Fitness

9 Simple Changes That Helped Me Lose 45 Pounds—and Keep It Off

Don’t go crazy with your goals

07-I-lost-45-pounds-making-small-changesCourtesy Katie Dunlop of Love Sweat Fitness

Overdoing it at the gym or thinking you need to exercise seven days a week is perhaps the quickest way to derail your motivation. Instead, take baby steps. “When you start small you are able to feel more accomplished,” Dunlop says. She started out going to the gym three days a week, and then slowly ramped up the intensity of her workouts and her number of days at the gym. In fact, working out too much not only injures your body, but can also make you lazier on your non-workout days. According to the Journal of the American College of Cardiology, hitting the gym too much can undo the benefits of regular workouts. Switch it up with weight training, and try eating protein-packed foods to build more muscle at the gym. The reward for being consistent about your good habits? Find out 15 incredible things that happen to your body when you lose weight. 

Upgrade your recipes

08-I-lost-45-pounds-making-small-changesCourtesy Katie Dunlop of Love Sweat Fitness

Dunlop is the first person to say that old favorites like cookies and pancakes are not off the table—but their ingredients could often use an update. “Instead of eating old cookie recipes that call for sticks of butter, use coconut oil and whole-food ingredients,” she says, noting there are some amazing sweets recipes that use healthy ingredients such as black beans, chickpeas, tofu, and avocado. For Dunlop, it’s all about making recipes as unprocessed as possible. “Eat the dishes you love while making them healthier and better for your body,” she says. If you are in the mood for something more processed, look for recipes with 10 or fewer ingredients.

Live life

09-I-lost-45-pounds-making-small-changesCourtesy Katie Dunlop of Love Sweat Fitness

“You can have bites of mac and cheese, you can have a bite of cake. It’s okay,” Dunlop says. Trying to lose weight should not mean barring the joys of life—or you’ll find that it’s not sustainable. Having bits of a yummy cake at one office party a month, or enjoying fish tacos with your family, generally won’t sabotage your goals. Savor these moments with friends. Don’t beat yourself up. Just make sure that when you do indulge, you take a few bites to sample the flavor and try not to eat the entire serving. For more expert advice on losing weight, check out these 42 fast, easy tips for peeling off the pounds.

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