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How a young woman lost 40 pounds and 5 pant sizes

May 10, 2012 by Sayan


“Your mind gives up a lot faster than your body does”.

I’ve heard this saying numerous times in the past but I haven’t really understood what it entails until recently. In the past year, I have been able to drop 5 pant sizes and over 40 pounds all because of this saying and some simple but effective lifestyle changes.

I’ve always been rather active and have worked out pretty regularly but have been on the heavy side. I would constantly be frustrated with myself thinking, “I am working out, so why am I not seeing any results?” During my weight loss journey, I have learned that it takes a lot more than just simply ‘working out’. The most important thing it does take is determination and the drive to really want to make a change. It is not easy, but it is possible. Here’s what I found worked for me and may serve as a good starting point for you, if you too are frustrated from not seeing results:

1.) Get to know your body. If you have been doing the same routine at the gym for as long as you can remember, and you are not seeing results, change it up. Different things work for different people. In order to see results, your workout routine should always be changing. If you are not breaking a sweat and not feeling challenged, you are not fully applying yourself. Keep pushing yourself and you’ll notice that your threshold of tolerance will adapt, at which point you can step it up a little more. Many of us females are convinced that we can lose weight by simply cutting calories and eating less. This is a misconception! A regular exercise routine can do wonders and jumpstart your metabolism in ways you would never have imagined.

2.) Research and step out of your comfort zone. Ladies, we all know that cardio is our forte and that is great but so is weight training. Focusing on only one of these won’t get you where you want to be. Worry not, weight training won’t make you look “too masculine”. Including some light weights in your routine can enhance the fat burn process which is always a plus! There are tons of great websites out there that offer great workout advice, this one you are currently visiting being one of them! You don’t need a trainer! Save the money and spend some time on the internet. Focus on form -- be sure to always watch that your form is correct so you do not hurt yourself. Do not bite off more than you can chew -- a little change goes a long way. Try something fun like a zumba, belly dancing, hip hop, or Latin aerobics dance video. If you enjoy working out, you will want to do it more so why not make it fun?

3.) Eat breakfast like a king, lunch like a prince, and dinner like a pauper. Following this simple rule serves as a great guideline to streamline your meals and snacks. Focus on getting your daily carbs and sugars in earlier during the day so that you can replenish your blood sugar levels to fuel you throughout the day. A heavy breakfast will also prevent you from snacking throughout the day.

4.) Be careful with snacking. Snacking is a huge trap for individuals that want to be healthy. Eat more proteins to keep yourself fuller for longer, to avoid unhealthy snacking. Have more white meat over dark meat which is higher in fat. Eggs and fish are also great sources of healthy protein. We all get that craving for chocolate and greasy fried things especially when us ladies are down or stressed. Fight it! If you do need to snack, make it a healthy one. Nuts, raisins, fruit, yogurt, cottage cheese, etc. These snacks are high in healthy fats and protein and will keep you full.

5.) Change up the foods you consume. Enzymes and nutrients in food help us to digest the food we consume. Cooking everything we eat denatures these enzymes and diminishes the nutritional value of some foods, making them harder to digest and less healthy. Focus on eating foods that are raw and natural. Get more fresh fruits and vegetables into your diet and eat more whole grains. These get absorbed much slower than refined and processed carbs which can cause our blood sugar level to spike.
6.) Move your dinner time up. Try not to eat too close to bedtime. Your body goes into conservation mode while you sleep which means all the food that you’ve eaten will get stored and can lead to unnecessary pounds. Take a walk after dinner with your family. This can be fun and healthy.
7.) Get the whole family involved. Sure you can do it all by yourself but it’s a lot more motivational and fun when you bring someone along for the ride. Set up a workout and healthy eating schedule where you meet up with friends and family and work on being healthy together.
8.) Do not think you are hopeless. Switching to a healthier lifestyle can be done. Make sure to stick to it and refrain from reverting back to your old ways. Sure it seems hard at first, but after a while you start to enjoy the changes you’ve made and your body and mood will reflect this as well.

If you really want to make the change and be a healthier, happier, more confident individual, you CAN make it happen. You have to want it and be ready, willing, and able to make some changes, give up some tempting foods, and endure the pain of successful workouts. If you keep at it, it is impossible that you won’t see results. You can do it!

- Priya Mukhopadhyay

Priya graduated from Stony Brook University in May 2011 with a degree in Health Science Disability Studies (Pre-Medicine). You can contact her at Priya.Mukhopadyay0@gmail.com