First, let me tell you a little bit of my story. I don’t want to make it too long but I do want you to take into account the advice I’m trying to give you to start a healthy lifestyle because I’ve gone through this journey and I’m every day going through the same things that all of you are going through.
Long story short, I recently participated in the most important beauty pageant contest in my country. This was an unbelievable experience that taught me countless things but it was also very challenging. It was more challenging that I thought in certain ways. Before I participated, I often worried about things such as “people will criticize me, the media might attack me for any reason, I might get bullied on social media” etc. Those were all things that I ended up not having to worry about much.
However, there was this one thing I had never thought was going to be so hard …. The challenge of building a strong, toned, lean, body. I was never overweight, I naturally had a fast metabolism but during college I ate unbelievable amounts of food. It was an all-you-can-eat cafeteria where I would probably finish with 5 plates of food stacked on top of each other after each meal. However, I always stayed in a pretty good shape (I seriously have no idea how).
I was totally care-free about anything dealing with nutrition. Nowadays, I seriously can’t believe how badly I was eating. Anyways, I graduated and came back home, so I decided I wanted to participate in the most important pageant in the country but really had to prepare physically. I had to lose just a couple of pounds and tone. This was harder than I thought but I accomplished it. Many people may think that this is easy, but having to model in a bikini in front of millions of people that are there just to criticize is seriously hard. It’s not about just losing a couple of pounds, but building the perfect lean legs, not getting too skinny nor building too much muscle, and trying to get that flat belly we all want.
The pageant day came and I looked the best that I had ever looked but I still didn’t win, although I did get a really good runner-up place. Since I was one of the top 3 runner-ups I have the responsibility of participating in a pageant in a country across the globe in which there will be other 80 countries participating. This is why I’m still in this journey, and I want to share with you my top 10 tips for actually accomplishing your weight loss goals and dealing with all the tough situations you deal with every day.
I keep dealing with them, although apart from my own critique and pressure, I also have a whole nation on top of every single thing I do and don’t do.
#1. Motivate Yourself to Start a Healthy Lifestyle
Everyone might motivate themselves in different ways but I will share with you the way that I do. Of course, there is no better motivation for me than knowing that I will be representing my whole country in front of millions but I do many other things to motivate myself to not eat that piece of cake from yesterday’s birthday celebration.
If you are just starting, it is a good idea to buy yourself some cool workout clothes, they will make you want to go to the gym to show them off! Remember though, you got to actually workout while you show them off! Another good practice is to often remind yourself why you started and your goal, think about how much you will regret skipping your workout that day.
Something that definitely works, is joining fitness groups. They will make you want to get up in the morning to workout because they will help you start your days in a good mood. You are all there working towards the same goal! The energy of the groups will keep you going whenever you want to quit.
#2. Start Now
Before I started going to the gym, I always had different excuses to not start yet…but let me tell you something, START NOW. Now, today, is the day. Just decide on doing it. Wake up, go to the gym and don’t think about it too much. Wake up, and prepare and healthy breakfast. If you start today, you will be one day closer to your goals!
#3. One Step at a Time
Remember that you are trying to start a new healthy lifestyle. This is going to happen through small changes in the things that you do and eat. Trying to make a dramatic change might actually be counterproductive. Start by eliminating unhealthy fats and refined carbohydrates. Don’t eat that piece of cake or pastry! Eat lots of protein instead of unhealthy carbs, prepare healthy snacks, go for fruits, and lots of water!
#4. Make Time for Your Workouts
There is always time to workout! It can be done either at the gym or at home. Wake up a little earlier, or do it right after work. If you can’t fit in a whole hour, then go for as long as you can. Just make sure that you are not using excuses to avoid your workouts. I usually wake up at 5 am to be able to workout, so remember my advice #2 and start now! Make time! You can either make progress or make excuses.
#5. Take Time to Plan Your Meals
This might be hard to get used to. First, you got to educate yourself on the portions and nutrients you should be getting to maintain a healthy diet. I’m not asking you to necessarily do meal prep for the whole week but, early in the morning, plan on what your meals will be plus your snacks. If you don’t do this, you will probably end up grabbing the first thing in front of you which will probably be something unhealthy.
#6. Find Tricks to Fight Cravings
I included this because at least for me, cravings have been a challenge. I have had to research and try all kinds of tricks. The ones that have worked for me include drinking lots and lots and lots of water, so whenever you are feeling like eating something but you know it’s not necessarily because you are hungry, then drink a glass of water! It will calm you down. Also, try sugar-free gum.
#7. Going Hardcore
The only way that you will lose weight is by actually sticking up to a regimen. This means that if you are trying to stick to a low-calorie diet or trying to avoid fats, then avoid them a 100%. Even 1 single miniature chocolate is called cheating! And you will never get to your goal weight like that.
#8. People Against Your Goals
In my case, I’ve had tons of people pretty much working constantly to make me break my diet, or even make me feel bad about what I am trying to accomplish. Try to stay away from this, avoid it. You will have people offering you food you can’t have just because they want to see you break your diet. Other people might tell you that you don’t need to be doing all those crazy things but they might not necessarily be crazy for you. Just make sure you are working towards some healthy and realistic goals.
#9. You Will Have Ups and Downs
We all make mistakes. There will be cheat meals, or family dinners when you will have to break your healthy diet for just a couple of hours. We are humans and we all enjoy good food so don’t worry. Just make sure that after this, you get back on track and continue motivating yourself to accomplish your goals soon!