Start out Small
Ugh it happened again! Another fad diet and failed attempt to get on a path to health. Is this what happened to you in January? It sure happened to me so many times in my life. That is why I’m sharing some simple starts to weight loss for beginners.
A fad diet and too much exercise lead to burnout. I tried and hated the paleo diet and I was forcing myself to exercise an hour every day. Counting macros and taking care of small children, meal planning, running a household, dog, cat….omg all the things. It was too much!
This is what I discovered: small things lead to big results over time. For example, get your body moving every single day. Even if you only have 20 minutes. That is over 1000 minutes you have committed to your health in a year. Make the exercise something you love so it won’t be a chore.
Adding in small simple changes like this can lead to better results because it allows you to adapt slowly and not feel overwhelmed. I get burned out very easily if I try to make too many changes all at once! Slow and steady wins the race y’all!
Drink More Water
We often confuse thirst with hunger. I try to have a full glass of water before each meal. It keeps me from overeating. Water can help to take up space in the stomach, leading to a feeling of fullness and reducing hunger. I keep a swell with me at all times when I am running around town.
I bought this cool water bottle with motivational time markers to ensure that I drink enough every day. It’s easy to read and really keeps me on track every day. Comes in lots of colors and is BPA free too. This is a simple start to weight loss if you are a beginner.
TIP: Be careful of the diet soda trend though! I did that all through my 30’s and realized diet drinks actually made me hungrier! Why? The artificial sweeteners stimulate the “reward pathways” that are activated when we eat sweet foods. However, there are no calories in them so there is nothing to turn that switch off. Therefore your body is still craving a reward.
I totally noticed that pattern for me. So I gave diet drinks up in my 40’s and I’ve never felt better. I occasionally have one on vacation, but it is not part of my lifestyle anymore.
Eat More Protein
I make protein the star of nearly every meal. I add peanut butter to my oatmeal. I sneak in collagen protein to smoothies and oatmeal too – it’s tasteless and my kids never notice! I have been loving this superfood protein by Amazing Grass.
Especially since I really don’t love vegetables. I know, I know. Sounds terrible but I really don’t! So this protein powder is great for me to get all the vitamins and minerals I need – it tastes yummy too! I throw mine in the Vitamix with half of the frozen banana to make it creamy. I love green juice because I can put a little apple or pineapple to make it sweet. I have the best recipe for one if you want to check it out here.
Add More Steps
Walking is an easy way to burn calories without even knowing it! Take the stairs instead of the elevator. Now that I have my sweet pup Ollie, walking him has been a simple and easy way to get my body moving.
Have a break during the workday? Get outside and go for a stroll. When I start to get cabin fever during the day, I take a break from my computer and go for a walk outside. I put in my earphones and listen to a podcast or just some great music.
Portion Out Snacks
Don’t eat straight out of the bag! I found myself doing that a lot, especially when my kids were younger! Just mindless eating. I have found that if I grab a portion and put only that on my plate, it’s easier to stay on track.
Everything in Moderation
I don’t eliminate anything from my diet. That is why I love intermittent fasting…. it’s easier to control when I eat rather than what I eat. I don’t have to avoid social situations because my diet is too restrictive…..that is not really living to me!
Intermittent fasting is simple and easy to follow! No complicated meal planning or prep either. I tend to eat lots of lean proteins, veggies, and salads every day. But I don’t completely eliminate the things I love – like wine or the occasional burger or piece of cake.
Balance is the key and it’s tough to find. Intermittent fasting has given me the freedom to enjoy the foods I love on occasion while helping me slim down and stay healthy. It helps me lose the guilt and lose weight – it’s simple!
I follow an 8/16 intermittent fasting plan: eating during an 8-hour window and fasting for the other 16. I eat fewer meals, which is an easy way to cut calories. I tend to snack a lot so when I am only eating during an 8-hour window, it really reduces my calories fast!
I practiced IF 5/6 days a week and I lost 12 pounds in about 4 months. Now I practice IF about 3 days a week to maintain my weight. Here is an easy chart on fasting that I love. This is by @roballenfitness – I follow him on Instagram and he has some great information.
This is the schedule I follow: breakfast at 10 am, lunch at 1 pm, a very small snack sometimes at 4 pm, and dinner at 6 pm. Some people choose to skip breakfast and fast from noon to 8 p.m., while others avoid eating late and stick to a 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. schedule.
I love this chart by @roballenfitness. I follow him on Instagram and he has simple relatable advice on Intermittent fasting. Want to learn more about my fasting lifestyle? Check out this article I wrote about losing the guilt and losing weight.
Watch the Sugar
Order black coffee or simply add a sugar substitute. Sneaky sugar calories are in everything from milk, pasta sauce, and yogurt.
I buy unsweet vanilla almond milk – it tastes so yummy my kids even like it. I don’t buy flavored yogurt either. Lots of hidden sugar there. I buy plain and add in honey (a natural sweetener) and berries for me and my girls. My favorite pasta sauce is this one because it has a low sugar count but still tastes very good!
Understand Your Why
Think of your end goal and work backward. This is what I did when trying to lose the last bit of baby weight after having Mia. I had 12 stubborn pounds and it was hard! I’m only 5″2′ so it was about 3-4 dress sizes.
What is your goal? WRITE IT DOWN. Make it specific! I love using my Erin Condren daily journal to keep me on track. I’m old school like this – I like putting pen to paper, it solidifies the goals in my mind and helps me stay organized. This planner comes in all different sizes and is fully customizable.
Writing my goals down helped keep me accountable. It’s how I lost 12 pounds after having my last baby and have kept it off for years now. Tracking my goals, staying consistent, and developing new habits!
Drink Celery Juice
Just kidding! The latest fad diet generally leads to disappointment. There is no one way to a healthy lifestyle. Most fad diets are too restrictive, give you short-term results, and aren’t sustainable.
I tried the paleo diet. Hated all the recipes and food prep – way too much work. Also did the Adkins low carb diet. It made me hangry. I don’t like to be restricted from the foods I loved, it just made me crave them even more. I swear I spent nights dreaming about bread – ha!
I know I am guilty of wrapping my identity around food – like it’s some moral compass. I have gotten rid of that mindset. There is no trick…there is no secret. The real secret is knowing it’s NOT a secret.
Move your body. Eat healthy food. Find a lifestyle that works for you and be consistent! Choose between what you want now and what you want most!
Hope you enjoyed my post on simple starts to weight loss for beginners. It’s not a destination y’all, it’s a journey. Thanks for being on mine with me!
If you want to read more about pitfalls to avoid when pursuing a healthy lifestyle, check out this article. It kinda made me laugh out loud! Why Fad Diets Are Stupid.
Sending good vibes from downtown Austin, Texas.
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