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Healthy Weight Loss Tips From Women Who Have Lost 100 Pounds

Healthy Weight Loss Tips From Women Who Have Lost 100 Pounds

If you think losing weight is tough right now, imagine you needed to lose over 100lbs. In actual fact, there’s no shortage of unbelievable weight loss success stories to draw inspiration from.

You’ll be pleasantly surprised to know, many of them managed to lose weight healthily. Without going under the knife, crash course diets, expensive supplements or magic bullets. Instead, they made realistic lifestyle changes and never gave up.

Wherever you’re starting at now, if these women did it, so can you! Here are 5 real-life case studies to spur you on and 15 personal tips to help you reach your own goals.

Tanisha Shanee Williams (30) From Brooklyn, New York

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    Credit: Tanisha Shanee Williams

    1. Don’t Bring Unhealthy Treats in the House – If don’t have unhealthy snacks within easy reach, it becomes virtually impossible to fall off the bandwagon. This simple act will help free you from terrible temptations.

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    2. Learn How to Spike Your Motivation – It’s normal for motivation to rise and fall. To ensure you always make great progress, you’ve got to spike your motivation when it’s lacking. For example, if you don’t feel like going to the gym, look to your favourite source of inspiration, remind yourself how far you’ve come or play music to get you in the zone!

    Sarah Lugger (36) From Oxford, Michigan

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      Credit: Sarah Lugger

      3. Go Out For Light Activity At Lunchtime – Eat a light lunch and get out for a stimulating walk every lunchtime. It keeps your metabolism ticking over and boosts digestion, especially if you work an office/seated job. A brief walk in the fresh air for 15-30 minutes every day soon adds up.

      4. Keep Healthy Snacks Close By – For those moments when you’re feeling peckish, grab a handful of healthy fruit, vegetables, seeds or nuts.

      5. Split Larger Meals With Friends – You can lose weight healthily while still going out for dinner on the town once in awhile. One easy trick to prevent overeating is eating a healthy snack before dinner, then share your meal with a friend.

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      Shanna Fichera (28) From Camarillo, California

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        Credit: Shanna Fichera

        6. Be Realistic and Determined – Your current habits are not helping you get where you need to be so you’ve got to change them. For example, you may love cola and other fizzy drinks, but they are loaded with calories and other nasties that hold you back. Be honest with yourself, swap it for a hydrating glass of water 95% of the time.

        7. Make Small Changes and Stick to Them – Focus on making gradual healthy changes you can stick with for the long run. Consistency is the key, just imagine the opposite of the snowball effect!   For example, slowly swapping out meals/drinks for healthier alternatives, or tapering down portion sizes.

        8. Don’t Be Disheartened By Plateaus – It’s tempting to feel defeated and discouraged when progress stalls. Just remember, it’s your ability to continue during these times that overcome these blips.

        Stephanie Aromando (28) From Sandyston, New Jersey

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          Credit: Stephanie Aromando

          9. Prep and Cook Food in Advance – Often, unhealthy eating habits comes down to convenience. So by prepping your own delicious, healthy meals in advance you can eliminate this excuse forever.

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          10. Boost Your Daily Water Intake – Staying properly hydrated is not only crucial for health, it greatly supports weight loss and appetite control. If it helps, fill a large 1 Gallon jug and make sure it’s finished by the end of the day.

          11. Start Lifting Weights – Cardio certainly has its place, but lifting weights is a great way to lose weight healthily. It keeps your muscles from wasting away and burns far more calories than going for a jog!

          12. Have Cheat Meals Not Cheat Days – In order to sustain a healthy lifestyle, the occasional indulgence is essential. Consider having a cheat meal once or twice per week maximum, but don’t fall into the trap of having a cheat day!

          13. Keep Your Diet Simple – Choose a selection of healthy foods you like and stick with them. Keep a good balance of lean proteins such as chicken, eggs and turkey, complex carbohydrates such as oatmeal and sweet potatoes, healthy fats such as avocados and coconut oil and leafy green vegetables.

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          Alyssa Ann Heidemann (31) From Sioux Falls, South Dakota

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            Credit: Alyssa Ann Heidemann

            14. Start Cooking Healthy Meals at Home – You don’t need to become a master chef to cook nutritious, tasty meals at home. Your example, could bake a salmon steak with olive oil, or prepare BBQ style turkey with vegetables. You’ll no longer be trapped by any menu’s healthy options list.

            15. Control Refined Carbohydrate Intake – For every meal, focus on getting protein and healthy fats, then filling up on vegetables. Restricting your intake of refined carbs such as rice, pasta, bread, you’ll greatly reinforce weight loss efforts.

            Featured photo credit: Shanna Fichera via cosmopolitan.com

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            Published on March 8, 2019

            How Adding Flow Yoga to Your Workout Routine Boosts Your Gains

            How Adding Flow Yoga to Your Workout Routine Boosts Your Gains

            When we fall into a workout routine, our moves become automatic, and the body quickly adapts. This is called muscle memory.[1] While teaching your body how to properly execute squats, push-ups, or crunches is a benefit, overly relying on these moves to consistently grow gains won’t yield the kind of results you want. That’s because the muscles work in the same way every time.

            Simply put, they’re not being “surprised,” so they get lazy.

            Supplementing your routine with flow yoga is one way of surprising your muscles, especially if you are new to the yoga practice and have never tried the postures. It’s like taking a new road home when you drive, deviating from your usual route. Science has found that by doing so, you’re creating new neuropathways in your brain.[2] The same is done in your muscles when you try a new routine.

            How is this done? Let’s dive right into it.

            How Flow Yoga Boost Your Gains in Your Workout Routine

            Think about your current workouts:

            If you lift weights, you rely on external tools to engage your various muscle groups. Over time, your shoulders, legs, or biceps will come to expect the weighted plates or dumbbells, in the repetitive sequences that you remember.

            In flow yoga, we use the body as the weight. Add gravity and hundreds of different postures and combinations, and you have a workout that uses the same muscle groups, but in many different ways.

            A pose such as plank is a full-body workout, with every muscle engaged to keep the body in one long line. While it’s a stationary pose, it requires muscle control and activation, with no room for passivity.

              A Flow sequence, on the other hand, requires your muscle to switch from one pose to another swiftly, providing you with a more balanced and wholesome use of your major muscle groups.

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              Not only do these poses and routines re-energize the body in a refreshing way, they also allow you to learn something new, which is powerful for the mind.

              Bottom line? Complementing your exercise regimen with flow yoga is like hitting the shuffle button on your workouts, using your muscles in ways that “surprise” them, which in turn boost their growth and performance.

              Energizing Flow Yoga with Added Cardio

              Flow yoga is also known as “Vinyasa.”[3] In Sanskrit – the sacred language of the practice and its Indian roots – Vinyasa is roughly translated to “one breath, one movement.”

              This guideline, first and foremost, enhances your breathing, and teaches you how to go from our typical shallow, chest-only breathing, to a more deeper, belly-chest breath that uses the entire lung system.

              Not only is this beneficial for a myriad of healthcare reasons (combat allergies, eliminate toxins, reduce stress, ease anxiety), it also greatly impacts our muscles,[4] and therefore our workout.

              Flooding your muscles with rich oxygen will only keep them healthy, while the cardio benefit will get you warmed up to take on the more challenging postures in a flow yoga class. This prevents injuries and cramping.

              The best example of energizing cardio in flow yoga is the Sun Salutation sequence. Each pose is completed on an inhale or an exhale, until the sequence is finished. One full sequence may be repeated several times, encouraging you to take fuller and deeper breaths. The cycles warm up and loosen the body and prepare the muscles for stationary poses that are held longer.

              Here’s how to do a Sun Salutation Flow:

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              Due to the Sun Salutations, the muscles are not thrown into a challenging workout, but rather primed and prepared with energizing breath.

              Why is this important, you ask? Because happy muscles are warmed-up muscles.

              The Best Thing About Flow Yoga

              The best thing about practicing flow yoga? You’re building strength and flexibility.

              Strength and flexibility are like the Mecca of a wholesome workout routine. Before we get into why this is important, let’s break these two down individually to see how they stand up on their own:

              Meet Strong Stan

              Strong Stan is at the gym, doing bicep curls with massive dumbbells. His muscles have peaked in size, and he proudly displays them.

              While he loves to lift weights, Strong Stan often skips stretching or warm-ups. He just doesn’t see how that could help him continue his muscle gains, so he jumps right into a heavy workout.

              While it’s not evident to a passerby, Stan’s muscles are hurting. Without sufficient flexibility or deliberate stretching, Stan’s muscles are shortening and getting tighter. This eventually leads to joint injuries,[5] because un-stretched muscles have limited range of motion.

              Big muscles are a sure indicator of strength, but here’s the kicker – choosing not to prioritize flexibility will keep them inherently at risk.

              Meet Flexible Fiona

              Flexible Fiona is in a flow yoga class, easing herself into a backbend.[6] She effortlessly gets into the pose, and “hangs” out there for a few breaths while the teacher cues the class.

              Even though the teacher instructs the students to engage their glutes and be mindful that this is an active pose, Flexible Fiona opts otherwise, and relaxes into the posture by sacrificing the strength she ought to be building.

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              To many in the class, Fiona’s execution of the backbend would be a success – maybe even something to envy. However, what Fiona doesn’t realize is that her excessive flexibility is actually a detriment to her joints.[7]

              Flexibility has been defined as the “absolute range of motion” by Tony Gummerson, Martial Arts instructor. For people who are naturally flexible, that line of absolute range is often blurry and, in practice, overlooked.

              It’s very easy for Fiona to go above and beyond her range of motion, since her flexibility parameters are much wider than what Strong Stan may experience in a similar pose.

              Because she doesn’t feel the stretch in the same degree of motion as other students in class, Fiona has to push the envelope of her flexibility. This puts too much pressure on the joints that are already overworked, and it overstretches the muscles that are now prone to tearing.

              Your goal is to create muscle and joint balance and wholeness.

              What Strong Stan and Flexible Fiona have in common is that they’re both missing vital pieces of muscle awareness.

              In Stan’s case, heavy and tight muscles crave flexibility. Without it, not only would Stan hit a plateau in his gains because of a sure injury, but he would miss out on having the lean and toned muscles that we all want to have.

              In Fiona’s case, her overstretched muscles are not getting a workout at all. Rather, her excessive flexibility is resting on her joints, which leads to definite injury.

              So what can you do? It’s quite simple.

              You have to give your muscles the opposite of what they’re used to.

              If you’re a Stan and hate stretching, focusing on your flexibility is key. You will lengthen your tight muscles, and you’ll create new muscle memory by practicing routines that are new to you and your muscle groups.

              If you’re a Fiona and hate strengthening, focusing on this priority is vital. Your muscles are used to being passive as you stretch, so shaking up the usual and putting them to work will not only keep you injury-free, but that much closer to the muscle gains you’ve been looking for.

              Fortunately, flow yoga is the whole package, and can be the one-stop-shop for both Stan and Fiona.

                Final Thoughts

                If you’re serious about using flow yoga to supplement your workout routine to boost gains, sign up for a class at your local gym or yoga studio. There are a number of styles of yoga to try, but as we’ve discussed in this article, the Vinyasa style is your best bet to complement a moderate exercise regimen.

                Many studios offer beginner-style Vinyasa classes, where the instructor will explain the basics, and break down the sequences in a pace that is suitable for entry-level students. From here, the student can build upon their practice, and opt for more challenging, fast-paced classes, such as Power Flow or Ashtanga.

                Working out is a lesson in teaching your muscles. The gains that we grow are the result of that experience, and it all comes down to conditioning our body in a way that is healthy, efficient, and balanced.

                With a practice like flow yoga, we can offer supplemental training to our current regimen that will work our muscles in ways that are new, refreshing, and “surprising.” This method will keep our muscles toned and lean, as long as we prioritize the balance between strength and flexibility to ensure that we’re meeting both of these needs. Our muscle gains and body health depend on it.

                More Resources About Yoga and Fitness

                Featured photo credit: Edit Sztazics via unsplash.com

                Reference

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