The Steps I Took to Lose 40 Pounds in 4 Months
I’m here to tell you that as someone who’s struggled with their weight since childhood, losing 40 pounds in 4 months is hard, and there were many times that my dedication faltered, but the satisfaction gained after stepping on the scale and seeing those pounds disappear, made the pain I endured worth it. In middle school, at my heaviest, I weighed over 300 miserable pounds, then during high school I buckled down and managed to lose over 100 pounds! By my first year of college, I was thinner than ever and I finally felt comfortable in my own skin. While I had every intention to keep going, during the second year of college my life hit a rough patch and old eating habits slowly crept back in. Soon, all the control I’d built through the years vanished; I ate more than ever, abandoned my workout routine, and avoided scales and non-stretchy clothes at all cost. I managed to dodge the reality of my weight gain for a few years until at 23, while getting a check-up, I came face to face with just how far I’d let my weight go. In bright red text, the numbers 255 stared back at me. Instantly I felt the blood rushed to my cheeks and I had to fight the urge to cry the rest of the appointment. How could I have let myself get back here? After the shock settled down I drove home and thought for a while about how my mindset need to change so that I could lose the weight for good. No longer would I allow excuses to rule my life: I had to take back the control. It has been 4 months since then and I’ve lost a staggering 40 pounds (update: 55!). I understand that weight loss can be overwhelming so I’ve decided to share the steps I took to lose 40 pounds in 4 months. If I can do this, anyone can! (Note: I am not a nutritionist or expert of any kind I am just sharing my experience)
1. Track Everything
Tracking meals = accountability! Once I decided to make the change, I knew had to come clean about what, and more importantly, how much I ate. Since my phone is glued to my side, I decided to download an app called MyFitnessPal where I can log what I eat, my exercise, water-intake and more instead of keeping a journal. Writing down your meals on paper works great too. The app also calculates your information such as weight, age and goals and tells you how many calories you should consume in a day as well as how carbs, fats, and proteins, etc. There are countless apps out there that you can use to track your meals. I chose MyFitnessPal because so many of the weight loss Instagramer’s that I follow, swear by it. I figured if it worked for them it could work for me. I love how easy the app is to use and how large of a food and restaurant database they have also they can sync up to other apps and devices you may use (Note: I’m not being paid to say this, I just love this app). Get in the habit of writing or entering everything you eat, and I do mean everything. Those extra little “bites” or “tastes” seriously add up and could sabotage your weight loss! If you go over on your calories, log that too! Part of weight loss is becoming accountable for our actions. Ps. It’s okay to eat more on occasion! I personally practice the 80/20 method. 80% of the time I stick to my goals while 20% of the time I treat myself.
2. Ditch the Excuses! Change your Mindset
We all have them, I was full of them: I’m tired, it’s too late, I don’t have the time, it’s just one slice, etc.…. Excuses are just lies we tell ourselves, if you want to lose the weight then you must make it a priority. It’s that simple. There are a million different weight loss methods on the market that overly complicate it, the truth is, it all boils down to calories in vs. calories out. I lost the weight by sticking to my daily calorie goal and working out about 4-5 days per week. There were days, weeks even, when my motivation would dip and my mind would flood with excuses, but if I had listened, I would have never lost 40 pounds. Your goals and dreams won’t be accomplished by making excuses. It’s hard, I know, but trust me when I say it is so worth it. Bye-bye excuses, hello cute new outfits!
3. Get moving
As I mentioned earlier, I work out about 4-5 days per week for anywhere from 30-90 minutes at a time. I am no athlete, during gym I was the kid who’d rather talk than kick a ball. Yet I knew to lose the weight I’d have to start. Working out doesn’t have to be terrible and the more you exercise the more you’ll love it. Starting out, I couldn’t run for longer than a minute and honestly that was pushing it! Now I can run for an hour + without trouble and enjoy every second, when before I loathed the mere thought of it. Find an activity whether it be lifting, cardio, workout videos, swimming, etc. and move your body. Exercise not only aids weight loss, but it can boost your mood and extend your life. Sounds like a no brainer, right? Also, don’t underestimate the power of walking. Seriously. Some of my best weeks in regards to pounds lost were weeks I mostly walked.
4. Drink More Water
At first I was skeptical, can drinking more water really help with weight loss? Well, I decided to give it a try and quickly found out why everyone and their mom suggests it. Not only did I have more energy, I was losing weight like crazy. Diet coke was my go-to drink before, I would go days without water and then wonder why I felt like crap. Now I’ve made a habit of carrying a water bottle wherever I go. There is Research that shows regardless of diet or exercise, women who increased their water intake saw significant weight loss over time. Another study asserted that hydration and obesity are linked and that overweight people were more likely to have poor hydration. Crazy, right? So just how much H20 do you need? According to the Mayo clinic, women should drink about 9 cups or 2.2 liters of water per day, men 13 cups or 3 liters (1). Get to drinking!
5. Reward Yourself
Yes, you heard me right: Treat Yo Self! Now I’m not saying to tear open a bag of Oreos and go to town—though that may be tempting, but If you finally broke through that plateau and started seeing results or you beat your last running time, then go see that movie you’ve been dying to see. Plan a shopping day with friends and snag that shirt you’d been eyeing for a while. Feel proud about your accomplishments, remember I didn’t lose 40 pounds I lost 1 pound 40 times! So, you only lost one pound that week when you’d hoped to lose 3? Keep pushing, keep grinding because those pounds, hell even those ounces, add up and before you know it you’ll be down 40 pounds too!