Achieving a Healthy Weight Loss: 5 More Tips

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The boys and I at one of the 5K's I ran in 2009. I look so official wearing a number!

If you are just reading this week, please check out last week's post: 5 Tips to Healthy Weight Loss. I share how eating less junk, exercising more, planning, finding opportunities to add more activity and minimizing stress really will help with your weight loss and fitness efforts.

This week, it's all about other relationships, resources and religion :). They all go together in this weight loss effort. Trust me, I know on this one :)

{6} Budget

If you will want to add specific foods to your diet to help you be successful, you may want to ensure your budget can accommodate a few more bucks for specific products.

For example, I love WASA crackers (with high fiber) to replace bread and give me the additional fiber I could never get into my diet regularly. And, I had to have Baked Lay's for snacking. The added crunch was something I craved. I always made sure those two items (and a few others) were on hand to grab when I needed them. They helped me to stay on track so the additional (nominal) expense was worth it.

In general, you don't have to spend a lot. As a matter of fact the first year when I saved $6,500 was when I also lost when I lost majority of the 70-pounds! Obviously, spending a fortune isn't necessary to losing the weight – I think I proved that! And I also proved that coupons aren't just for junk too. You can't save that much AND lose that much when you are only eating foods that are only bad for you, right?!

{7} Track and Measure

Measuring all of your food is something I didn't do a lot, but noticed my husband did religiously last year with his 30-pound weight loss.

We have a small food scale and he would measure everything out for his serving. In general, I like to keep things simple so I just used the palm of my hand to measure proteins and starches. And, I let myself have as much veggies and fruits as I could eat so I didn't even measure those.

The one thing that I did do religiously though was tracking my foods. I'm a huge fan of Sparkpeople for many reasons and the food tracking diary was a big reason I loved using the site. The site has a database of foods already listed so you don't have to worry about having the nutritional info. You also have the ability to build your recipes and get a good nutritional count (including calories) so you know just how much you're eating.

Seeing the picture of not only calories consumed, but for the other nutrients you need was so helpful. I could get a snapshot of how I was doing in every area. I realized my Fiber intake was ALWAYS low! I could look at previous day's food entries to see which days had a higher Fiber intake (getting the right amount of fiber helps with weight loss!). Quickly going to those days and trying to add those foods in really helped me with my overall weight loss.

I personally believe that our bodies need ALL of the recommended nutrients, not just lacking calories. It's about balance and tracking my food helped me see that. I then saw that on the scale as I made adjustments.

{8} Set Goals and Tell Others

This is also what I did when we were working on our debt reduction goal. My friends knew what my goals were. My BFF knew that exercise was a priority for me. She didn't get any hurt feelings when I told her I couldn't go out to eat because 1) no extra money was going out of our account unless it was being applied to debt and 2) I didn't want to have the temptation of never-ending salad at Applebee's.

Sharing my personal weight loss goals also kept Sue on track with her weight goals. While she didn't have a lot to lose, she still wanted to make better food selection choices. And, she even found a 5K for us to run together (with my DH and our other BFF, Gin). And, you know what they say about friends who run together? Well, they sweat and smell together I guess :)

{9} Read Blogs, Fitness and Food Related

When I hit my plateau, I didn't know where to turn. I was an active member of Sparkpeople and would visit the forums and other member profiles for inspiration. Lucky for me, I was (and am) a blogger and I started to connect with Carla of Miz Fit Online.

Carla is an AMAZING, experienced resource and was (and is) so generous and helpful with answering the many questions I had for her. When I was discouraged asking about the weight gain I had for the half marathon training, she assured me it was normal. When I wanted to know how to get sculpted arms like hers (seriously, they are my “goal arms”) she directed me to several videos she did on simple arm exercises.

I'm a huge MizFit fan, but after establishing a relationship with Carla, I found an amazing fitness community online. I started reading Roni's Weigh (and her food site Green Light Bites). I also found Workout Mommy whom I love. And, I would talk running all the time with Maria whom I adore!

The online fitness community is SO supportive and it's so encouraging to see!

{10} Faith

I shared this with Becky and Celia a few weeks ago and they didn't think I was nuts :) But, this really has a lot to do with my success in anything in life.

The most odd thing happened when I was trying to lose the weight. I surrendered it to God. I'm not talking joining one of those weight loss groups and praying your weight to better health and fitness. I'm not discounting that at all. I am talking about having this issue in your life and giving it to God.

You may think this is trivial and not a big “miracle-worthy” request. He doesn't care about something like your weight and eating habits (as I did), when I asked Him for help, the weight came off. Granted, I was sweating my butt off everyday and eating around 1,200 calories a day. I was working at it so it's not like He miraculously gave me toned thighs (although Lord, I do have that prayer request since I haven't been on a run in 6 months…and a side of world Peace with fab thighs :).

In all seriousness, I laid my anxiety and stress of the issues that felt overwhelming in my life, at the time. Don't knock it till you try it!

I have a few more tips that I will be sharing on a more regular basis, along with the recipes. I hope this inspires you to get going! It's not going to be easy but it will be SO worth it once you start achieving your fitness goals!

What other things have you found helpful with your health/weight loss efforts?


  1. Becky of on February 4, 2011 at 8:49 am

    Thanks for the encouragement sister! Love you!

  2. Stacie @Motherhood on a Dime on February 4, 2011 at 5:20 pm

    Andrea — this is great! I lost 45 lbs — and did it in much the same way. My best advice is to always write down your food intake. I think that is essential! I am currently doing a 30 Day Fitness Challenge on my new blog, so that has been great to keep me accountable, too!

    I’ve been a blog-lurker for a while, and you’ve been so helpful to me! Thanks for everything!

    • Savings Lifestyle: Andrea on February 4, 2011 at 8:05 pm

      Stacie – great tip too! I loved Sparkpeople for that since it gives reports and graphs. I’m such a geek, even with weight loss – HA!

  3. Terri K. on February 5, 2011 at 9:57 am

    I started a blog of my own at the beginning of the year and it has been so fun! I found myself reading all of the Eat This, Not That series, and I have to admit that I am totally perplexed at all of the choices out there! I am a very organized person and it took me a LONG time to learn how to save and use coupons in combination with sales. Now I am finding myself back at the beginning with trying to incorporate new recipes that are whole and healthy. It’s so hard to figure this all out! In fact, I had a dream last night about quinoa! Bizarre!
    Anyway, I have been following you for a long time and you are a true inspiration to me! God Bless You and all that you do!

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