Monday, May 30, 2011

Weight Loss: Staying Motivated

I'm never on a diet, but I am always striving to loss weight.  I have dropped five dress sizes in the past five years and I am currently working on losing 10 more pounds.

It's because of this weight loss, that those who have known me over that period of time ask me, what I am doing to lose the weight.  And every time, I look like a deer caught in headlights and simply mumble, "lots of stuff."

This is because, like I said, I am never on a diet.  Sure, I have tried the South Beach Diet (fail) and Carb Lovers Diet (major fail) and while I may borrow tips and tricks from various diets, I don't follow any strictly.

So, how am I losing the weight?

Simple, small, lifestyle changes that I don't even realize I do anymore - how easier can it be!  Ok, ok I hear you screaming at the computer, here are a few things that I strive to incorporate:

  •  20 - 30 minutes of weight training, 2 times a week (muscle burns fat in your sleep, IN YOUR SLEEP!)
  • 20 - 30 minutes of cardio or yoga, 2-3 times a week
  • 35 -50 grams of Fiber per day (ease into this, the average person's daily intake is 10 grams)
  • Eat a mostly vegetarian/vegan diet (I eat fish, making me a "Pescetarian")
  • Drink one cup of white tea per day (increases metabolism)
  • Add cinnamon when possible (increases metabolism)
  • Avoid processed foods
  • Track calorie, fiber, saturated fat and protein intake
  • Learn one new thing per day on health, diet or nutrition...

This last point brings me to the reason for this post, staying motivated while losing weight.

I have found that by learning at least one new healthy thing per day, I stay interested and therefore motivated.  I love to try new things!

This, "new thing" can be anything: a new exercise, a new recipe, a new get the point.  I am constantly adding new tips and tricks into my lifestyle, which is why I can never concretely say how I have lost the weight.  But the bottom line is, five years later, I'm still going strong, am the healthiest I have ever been and have a HUGE wealth of health/nutrition knowledge to boot!

Learning one new thing a day does not need to be a daunting task.  There are numerous ways to build your knowledge base:

  • Watch a documentary on health, exercise, diet or just food in general
  • Watch Dr Oz
  • Read a health focused magazine (Shape, Natural Health, Whole Living...)
  • Read a diet book (don't do the diet, just steal the good stuff)
  • Watch PBS, they have great programs on health and diet all the time
  • Subscribe to a Podcast
  • Get recipes emailed daily based on diet preference from
  • Ease drop on other's conversations (you never know...)
  • Create a GoogleAlert based on diet, nutrition or health (or all three)
  • Attend a cooking class
  • Take an online class
  • Talk to your friends and family (see what they've learned lately)
  • Subscribe to Health focused Twitter profiles (HealthHive, Snack_Girl_, NPRHealth, etc.)
  • Subscribe to daily emails from various blogs or websites (Fooducate, Calorie Count, Vegan Gal, etc.)
  • Check out my Lifestyle Tips & Tricks page
  • Subscribe to The Healthy Hoff

Now the key here is to educate yourself.  Just because a so-called "expert" says something doesn't mean you have to follow it blindly.  After a while you are going to find that many sources contradict each other.  You need to determine what's right for you and your health and weigh advice objectively.  For example, I don't agree with Hungry Girl's heavy reliance on artificial sweeteners and diet-based processed foods, but her stripped down recipes offer inspiration from time to time.

    Knowledge is Power!
    The Hoff

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