Updated: Apr 13, 2020
The amount doesn't matter, losing weight is not easy. That's obvious based on the world's obesity statistics, but losing weight is not impossible. Anyone can achieve weight loss, but it takes a lot of hard work, determination, and discipline. It took me over a year to lose 100 pounds and then another year to lose the other 40. The pictures don't do the process justice...it wasn't a quick fix.
When you lose 140 pounds, a lot of people ask, "How'd you do it?" This made me come up with a few tips that I now tell anyone who asks me this question.
1) BE REALISTIC AND DON'T BELIEVE EVERYTHING YOU SEE - There are a lot of opinions and campaigns surrounding weight loss. Just turn on the TV and you'll see 10 different ads for diets and pills claiming miraculous results. I am not saying some of these means don't work over time, but they do proclaim a false message of the quick fix. Quick fixes typically don't translate into maintained results. "Drop 15 pounds in the first week" or "Take 6 inches off your waist in a month" are simply not true. These campaigns get the best of all of us...I actually bought an ab vibrator in an attempt to lose belly fat. Not only did it not work, it also gave me a huge rash so don't believe everything you see on TV!
2) TRACK YOUR CALORIC INTAKE - Throughout my weight loss journey, I tracked my caloric intake. I know this seems tedious, but there are multiple apps that are very easy to use and help give a general idea about the amount of calories you're consuming. There is no need to be crazy, but it's beneficial to know what you're consuming because if calories in are greater than calories burned you're not going to lose weight. To lose weight, you need to be at a caloric deficit so assuming the amount of calories you're eating instead of actually knowing sets yourself up for failure.
MyFitnessPal by Under Armour is a free app that I used throughout my journey. I couldn't speak more highly of it when it comes to my weight loss success.
Here's the link if you're interested: https://www.myfitnesspal.com/
3) STAY AWAY FROM ULTRA PROCESSED FOODS, BUT DON'T DEPRIVE YOURSELF - Ultra processed foods are the foods that have a lot of added sugar, chemicals, and just generally unhealthy ingredients. They are also the foods that taste pretty damn good. Make an effort to keep these foods out of your diet, but also don't be crazy. Remember...weight loss is a process. One cookie isn't going to kill the progress you've made, but generally staying away from these foods is a huge key to losing weight. During my weight loss efforts, I continued to eat ice cream to keep my sanity, but I didn't go overboard. This helped me keep a positive mindset when I wanted to quit.
4) MOVE AS MUCH AS YOU CAN - To successfully lose weight, you don't need to be a workout machine. Obviously the more active you are, the more calories you'll burn which can turn into quicker weight loss success, but there is no need to stress about your exercise load. When I was 340 pounds, activity wasn't easy. I couldn't run a mile, but I could go for a walk and get on the elliptical. Find out what you can do and do it because any activity is better than no activity. A small walk not only helps you burn calories, but benefits your mental health as well!
5) ANY SUCCESS IS POSITIVE - I can't stress it enough...losing weight isn't easy so celebrate every success! Never get discouraged by success when it wasn't the result you wanted. The only difference between losing 5 pounds and 50 pounds is the specific number. They both are big accomplishments and show what you're doing is working!
6) DON'T DWELL ON THE ROADBLOCKS - There are going to be tough times and failures on your weight loss journey. There were tons of weeks when I either gained a little weight or I maintained in a time when I thought I was going to lose a significant amount. Keep moving forward and stay on the disciplined path. If you do this, the success will eventually come and you'll achieve your desired goal!
Hopefully these tips will be helpful for you. Comment below, reach out to me on social media, or send me an email if you have thoughts or questions. I'd love to hear them!