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I WAS PART OF A FITNESS CHALLENGE
Every year, Redbook magazine works with a group of women who are trying to lose weight so they can fit back into their wedding dress. It’s called the Wedding Dress Challenge and a few years ago, I had the great pleasure to be one of the participants. Over the course of several months, Redbook magazine provided me with a celebrity fitness trainer, a nutritionist and all the tools I needed to lose weight. In total, I lost 18 pounds and learned a lot about working out, dieting and weight loss. While I was participating in that challenge, I learned from the pros how lose weight quickly. More specifically, I learned how to drop 10 pounds in a month.
But let me give you some background info as to why I needed to lose weight. When I first learned about this Redbook weight loss challenge, my twins were 2 years old and my oldest child was 5. I didn’t have time to work out every day or think about what I was eating. I was just trying to get enough rest each day. Even though my twins were sleeping through the night, I was still exhausted from the sheer amount of work I had to do every day. By the time nighttime came, all I wanted to do was plop down on the couch in front of the television, get a snack and drink alcohol. And that’s exactly what I did every single night. But as a result, I was over 200 lbs and couldn’t fit into my jeans or any of my old clothes. I had lost all my baby weight from after having my first child. But I had no idea when or how I would be able to lose my baby weight from having my twins. I just had the mindset that I could never be skinny again and I’d be a thick girl for the rest of my life. I was slowly, in my mind, just accepting the weight.
REDBOOK MAGAZINE TO THE RESCUE
Then one day by chance, I came across a study that was looking for people who wanted to lose weight so they can fit back into their wedding dress. The people sponsoring the study were not revealed but I was instantly interested. I definitely wanted to lose weight but didn’t think I could ever fit back into my wedding dress. When I got married I was 150 pounds. I was my thinnest and fittest self when I walked down the aisle. I was a workout queen and only “good” carbs rarely passed through my lips. But now, I was a far cry from the girl who wore that wedding dress years ago.
I sent an email to the group conducting the study and they responded quickly by asking me to sent them photos of my in my wedding dress (at my wedding) and what I looked like now. They also wanted me to tell them why I wanted to lose the weight and how I gained the weight. I sent them back my pictures and story and guess what? I made it into the program. And to my complete surprise, I found out that Redbook magazine was sponsoring this program. The purpose of the program was helping women who can’t fit into their wedding dresses anymore because of weight gain due to pregnancies, age, and inactivity lose weight.
I was given all the help and support I needed to succeed in the Wedding Dress Challenge. Redbook provided me with a gym membership, a fitness trainer that worked with celebs like Jessica Alba and Halle Berry and a nutritionist to help me through the process. Plus, I got sent free swag like a pedometer to use during my workouts. I was excited to be working with Redbook magazine but I was more excited to have support and coaching through a weight loss program. I had everything at my disposal that I needed to lose the weight. I just had to do the work and that was the hard part.
Right of the bat, I learned that in order to lose weight I had to clean up my diet and stick to a healthy eating plan. My nutritionist stressed that there is no way to lose weight unless you eat clean. You can exercise all you want, but if you eat junk, you’ll never lose the weight. Initially, I had problems sticking to my eating plan until I adopted these ten rules below.
LOSE 10 POUNDS IN A MONTH TIP #1: EXERCISE REGULARLY
I recommend working out at least 5 days a week for an hour to see weight loss. If you want, you can work out 6 days a week but never work out 7 days a week. I used to only work out for a half hour 4-5 times a week. But I have found that in order to really see changes in your body and weight, you gotta do at least 60 minutes a day.
LOSE 10 POUNDS IN A MONTH TIP #2: NO DESSERTS
This is probably the saddest part of the whole program. But unless it is your weekly cheat, eliminate sweets, desserts and snacks from your diet.
LOSE 10 POUNDS IN A MONTH TIP #3: ONLY DRINK WATER
Water is key to weight loss. My goal is to drink one gallon of water a day. That is a lot of water and I don’t always reach that goal. However, I never drink less than 100 ounces of water a day. Believe it or not, you can drink your way to weight loss but you have to drink enough water to flush your system daily. I wrote a blog post all about how water is the key to weight loss. Click here to check it out. I know some dieters drink water with Crystal Light, zero calorie drinks and things like that. I chose to stay away from those kind of drinks and just drink water.
LOSE 10 POUNDS IN A MONTH TIP #4: GET 7-8 HOURS OF SLEEP
We are all busy. I don’t know about you but I love staying up late to get in some extra hours of work. However, this can have a negative effect on your weight loss. Your body doesn’t get enough rest to recharge and heal. And personally, if I burn the midnight oil, I am tired the next day and less likely to get up and work out. If I get 5 hours of sleep or less, I’m hitting the snooze button and sleeping the latest that I possibly can until I have to get up. So plan out your day so you can hit the sack early and get enough rest so your body can shed those unwanted pounds.
LOSE 10 POUNDS IN A MONTH TIP #5: PLAN YOUR MEALS
My nutritionist advised me to plan my meals ahead of time. This is not my favorite thing to do but I have found that when I do plan my meals, I succeed in eating right and losing weight. So I am always striving to plan ahead and stay on track. I like to plan my meals and go shopping by Thursday of each week. Just because I hate going to the grocery store on the weekends because it tends to be so crowded.
LOSE 10 POUNDS IN A MONTH TIP #6: FOOD PREP
On Sunday night, my husband and I are busy cooking and packing our food for the upcoming week. Yes, I work from home so I can make my food daily. But it saves me so much time prepping my food ahead of time. It prevents me from running out of food during the week or eating things I shouldn’t. It’s great because I don’t have to really think about what to eat. I just grab my food and go on with my day.
LOSE 10 POUNDS IN A MONTH TIP #7: HEALTHY FOOD SWAPS
I don’t know if this is technically a cheat day rule. But hey, I added it in because I thought it was important. Honestly, you can have a cheat EVERY day. You just have to think of it differently. At least that’s what I told myself. Here’s what I do. What I found really helped me was finding a healthy snack that I loved to eat. That way, I didn’t feel like I was missing out on dessert or anything because I was eating a snack after dinner like everyone else.
If you LOVE ice cream – My substitute for ice cream is Fage 2% yogurt with honey. I do not feel deprived eating my Fage yogurt with honey for dessert. As a matter of fact, my husband started eating it and now loves it because he saw me eating it so much. At first, when the kids went to bed, we’d meet on the couch to eat our snacks, watch TV and unwind. He’d yell from the kitchen, “You want some ice cream?”. I’d say, “No, I’m eating my yogurt (or chocolate rice cakes or yogurt smoothie)”. “Your taste buds have changed”, he’d scream back from the kitchen. And they had. And I was happy about that. Now, don’t get me wrong. I still eat ice cream and cupcakes on occasion. But I know that I can’t eat them every day like I used to. I normally splurge on a dessert, like a cupcake during the weekend.
If you LOVE fried food – Just because you’re watching what you eat doesn’t mean you have to give up fried foods. Well, yes you do but you can have fake fried food. How? By cooking your food with a T-Fal ActiFry Air Fryer. I make “fried” chicken, french fries, and whatever else I need to “fry” in my air fryer. I cook with it every night and I have more than one. I love my air fryer so much that I travel with mine. That’s right, when I go on vacation with my family, we usually rent a house to stay in. I’ll FedEx my air fryer to the vacation rental so I can use it to cook during our vacation. Yes, that is how much I love my air fryer.
LOSE 10 POUNDS IN A MONTH TIP #8: EAT ONLY “GOOD” CARBS
Let me just say something about carbs. I only eat good carbs. You know what they are – whole wheat bread or tortillas, brown rice, cereal with whole grains and sweet potatoes. I do not eat white rice, potatoes, pasta, white bread, bagels, cake and stuff like that. As a general rule of thumb, if the carb is white, then it ain’t right!
LOSE 10 POUNDS IN A MONTH TIP #9: TRACK YOUR FOOD
I try to track my food daily using MyFitnessPal. If you are more of a pen and paper kind of person, buy a journal and write down your daily food intake. It will definitely make a difference in what you eat.
LOSE 10 POUNDS IN A MONTH TIP #10: THROW OUT THE BAD FOOD
Get all the bad food out of your house. This may be hard to do if you have kids or don’t live alone. But don’t buy your favorite snacks and foods that cause weight gain and keep them in your house. If you do this, you are setting yourself up for failure. As much as possible, only keep healthy food in your home. A trick I use is to have my own shelf in the pantry and refrigerator. Everyone in my family knows not to eat anything from my shelves that are stocked with foods that keep me on track. And the great thing is that when I go into the pantry or fridge to get something to eat, I automatically go to my shelf. I don’t even look at the food on the other shelves.
In this blog post, I’ve given you the personal tips I learned during Redbook’s Wedding Dress Challenge on how to lose 10 pounds in a month. If you religiously follow these 10 rules when dieting, the weight will come off in no time. No, it’s not easy but it works. Stay strong and be strong. If you want to learn the exact foods I ate, my meal plans and my exercise routines, check out my ebook.
And don’t forget to tell me in the comments how much weight you want to lose.