Looking at me now, you wouldn’t imagine that I used to be a chunkster. I have a thin frame and no evidence of ever having been overweight. However, I spent my life up until eighteen being a little chunk (a cute chunk, of course).
I went from a size nine to a size two. I am not saying a size nine is HUGE. It isn’t for most women, but I am on the short side and barely stand 5’4″. Any added weight went straight to my tummy and my boobies, making me look short and wide.
I was classic apple shape. Round in the middle, all my weight on top, with thin limbs. When I lost weight, I changed my body composition, and I am now pretty proportional, up and down.
I am not a fitness guru or personal trainer, but I know my way around the gym and the kitchen. I managed to lose the weight with only a gym membership and my own research. I was a broke college student with no disposable income to put toward personal trainers, dietitians, or plastic surgeons.
If I pulled it off, anyone can.
These are the six most efficient tweaks I made to my lifestyle to lose the weight, boost my metabolism, and maintain a healthy weight without gaining any of the fat back.
1. Cut out the sugar
This is by far my biggest recommendation for weight loss. We’ve gotten a little extra with sugar as a civilization, and it is showing in our waistlines and declining health.
Our body needs carbs for energy but not in the form of refined, processed sugars. A good rule of thumb that helped me reshape my body was to eat carb-rich foods that contained good amounts of fiber. For example; Fruits, vegetables, and whole grains. I stay away from foods that have little fiber but heaps of sugar, like fancy coffee drinks, juices, milk, and soda.
With anything, moderation is key. I am not saying never to eat another cookie (the lawd knows I love fries). I would never say that. You only get one life, enjoy treats every once and while, but remember that treats are treats for a reason.
2. Drink TONS of water
Water is, literally, life. It is amazing for your skin, your organs, and your waistline too. For some reason, we have been led to believe that juice (yes, even fancy $10 juice from Whole Foods) is a healthy option when it comes to quenching our thirst.
I understand it comes from a fruit….but fruit has fiber. Straight juice has no fiber and spikes your insulin (fiber prevents this from happening). It is almost as bad as soda. They are both full of empty calories that don’t have to be piling up on our booty.
Water is just always the best choice. It’s as simple as it is clear.
3. HIIT is your best friend
I have been told to cut down my time on the Stairmaster and treadmill numerous times. However, I only do cardio three times a week for 12-15 minutes per session, while working at intervals. This has worked great for me and I attribute it as the reason that I do not gain weight. It keeps my metabolism on its toes and keeps it burning calories, even when I am not working out.
However, for beginners to weight loss, you can totally do cardio at a steady state for as long as you desire. You can do this for a few months before your body realizes what’s up and stops burning fat as fast as it did when you started. Then, you can trick it with high-intensity interval training and still see body fat drop.
4. Only do workouts you enjoy
If you like your job, you’re less likely to quit it. If you like your boyfriend, you probably won’t break up with him anytime soon. You are more likely to stick to what you like. This is why I only do workouts that I enjoy and look forward to doing.
Lifting heavy for me is almost zero fun. So, I stick to lower weight, higher reps, and stair sprints. I also love running, so catch me on my five milers down the coast.
Find something you love and keep doing it. If you love it, commitment should be a piece of whole grain, light frosting cake (ewww, but you get it).
5. Find a health food you love and go to town
For me, it is kale. It has been from the beginning. I add that shit to everything. I have so many ways in which I incorporate kale into my diet.
For example, I make it a base for a salad, throw it in a smoothie, add it to pasta, toss it into soup, etc.
Doesn’t sound appetizing to you? So maybe kale isn’t your thing, but maybe zucchini is. You can make zucchini noodles, add it to veggie soup, or roast it with other veggies. The possibilities are endless.
In the same way that it is easier to exercise when you enjoy what you’re doing, it’s easier to eat healthy meals if they have ingredients you love. You don’t have to eat anything you hate to achieve your weight loss goals, instead, find food that you love and get creative.
6. Do shots
I have to include this in here because I am twenty-three and started losing weight when I was eighteen. Once I turned twenty-one (or nineteen, idk), I discovered alcohol, and I also discovered that it could make you pack on some weight. I never experienced this myself, but I did see some heavy partier friends gain beer pounds.
So if you are like me and must drink on occasion, aim for clear alcohol. Instead of soda or juice, mix your clear alcohol with club soda and toss in lime. If you’re a little more hardcore than I am, shots should do the trick.
Patience is important when it comes to weight loss and transforming your body. It has taken me years to lose weight without yo-yoing. It has been slow and sometimes frustrating, but building a healthy metabolism that isn’t damaged from up/down dieting takes time. You just kind of have to put a lot of trust in that what you’re doing is worth it and that your health matters more than anything else.
If you have anything to add to this list, please comment, email, or messenger pigeon me.
Stay gold (and stay patient),