5 Secrets to Maintaining a Healthy WeightJump To Recipe
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How many of us have been lured in by some commercial or advertisement claiming to provide incredible weight loss results? It can be tempting to shell out some cash in hopes to get the results we crave. Sadly, most of these “lose-weight-fast” schemes do not work, or they do not last.
Have you ever just wanted the secrets to maintaining a healthy weight revealed, so you can get on with your life and feel amazing?
I am not a weight loss expert nor am I a personal trainer. But I have tried different diets and workouts and also having a mom who is a nutrition expert, I’ve learned a thing or two over the last decade. Read more of my disclosures here (insert disclosure link)
During my high school years, I was once 25 pounds heavier than my BMI ideal weight. I’ve got some stretch marks from when I was my heaviest. And no, I do not feel like a Tiger that has earned her stripes lol.
I remember getting so frustrated and feeling like my efforts weren’t working. Have you been there before? Everything you tried seemed to fail?
Then I remember making a few tweaks in my lifestyle, and BOOM. The weight dropped off. Anytime I have been successful with weight loss is ironically when I am not trying (aka obsessing) to lose weight.
I am going to share with you secrets for losing excess weight, and maintaining a healthy weight that has worked for me, and will most likely work for you too.
5 Secrets to Maintaining a Healthy Weight
1. Understand YOUR Body Type
I am 5’8 and I weigh 150 lbs which is my ideal weight. That falls in the 23 BMI range which is in the normal weight BMI of 18.5–24.9. When I was in high school, I shot up to 170/175 pounds which was in the 26 BMI range, the overweight BMI of 25–29.9. Back when Charlotte Russe was still in business (I was in high school), I remember finding it hard to find size XL in tops (at one brief time they only went up to size large in tops), and back then, it didn’t even cross my mind that I might be overweight.
Since I have always been tall, I felt like I could “get away” with a few extra pounds. Well yes and no. Being overweight is still unhealthy, but yah, I can generally get away with some vanity pounds (5-8lbs) and it wouldn’t make a big difference. I wear shirt sizes in the S-M range and pants/skirts in the size 6-8 range. That is what makes me feel comfortable, any smaller or any bigger would just not fit my body shape.
It is important to understand your body type when you are starting your weight loss journey. If you are short, tall, small-boned, big-boned, short torso, long torso; that all plays a part in how you store and carry your weight. Don’t compare yourself to other people, that won’t work. You need to find out what YOUR body is like so YOU can tailor results to help you get down to your ideal healthy weight.
2. Be Honest About Your Eating Habits
If you need to start a food journal, do so to really analyze your eating habits. Mine was pretty easy to figure out-I loved sweets (still do) and had a major sweet tooth. My mom would bake chocolate chip cookies and they were soooo delicious. Growing up, I would have to ask permission to eat a cookie, I was allowed 1-2 cookies. However, then once jr high to high school came, I would eat several cookies without any supervision or accountability. I also loved coffee and tea and I took it with spoonfuls of sugar and creamer. My mom encouraged me to cut back on my sugar. That’s it. I switched from regular sugar to Splenda in my coffee and tea, and drastically cut back the sugar I ate. I shed the pounds so fast by doing this alone.
Find your triggers. Is it eating fast food? Perhaps eating out at restaurants? Is it chips and soda? Is it eating too much sugar? Once you find out your problem areas, reduce these habits-remember moderation is key. If you love donuts like me, have a donut! Just don’t have one every week, or two or three when your boss brings them into work.
3. Get Off the Couch!
Seriously. Have you heard that sitting is the new smoking? When my husband and I were dating, I definitely put on some happy pounds and kept them there until closer to the wedding. When we first moved into our home, we didn’t have any furniture, and we didn’t own a couch until three months later. We also don’t own a TV right now, so that is another reason we don’t spend much time sitting on the couch.
I lost 10 lbs just by being on my feet and doing things around the house like cleaning, organizing, painting, etc. I’ve been able to keep my weight in the 150-155 range just by being more on my feet! Standing burns 100-200 calories an hour while sitting burns 60 to 130 calories an hour. Also, in March when the world kinda shut down due to COVID19, I began to go on daily walks with my neighbors that lasted an hour. Walking at a moderate speed can burn anywhere from 180-340 calories an hour depending on your weight! Walking is so easy, and standing is even easier! Just make sure you have supportive shoes. If you can’t get the motivation to go to the gym or start a home workout routine, take advice from my dad: start small.
My dad who is fit as can be, can run long distances (5k, half-marathon, marathon) and lifts weights and he is over the age of 70! He even reminded me even today (7.4.2020) to start small, as he knows I just bought a pull-up bar and some weights for me and my husband to use. Find an activity that you enjoy. I led a relatively active lifestyle from jr high through high school and was competitive during P.E. and ran track two years in high school, I also ran track 2 years in college. Now today, I definitely don’t run as much as I did in high school and in college, but I do get my heart rate up by doing some physical activity.
Below are pics from 2013, where I asked my photographer (she’s now in Texas!) to capture my training when I wasn’t in College track over the summer months. Fun fact: I would practice on my high school track where I did track & field junior and senior year!
4. Portion Control and Water Intake
Portion control is huge in maintaining a healthy weight. In fact, if you can’t commit to exercising consistently for at least 30 minutes three times a week, at least change the way you eat. I think as Americans we have grown accustomed to bigger portions to satiate our appetites. I know I struggle with portion control because my eyes are bigger than my stomach, so I tend to overeat. My husband and I help each other out by sharing meals if we ever go out to eat, this way we eat the perfect amount of food for the both of us.
When you cook meals, only cook enough food to feed you and/or your family according to the correct portion size per person. If you cooked too much, just put aside the rest in a container and store it for a later meal. Drink more water! I am preaching this to myself because I do not drink enough water. I am more of a coffee + milk kinda gal, so I have to mindfully reach for a glass of water. Water is great because, among its many health benefits, it helps you to eat less, and helps you feel full longer.
5. Be Mindful of What You Eat
Here is a huge healthy weight secret revealed: weight loss and weight management don’t have to be complicated. I personally don’t recommend tracking calories every day because it can get cumbersome, and eating can turn into a strict chore. Plus, before I lost my 25 lbs, I tried calorie counting with an app on my phone, but some foods were unpackaged or going out to a friend’s house or restaurant, I couldn’t accurately gauge the number of calories I was consuming. Simply eat better foods-eat more fruits and vegetables, limit processed and red meat, and limit carbs. I learned from my mom, you can eat as many vegetables as you like and not gain weight.
I would start to look inside your pantry and cabinets-stop buying junk food! Since junk food is convenient it can take the place of real meals. Also, cut out fast-food! Leave it for once in a blue moon occasions like coming home from a theme park for example. Fast-food has become the norm in our culture, and it is an easy way to let your weight creep up.
Eating at home is much better because you can track and control what goes into your food, and you can leave out the bad stuff. Also, it is important to mention do NOT starve yourself by drastically reducing caloric intake every day. You may think that restricting your calories to under 1500-2000 calories will help you shed the weight fast, but 1) your body will go into survival mode and hold onto the extra fat/energy it has to function and 2) eventually you won’t be able to take it anymore and start overeating again and pack on the pounds, again.
Key takeaway on how to maintain a healthy weight:
Weight loss doesn’t happen overnight. Be patient, and understand results happen gradually, and consistency will get you there.
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