*DISCLAIMER:* If you suffer from any eating disorder, this is not the post for you!
How I Lost Weight For My Wedding
Ladies… I had a semester where I had to commute 2-3 hours a day and I was not feeling OR looking healthy as I could. I know that I am not a balanced person during the semester and I am not proud of that. Usually I would let my extra weight melt off of me through out the summer as my activity levels raise and the weather heats up. Hot weather inspires eating cold salads and fruit smoothies for meals instead of munching on what ever vegan option I could get my hands on at school (often a pb&J) while not moving around much. Spending 10 hrs a day glued to a desk and 2-3 commuting does a number to me every semester. I can’t help myself, I’m a competitive student! Anyway, I wanted to look like myself again, the person I know I will look and feel like ALL the time as soon as I am not a student anymore.
Unfortunately student life makes me and many other people very unhealthy; whether it’s because we are glued to our books or taking advantage of new found freedom from parents. No matter what age or situation, school is time consuming and stressful and makes me very excited to potentially only work 8 hrs a day when its over! AHAHA
Anyway, I needed to get myself back, because I WAS GETTING MARRIED!! It was time to feel and look like I do normally by the middle of July, but instead, by June 21st! And I pulled it off just in time for my wedding. Here are my tips on how to knock off some pounds in 6-8 weeks like I did.
NOTE: I have to admit, I made sure to do it all in a healthy way and that is why I am sharing. I did not lose more than 1 lb a week and the maximum healthy amount for most is up to 2 lbs a week. I opted for 1lb/week because I was already in my healthy BMI range when I started, just on the higher end of the healthy BMI, and for my wedding I wanted to be low or medium of the healthy range!
The only REAL way to loose weight is by being in a calorie deficit. This means you need to be eating slightly fewer calories than you burn in a day. Great, now how do I do that Megan? Don’t worry, I wont just leave you with that vague tip. Seriously this is the MOST important thing though! You have probably heard of My Fitness Pal. Its an app for your phone and the first couple days you will likely have to manually enter your food all the time (or scan it but I don’t buy a lot of prepackaged crap) but then it will be storing all the food you punch in the app so after a few days you will have all the things you regularly eat in there. Its funny we don’t realize how we mostly eat the same stuff all the time.
The app allows for you enter in your cardio work outs and it will add more calories for you to consume for the ones you have burned. It tracks steps for you too. Very compatible with apple watch I hear, my friends who got on MFP with me during finals said it incorporated every time their heart rate went up! So accurate!
Also as for foods, I really fucking like to eat so this was tough for me. I had to figure out how to cut calories off of the stuff I liked. Here are some of the swaps I made.
Buddha Bowls For Salads!
What I did was basically swap out rice or quinoa at the bottom of my Buddha bowls for a mix of kale and cabbage (It doesn’t wilt like other greens) topped with tofu or chopped up Gardine chicken scaloppini. Sometimes I would make a cold one resembling an Italian chop salad by using vegan deli meats and chopped artichoke, sun dried tomato ECT.. Here are some GREAT low cal vegan salad topping options aside from the obvious quarter cup of beans/quinoa. (BORINGGGG)
1 Gardine Chicken Scalopiniwith 2 tbsp Annie’s Lemon & Chive dressing
1-1/2 Teriyakior Siracha baked tofu with 2 tbsp. Annies Asian Dressing
3 slices of Light Life Kale and white bean deli slices, sun dried tomatoes, artichoke hearts, 2 tbsp. Annie’s Lemon & Chive dressing,½ slice ofChao Smoked Gouda
*Also you NEED a 2 tbsp measuring cup. It made making my salad so damn easy, I knew I was getting it right every time.
Sprouts and Trader Joe’s both have small loafs of bread that are 70 cals a slice!! So if you find 100ish calorie veggie patty, you can make a sandwich that’s only like 300 & something cals after condiments! BOMB.com (I really like the sprouts brand spicy chicken, that’s my go-to)
Also if you love a creamy element to your sandwich but don’t want to add a whopping 100 cals per tbsp. of vegan Mayo, my basic cashew creamis a great substitute! I like to mix it with hot sauce as a sandwich condiment. Its like, 10-20 calories a tbsp. BOOM.
I don’t know if I’m a believer in this or not but my fitness pal was only giving me 1200ish calorie allowance a day because my activity level was SO low. I needed an extra rule to make sure my calories didn’t go over, so I fasted 14 hrs a day. They say you can do up to 16 but that’s not for me. I found the best eating window was 9am-7pm for me except on weekends where I would go like Noon-10pm because my friends or fiancé would wanna go out later for dinner so I was stuck waiting 14 hrs to eat again which would be like noon the next day.
You can find all the supplements I’m into lately here… But I’m not saying take a bunch of supplements. When you are calorie restricting you might lack some vitamins because it can be hard to fit them all in at 1200-1400 calories a day! Especially if you are not used to eating super healthy all the time or don’t have access to fruits and veggies everyday! (I get it, I don’t always pack a lunch for school and I got stuck eating a pb&j often.) During your weight loss calorie restriction time, find a multi-vitamin just to make sure your body is running at the optimal level. It cant hurt because most extra vitamins will be released when you use the restroom, so don’t be surprised if it’s a different color when you tinkle!
Along with a multi vitamin I also took a multi mineral. I choose one that was just magnesium, calcium and zinc. I really LOVE magnesium because it is natures muscle relaxer. It really helped loosen up my sore muscles from exercising & it can help with using the bathroom. Many people start to feel like their digestive system becomes sluggish in the beginning of a calorie restriction and magnesium can really help. If it doesn’t help enough you can also try incorporating more fiber into your diet like ground flax and kale, or even just a fiber supplement that you mix in with water for a quick fix!
Lift BEFORE Cardio-
Look I was just doing every tip I have ever herd in my life and this is another one. Anything you do that feels more difficult likely means that you are burning more calories, right? So you bet that 20 mins on the treadmill was way harder after lifting. Especially if it was legs… and SPEAKING of legs…
Work on Muscle Groups that are larger or harder for you-
Legs are the biggest muscle groups so they naturally burn the most calories. Since I was calorie restricting I did not have to worry about getting big! You will NOT get big as a girl from lifting unless you really eat a TON.
Also muscle groups that are more difficult are going to be new and therefore be more challenging. Which like I said before I hear things that are more challenging are going to burn more calories. I herd a fitness instructor talk about how if you ride a bike everyday those muscles are used to it so after a while that activity burns less calories. Makes sense! Roller blading used to give me sore Abductors but now it’s easier than riding a bike! So since I have a fairly week back so I focused mostly on legs and back for my work outs. (But not over doing it) My days would look something like this
Monday-Legs +250 cals on elliptical
Tuesday-Back+ 250 cals on treadmill
Wednesday-arms & abs/core +250 cals on treadmill
Thursday-Legs+ 250 cals on elliptical
Friday- back +250 cals on treadmill
Saturday- abs+ cardio (30-60 mins…run, hike, gym, what ever)
Sunday- Rest, yoga/pilates, or strength train whatever isn’t sore +250 cals cardio machine (HAHA)
*Side note* It’s ok to just have a regular rotation too. If you are exercising you are doing amazing. As long as you are in a calorie deficit you will loose the weight but exercise make your BRAIN HEALTIER. In fact, so does healthy foods. Please pay attention to the maco/micro nutrient breakdown for what you eat on my fitness pall too! Make your weight loss a really positive physical and mental experience!
Guys if I stuck to this perfectly I would have lost even more weight, but the nature of life does not allow perfection. I had 2 bachelorette weekends, friend’s birthdays, and other events thrown at me. If you stress about falling off the train a few times that stress is just gunna hang on to belly weight! Do your very best 90% of the time and you will look bomb as fuck no matter what because YOU ALREADY DO!