Losing weight is always a hot topic whether it is with diets, pills, surgery, or starvation. It is so refreshing to me to learn from someone who is doing things the right way and actually teaching others about what being healthy truly means. It means working out, eating right, and finding a healthy balance with all things both physically and mentally. Our brain is connected to our body’s health too and for most people it is something we have to continually work at to do it right or come somewhat close.
I’d like to introduce Ayrial to you all! She and I go way back…I’m talking back to 7th grade wearing really ugly poofy black choir dresses or “garbage bag dresses” as we so fondly called them- back. I could never understand that fashion choice, but alas it was made. She has always been a sincere and kind person and because of Facebook I am able to keep up with her latest “going ons”. I was so excited to see that she has recently become an aerobics teacher and a strong advocate for healthy living as a mother and a busy woman. She agreed to share some of her favorite tips with her journey of losing weight. In fact, she shared so much amazing information I decided to split it up over a few days.
So without further ado:
After I finished teaching one of my aerobic classes, a student approached me and asked me a question. “What is the secret to losing weight?” She was very frustrated because even though she attends a lot of aerobic classes and works very hard during each class, (I mean, really hard. She was outperforming everyone in my class and she is not small), her weight wasn’t changing and she was stuck. The answer I gave her was probably not what she was expecting. I told her, “The secret is simple, don’t diet, do less cardio and learn how to lift weights.”
These instructions might seem completely backwards from what has been ingrained in our minds about weight loss. We have this idea that the only way to lose weight, is to cut back our calories a ton and get on that treadmill for hours everyday. This is completely FALSE! Maybe you will be able to slim down a little at the very beginning. But this will not be the long-term solution you are looking for.
You work so hard, and diet like crazy to lose all this weight, but then you gain it all back. Does this sound familiar? How many times have you worked really hard to lose weight, only to see it come right back? It’s so frustrating! I have been there and it can be extremely discouraging.
So how do you fix this problem? First lets talk about this ‘don’t diet’ thing. If you chose to diet are you honestly thinking about this as a long-term way of eating? Who wants to diet for the rest of their lives? It sounds terrible doesn’t it? What needs to happen is not a diet. Instead, it’s a regular, realistic change in how you eat everyday. I have not cut out all bread and pasta from my meals, and I do still enjoy ice cream now and then. I just don’t eat as much of it. Instead of worrying about getting rid of everything you enjoy eating, try to figure out a way of making the majority of your meals healthier.
Your food is worth 75%-80% of your weight loss goals. It is the most important part of getting fit. If you learn to fuel your body correctly, you will see the results you want to see. I have found that the best way to eat is to have 5 meals everyday. This is three main meals and two mid-meals. It keeps my metabolism working hard all day. Also, when you eat planned meals every two-three hours, it keeps you from eating crap because you aren’t starving when it’s time to eat. A hungry belly makes for bad food choices.
When I first heard the idea of eating this much, I can’t tell you how stressed it made me. Its hard enough just planning dinners for my whole family, let alone adding 4 more meals to that everyday! But, if you plan ahead, it is much easier to stick to it than you think. Especially when you’re busy. I have four kids, time is a luxury I don’t always have and I bet I’m not alone on that.
So when I prepare my shopping list Sunday night, I also plan out my three daily meals, and two daily mid-meals for the week. By doing this, I am able to purchase all the foods I need Monday for the entire week. I know what I have available to eat, (due to the weekly menu/meal plan), so I don’t have to spend the time and waste the energy staring mindlessly into my fridge, wondering what I’m going to eat. I’ve found that when I don’t have a food plan and I’m hungry, I’ll end up snacking on foods that aren’t that great or filling enough, because they’re quick and I don’t have to think as much. But then I’m hungry again too soon and the cycle repeats and by the end of the day, I ended up eating a ton of empty calories and I was still hungry! Not good.
Each meal you eat needs to have three things; a complex carb, healthy fat and protein. I have a list of meals I love at the end of this post. They are all easy, because again, I have four kids and NO TIME!
Tune in tomorrow to get the next installment on losing weight the healthy way! We’ll talk about what classifies as a complex carb, healthy fat, and easy proteins to incorporate into your diet!
You can read more about Ayrial’s inspiring tips through her Facebook page that she recently started here: Healthy and Fit with Kids.