It takes a lot of work to lose 100 pounds. Regardless of what some people might say or what you might read, there is no shortcut or easy, magical way to lose a lot of weight. Large weight loss takes effort, perseverance, self-reflection, and a change of habit. For the longest time, I didn’t want to do any of those things. I didn’t want to have to work for my goals, I didn’t want to look inward at myself, and I certainly didn’t want to change how I lived my life. But it is because I didn’t want to do those things that weight loss took years, and endless trial and error.
I eventually realized that the reason I wasn’t able to lose weight (and keep it off) was because I wasn’t willing to change some of my core habits. Or, at the very least, wasn’t willing to work to maintain change. It wasn’t until I paused and did some self-reflection that I was able to identify which of my core habits I needed to change in order to achieve my goals. When I dedicated myself to changing those habits, that was when I was able to lose 100 pounds and keep it off.
Keep in mind while reading this post that these are things that worked for me and may not necessarily work for everyone. However, I do recommend giving everything a try, because what do you have to lose?
10 Habits That Helped Me Lose 100 Pounds:
Drink at least a 1/2 gallon of water daily.
One of the best things you can do to help yourself lose weight and maintain weight loss is to significantly increase your water intake. There are lots of different ways to drink more water. Remember that tea and coffee also count as water intake. The myth that tea and coffee lead to dehydration has long since been debunked. Another easy way to drink more water is to carry a water bottle with you throughout your day. You can read about more easy ways to increase your water intake in this post.
Walk between 6000-10000 steps daily.
Most experts agree that the average person should be burning about 200-300 calories due to exercise daily. Walking at a brisk pace is a great way to get this extra exercise. Especially if you don’t have the time to do a full aerobic or strength training workout. Early in my weight loss, I made sure to do a workout plus a daily walk most days. Thankfully, because I have a dog this is still easy to do. Walking promotes lean muscle growth and is great for the heart, so to me, it’s now just part of my healthy lifestyle.
Don’t eat after 8pm.
If you’re wondering which habit is the easiest to adopt, this habit is it. Challenge yourself to stop eating before 8 pm, and then don’t resume eating until the morning time. Most often, calories eaten after 8 pm are calories we do not need. So ditch the late-night snack!
Regularly practice intermittent fasting.
I’ve mentioned in this blog a few times that I am a huge fan of intermittent fasting. I truly credit this style of eating for completely changing my relationship with food and for helping me to lose a large amount of weight. Intermittent Fasting cycles between periods of planned eating and fasting with the most common being the 16:8. The 16:8 method requires fasting for 16 hours (half of these are sleeping hours) and eating during an 8-hour window. This method of eating works because you are never restricting what you can eat, simply when you can eat. And the reason it works for weight-loss is that short-term fasting has been shown to increase your metabolic rate. And of course, an increased metabolic rate means your body is burning more calories.
Exercise 4-5 times a week.
People don’t like to hear that exercise is an important part of losing and maintaining a weight-loss. But the truth is, exercising 4-5 times a week is the number one factor in my weight-loss. I would never have been able to lose 100 pounds naturally if it hadn’t been for fitness programs like P90X, 80 Day Obsession, and training for my 10km race and half-marathon. Nutrition alone may help you to lose a significant amount of weight but if you truly want to be heart-healthy, and keep the weight off than you need to work out. Here are some of my favorite home fitness programs that I’ve tried:
- 80 Day Obsession
- 21 Day Fix
- Transform: 20
Healthy Snack First.
I talk a lot on my Instagram about how I still struggle with emotional eating. Emotional eating is by far my biggest struggle when it comes to maintaining my weight-loss. Thankfully, I’ve come up with lots of little tricks over the past couple of years to help in this area. But the easiest trick is to allow yourself to indulge in a treat only after you have eaten a healthy snack first. Nine times out of ten I get full from my healthy snack and abandon my desire for the treat. It works because you don’t feel like you’re depriving yourself of anything, you’re simply telling yourself that you can eat it later. A delay of gratification is another way of practicing and strengthening your willpower which will make food choices easier over time.
I’ve been eating a plant-based, vegan diet for 5 years now. This means I avoid consuming all animal or animal-based products. I absolutely credit this diet to losing weight, maintaining weight-loss, to clear and bright skin, a healthy gut and more. Want to try it out? Try a meatless Monday!
Reduce or eliminate alcohol.
I talk about not drinking your calories in another post but I’m going to take it one step further and suggest reducing your alcohol intake. During the past year, I have committed to drinking little to no alcohol and it is unbelievable the difference it has played in my health. Considering even a light beer is still almost 100 calories, even a couple of drinks adds up real quick. And if you’re drinking mixed beverages, then you’re looking at some serious calories. Easily drop a couple of pounds by removing or reducing alcohol consumption.
Embrace natural sugars.
Personally, eliminating sugar from my diet is just not realistic. I’ve tried many times and have failed miserably. But, when I started to substitute white, processed sugars for more natural sugars like honey, maple syrup, agave, etc, it completely changed my waistline. Even though I was still eating sugar, I wasn’t gaining weight like I was in the past. Now, I’m not saying go overboard on the sugar because it’s from a natural source, but you can consume it more confidently. Try it for yourself!
Practice daily self-care.
Strangely enough, it wasn’t until I had embraced my body for what it was that the weight started to come off. I had spent decades hating my body. I was always looking at myself and seeing everything I wasn’t. But the day I chose to accept my body for what it was, and what it could do (my body birthed twins for crying out loud) I felt a complete shift. All of a sudden, I felt confident enough to try a fitness program. It didn’t matter how overweight I was, I knew my body could do hard things.
From then on, I’ve treated my body with much more respect. I practice daily self-care, and I take care of my body inside and out. It’s true what they say, love your body and your body will love you back.
These are the habits that helped me to lose 100 pounds. And I still practice these habits every single day. Simple changes to your lifestyle can add up to huge results.