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My Best Advice: 5 Weight Loss Tips

Diets are not a one-size-fits-all kind of thing, and I do not claim to know the final answer to losing weight. What I do know is that these lifestyle changes helped me to lose thirty pounds and counting, as well as increase my general sense of well-being. Still, I’ve always thought of myself as a beautiful person inside and out, because the size of one’s jeans has nothing to do with beauty. You are all beautiful, and being healthy should enhance your self-esteem, not determine it. With that, I should say I’m not perfect, and that I have had a lot of ups and downs on this weight loss journey; but overall, I am much healthier than when I began. I hope these tips will inspire you to maintain your own healthy lifestyle.

  1. Be realistic with yourself: Telling yourself that you will never again eat a slice of pizza or a cupcake is setting yourself up for failure. And it’s cruel; do not do that to cupcakes. In all seriousness, setting realistic goals has kept me from perpetual disappointment with my progress. Everybody has an innately different body type and shape, and for people like me, a size two is never going to happen. When I set a goal weight, I set it at the upper end of what is clinically suggested as healthy. If I lose more weight?  Cool. If not? Whatever.  My utmost goal is to maintain a healthy lifestyle for the rest of my life, and I know that’s not necessarily determined by a number.

  1. Don’t judge yourself by somebody else’s standard of beauty: Guys, thinspiration is terrifying. What is “thinspiring” is generally not healthy. I am totally guilty of being jealous of my gym-rat friends and their exercise habits, and then beating myself up for not being on their level. In reality, they are just doing what feels best for them. Exercise is important, but I’m not Michael Phelps, nor do I need to be to lead a healthy lifestyle. Develop a health regimen that works for you and stick with it, then be proud of your progress, on your terms.

  1. Eat Healthy: That may seem obvious, but when I first started trying to lose weight, I thought that I could continue eating three plates of crappy food in one sitting at the dining commons, so long as I worked out all the time. This had little effect on my weight. Most experts agree that the food you eat is the most important determiner of health. This does not mean that your food is automatically going to be bland and unappealing. In fact, I love developing healthy recipes that taste awesome. Cooking for myself also allows me to control what I intake, and it is usually a lot healthier than a restaurant meal. Websites like skinnytaste.com are dedicated to developing light and delicious meals. Honestly, eating better has rarely felt inferior to not. I have a lot more energy and the food still tastes good. It’s a win-win.

  1. Take classes at the gym: If you’re a UCI student, you are extremely lucky to have an amazing facility like the ARC. For me, the broad range of classes offered ensures I do not get bored, because man, doing the same thing on the elliptical for an hour is BORING. Taking the classes and getting to know the instructor or the other students also bodes well for accountability. Plus, if you are broke like me and actually paid for a class, you are going to be sure to get your money’s worth.

  1. Indulge your cravings (in moderation): This circles back to the point I made earlier about not depriving yourself of pizza and cupcakes. I eat out and do not restrict myself calorically one to two times a week. I am a dessert fiend, so I eat something sweet several times a week. It can range from fruit with fat free whipped cream (best invention ever) or a square of dark chocolate, to a lightened up brownie. Some hardcore health gurus would disagree with my indulgence policy, but it works for me. If you are looking to rapidly lose weight, which is not a particularly healthy practice (you should at most lose two pounds a week), my attitude towards indulgences may not work for you. Like I said, there is no one-size-fits-all diet regimen.

Courtney Hamilton is an English major, Literary Journalism Minor and Art History Minor at UC Irvine. She is a Her Campus Editor, Editor in Chief of UC Irvine's alternative magazine Incite, a writer for 7 Deadly Magazine, and an editorial intern at OC Weekly.
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