Over the past few months I’ve been getting a number of comments/compliments/concerns (lol) about how my body has changed. Basically, I look like (and I have) lost a teeny bit of weight (mostly in the right places) and apparently it’s noticeable enough. So of course, people have been asking if I’ve been working out and what I’ve been doing to “get into shape”. Well this is the post to answer all of those questions 🙂
To be perfectly honest, it’s been so long since I’ve worked out that I don’t even remember what the inside of a gym looks like or how it feels to wear my running shoes (says the doctor; shame indeed SMH). And I don’t think there’s anything wrong with my thyroid that’s making me lose weight. BUT I have made some small adjustments to my diet and daily lifestyle that I think have made a pretty big impact on my body.
1. Make Healthy Food Choices
As much as I love a good cheeseburger and fries, the truth is, you really can’t stay healthy with that as a staple in your diet. I’ve definitely been paying attention to the nutritional value of what I consume and the benefits have been awesome. Not only am I maintaining my body, but I also have more energy, and just overall feel better. So oftentimes instead of having the fries, I’ll choose salmon, grilled chicken, roasted potatoes, broccoli, spinach, corn, etc. Basically, I’ve been eating my veggies and it’s been great! I’ve tried new things and honestly, variety is the spice of life…and health.
2. Portion Control
This has been my saving grace, honestly. Learning to really start small and NOT to eat with my eyes has been a challenge, but it’s been great. And I’ve developed the habit of splitting my meals in half. For example, if I go to Chipotle (you guys know I LOVE me some Chipotle!), I rarely ever eat the entire bowl, unless I’m just abnormally famished. That bowl gets split in two and divided into two meals. Similarly, if I go out to a restaurant to eat, I almost ALWAYS leave with a doggy bag. Never mind the fact that I’m making sure I have room for dessert….*hides face*. But I’ve also learned to identify when I’m satisfied an not to push my stomach to have more just because I’m feeling greedy. And that 20-minute rule really is legit! It takes your stomach about 20 minutes to know if you’re actually still hungry or not. So if you slow down and take 20 minutes to eat, and still feel hungry afterwards, then by all means enjoy having seconds! But even then, watch your portions and lay off the carbs (rice, pasta, other starches) the second time around.
3. NEVER Skip Meals, ESPECIALLY Breakfast
I HATE the feeling of skipping meals because that hunger attack is unlike any other! And you know what that leads to? Overeating. And the only way to prevent that is by never skipping meals especially breakfast. Even if that means grabbing a piece of fruit, drinking an Ensure (I always get made fun of for that but hey! Breakfast is breakfast! lol), a granola bar. Anything for breakfast is better than nothing. Truly. Get into the habit of eating regularly scheduled meals daily and if nothing else, it’ll sure make you a happier person lol.
4. Reduce Juice & Eliminate Sodas
Real talk,one bottle of juice in my apartment lasts….for weeks…sometimes months on end. And I VERY rarely have a soda. I just don’t feel the need to have it with or after my meals. If I’m thirsty, I usually reach for water. This is actually the advice that I give to a lot of my pediatric patients and their parents: If you’re trying to cut out empty calories and lose some of the extra weight, cut out juices and sodas as much as you can. They really are just empty sugar calories with zero nutritional value that does nothing but pack on the pounds. You will really be amazed at the change you’ll see if you cut out juice and sodas.
5. Water, Water, Water
See above…lol. Replace your juices and sodas with glasses of water and you’ll see an overall improvement in not just your body habitus, but your skin will flourish and your intestinal system will thank you as well.
6. Cook More; Eat Out Less
Yup, if you don’t know how to cook, there’s no time like the present to learn. And these days, there’s really no excuse with tutorials for EVERYTHING be on YouTube these days, tons of food blogs, and Pinterest??? Listen….cooking for yourself allows you to control what goes into your meal and ultimately your body. So try it! And even when you eat out, the key once again is to make healthy choices and watch your portions.
7. Take the Stairs & Walk When You Can
Like I said, it’s been a while since I’ve seen the inside of a gym. But just making the simple decision to take the stairs and walk whenever I can has helped me to stay a little bit active. And luckily for me, the hospital campus where I work is pretty big and walking from one end to the other (which I do almost every day) has got to be at least half a mile. So I try to do that often and stay moving.
8. Get a Good Night’s Rest
This is definitely something that I’ve been working on for quite some time and still haven’t perfected. I’m a night owl. I come alive in the nighttime! lol But…that doesn’t correlate well with 5:30/6 am wake-up times. And getting a good night’s sleep really helps the body to relax, unwind, rest, and re-energize for the next day. You’ll definitely feel better and less sluggish, and your body will thank you for it.
9. Listen to Your Body
When your body has had enough, it will let you know! Whether it’s feeling sluggish after eating certain foods or neglecting to stay active, or having narcoleptic episodes because of lack of sleep (Pray church…smh), your body tells you what it needs. Listen to it and respond appropriately. You’ll see a difference when you pay attention.
10. Don’t Obsess Over Losing Weight
I NEVER think about or try to lose or gain weight. Obsessing over that fact will do nothing but stress you out. So not worth it. Just focus on being and feeling healthy and the weight loss aspect will come.
Hope these tips help some of you out there especially if you’re jus trying to maintain and not really lose weight. And remember, nothing can substitute a good workout! I definitely always feel better and more energized after a good jog or Zumba session. *sigh* I really need to get my life together and get back in the gym! But until I have a bit more time, these tips really do help me fight half the battle.
Until next time…
Love and God Bless,