We reached out to our readers and requested their insights on living a healthier lifestyle through balanced eating and exercise modifications that have helped them lose weight quickly. Here are some of the simplest yet most effective tips that they shared.
1. Start in your comfort zone
The thought of walking into a gym and working out terrifies many women. So start walking around your block instead—something most of us are already comfortable doing.
2. Score fitness class freebies
Many local studios offer free trials or super discounted rates for newbies. Take advantage of it! The worst thing that can happen is you do not like it and you used up an hour of your day – but nonetheless, you moved!
3. Give the weight room a chance.
Weightlifting can be super intimidating at first, but it can be so energizing. On days when pumping iron at the gym doesn’t fit into your schedule, look up YouTube for free bodyweight exercise tutorials.
4. Eat the pizza. And the ice cream!
Depriving yourself of any food never accomplishes anything.
5. Give yourself a freaking break.
Life is too short to beat yourself up. Despite what diet culture wants you to think, you can still be healthy if you don’t get in a workout one day or have a couple of margs at happy hour.
6. Cancel the whole “but I need a trainer!” narrative.
Sure, working with a professional can be a big help, but it’s not necessary if you want to develop healthier habits and manage your weight. Many of us do not have access to a trainer or a nutritionist, but knowing what you want can help you stay consistent and can change your lifestyle for the better.
7. Balance your plate.
A meal doesn’t have to be super complicated to be both nutritious and satisfying. Protein + veggies + whole grains = dinner is served. Adding more proteins and veggies to your plate is an easy way to make meals fulfilling. It makes sense: Protein, nutrient-dense produce, and fiber-rich whole grains do an excellent job of filling you up and keeping you that way for longer.
8. Get all up in nature’s candy.
I think we can all agree that a Reese’s PB Cup hits differently than an orange. But when you are looking for something sweet that is packed with vitamins, minerals, and nutrients your body needs, like fiber, then fruit is a great option.
9. Cook a week’s worth of food in one go.
It’s the best way to stay on track. Having a healthy, balanced meal ready to heat up and eat takes the guesswork out of it and makes it easier to make healthy choices when you’re really hungry. Try prepping a few different things each week so that you can get a good mix of flavors and nutrients.
10. Build confidence with baby steps.
One small step can kick off some bigger changes and confidence in your ability to stick to something. Small changes can lead to big results—so if you’re feeling overwhelmed, start with one thing, then add on.
11. Focus on you.
Do what works for you and don’t compare yourself to others. Everyone is different and there is no one-size-fits-all approach.
12. Start small.
Begin walking or jogging for 15 minutes a day. Then work up to 30 minutes and then increase it again. Cultivating a habit is a gradual process – as long as you keep it consistent, you’ll do just fine.
13. Don’t give up when your progress plateaus.
If you hit a plateau it can make you feel defeated, but you have to push through and keep putting in the effort for your plan to work. You can’t get discouraged.
14. Make your old favorites healthier.
Start making healthier versions of foods that are familiar to you, like turkey burgers with wheat bread and sweet potato fries.” Healthy alternatives can be equally yummy, but remember it is totally okay to hit up Shake Shack (or In-N-Out, for our west coast friends) when you are craving it.
15. Eat your veggies.
Eat vegetables for a quick and easy snack. Pro tip: Slice up veggies—like carrot sticks, bell peppers, celery, and zucchini—at the beginning of the week so you’ve got them locked and loaded for easy snacking when you need them. Oh, and don’t forget your fav dressing to dunk ’em in.
16. Pack snacks for late nights at work.
Late shifts are a KILLER, and when that 9:30 p.m. hunger kicks in they are even worse. Bring food and snacks to work so when you get home you’re not starving and don’t end up on a binge. Eating when you’re hungry is never a bad thing. Never.