Alexia
Just Said Yes June 2022

Best way to lose weight without taking extreme measures

Alexia, on May 19, 2021 at 11:29 PM Posted in Fitness and Health 1 19
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Hi everyone!

First I want to start off by saying that while yes, I should love myself the way I am...I am not happy with the way I look. In high school and when I first met my FH, I was only 90 pounds (which for my height is not very good lol). I want to aim to be around 130-150 for my wedding which is more than a year away right now. I am currently weigh 180lbs. I am going to start by cutting a lot of junk out of my diet but it's so hard because the medication I'm on for depression makes me want to eat everything and anything. The wedding date is not set in stone but I do want to be married in the fall because in Vermont where we want to marry the snow will arrive at any given point.

Last week my FH and I went on a mile run (he goes all the time but this was my first time running willingly lol) and it was great! I lost 3 pounds already from it and I want to continue to push myself to run at least 2 times a week once I get comfortable doing it. What else can I do? I'm not really one for dieting because I am afraid that it will mess with my body so much that it'll throw off my meds from working.

So I ask again, what else can I do? How have you ladies lost weight before the wedding? TIA for the help!


19 Comments

Latest activity by Christy, on June 14, 2021 at 1:32 AM
  • Hannah
    Master July 2019
    Hannah ·
    • Flag
    Losing weight is a mathematical formula of calories in vs. calories out. You need to be at a calorie deficit to lose weight. This can be done as a combination of being mindful of what you eat and exercise. Free apps like MyFitnessPal can help you track calories or you can go with a paid program like Weight Watchers or Noom. Crash/fad diets aren't the most effective because once you stop eating that way, you gain it all back. The best thing to do is to be mindful of portion sizes and eat more whole foods and less junk (cut chips, candy, soda, etc that you might eat). That along with healthy exercise can help you reach (and stay) at your goal weight. Scientists suggest that healthy weight loss is up to 2 pounds a week.
    • Reply
  • Elizabeth
    Dedicated August 2021
    Elizabeth ·
    • Flag
    I was in the same situation as you! I weighed more than I wanted to a year before my wedding and had a medication that made weight loss challenging. I am definitely not one for diets, and find strenuous physical activity difficult to maintain on a daily/weekly basis. Here's what I did, hopefully it may be of help to you!


    1) Instead of depriving myself, I thought about the food I was consuming and portion size. I found healthy alternatives to snack on when I was hungry rather than telling myself no. I would let myself have a piece of cake, but make it half the size I would typically eat. I would give myself achievable challenges, such as cut gluten out for one meal a day. I found this much more sustainable in the long run than dieting!
    2) The biggest and most important switch I made was cutting out a huge chunk of processed foods from my diet. (Even if it's marketed as a healthy meal, anything premade usually contains a TON of sodium!) It can be so tempting to grab quick, premade snacks and meals during a busy work week. To combat this, I began taking one day a week to meal prep and compiled lists of quick meals that required minimal work when I was too tired to cook. I even got to a point where I replaced my processed granola bar snacks with homemade ones. I keep them in the freezer until I'm ready to eat one, and they thaw very quickly! Meal prep and homemade freezer meals will be your friend.
    3) As far as exercise goes, find something that you can look forward to. I hate running, but I began going on long walks a few times a week. I'll throw on a podcast and bring a bottle of fruit-infused water. If the weather is bad, I'll do some yoga while watching tv just to get moving.
    Don't try and make huge changes all at once, or you'll burn out quickly. Start implementing a few things here and there, and eventually these healthy habits will become second nature to you. And most importantly, have fun with it! I actually found healthy snacks and exercise I get excited about, it doesn't need to be a punishment! Good luck with your journey, you've got this!
    • Reply
  • Givemeallthepups
    Expert February 2020
    Givemeallthepups ·
    • Flag
    Hi! It sounds like you’ve got some medical background that would benefit from you consulting a professional. I would talk to your doctor / a nutritionist to have them help you get on a sustainable path without compromising your health or quality of life.
    • Reply
  • mrswinteriscoming
    Rockstar December 2021
    mrswinteriscoming ·
    • Flag

    I think you need to ask yourself whether your intention is to lose weight or to lose fat. I was 215lbs when I decided to start losing ‘weight’ and around the time I got to the 185lb mark I began going to the gym and doing weights. By eating right and doing weights, I toned my body by losing fat and gaining muscle and was in great shape, but I had a desire to get down to 170lbs and so I switched to lower calories and cardio. In the end I got to 170lbs but I had lost the muscle and was actually in worse ‘shape’ than I was at 185lbs. I say this to help you draw the distinction and identify what your actual goal is.

    If your goal is to lose weight then you will do this by creating a calorie deficit – eating less calories than your body burns off. Cardio such as running will help with this because it burns a lot of calories and thus will increase the amount your body burns off. On the other hand, if your goal is to lose fat then you’d want to still be in a calorie deficit but a very modest one, and focusing on high protein intake so as to help you build muscle – of course this will also require you to hit the gym and pump iron (or do weight based programs at home using body weights or such as by doing pilates).

    As someone though who has since gained back weight (due to COVID) and now has binge eating disorder from the restriction I put myself through, I would suggest:

    • 1 - don’t cut out whole food groups – if anyone tells you to ‘cut carbs’ do not listen to a word they say as they have no knowledge about the subject – a balanced diet eating foods from all food groups is key to keeping your body satiated and nourished;
    • 2 - restriction tends to create a lovely environment for guilt and self-loathing to grow in, and if you’re anything like me, will cause you to binge later – you don’t need to cut out foods you love but instead ensure you eat them in moderation and if concerned, swap them for suitable alternatives (i.e. if I want a chocolate bar I will have one, but of the three I’m looking at, I’ll pick the one lowest in calories and sugar);
    • 3 - make modest changes gradually or else you may overwhelm yourself and burn out;
    • 4 - weigh yourself weekly at most – our bodies fluctuate daily due to many variables (water intake, bowel movements, how much sodium we’ve ingested etc) so weighing daily tends to be fine until one day the scales read higher than the day before and send you into a panic.

    Good luck OP!

    • Reply
  • Rosie
    Rockstar February 2022
    Rosie ·
    • Flag

    What I personally think helps is -

    1. don't have unhealthy snacks in the house. You can't eat what you don't have.

    2. make easy switches - sparkling water for soda, fruit for snack bars, etc.

    3. drink more water. Whenever I get hungry, I immediately try to have a glass of water. Sometimes, I still feel hungry half an hour later and go and get a snack, but other times the water was enough and I don't.

    4. set yourself up for the week by pre-planning your approach. Whether this is buying healthy lunches so you don't feel tempted to go out and choose fast food, or whether it's acknowledging places where you might be unable to avoid temptation (like a birthday cake for a work colleague that it's hard to refuse) - if you look at these things in advance you will have a better idea of how to avoid being tempted. Or, in the case of cake - you can decide to cut back elsewhere to allow you to have that slice! Reading menus in advance and pre-deciding your healthy option is another approach.

    5. For me personally, intermittent fasting is so much easier than other methods of weight loss. I don't have to count anything - I just restrict my eating to certain hours. This isn't for everyone and some people find it REALLY hard, but it's the method that requires the least brain effort for me, which is why it's been the one I've been able to keep up with! Whatever plan you can stick with - whether it's yoga or weights or jogging or rock climbing - that's the one that's going to be the best. Sure, maybe it's better to drink sparkling water vs diet soda, but diet soda is still better than regular. Even little changes are better than nothing, so don't beat yourself up.

    OH! and I haven't tried it, but I read once about a woman who put post it notes on her snacks indicating what she'd have to do to be able to eat whatever the item was - ie, 10 jumping jacks to have a granola bar, or 15 minutes of skipping to have a packet of chips or whatnot. I presume doing this made her less likely to eat them if she didn't want to do the exercises!

    • Reply
  • Emily
    Devoted June 2021
    Emily ·
    • Flag
    I did WW (which I never thought I would do), I’m 14 lbs down and it’s been a slow journey but I FEEL amazing, which is essentially the goal. Really though, I just cut out eating out, junk food, soda, alcohol, full fat dairy, and anything super high in fat. It was really challenging the first week but now I’m so used to eating like that, that when I splurge and eat bad food it makes me sick. You can do this!
    • Reply
  • Katie
    Rockstar August 2020
    Katie ·
    • Flag
    Hi!! You are very smart to do this in advance and the healthy way 👍 you don’t want to starve yourself and risk your health. I did what Elizabeth did - portion control, still ate whenever I wanted but grabbed an apple rather than chips. I did planks, sometimes for just a few seconds, walks around neighborhood, push ups (on the knee version). I worked with a nutritionist (free through work) to learn about healthy substitutes and hired a personal trainer for once a week appointment (kept me accountable and still with him post wedding!!). Lost 17 lbs. over course of a year. Good luck girlie ❤️❤️❤️
    • Reply
  • Christy
    Dedicated April 2022
    Christy ·
    • Flag
    I lost 25 lbs in 4 months by switching to a whole food diet. No added sugar & no additives/preservatives. It was tough the 1st 2-3 wks, but I made sure to keep my menu simple. I also eased into it. Started reducing, then eliminating foods that I knew were unhealthy & eventually cutting out processed foods altogether for a period of time. I added healthy processed foods back after about a month, but I read the ingredient list on EVERYTHING.


    I think it helped a lot that my goal wasn’t weight loss (I was trying to address chronic pain, fatigue, depression, & anxiety & I did see a therapist & several doctor’s beforehand) & I began my journey before we got engaged, so I wasn’t “shedding for the wedding”. I did everything in order to make myself happier so that I could be the best mom & partner. I can honestly say it was the best decision for my mental/emotional/physical health. And YOGA! I HATED it my entire life, but I started off doing 10 minutes 2-3 days a week & now I do 30 minutes every morning. I never pushed myself. I increased the intensity when I wanted/was ready to. With the exception of my butt (it doesn’t really help with that), I’m in the best shape of my life (& I was a gym rat for years! Kickboxing, weights, treadmill...never gave me the results that Yoga has). I hope my story helps you in some way :-)
    • Reply
  • KYLIE
    Expert May 2019
    KYLIE ·
    • Flag

    I agree with PP's advice that you should probably work with a nutritionist referred to you by your doctor who prescribed you your medication. There may be some macros you need to keep in mind.

    As others have said though--it's really as simple as calories in vs calories out. Before we start on food mindfulness, we often have no idea what a legit healthy portion looks like or how many calories the oil we cook something in has.

    Also, I just wanted to point out for your awareness that you didn't lose three pounds from running a mile. That's not how that works. A pound is roughly 3,500 calories and it's impossible to burn 10,500 calories by running a mile. It's likely when you weighed yourself you had extra water pounds or something. I just wanted to say something so you don't get discouraged and think you're doing something wrong when you don't continue to see results.

    Working out is amazing for your general health, and lifting weights is a great way to burn fat, but it's impossible to out-exercise a bad diet. You must cut food calories to lose weight.

    • Reply
  • Michelle
    Just Said Yes August 2022
    Michelle ·
    • Flag

    Hi there! Health and diet is so personal, and everyone has their own opinion on the matter; that's because we are all different and what works for one may not work for another. But what I can tell you that works 100% of the time is CONSISTENCY! That is the true key to body goals and success.

    I have depression, high anxiety, and gut issues. I've always been a somewhat active, but never consistent, until this last year and a half This is what I've learned for myself:

    1.) Remove "junk" food from house.

    2.) Eat whole foods. I try to limit dairy as it personally does not make me feel my best. But other than that, nothing is "off limits". Try to listen to your body and see how you feel after eating something; if you don't feel good make a mental note to reduce intake. I try to have fresh fruit on hand/ or frozen fruit to eat when I want something sweet. I eat grains (mostly oats, rice or quinoa as once again, I've learned these set best with me). Try to have veggies in every meal - to bulk up my meals - so I have more foods with high nutrition, but lower calories.

    3.) Eat PROTEIN and healthy fats (in moderation)! This is really important to me, as I LOVE eating, and I LOVE eating big portions. I'm not one person to be able to just simply cut the cake in half or have half a burger.. if I have it in front of me, imma gonna eat it all. I could eat a whole FAMILY size bag of chips and still feel "hungry". But I noticed that if I have enough protein in my diet along with fiber, and veggies for bulking up a meal - that I feel more satisfied and satiated). As I'm giving my body the right fuel/nutrition, that most processed items would be lacking, therefore I never feel "full" or satiated. High protein with little bit of healthy fats in the day helps me feel fuller satisfied.

    ~BONUS to eating more whole complete foods - is that after time you will stop craving the "junk" food as much, and the sweets will taste too sugary!

    ~If you are the type of person that likes having clear black and white guidance, then try doing the Whole 30 plan for 30 days - and slowly bring back food groups to see how your body reacts and learn sits well with you. I wouldn't recommend this for everyone. AND I don't think it's a lifestyle. .. but I did this for the first time 3 years ago, and it did change my relationship with food (bonus I lost 13 lbs).
    ~You can log your food - but this can be trigger to your mental wellbeing or create unwelcome habits/thoughts/complexes. I would probably only recommend logging food, if you know you will be mentally healthy enough to handle the numbers in front of you. And/or for when or if you've reached a plateau.

    4.) Drink water! For myself I've found that 100oz of water a day it the minimum I need to feel good. Try to aim towards 0.5 oz of water per lb of body weight - so if you're currently 180 lbs you'd want to aim towards 90oz of water a day. Take note to your body and see how this feels after a few weeks. If you need to adjust or not.

    5.) This one is hard for me.. so still working on it - but GET GOOD SLEEP! Your body repairs itself when you sleep. Lack of sleep can create cortisol aka the stress hormone. Stress can do a number of bad things to your body - including weight gain, or inhabit you from reaching your body goals. Lack of sleep also does NOT help with the depression and mental wellness.
    6.) They say abs are made in the kitchen. Which I've found to be so true. Diet (and consistency) will be the majority of your success. However I also recommend that you exercise.. at minimum starting at 3 days a week for 30-45 minutes each session - working your way up to 5 days a week and increase time per session as you feel fit. Exercising has HELPED ME TREMENDOUSLY with my depression and anxiety. If I could SCREAM IT FROM THE ROOF TOPS, I would! That is how much it's helped me with my overall mental health. As others have said - find something you enjoy doing. Doesn't matter if it's a high calorie burn or not.. if you enjoy it, you'll keep doing it, and CONSISTENCY is key! If you don't enjoy something you'll talk yourself out of doing it.
    ~I recommend taking measurements as a point of reference and not just using the scale. The scale does not paint a complete picture. For example - I weight the same as I did at the end of last year, however, I've lost 5.5 inches off entire body between Jan to May!
    ~Weighing yourself only once a month, around the same time each month.

    A lot can happen in a day, a lot can happen in a YEAR! You got this Smiley smile

    • Reply
  • Alexia
    Just Said Yes June 2022
    Alexia ·
    • Flag

    Thank you all for the responses! I actually was able to get a nutritionist from my insurance (crazy!) because my weight gain seems to be more of a medication side effect so I guess they cover it. I will be seeing them sometime in the next two weeks to start my journey to live a healthier lifestyle. Like someone pointed out, the three pounds I lost was most likely water weight (which I have all the time Smiley sad ) but I am glad to at least get rid of that in any way I can. I'm still gonna take up running and my universities' gym is finally opening back up so I plan to flock to my yoga classes that I was taking last year and the year before. I want to make sure I look good but I also want to feel good because feeling good mentally is way more important to me than looks in the end! Thanks again everyone Smiley heart

    • Reply
  • Chelsea G
    Devoted June 2021
    Chelsea G ·
    • Flag

    I am so happy for you for working on yourself! Like everyone said -- just watch your diet! Don't completely get rid of things you love just eat in moderation. I've gained a lot of weight since being with FH and am working towards that by eating healthier. I already work out and love doing it so it's not that I'm inactive. Sometimes it is just simple things like medication or a health condition that affect your weight and how you gain/lose it (which is what I am learning is why it's so hard for meSmiley sad )

    • Reply
  • Courtney
    Dedicated July 2021
    Courtney ·
    • Flag
    I’ve been doing 5:2 fasting. I eat only 500-700 calories 2-3 times a week. The rest of time I eat what I want. I typically eat eggs for a late lunch and then meat and veggies for dinner. I’ve been doing this since 3/1 and I’ve lost 12 pounds.
    • Reply
  • Alycia
    Expert September 2021
    Alycia ·
    • Flag

    I just started int. fasting 16/8 and its been rough at first but I have seen results. I also started walking 5 times a week and calorie counting. Trying to eat more whole foods and banned my husband from buying snacks.

    I went through COVID depression when my wedding was postponed 3 times and I gained about 20more lbs I'm trying to lose before September. I'm down 10 lbs already.

    • Reply
  • Kari
    Master May 2020
    Kari ·
    • Flag

    The least extreme and easiest and most impactful adjustments to make that I have found are:

    1) Drink lots of water. Being well hydrated makes your entire body (including hormones and metabolic system) function better. If you drink a glass of water before eating you are less likely to overfill on calories. Replace caloric beverages (soda, juice, loaded coffee) with water or seltzer (I find the bubbles help me feel more full) whenever possible.

    2) Reduce sedentary behaviors. As others mentioned, weight loss or gain is a calories in/calories out equation (not always a simple one depending on various hormonal factors, and medication can definitely interfere with this balance), but simply adding exercise to your routine doesn't address the whole problem. Doing a 30 minute workout is great, but not necessarily as important as making sure you aren't sitting for 8 hours nonstop each and every day. Find little ways to increase regular activity in your life. When you go to work or go shopping, park farther away and walk an extra 100 feet to get into the building. Drink enough water that you have to get up to pee every hour. Give yourself "movement breaks" throughout the day. Take the stairs instead of the elevator. Add in a morning walk around your neighborhood before leaving for work. Etc.

    3) Reduce/cut out problematic behaviors gradually, but don't just restrict yourself entirely. If you eat dessert every day, maybe start with a few "no dessert" or "healthy dessert" nights and cut back to having a more indulgent dessert just 1-2x a week. Just making foods "forbidden" usually backfires, and doesn't actually establish a healthy relationship with food or sustainable, healthy behaviors.

    4) Try to eat more fresh, less processed foods including plenty of vegetables (which usually have a pretty high water content and are low in calories) and fresh fruit (usually high water content, can be high in sugar though, so don't overdo it with 6 bananas a day). Heavily processed foods often have preservatives and sodium that can cause bloating and irritate your gut. Less processed foods are typically kinder on your digestive system and easier for your body to convert to useful energy.

    5) Limit alcohol. Alcohol is high in calories (1 gram of carbohydrates is 4 calories, 1 gram of protein is 4 calories, 1 gram of alcohol is 7 calories, and 1 gram of fat is 9 calories). That doesn't mean stop drinking entirely, but it might mean alternating beer and water, or enjoying a mocktail instead of a second cocktail when you go out.

    6) Make sure you consume a mix of carbs, protein, and fats. Protein has the same calorie value per gram as carbohydrates but requires more calories to digest and break down. Carbs are used for energy and your central nervous system runs off of carbohydrates. Simple sugars provide immediate energy and complex carbs and starches provide more sustained energy. Fats help lubricate your joints and tissues and provide slower release energy. You need all three. I repeat. You need all three.

    7) Reduce sugar/cream in coffee. These add calories and have little nutritional benefit.

    8) Find physical activity you like, enjoy, and can sustain. Go for walks. Get out in nature and explore some local hikes. Ride a bike. Join a group fitness class at the gym. Try weight training (not just cardio, cardio, cardio). Start slowly and ease yourself in. A lot of people find that fitness is more enjoyable/sustainable in a social environment with a friend or group for motivation, so don't rule out joining a hiking club or walking group. If you have friends with healthy habits you want to try, ask if you can join in.

    9) Give yourself time to form and stick with habits, and ease yourself into new routines. I've often heard it takes at least 3 weeks to make a daily habit stick, so don't give up on yourself too early. Also don't try to "flip a switch" and go from whatever you are doing now to some version of extreme health because you will burn out and risk injuring yourself or damaging your metabolism. Gradual changes you can stick with are going to do you more good than drastic changes you cannot sustain, and they will be a lot better for your mental health as well. I've run one mile (or more) every single day since Nov 2, 2014, so that's 6+ years at this point. I can stick with it because its a small chunk of my day, isn't too extreme, and fits into my day nicely. When my life is crazy, doing that makes me feel like at least I did one good thing just for me that day, which helps me mentally as well. Healthy is about balance. Its not an extreme sport.

    10) Above all, find ways to de-stress and accept where you are at. Stress impacts your hormones, sleep patterns, immune function, etc which all contribute to metabolic issues that can make reaching and maintaining a healthy weight difficult. If you put a lot of pressure on yourself to lose weight and stress yourself out about it, you'll actually get in your own way. Break your bigger goal (lose 30-50 lbs) down into smaller goals, and focus on other benefits and little victories along the way (that run made me feel great, this healthy grilled chicken salad tastes so good, I feel like I have more energy, wow I took the steps and am not even breathing that hard anymore). When I started dating my husband I was near my heaviest, but I've slowly gotten down to my ideal weight without much effort because I'm just happier, less stressed, and more accepting of myself because I know he loves me and finds me sexy whether I'm 160 lbs or 135 lbs, and I've realized I don't need to look like a stereotypical societal "ideal" to be attractive (my husband doesn't have the body of a model either, and I think he's the sexiest and most wonderful man I've ever met, a realization which has really helped me). I've learned how to enjoy my food, eat more intuitively, and stop punishing myself and feeling guilt if I choose to indulge every now and then. My relationship with my body has improved, and that has probably been the biggest difference. By accepting myself where I was at, I was able to better get to where I wanted to be because I stopped putting so much pressure on myself to reach some distant goal.

    Good luck!

    • Reply
  • Samantha
    Rockstar October 2022
    Samantha ·
    • Flag
    Something small you can do is to cut down on sugary drinks. It can make a big difference. I had no idea how many liquid calories I was consuming!
    • Reply
  • Christy
    Dedicated April 2022
    Christy ·
    • Flag
    View Quoted Comment
    I would just add to your point of “drinking lots of water”: I realized that “lots” really means more than what I thought. I would drink a glass before every meal & some in between & thought I was doing enough. I increased my intake to 3-4 liters a day after FH (who is by no means a health fanatic) said he felt an increase in his energy when he started drinking a liter in the mornings. Within 2 days of increasing my intake, I had sooo many positive improvements in my skin, appetite, and bloating. Now I focus on it every day & carry around a 1/2 gallon container with me!
    • Reply
  • Kari
    Master May 2020
    Kari ·
    • Flag
    View Quoted Comment

    I do feel it necessary to point out that drinking TOO MUCH water can lead to a condition called hyponatremia that is very dangerous.

    The standard recommendation is eight 8-oz glasses of water per day (64-oz or 2L). You absolutely can (and should) up this intake if you are a larger person, its really hot out, you are sweating a lot, you are pregnant, you are really active throughout the day, take certain medications, etc.

    Hyponatremia is most often caused by excess water consumption diluting the amount of sodium in the blood to the point where your body can no longer control how much water is contained within the cells of the body. So its really a combination of too much water and too little sodium, and is most often seen in endurance athletes doing intense exercise on hot days, sweating a lot, and drinking water to rehydrate without consuming enough food, calories, and electrolytes to go along with it. Its really unlikely that you will put yourself in danger by upping your water intake, just be sure to eat/snack adequately too! Don't get into the habit of replacing meals with water as a way to "feel full" because that can backfire dangerously, and if you are on a low sodium diet for other health reasons be extra careful about over consuming water. For the average person, hyponatremia is going to be a non-issue, but I just like to put it out there because some people don't know that you can make yourself really sick by drinking too much water.

    I tend not to drink enough water, and I find when I'm consistent about consuming two full 1L Nalgene bottles each day (2L) in addition to whatever else I'm drinking/eating, I do feel much better. That ends up being a bit more than just 64oz because it doesn't include the milk in my cereal, fresh fruit, drink I have with a meal, etc. I'm getting the 2L I need each day just to healthily exist, plus some extra for sweating, working out, etc. I'll also always drink more if I'm doing an intense workout, sweating a lot, etc. or if I feel bloated from eating really salty foods the day before. Whenever
    I feel bloated I always try to down an extra 16-32oz of water and that really helps!

    • Reply
  • Christy
    Dedicated April 2022
    Christy ·
    • Flag
    View Quoted Comment
    That is true! Thank you for pointing that out. I definitely did my research & talked to my doc before I upped my intake & I should’ve mentioned that! Always always do that first!
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