So as the weather started warming up, and my winter coats and heavy sweaters started feeling neglected, I opened my storage bins of spring/summer clothes to start preparing them for action…
errrr so I thought…
Much to my dismay, I kid you not… 75% of my beloved warm weather wardrobe WOULDN’T FIT!!!! I mean, it’s a known fact that most of us start gaining weight as the weather cools down and we become a bit more sluggish with our workout routines, metabolism tends to slow down, eating habits blah blah blah… but COME ON! This was on another level!
This year was unique in that my weight wasn’t gained evenly, it was concentrated almost entire to my waist, which I usually try hard to keep flat as possible throughout the year. Panicked, I called my mom who thankfully only lives a few minutes away and explained my horrific situation, and how I could NOT financially afford to buy a whole new wardrobe and the confusion as to how this happened. You know what she said? …. Nothing… instead, I got hysterical laughter on the other end! WAIT!! WHAT!? MOM!? She said “I’ve been telling you that your body changes as you get older and you need to take care of yourself! Now you believe me!?” Basically…. I told you so.
Being a stubborn Taurus, after shaking off the despair, I was determined to prove these ‘shrunken’ clothes (and belly fat) wrong! I was going to lose the extra 12 pounds I somehow gained in less than 7 Months!
I looked through “lose weight quick” articles, “lose 5lbs in 5 days” diet plans, and after a LOT of reading, I realized that the only way I could do this would be by changing my lifestyle and developing a healthier living.
First Step: Determine your weaknesses!
Mine? I love food… and that is probably one of the most difficult things to battle. I love eating… EVERYTHING!
I set out a few guidelines to help me keep on track through cravings, here they are:
No Refined Sugar
- Sugar is found in so many foods that we almost forget that it's there. I eliminated juices, Sodas, candy, white/refined flour and foods, even alcohol!
- Sodium (Salt) has a tendency to increase water retention in the body, especially the belly. According to registered dietitian Karen Ansel, who’s blog prevention.com has many keys to healthy living. Check her out if you haven’t yet!
Decreased my Caffeine intake
- I started to use coffee as my fuel, not unlike a car. The more coffee I drank in a day, the more I felt like I could take over the world, and kept me warm in the winter.
- Coffee, although can suppress your hunger temporarily, it can increase the steroid hormone Cortisol, which according to an article written by Shawn Talbott, Ph.D., author of The Cortisol Connection, one of the cortisol's roles is to encourage our bodies to store fat; a process that is helped along by higher levels of insulin.
- Unfortunately, this particular fat often gets located in the abdominal area causing a condition that may be associated not only with diabetes but also with heart disease, high cholesterol, and hypertension. Well, there we go… that may explain a LOT
Pump up the Protein
- I started eating a lot of eggs and chicken. My daily breakfast was 6 boiled eggs without the yolks, with a little preservative free Siracha. (I like Ninja Squirrel Siracha, found at Whole Foods or Amazon)
- Lettuce Wraps with minced Chicken was a dinner favorite!
- Get enough SLEEP!
- While you are sleeping, your body regenerates, so getting a full night sleep is vital to your weight loss and healthy lifestyle. According to Women's Health Magazine, sleep helps you lose weight by:
- Eliminating Late Night Snacking
- Fat Loss is Boosted while you sleep
- You are able to stay focused during waking hours (which means you have less tendency to stray from your diet!)
Introduced Coconut Oil to my diet
- I add 1 tbsp of coconut oil, as studies have shown that coconut oil may help decrease waist size, but it also helps as a mild laxative to help detox your system. I put the coconut oil in my morning coffee.
So here we are, 5 weeks later, and surprisingly 8lbs lighter. Although I haven’t reached my goal, I am on my way to fitting my beloved clothes!!! My Journey Continues, Stay tuned for more!