Tip #1: Start drinking ONLY water! 1
I know it's really hard to give up your cafecito and caffeine but trust me on this one. Giving up caffeine for a whole month is going to do wonders for your body. It won't be easy, though. For the first few days, you'll likely have a headache from giving it up. But you HAVE to hold out and keep going sans that morning cup of Joe.
Tip #2: Start walking each day! 2
If you don't exercise at all right now, then this is how to do it: start with 10 minutes a day, twice a day, 2 times a week this week. Then the week after do a full 20 minutes 2 times a week, after that go to 30 minutes 3 times a week, until you're doing the full 40 minutes 4 days a week during the last week of January. If you're already exercising a little, then skip to the Week 2 plan--and start moving!
Tip #3: Make sure to eat your veggies and fruits FIRST! 3
Eat them slowly and savor each and every taste. The reason to do this is to allow your brain to catch up with your stomach as well as let your tummy fill up with nutrient and fiber-rich foods first, which will help you fill up faster. The beauty is that fruits and veggies have less calories, so you will end up eating less in the long run because you'll fill up on less caloric things first and then be too full to finish your meat and rice.
Tip #5: Set a timer & eat for 20 minutes 5
That's right, get out your phone (most smart phones have this feature) or simply use your kitchen egg timer and set it for at least 20 minutes. Personally, I like to do 30 minutes but you can try 20 for now. Then, eat very, very slowly. The reason for the timer is to give yourself an estimation of how long you need to eat. That's right, you better not finish that plate until AFTER your timer goes off!
Tip #6: Get cardio by cleaning out your closet 6
First of all, cleaning out your closet today (that means getting rid of any clothes that no longer fit, that you don't love, that aren't that flattering, that are kind of old and gross and that are on your "maybe" or "I barely ever wear this" list) will give you some much-needed extra cardio. I expect this will take you at least a few hours and you CANNOT brush it aside and rush the process. Keep going until you have at least a few bags full of things you can donate to the Salvation Army or Goodwill.
Tip #7: Burn 100 calories a day with easy exercises! 7
Now, I want you to keep doing your walking but also adding one of these to your routine as well and burn 100 calories each!
- Walk 1 mile (about 20 minutes)
- Pull weeds or plant flowers (20 minutes)
- Mow the lawn or shovel snow (20 minutes)
- Clean house (30 minutes)
- Jog (10 minutes)
Tip #8: Cut your beef intake by half, easily 8
Whenever you make a dish with ground beef (like slow cooker picadillo), make sure you're using low-fat ground beef but also only use half of it. Why? Well, because you're going to substitute the other half with something much healthier: either protein-packed COOKED red lentils (that are fat-free and high in fiber, which helps to fill you up) or roughly chopped mushrooms (which are low in calories and full of vitamins and antioxidants, which raise your metabolism and improve your immune system).
Tip #9: Always have healthy snack options nearby 9
Instead of giving in to my bad habits, though, I try to always have one (or more) of these around:
- Banana with a tablespoon of almond butter
- 100 calorie popcorn bag with sprinkling of Spanish paprika
- Apple with 1 oz. of Manchego or other cheese
- 10 nuts and 10 mini dark chocolate chips
- 4 oz. Greek yogurt sprinkled with honey and cinnamon
Tip #11: Cut your intake of salt 11
At the very least, I make it a rule to buy low sodium everything. Although I'm not completely afraid of salt and definitely appreciate the fact that it brings out flavor in food, I'm also a big believer in not abusing it. Instead, opt to flavor your foods with other seasonings like adobo and your favorite Latin spices.
Tip #12: Always, always, always share your dessert! 12
My absolute biggest secret to losing weight and keeping it off for the rest of your life is to adopt a "sharing is caring" attitude when it comes to dining out. In particular, I definitely will never order an appetizer, starter, soup, salad, or dessert unless I am sharing it with someone. Saying a firm "NO" to dessert is especially difficult for me when I am eating out with friends of family. That's why, instead, I simply ask that everyone at the table split one dessert.
Tip #13: Start strength training to build muscle (VIDEO) 13
Personally, I'm a huge fan of Women's Health The Best Workouts For Your Body Type. Since I am a pear shape, I know exactly what kind of workout I should be doing in order to tone up. And that's really the whole point of it anyway, isn't it? It's not that I'm looking for crazy huge muscles or incredible strength, I just want to build a nice, lean body. And if getting those muscles is ALSO going to help me burn more fat, then let's DO IT!
Tip #14: Go meatless once a week on Meatless Monday! 14
Cutting out meat (and I mean also chicken, fish, etc.) for just one day isn't as difficult as it sounds. First of all, you're going to ADD IN a lot more vegetables and fruit to your diet today. But that also doesn't mean that all you can eat is a banana for breakfast and a salad for lunch and dinner. The point of doing Meatless Monday is to actually try new recipes that you never would have imagined were "meatless" and still delicious.
Tip #15: Write down and plan what you're eating in a food diary 15
Today's tip is to get a journal and start writing down what you eat and what you want to eat. Why do this? Well, planning ahead is actually going to help you stay on track throughout the week. The way I do this is I keep a note in my phone, with the days of the week and all of the different meals. Then, on Sunday morning, I take a look at the coming week and fill in the general spots that I already know will be taken up.
Tip #16: How to cut down on portions in 4 easy steps 16
Well, in case you didn't already know, cutting portions is a BIG part of losing weight. And that's our tip for today: you have to cut your portions! However, I have some super simple rules to share that will make cutting portions much easier than you could imagine.
Tip #18: Clean up your eating for easy weight loss 18
I've been eating healthy with all of the other tips we've been providing you for the past few weeks but eating a completely "clean diet" has actually kick-started my weight loss a little more. What exactly IS clean eating, you ask? I went to Jared Koch, fellow graduate of the Institute of Integrative Nutrition and founder of the Clean Plates healthy restaurant guides, for some tips.
Tip #19: Shake up your exercise routine! 19
I bet by now you're really starting to get things down. You're typically eating healthier, getting more exercise--so what do you do? Once I see myself hitting a plateau (or even just starting to get bored), that's the time to switch things up. For me, that usually means trying a new kind of exercise. Two recent favorites: yoga and Zumba!
Tip #20: Cook big, healthy meals for the upcoming week 20
I do very much try to prepare several ready-to-go healthy meals for myself. That way, when I wake up on Monday morning and head to work, I have something that I can grab with me. I don't have to depend on worrying what I can buy (and where!) that will be healthy and something that I actually want to eat (as in, not bland or boring). I always maintain that I would never be able to lose weight if I had to eat "boring" healthy food.
Tip #21: Renew your motivation with key phrases! 21
First of all, I once heard someone say: "People often say that motivation doesn't last. Well, neither does bathing--that's why we recommend it daily." Take this thought into account as you read through some of these messages and, well, make sure you re-read these often!
Tip #22: Listen to your body to stop from overeating 22
This is where you have to work on becoming aware of when you eat and why. It's about listening to your body and learning to eat only when you're truly hungry, then stopping when you're full. This isn't an easy task but, luckily, three of our previous tips can help: drink plenty of water all day and ESPECIALLY 20-30 minutes before you eat, then time yourself to see if you're still hungry—and eventiming your meals so that you don't eat too fast! Plus, journaling about your food habits will help you find those "triggers" of when and why you're reaching for foods that aren't the best for you.
Tip #23: Keep a well-stocked healthy refrigerator and pantry! 23
For my pantry, I always like to keep bags of dried beans (or cans, if you prefer them), quinoa, and brown rice. In my fridge, I typically keep some greens, a couple of citrus fruits, some kind of berry and tomatoes (because I love them so much). I also typically keep some frozen broccoli and green beans, since they're also easy additions to any meal.
Tip #25: The right lighting and music helps you cut calories 25
A study last year found that diners ate 200 less calories when they were seated in the low-lighting, slow-music section of a fine dining restaurant. And I have to say that it really works! I don't know what it is, but there's something about having a nicer atmosphere that actually helps to slow down your eating and allows you to really get in touch with your body. I especially love to do this technique when I'm having a romantic dinner with my man, since it also sets the mood for a little calorie-burning after dinner.
Tip #26: Pre-eat before a party so that you don't overdo it! 26
Basically, if you're going to a big family gathering, make sure that you actually eat a little something before you go there. Of course, focus on something healthy, like a filling quinoa salad or a big plate of greens. The reason to do this is so that your stomach fills up with some of those healthy thing that you know you should be eating and there won't be too much room for those party snacks that you definitely want to avoid.
Tip #27: Do 20 minutes of exercise for the best workout ever 27
It turns out that shorter workouts are actually more effective than longer ones. In fact, you're better off running for 30 minutes than for an hour. In even better news,all you need is 20 minutes of intense interval training in order to get the body of your dreams. Isn't that just AMAZING news?!
Tip #28: Fasting 1 day a week may be great to drop pounds 28
The reason why I felt great, though, is probably because having one day of fasting, a day where you either don't eat or eat very little the way I did with the juice, is actually a pretty decent way to keep up with your weight loss. As I previously wrote on MamásLatinas, my strategy is basically to do a fasting day (where I drink either just healthy vegetables juices or eat apples) after a particular bad weekend of unhealthy eating.
Tip #29: Give yourself a break but remember calories in, calories out! 29
What I mean by "give yourself a break once in a while" is to not stress about every single thing that goes into your body. I also call this the 80/20 rule. In general, I know that I am a healthy eater. I drink tons of water, I cook with healthy coconut oil, I fill my plate half-full with plenty of dark, leafy greens and healthy whole grains and I try to exercise at least 20 minutes a day a few times a week.
Tip #30: How to get to your ideal, happy weight 30
You should focus on finding a weight that you feel comfortable with. It should be more-or-less within your BMI range but, most importantly, it should be a weight that you can reasonably achieve with healthy eating and exercise. You shouldn't have to starve yourself or go on crazy diets. You should feel comfortable in your body and happy that you aren't depriving yourself all the time OR eating every dulcecito in sight.