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11 Ways to Lose Weight and Keep it Off: A Newbie’s Guide to Weightloss Concepts

11 Ways to Lose Weight and Keep it Off, A Newbie's Guide to Weightloss Concepts

Before my 30s, I never gained weight. I could eat anything and everything. And I did. It didn’t matter that my cholesterol climbed because I maintained weight. I never had to search “how to lose weight and keep it off.”

Then my 30s hit, and my metabolism disappeared. I quickly put on 20+ pounds in a matter of two months.

My diet was atrocious. Bags of chips and dip daily, cakes, cookies, fast food, and coke. You name it; I ate it. I also was sedentary, and I knew nothing about nutrition or working out. I had a gym membership that I used maybe once a year. I was a vegetarian who rarely ate fruits and vegetables, and I drank two glasses of water a day.

how to lose weight and keep it off

Suffering from health issues and general overall crappiness, I embarked on a journey to change my lifestyle and learned quite a bit along the way.

Here are 11 ways to lose weight and keep it off

This post contains affiliate links. If you use these links to buy something I may earn a commission. Thanks!

1.) Find your BMR

Basal metabolic rate or BMR is the number of calories your body burns in a day to keep it alive. It would be the bare minimum you would need if you did nothing but sit all day. There are many free BMR calculators available online.

BMR is an important number to consider in weight loss as many people overestimate what they burn in a day, which leads to overeating and weight gain.

how to lose weight and keep it off, invest in a fitness tracker

It doesn’t matter which one you get, but it helps track how many calories you burn in a day. This number will be different than your BMR as it will consider daily activities. If you are sedentary (desk job), then your calorie burn will be lower vs. an active person, such as a waitress.

For a week, wear the tracker and go about your day as usual. At the end of the week, note how many calories you burn in a day. Let’s say, for example, you end up with an average of 2000 calories.

Eating anything more than 2000 calories in a day will lead to weight gain.

I use a Fitbit to track my activity levels. I’ve had it for 2 years now and I absolutely love it. You can track your calories, food intake, compete with friends and family through walking challenges and track your sleep and heart levels. It’s a pretty great tool for fitness and health maintenance. 

how to lose weight and keep it off, calorie deficit

A caloriedeficit is the only way to lose weight. You don’t need fancy diets or pills to lose weight. Pretty much every fad diet works because it’s putting you in a deficit. Paleo, keto, whole 30, intermittent fasting, all work through a deficit.

It’s a simple equation. If you consume more than you burn, you will gain weight. If you eat less than you burn, you will lose weight.

It is important to note that a calorie deficit is controlled starvation to achieve a specific weight goal.

How does calorie deficit work?

It takes 3,500 calories to lose 1 pound per week. To lose that in a week, you would need a deficit of 500 calories a day.

For our example, a person that burns 2000 calories a day will need to eat 1500 calories a day to lose a pound weekly.

Slashing calories is one way to lose weight. Adding a fitness regimen can increase caloric burn during and post-workout. This expends how much you burn in a day, thus making it easier to stay in a deficit.

For example, if you walk for 30 minutes and burn about 150 calories, you’ve increased your daily burn to 2150. Subtract 500, and now you can eat 1650 calories and still lose a pound weekly.

When starting any fitness regimen, it’s essential to start slow and be consistent. You might not see changes right away, but you definitely will if you keep at it.

I started my journey by walking 30 minutes daily. From there, I switched to 30 minutes of cardio three times a week, then five days a week, and now I work out six days a week with a combination of weight training, walking, and High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT).

how to lose weight and keep it off

Fitness should not feel like punishment. For you to stay consistent, you have to like it. Find something that interests you. It could be group classes, dancing, weight training, or cardio. If you get bored, change a bit up. Don’t do something because you feel like you have to.

Also, permitting you are able, continue to challenge your body as your fitness levels increase. Doing 30 minutes of cardio at the same speed for six months won’t have the same effect as adding resistance or increasing speed.The body adapts to stimuli meaning it gets more efficient the more you do it. You will, in turn, burn less than you think.

There are many resources online if you need ideas for workouts. Free workouts are all over YouTube and Instagram. Follow personal trainers. If you have the money, invest in a gym membership and or trainer. Sometimes having somebody watch over you and push you out of your comfort zone is something you might need.

how to lose weight and keep it off, get a calorie tracking app

It’s effortless to overeat calories. One tablespoon of olive oil has 120 calories. A tablespoon of peanut butter has approx 90 calories. A whole avocado is a whopping 300+ calories. Yes, all of these are healthy, but eating too much of any will lead to weight gain.

Using a fitness tracking app takes the guesswork out of it. It can be annoying to track your food, but it gets more comfortable with time, and it’ll become a habit.

Apps such as Myfitnesspal can even be linked to fitness trackers such as Fitbitor Apple Watch. Calorie tracking apps also can show you breakdowns of what nutrients you are getting. This can help you become more attuned to your diet and reveal any deficiencies.

On a calorie deficit, you can pretty much eat anything and lose weight if you consume less than you burn. Yes, that means you can eat 1–2 bags of chips a day and lose 1 pound a week.

That doesn’t mean you should eat anything and everything.

Junk food is high in calories and low in nutrients, thus less satisfying and will lead to overeating. We all know eating chips is like eating air.

One way to stay satiated is by eating a high protein and high fiber diet. Protein and fiber will keep you fuller longer, and both are low-calorie. Meaning you can eat more and stay within your calorie budget.

how to lose weight and keep it off, eat fiber

The average person needs a minimum of 25 g fiber per day, and most are getting far less. Some high fiber foods are lentils, legumes, broccoli, and oats. When building your plate, try to add a fruit or vegetable and a healthy protein source. For fats, only focus on the healthiest ones over saturated and trans fats.

Water is also underrated. Most of us are walking around severely dehydrated, and often hunger is mistaken for dehydration. Drinking a glass of water before and after a meal keeps not only keeps your body working as it should, it also helps you stay fuller longer, which is essential when you’re trying to stay in a deficit.

how to lose weight and keep it off, drink water

Water is always a better choice than sugary drinks such as coke and even juices. A lot of those drinks have empty calories, meaning you are adding calories to your daily budget, and you’ll be left hungry. If you currently drink a lot of soda in a day, try swapping it out for water. You will experience overall clarity, fewer sugar spikes and lose weight.

how to lose weight and keep it off, one step at a time

Too often, people want to lose weight in an unreasonable timeframe. If it took me two months to gain 20 pounds, there’s no way I’m losing it in a week.

In actuality, it took me nearly six months to lose it, and I’ve kept it off for a year. The tortoise was definitely onto something.

Of course, I wanted to lose it fast. My jeans didn’t fit, and I wanted to change that now. But, I knew quickly wouldn’t be sustainable in the long run.

Instead, I focused on really paying attention to how I was fueling my body as I maintained a steady pound loss weekly. It wasn’t always easy. Some weeks I hit my goal whereas others, I stayed stagnant. But, I didn’t quit. It’s important to note that weight loss is not a downward linear path. There will be ups and downs, but over time it will be downwards if you’re consistent.

I read and researched whatever I could about healthy foods. I started to incorporate different recipes into my diet, focusing on nutrient-dense foods. Every week during a grocery shopping trip, I bought at least three mixed vegetables. I searched recipes specifically for these items to keep them interesting.

how to lose weight and keep it off, eat healthy

Along with nutrition, I learned about different exercises and ways to target the whole body. There’s a misconception that you can spot reduce by training a particular body part. Fatloss happens all over your body, and there’s no way to tell where it will come off. Therefore, doing crunches won’t make you lose your belly fat, nor will lunges make your thighs slimmer.

However, those exercises combined with others over time will gradually help with weight loss, which in turn will slim you everywhere.

The other benefit with slow and steady is that it will lead to sustainable habits. It takes time to create a schedule and lifestyle you can stick to.If you do something for over three months versus two weeks, it most likely will become second nature. This will lead to maintaining weight instead of gaining it back.

The number 1 way to stick to healthy eating is to enjoy what you eat. Healthy eating does not need to be boring. Usually, people hear a healthy lifestyle and think a few sticks of celery and carrots.

If you like pasta, you can still eat pasta. Carbs will not make you fat. Overeating more calories of pasta than you burn in a day will make you gain weight.

how to lose weight and keep it off, eat your favorite foods in a healthy way

Find better alternatives to traditional pasta. For example, regular pasta doesn’t offer much in terms of protein or fiber. But, lentil pastas are rich in both. I like the Banza brand that are made out of chickpeas. There are even versions for mac and cheese that are very good. And, an added bonus of extra protein!

If you like ice cream, try a frozen banana mixed with Greek yogurt and berries. Regular chocolate can be replaced with dark chocolate, and peanut butter can be substituted for oil-free PB powder.

Finding creative ways to eat what you like can be fun and satisfying. You’ll stick to your goals and still feed your cravings. We live in a significant era where Instagram, Pinterest, Facebook offer many recipe options.

Stick to wholesome foods that have ingredients you can pronounce. There are way too many additives and chemicals in our diet. Natural foods are better for overall health and weight loss.

Packaged foods tend to be lower in nutrition, which could lead to overeating as your body won’t be satiated.

When it’s possible, try to find simpler foods. For example, sprouted wheat bread in lieu of enriched white bread. Or better yet, shop at farmer’s markets to get freshly baked breads. And, you’ll also support small businesses, which is a win-win.

Yes, you can have your cake and eat it too. In moderation. When I was actively trying to lose weight, I never restricted any food group. I also enjoyed eating out sporadically. This is because heavy restrictions can’t be sustained over time and will lead to binge eating.

How to lose weight and keep it off, enjoy your cheat meals in moderation

Healthy eating can be sustained with an 80/20 rule. Follow healthy habits 80% of the time, and 20% of the time, enjoy what you want to. This could mean eating a piece of chocolate with dinner or Taco Bell for lunch one day.

I found that with time, I naturally stopped craving sugar and salty foods. I still eat cookies and chips now and then, but nowhere near the outrageous amounts I previously scarfed down.

Adding treats and cheat meals to your week also keeps your metabolism in check. As mentioned before, a calorie deficit is controlled by starvation. Your body will start holding onto calories to protect itself, and you might stall your progress. Adding more calories here and there can help the process along.

Dwayne Johnson, aka The Rock, is notorious for posting his cheat meals on Instagram.  He happily enjoys his cookies and pizza once in a while, and still maintains his gains.

At the end of the day, none of this is punishment. If you add negative feelings to food groups, it’ll affect your relationship with food. Focusing on healthy eating is not a diet. It’s a lifestyle. Also, enjoying a treat or high-calorie meal here and there won’t screw up your hard work. Don’t beat yourself up if you overeat one day. The next day is a new day to start over.

how to lose weight and keep it off, ditch the scale and take measurements

The scale is not everything. It is a data point when you are trying to lose weight, but we are often emotionally tied to it. If the number goes up, our mood changes. If it goes down, we’re happy. This can fuel disordered eating as well as depression. You are so much more than a number on a scale, and a healthy weight looks different on everyone.

There are so many reasons why the scale goes up and down — water retention, hormones, overeating sodium, and much more. Progress photos taken once a week or month can keep you stay focused on the gains you make. As with measurements as well. These are tangible ways to see that the time and investment you put in for your body are working.

Losing weight is a process, but it doesn’t need to be complicated. Whether you want to lose 20, 50, or 100 pounds, start with small steps that work within your schedule. A 10-minute walk one week or hummus and veggies instead of a cookie. As you become more comfortable, you can do more.

People generally quit because they attempt too much too quickly and then get frustrated when results don’t happen overnight, or they get burnt out.

Small, consistent steps will lead to continued progress. Trust the process and know that you can achieve your goals.

Hope these 11 ways to lose weight and keep it off help you on your weight-loss journey!

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Cook and Workout: 5 Minute Veggie Quesadilla Workout (With Recipe)

Cook and Workout, Veggie Quesadilla Recipe

Do you have a hard time fitting fitness into your schedule?

What if I told you that you can get a mini workout in while you cook? I love multi-tasking and being efficient with my time.  While waiting impatiently for water to boil,  cheese to melt, and sauces to simmer, I came up with the cook and workout series. 

When you cook,  there is a lot of passive time. This time can be put to better use by getting your body moving! I love cooking as I find it therapeutic. However, I hate the waiting periods and find myself getting impatient. As a fitness lover, I naturally started incorporating squats and other exercises to pass the boredom in the kitchen.

Over time, I refined the exercises into mini cook and workout routines. It’s versatile and easy to fit into your schedule. Now, I’m not a fitness trainer, but I am an avid fitness buff. This workout was created by a civilian for a civilian. 

at home workout, cook and workout

But do short workouts even work? 

It is so important to move your body. About 28% of Americans, approximately 80 million people are inactive. Inactivity can lead to health problems such as cardiovascular disease and premature death. 

While longer workouts are usually more beneficial, shorter workouts can still help you with your fitness goals.  Tabata workouts when done properly are only 4 minutes and popular HIIT (high-intensity interval training) workouts range from 10-20 minutes. 

Can you lose weight with short workouts? If you’re consistent with it, yes you will. Any activity is better than no activity. 

One study showed that shorter workouts are similar effects as continuous longer workouts in relation to losing weight.

Are you ready for a cook and workout? 

Let’s make a Veggie Quesadilla and get some fitness in!

Cook and Workout: 5 Minute Quesadilla Workout 

Disclaimers: You should consult your physician or other health care professional before starting this or any other fitness program to determine if it is right for your physical condition. If you feel uncomfortable at any time, stop. Do not continue if you hurt yourself. Always proceed with caution when introducing new workout elements into your routine. It is important to go at your own pace and increase intensity over time. Maintain proper form to avoid injuries and wear proper fitness attire. 

Perform exercises away from stove or heat sources and ensure you are safe at all times from injuries. 

Quesadilla Ingredients:

1 tortilla 

1/4 c shredded Mexican cheese

1/4 c diced veggies

1/4 c black beans

Olive oil Spray

Non-stick medium pan

Workout Supplies: 

Comfortable attire

Weights (optional)

This post contains affiliate links. If you use these links to buy something I may earn a commission. Thanks!

Step 1: 

Turn your stove to medium heat.  Spray pan with oil and place a tortilla on the pan.  Sprinkle cheese on top. Now since we’re working out, we probably should make this a healthy-ish quesadilla. So go ahead and add some veggies in. I love onions, bell peppers, green onions, corn, and zucchini. Spinach is also a good option too! Top with black beans.

Want to make it even more healthy? Use wheat or corn tortillas instead of flour. 

Step 2:

Standing Toe Touch (20)

Raise your left leg up straight in front of you.  As you do this,  touch your toe with the opposite hand while keeping your leg extended in front of you.  Switch leg and repeat for 20 total reps. 

Here is a great tutorial on how to execute the move properly.

Why this move works: This exercise raises your heart level (which is important for cardio health), gives you a full-body workout as multiple muscle groups are used, and works your stability/hand and eye coordination skills. 

Body Parts targeted: glutes, hip flexors, quads, hamstrings, calves, core, and arms

Step 3:

Check to see how the cheese is melting and under the tortilla to see how it’s browning. Lower heat if it browns too much. 

Step 4:

Jumping Jacks (50)

Yes, I said 50. It’s only a 5-minute workout so give me the best you can do.  Go ahead and bust out 50 jumping jacks. 

Check out the video below for a proper Jumping Jack tutorial. 

Why this works: Jumping Jacks are a great exercise for improving cardio health. With this total-body move, you can quickly improve your blood circulation and pressure. With higher reps, you build stamina and breath control. 

Body Parts targeted: This total body cardio workout engages biceps, triceps, glutes, adductors, hamstrings, calves, quads, chest muscles, core, and lats. 

Step 5:

Fold Quesadilla in half. Lower heat to low if you haven’t already. 

Step 6:

Squats (15)

With your arms in front of you,  widen your stance to about a foot apart. Keep your torso aligned and core in. Slowly lower your body into a squat, being sure to keep knees in line with toes.  Repeat 15 times.

Learn how to do a proper squat: 

Why this move works: Strengthens your core, easy to do anywhere, burns calories, builds lower body muscles which are important for everyday use. 

Body Part targeted: Glutes, quads, hamstrings, hip flexors, calves, core

Step 7: 

Turn off heat and place quesadilla on a plate. 

Step 8:

Double arm punches (20)

Yes, we still have time to fit in one quick exercise while your quesadilla cools. 

Punch each arm twice before switching sides. Repeat for a total of 20 times.  

Use this guide for proper technique. Instead of one punch, you will be doing 2 for each arm before alternating sides. 

Why this move works: Helps with speed, agility, strength and cardio

Body parts targeted: Upper body: shoulders, triceps, lats and core

And you’re done! A mini total body workout accomplished in the time it took to make a meal. Have a glass of water and enjoy your veggie quesadilla! Hope you enjoyed this cook and workout. 

Disclaimers: You should consult your physician or other health care professional before starting this or any other fitness program to determine if it is right for your physical condition. If you feel uncomfortable at any time, stop. Do not continue if you hurt yourself. Always proceed with caution when introducing new workout elements into your routine. It is important to go at your own pace and increase intensity over time. Maintain proper form to avoid injuries and wear proper fitness attire.