Are you having a hard time getting started on your weight loss journey? Do you keep telling yourself that you’re going to start on Monday? When Monday comes around, do you start with a healthy breakfast and a workout, but then your health kick gets derailed?
Finding the motivation to start and continue a diet or exercise routine is difficult. But I’m here to tell you that you can do it! Yes, you can! I’m going to share 10 Tried and True Tips with you that will Kick-Start Your Weight Loss. These tips helped me start to lose 23 pounds… and still going.
WHY I NEEDED TO KICK-START MY WEIGHT LOSS
I’ve fluctuated in weight my entire life for many reasons. The main reason was that I grew up eating unhealthy foods and a lot of sugar. Once determined to lose weight, it would come off pretty easily with slight dietary changes. By this, I mean eating slightly less sugar.
Then in my thirties, it became more difficult to lose the weight. Generally, I would go on a diet that restricted some food group. This would lead me to achieve my goal. Great!
Really, not so great. The moment I achieved my ideal weight, I would lose control and gain some of the weight back.
Does that sound familiar to you?
In the past few years, I’ve been much more focused on eating healthy, rather than eating less, even when I’ve tried different diets. This made it a lot easier to maintain my weight overall.
For two years, however, my husband and I tried to have a baby with fertility treatment. As a result, hormones were the cause of more weight gain than I ever imagined. Last April, I weighed 50 lbs more than my ideal weight!
THE 10 WEIGHT LOSS TIPS THAT GOT ME STARTED
Have you ever felt the “need” to eat more sweets and chocolate when you’re hormonal? Well, I felt like that ALL THE TIME while I was going through fertility treatment. Needless to say, the scale went up, up and up…
By April 2017, I had hit my highest weight. I also moved from Florida to Seattle for my husband’s career. At that point, I decided I’d had enough. I was going to lose weight, but not by starting a crazy diet with a lot of restrictions. I was simply going to do it by leading a healthier lifestyle.
In this blog, you will find a lot of information on the ketogenic diet and about eating low carb. Let me point out that I aim to eat high fat/low carb, but I do not fully restrict myself from eating carbs because I intend to continue this lifestyle change. I enjoy how I eat now, it’s not difficult to eat low carb when there are so many delicious options.
But I digress… After doing some research, I decided to follow certain guidelines that I knew would work for me and that I could maintain. Some or all of these could work for you. Since I am not a doctor or a nutritionist, please talk to your doctor before trying out any of the tips described in this post.
Here are the 10 tips that helped me kick-start my weight loss journey!
1. EAT CLEAN
Consume foods found in nature, not processed foods. Eat nutritious foods that haven’t been exposed to pesticides, chemicals, and are not genetically modified. This doesn’t mean that you will never eat a processed food ever again. It just means that eating processed foods should be the exception, rather than the rule.
Cut out processed foods completely for one or two weeks and you will see how different your body feels. You will feel less bloated, more energetic, more clear-minded. Studies have found that eating more processed and sugary foods increases rates of obesity and diabetes.
2. EAT LOW CARB
Like I mentioned earlier, I don’t fully restrict carb consumption. While the ketogenic diet does not fully restrict carbs, the percentage you can have to achieve ketosis is so low (5% – 10%), that you end up consuming it mostly through veggies.
There are times when I want to eat my steel cut oats, cooked in coconut milk. It’s so delicious! On those days, I make that my first meal of the day and eat low carb the remainder of it. This keeps me motivated to continue to eat healthily.
There are benefits to eating a low carb diet. You burn through the energy stored from caloric consumption a lot faster. This helps you get to a ketogenic state quicker, where you burn the energy from stored fat.
3. TAKE TWO TABLESPOONS OF APPLE CIDER VINEGAR EVERY DAY
There are many benefits of apple cider vinegar. While studies show that it can enhance weight loss, it must be as a part of a healthy diet in order to see significant results.
Apple cider vinegar helps regulate blood sugar levels and reduce insulin resistance. Studies have found that insulin levels don’t increase as much when you eat carbs if you have apple cider vinegar after the carb consumption. This vinegar is also important for gut health, as it is fermented and contains probiotics.
I use Bragg Organic Apple Cider Vinegar with The ‘Mother’ every morning, as follows:
- Steep 2-3 slices of fresh ginger in 6 oz. of hot water.
- Add 2 Tbsp. of Apple Cider Vinegar with The Mother.
What is The Mother you ask? When apple cider vinegar includes “The Mother,”it hasn’t been processed or heated. It still contains healthy bacteria, enzymes, and proteins that are very beneficial for gut health.
4. TAKE PROBIOTIC SUPPLEMENTS
Probiotics are beneficial bacteria in the lining of your digestive tract. Taking probiotic supplements provides much needed healthy bacteria for gut health. According to a study in the Journal of Microbiology, probiotics provide a wide variety of benefits:
- Enhancing intestinal tract health
- Decreasing lactose intolerance symptoms
- Reducing the frequency of allergies in people prone to them
- Augmenting nutrient absorption
- Boosting the immune system
- Decreasing cancer risk factors
Variety is also important when it comes to a probiotic supplement. I chose a probiotic that included 5 different strains of bacteria. You don’t have to go with the one I use. At this point, there might be others with better reviews and lower price tags.
Remeber to talk to your doctor before trying any supplement or diet change.
Probiotic supplements aren’t the only way to get the benefits mentioned. The next tip helped kickstart my weight loss even before I had researched and purchased a probiotic supplement.
5. EAT FERMENTED FOODS
Adding fermented foods to your diet, like kombucha, kefir, sauerkraut, and other fermented varieties is great for gut health. These foods have live cultures of healthy bacteria, enzymes, and proteins that our diets full of processed foods often lack. They also include all the probiotic health benefits mentioned above.
The cool thing about fermented foods is that you can make them at home! I love kombucha and brewing my own is at the top of my wish list. I will definitely share with you when it happens.
6. ENGAGE IN 30 MINUTES OF EXERCISE EVERY DAY
Moving from a city where you had to drive everywhere to one where you walk everywhere made it very easy for me to add this tip to my lifestyle.
Even though I had joined the gym, I was walking everywhere I went, even to the gym! This meant that I was putting in at least 30 minutes of activity even on the days I did not work out.
There are many ways to add activity to your day that can fit your lifestyle. For example, I’m less likely to go to the gym in the winter because I don’t like the cold and my walk to the gym is a little over 15 minutes long. My alternative option is to do video workouts.
I subscribe to Beachbody On Demand and focus on those workouts during the winter. There are also many online workouts that are very effective and FREE. I do more activities outside after winter when I’m done hibernating. You can walk, bike, swim, dance, hike, or clean around the house.
This is probably one of the easiest steps you can take to kick-start your weight loss.
7. PREPARE MEALS AHEAD OF TIME
Life gets pretty busy, whether you’re out all day working on a business, or in all day working on the business of home and family.
Not everybody has the time to create a gourmet meal every time they’re going to eat. Easy to put together meals and timely prep are key to maintaining your weight loss goals.
If you don’t prep meals ahead of time, you end up eating whatever’s more easily accessible. Usually, this falls under the not-so-healthy category. You may also end up spending a fortune eating out.
Taking time during the weekend to prep some meals has always helped me stay on track. If I don’t get to it because I had a busy weekend, then I double what I cook for dinner. Then, I have some for lunch the next day. This helps with my budget and to maintain healthy habits.
8. PRACTICE INTERMITTENT FASTING
Following the ketogenic diet is not the only way to get your body to the point where it’s burning stored fat quicker.
I came across a book called The Obesity Code, written by Dr. Jason Fung, where I learned about the practice of intermittent fasting (IF). This book is focused on the research and science behind IF.
After I read Dr. Fung’s book, I started fasting for 16 hours and eating all my meals within the remaining 8 hours of each day. I skip breakfast and eat all my meals between 11:00 a.m. and 7:00 p.m.
How does this lead to weight loss, you might ask? After all, I haven’t mentioned caloric restriction.
HOW INTERMITTENT FASTING WORKS
Right after we eat, insulin levels peak to move the energy from food into energy for our cells. This is a very simplified way to explain it, but the point is that the insulin hormone regulates the use of energy from food as well as the storage of that energy.
We have more energy from the food we eat than we need to use at the moment. As a result, our bodies store the rest of it to be used at a later time. Insulin levels decrease after a period of fasting. This allows our bodies the opportunity to finish burning off the energy from food. Since our cells still need an energy source, we move on to burning stored fat for fuel.
I have found IF to be one of the most effortless ways to lose weight. I should point out though, that while IF doesn’t require caloric restriction, I believe that it would defeat the purpose to do it if you intend to follow a poor diet. You can learn more about this practice in my How Intermittent Fasting Helped Me Lose 23 Pounds post.
9. GRAB A PARTNER FOR MOTIVATION
We’re all social beings. Find a partner that shares similar health and fitness goals to begin your weight loss journey with. This not only makes it easier to begin, it also helps you maintain motivation. I talk in detail about this in the Weight Loss Accountability: Why You Need It and How to Get It post.
Ideally, that accountability and support partner lives with you. I’ve seen many couples who work out and do meal prep together, losing significant amounts of weight. Why? It just helps to have somebody close to you going through the same experience and motivating you. Having a partner also helps to avoid temptations when you all eat the same foods.
WHAT IF MY WEIGHT LOSS PARTNER DOESN’T LIVE WITH OR NEAR ME?
Let’s be real, this partner thing doesn’t always happen, especially at home. Many times, there is one person trying to lose weight in the household while everybody else eats whatever they want.
I lost 16 pounds a little over three years ago because I had a friend that I could work out with every day. There were some nights that I wasn’t motivated. My friend would call me saying she was on her way to work out. I wouldn’t even hesitate to change into my workout clothes. Then, I would move the furniture so that we could begin working out as soon as she walked in the door.
Do you have a friend or family member that could be your workout partner, but they life far away? There’s a solution to that too, it’s called facetime. Arrange for home workouts with friends through facetime, Echo Spot, Skype, or whatever video app you want to use. Set a specific time, drop in on each other at that time, ready to begin your workouts. It’s about keeping each other accountable, you can chat AFTER your workout if you’d like.
You can also sign up for the 13 Tips to Get Support and Accountability printable. You’ll also receive health and fitness motivation and inspiration in your mailbox every week as part of The Fit and Healthy Baker community.
10. START NOW!
It’s easy to tell yourself that you’re going to start a diet or begin a new workout on Monday. But why? Why not begin right now?
Are you worried that you don’t have the apple cider vinegar yet or fermented foods? Do you not have enough unprocessed foods for all your meals for the day? Jumping into something before you start doubting yourself or mentally talking yourself out of it can be very valuable. In her book, The 5 Second Rule: Transform Your Life, Work, and Confidence with Everyday Courage, Mel Robbins talks about jumping in, even when you don’t have the motivation.
Can you walk? You can go for a 30-minute walk right now. If leaving your home is not an option, put some music on and start moving!
Call a friend who you know will keep you accountable. The ideal candidate is a friend who works out regularly or somebody who has been wanting to get started too.
Now go to your kitchen, scan your pantry and your fridge. Grab the least processed, most natural foods you have and set them aside. You’d be surprised at how creative you can be when you have only a few items to choose from.
I know, I sound really bossy right now… that’s not my intention, my point is that when we give ourselves enough time, we talk ourselves out of taking steps that will help us achieve our goals. Just jump in and get started.
You are probably reading this blog post because you’re ready to make a change. While these 10 Tried and True Tips to Kickstart Your Weight Loss are excellent, they are not the only changes that can help you reach your goals. In fact, some may work for you and some may not.
Let’s be real, we all have different needs at different points in our lives. But you know what? I’m always searching for health and weight loss tips that I would love to share with you.
Sign up to download the FREE Fit and Healthy Conversions Cheat Sheet. You’ll get a handy tool with healthy food substitutions and baking measurement conversions. You will also receive updates on new tips, tricks, and FREE tools to enhance your weight loss journey.
And comment below before you go. I would love to hear which weight loss tips you have tried and have worked best for you. I look forward to hearing from you!