With all the information available on the market for weight loss, it can seem daunting to start on your own journey. This no gimmick guide for weight loss is all you need to get started. Read on as our contributor Caprisha also shares her journey of losing over 30lbs in 7 months.

1.Just Start!

You’ve been scrolling through your Instagram feed and you’re awed by the transformation stories. You pause and tug at your bulging tummy that you just managed to squeeze and quickly zip into your new skinny jeans. you wonder how long it will take to finally be the girl that did it. who can also share her “before and after” transformation for the world to congratulate and ‘heart’.

what got you here? you already know- your late night out with your girlies. Your Friday nights out usually end with a pizza, washed down with a cold soda and an Uber straight to bed. You’ve told yourself for the past five January firsts that you’ll start working out to shed the fat that has left you feeling insecure in your own skin, uncomfortable in the heat and unable to wear the styles from your favorite shops because they don’t stock your size.

Caprisha shares:

One day I woke up and decided I needed to make a change. I was weighing over 200 pounds (216 to be exact), I wore a size 16-18, the heaviest I’d ever been. In January 2017, is when I decided to start leading a healthier lifestyle by exercising and eating right.

Your “why” has to be stronger than your need to remain comfortable where you are. Because lets face it; being healthy and full of vitality is more important than fitting into skinny jeans (btw, who named them skinny jeans?).

A Health Coach will probably advice you to start by writing out your goals and plans because “a goal written down increases the chances of you achieving them”. He is right, but for someone like you who may have written your goals 2 years ago, highlighted it with colourful markers and stuck it on your fridge door, you just need to wear your workout gear and either hit the gym or start moving.

2. Cardio

Anything from dancing, walking, taking the stairs, mopping the floors or mowing the lawn counts as cardio and does the job for shedding fat. A weight loss program should incorporate cardiovascular exercises as they break down fat needed for energy. Personal Trainer David Robson at Bodybuilding states “aerobic activity by its very nature requires fat to be used as a primary fuel source, with carbohydrates and protein being used to a smaller extent”.

Caprisha says: “I started out doing cardio, walking at the track for 2-3 miles a day & running the bleachers. I also joined a local gym where I started to strength train on the days I wasn’t at the track. I did this for 7 months and lost a total of 50 pounds while gaining muscle.”

3. Diet

Its very simple when you follow the 80/20 philosophy. The idea behind the philosophy is that if you eat a well balanced and ideally plant based diet( whole grains, fruits, vegetables beans and legumes; nuts and seeds) 80% of the time, and leave room for your indulgences 20% of the time, there is a greater likelihood of achieving your weight loss and keeping it off. Of course the other side of it (if you’re a certified, gold medal foodie) is, you can also pile on the pounds by overeating healthy foods. Your weight loss plan should be calorie restricted. The average woman should consume an average of 2000 calories per day to maintain, and around 1500 calories to lose one pound of weight per week.

“I also changed my eating habits” says Caprisha. “I eliminated soda, juice, beef, pork, and started to drink water 24/7, while only partaking in Boneless chicken and Salmon (baked of course), as well as Turkey meat. When I wanted a snack I would eat low calorie crackers, grapes, apples, oranges, as well as plums.”

4. Throw away your scale and calendar

Placing deadlines on your body will not speed up the process.

it took time to get to where you are physically, and it will also take time to get to where you desire physically. Sometimes we make it difficult for ourselves by setting ourselves up for failure. Biologically, the body cannot lose 3 pounds of weight in a week if you are still practicing the same behaviours that led to where you are today. So when you set unrealistic goals for yourself, you feed into the idea that it is not possible when really you never held out long enough or changed your habits.

on the other side of it,

you can lose fat, and not lose weight.

Using the scale as a measure of progress can leave you despondent and quit. On the question “does muscle really weigh more than fat?” Certified Fitness Nutritionist, Kristine Lockwood explains on Greatist  that a pound is a pound: “because a pound of fat takes up about four times the space of muscle tissue, it’s possible to look and feel trimmer even if body weight remains the same.”

Caprisha says: “The advice that I would give to someone trying to lose weight is, set personal goals every week, stay away from the scale in the beginning because that scale will only deter you. Also, it’s OK to have a cheat day, one day out of the week where you want to treat yourself for all your hard work. Always stay positive and believe you can do it.

“The hardest part about losing weight is keeping up the momentum. Some days I didn’t feel like going, but I had to literally push myself and remind myself of my goals and the only way to get there was to train” says Caprisha. “7 months later, its August, and I’m now at 166 pounds and I wear a size 8-10, and I’m still not done!! Once you engage in a healthier lifestyle it becomes a way of life and you become addicted to being completely healthy. Although I’ve reached my goal weight, I continue going to the gym 5 days a week to maintain my healthy lifestyle.”

Connect with Caprisha HERE 

Can you share any tips that we may have missed?