half hour of strength (weights, floor exercises). As time went on, I would intensify my workouts by adding resistance to my elliptical sessions, and using heavier weights.
Protein, fiber, and carbs were staples in my diet. Yep, I said CARBS. Oatmeal was (and now still is) my best friend.
From March 1st to May 25th I lost 20 pounds! This was the first time I committed and followed through with a fitness plan, and I am still so proud of myself. Of course I went on a shopping spree right before my trip because I went down from a size 12 to a size 8.
Since we got back from our trip in June, I haven’t continued everything in my fitness routine, because I started a 9-5 job plus night classes, so gym time has moved to about 2 times a week on weekends. As far as food goes, I’m still conscious about what I’m eating, when I’m eating, and portion size. I’m not counting calories anymore, but I’m still super aware of nutrition facts when I’m shopping/cooking. Also, the majority of my meals are still cooked at home.
I started at 163 pounds. Now I’m at 135.
My original goal weight was 145, so I am still amazed at how far I’ve come.
Here are my top tips that worked for me. Remember, I’m not a doctor and it is wise to consult your physician first if you’re just starting your road to fitness:
- Stop eating out. Restaurant portions in America are ridiculous, and nutrition isn’t always the priority in preparation. Learning to cook and prepare your own meals will make you uber conscious about what you put in your body. Plus it’s less expensive!
- Quit drinking SODA! We all know how much sugar is in soft drinks. Originally I didn’t think this rule applied to me because the only soda I drank was Diet Coke… but I found out that a chemical in diet sodas trick the body into going into starvation mode (storing more calories/fat). I still rarely drink soda. If I have a craving for a sweet drink I stick to juice or add some Mio to my water.
- Eat breakfast, lunch, dinner, and snacks along the way. Believe it or not, I ate more food once I started my fitness routine. Before, I wouldn’t eat all day and have one big meal at night- WRONG! Breakfast will kickstart your metabolism for the day, and small snacks at appropriate intervals will keep it working hard. Basically, if you’re hungry, eat. But if it’s going to be a snack, don’t turn that into a fourth or fifth meal, and don’t let them compromise your calorie goal. (I liked keeping celery & peanut butter, or carrot sticks with me) Furthermore, don’t mistake being hungry for being bored. Before eating, reflect on how hungry you actually are.
- Get into a workout schedule, and take rest days. It’s really easy to work out when you get to the gym knowing exactly what you need to do. Research online the best (and fun) workouts for your goal, and come up with a routine. Furthermore, you gotta let your body rest. Overworking yourself is a fast way to demotivate AND risk damaging your body.
- When you start seeing results, intensify your workout. Your body will get used to your routine, so you need to keep challenging it to keep seeing results!
- Keep track of your food and workouts. I used MyFitnessPal, but even a written food journal helps. Sometimes you don’t realize how much/how poorly you’re eating until it’s all written out in front of you. This will help you pinpoint what habits need to change.
- Have cheat days. If you never indulge in your favorite foods, you’ll go crazy. Once a week cheat days won’t hurt you as long as you’re sticking to your routine otherwise. But keep in mind: portion control counts!
- Even if you find a “get slim quick” scheme that actually works for you, you need to change your habits to avoid gaining everything back.
If you’ve recently started living a fit life, let me know how you’re doing! Good luck and you can do it! Just commit, and keep your end goal in mind to stay motivated!