I participated in the Amwell blog program as a member of One2One Network. I received compensation but all opinions are my own.
In the last couple months I’ve really committed to better habits and I want to share with you my results. Right away when I started making changes in my diet and lifestyle I lost around 10 pounds. Two months later I haven’t lost a single pound but I am down two pants sizes and there is a definite physical difference in what I looked like then and what I look like now. I wish I took a before picture, but I didn’t realize there would be such a difference. Because friends tell friends how they did it, I am here to tell you the five things I changed to get where I am today.
1) Don’t reinvent the wheel. This goes against everything the media is telling you, because there is such a booming fitness industry right now. I used to subscribe to a meal planning service where they would send me recipes every week and a grocery list and it was all healthy. Over time I realized it was a recipe for failure for me. Who has time to cook a brand new meal they’ve never made before from scratch every day of the week? We ended up getting takeout half the time because we were unprepared or didn’t feel like it. Losing weight has always been and always will be all about eating healthy and burning calories. Don’t let anybody tell you differently. You simply need to burn more calories than you consume. That is the only true way to lose weight.
2) Find your weakness and squash it. I’m a mom and I give, give, give all day and then when it’s finally my turn to eat or drink, I have no energy left. It’s easier for me to reach my hand through the drive through window than to make something for myself. Drive through coffee and food are my weakness. This has been relatively easy to combat. I know that when I’m driving through for a veggie burger (a fast food chain near the YMCA where I work out has them) what I am really craving is a delicious leafy salad, complete with grilled chicken, avocado, tomatoes, feta cheese, and a little bit of savory dressing. I know that if I have a wholesome breakfast I will not crave drive through coffee in the morning. Keeping all the ingredients at home for these things are crucial to my success. Once I leave the house hungry or unprepared, I know I’ll make a bad choice, so it’s best to always have the healthy food I will be craving at an arm’s reach.
3) Know what motivates you and keeps you accountable. I have learned about myself that simply showing up to the gym for a workout is not a good plan for me. I learned that my local gym not only has unlimited childcare while I’m exercising, but a plethora of workout classes I can attend for no extra fee! Through trial and error I found some excellent classes that will burn calories and build muscle. Signing up for some 5ks has also been a way to motivate me. When I know a friend and I will be running in a couple weeks, it makes me try harder at the gym because I have a tangible goal in mind.
A photo posted by Justina G (@justinalayne) on
I have also been meeting with a personal trainer once a week. At first I wasn’t sure if it was a worthwhile fee for me, but it turns out that just knowing I am going to have to meet with someone at the beginning of every week for a hard workout is motivation to keep it together the rest of the week.
4) Work smarter not harder. In the past when I’ve wanted to work out, I’ve done low impact activities for hours at a time. The results don’t come right away, so I give up after a few weeks. I’ve found great success with strength training. Lifting weights builds muscle and muscle burns more fat. I’ve been doing it wrong all along!
5) Talk to a dietician. I had never done this before, but I recently found Amwell, Amwell is the nation’s largest telehealth company, connecting users with board-certified, licensed doctors for immediate and live, online visits- day or night, on either mobile or desktop. They are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. A service like this is perfect for someone who wants to meet with a doctor, dietician, or therapist and it’s really affordable. Seeing a physician is only $49, which is lower than my insurance copay and I don’t have to leave the house!
When I talked to a dietician, there was no waiting involved. the person I saw was already online when my kids were down for a nap and I was free. The nutritionist was only $25. My computer asked me some checklist questions like my health history, there were places to upload lab results and to list insurance and I could’ve opted for a text message to let me know when it was my turn, but she was quick and ready right away to talk.
I asked her some questions and was pleased that as a follow up to our online visit, she sent a PDF report of what we talked about so I can look back on the notes. We talked about my eating habits, and discussed that I have a well balanced breakfast and dinner but lunch seems to be quick and on the go most of the time and I graze on snacks too much. She suggested some fiber and protein combinations for meals and snacks that will keep me fuller for longer: edamame, hummus with chopped vegetables, peanut butter with fruit, etc. She also suggested we mix up dinner to be more exciting by subbing chicken (the protein choice we most often choose) with pork instead. Dessert cravings can also be staved off by blending frozen bananas or freezing fresh fruit into popsicles.
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So, these are some of my tips. I think each of the points have been important to my success. I hope to continue with my success, and I have a good feeling that my habits are now lifelong, since I haven’t been motivated for this long of a stretch at a time that I can remember.
Share with me some of your tips below!