5 Keys to Successful Weight Loss

I understand times are tight, and when it comes to weight loss, people want options that don't cost a lot of money.  It becomes the excuse for staying overweight:  "I can't afford that expensive organic/diet food."  or "I just can't invest in an exercise program right now."  So I've developed 5 Keys to Successful Weight Loss that shouldn't break the bank!
  1. COUNT CALORIES:  Sign up for www.myfitnesspal.com. (It's free.)  You need to know how much you are consuming and expending in calories.  Without this knowledge, even eating healthy won't ensure your success.  LOG EVERY SINGLE THING YOU EAT/DRINK!  (Measure out your food -- another KEY component in weight loss success.)  Also log your exercise, but don't eat the "extra" calories you gain from your workouts if you want to get to your goal quicker.
  2. PLAN YOUR MEALS:  And eat 5 small meals every day!  Find some healthy recipes: breakfast, lunch, dinner, and at least two snacks (I use www.skinnytaste.com). Get the ingredients and make at least a couple recipes and freeze them in single serving sizes.  You can make a healthy, organic, whole food meal for less than a couple of dollars. ALSO -- buy some protein bars that are around 300 calories (P90X bars are perfect -- Wildberry is my favorite!). Keep one in your purse or backpack so when you're out, you can eat something healthy and filling instead of getting fast food. Even the most expensive protein bars are cheaper than ANY fast food meal! Or, make my granola bars recipe.
  3. DRINK WATER:  Stop drinking anything other than water.  Coffee is OK, but limit it to 2 a day and watch what you're putting in it -- count those calories, too! I actually do NOT recommend sugar free or fat free substitutes.  What so many people think is that drinking diet soda will keep them from gaining weight.  Unfortunately, diet soda does NOT help you lose weight!  Sure, it has zero calories, but it's full of chemicals and can actually give you hunger cravings.  Have you ever had a diet coke and "needed" a snack, too?!  Water is free, fills you up, and is so much better for you!
  4. WORKOUT:  Schedule some sort of workout. (Push-ups, sit-ups/crunches, jump rope, jogging, running, jumping jacks, etc.)  Commit to working out at least 3 times a week for a minimum of 30 min. Get up earlier for work and do it. TRUST ME.....the endorphins you release working out will make you much happier and you'll have more energy. You're actually more likely to stick with it if you make yourself do this every day, as opposed to just 3 times a week.  What you do for 21 days becomes a habit.  It's true:  I never worked out before and once I got to the 21 day mark, I actually woke up and wanted to workout!  If an investment in a good at-home workout is possible for you, check out my website.  I've found great success from TurboJam and P90X.  (And this is coming from a girl who weighed more than 200 lbs in April 2011, had never worked out before, and never played sports in school!)  Les Mills Body Pump is now available on my website which burns up to 1,000 calories in one hour.  Now that's a workout you can do just 3 times a week and see real results!
  5. WEIGH YOURSELF ONCE A WEEK:  So many people weigh themselves every day, and even multiple times per day.  Choose ONE day per week and only weigh in then, and at the same time, too!  I recommend weighing in as soon as you wake up.  Seeing the scale go up and down is not encouraging to someone trying to lose weight.  If you are making serious changes in your diet and exercise, you will see changes at your weekly weigh-ins.  And if possible, find a group of friends and weigh in together, in person!  Accountability is key....you can also log in your weight to myfitnesspal and use your friends on there as your accountability partners.