I am about to take you on my latest attempt at weight loss. I know what this looks like. Early January. This must be my New Year’s resolution, right? No. It’s not. It’s just good timing. I tried, briefly succeeded, and then failed on my weight loss mid-semester and since the holidays are over and I knocked out my winter break to-do’s, the time is right. Also, I’m a marketer, and realistically, everyone is searching for fitness and health related articles right now, so it just makes sense.
I will note that I am attempting this at the start of my semester, so it’ll be interesting to see how it affects me, but if you want to do it, you gotta make time for it, right?
So here goes. A weight loss journey. It’ll be messy and all over-the-place. And I will be dining out and eating TV dinners quite a bit (in smaller portions). Long-term goal will be to cook more and eat fresher, but like I said earlier, my semester is starting, and it’s my last one. So between this mag, my internship, and 18 credit hours of school (yep.), this is not the time to try that. I will ultimately get overwhelmed and quit dieting entirely.
I haven’t decided on the frequency yet of these blogs. I’m shooting for once weekly, but, you know, 18 credit hours. I will be trying certain fitness and health challenges and let you know how those go. Here’s what I have in mind.
- Walk to school every day. This walk is over a mile, which is really not that bad, but it’s winter and I usually like to leave late. It might be hard to keep, but 2-2.5 miles of walking really contributes to my calorie burning goal. I’m going to try this immediately.
- Cut out the sodium. I know from my attempt last semester that sodium was probably my biggest issue. I was able to cut calories, but every time I logged my stuff in MyFitnessPal, I found that sodium was a problem. Not exactly surprising; I admitted to you that I eat out and eat TV dinners. I will try this early on and work on gradually lowering this.
- Eat breakfast. I skip breakfast every day. I actually have never really been a breakfast food fan (sorry breakfast lovers). But it’s important to spread my meals better throughout the day and eat first thing in the morning. So, stocking up on Quaker and some snack bars now.
- Cut soda (almost) completely. It’s just not worth it. It’s not making me feel any fuller. It’s just contributing to my calorie count.
- Drink more water. Everything in life is better when you drink more water; your hair, skin, health, etc. Plus, drinking an entire glass of water before you eat makes you feel fuller.
- Work out in the mornings. If I mess this up, there is always the gym after work or school, but ideally I’d do this in the morning so it’s knocked out. We’ll see how this goes.
- Calorie count every day. This has always helped me lose weight. When you’re not counting, you forget how much you’re actually putting into your body. Counting makes me conscious of it. Also, it’s basic math. Eat less calories/burn more calories = weight loss.
- Try that meal prep thing. I’ve been interested in trying this for a while. I’m busy and it makes it really hard to cook, but I’m also sick of eating out. Now I can prepare myself healthy recipes ahead of time and avoid unhealthy food. This may help me kick sodium out, too. I won’t try this immediately (you usually have to devote a couple hours to prep), but I will really soon.
- Stockpile healthy snacks. Kind of similar to the meal prep idea. I want to start putting some healthy snacks in sandwich bags in the beginning of the week so I have snacks to grab and go all week long.
- Buy more fruit. I want this to be a replacement for my sweets cravings. Again, I’m realistic. I’m not expecting to completely give up desserts, but I want to reduce the frequency.
As far as workout regimens go, I plan to work out 4-7 days per week, with an overall goal of burning 3500 calories (1 lb) per week. Between going to the gym and walking to and from school every day, I think this is doable. I also plan to lose 1 lb from healthy eating every week. I’m using MyFitnessPal to do that. They’ll give me a calorie goal to meet this weight loss, and I’ll follow it.
I’m not going to specify my weight goals and current weight, and yada-yada. I think it’s awesome when people want to share that, but it’s not for me. I may show you pics of my progress, but that’ll be about it.
Weight loss is possible. I lost a fair amount of weight before (I dropped 2-3 pants sizes). But this is my first attempt at setting good habits, rather than mindlessly working out and eating significantly less with no plan. Last time I did that, I gained the weight back. So here I am, hoping to make some positive changes that I can carry forward. It will be a less polished weight loss journey than you’re used to seeing, and all my advice won’t be perfect. But, if it works for me, I’m willing to share it so you can try it for yourself.
By Linsey Stonchus
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