5 Easy πŸ’― but Effective βœ” Ways to Lose the Weight πŸ’ƒ (and Keep It off! πŸ’ͺ) in 2018 πŸŽ‡ ...

All girls are looking for easy and effective ways to lose weight and keep it off. The new year is here and that means it's time to fulfill the resolutions we made for 2018. And if you're like the 45% of Americans who promised to lose weight this year, this one's for you. Less than 10% of people actually keep their resolutions, so here are 5 easy and effective ways to lose weight and keep it off. Start thinking about what you're promising for next year because you got this girl!

1. Get Your Mind Right

This is the most important thing when it comes to weight loss. It's so easy and most people who fail are simply sabotaged by themselves. You have to be committed IN YOUR MIND to your weight loss goals or you will never succeed. You have to decide what's more important to you - pizza and ice cream? Sitting inside watching another episode of that TV show? Or is having the body or health or certain number on the scale what matters most to you? Only you can decide that. You will put effort into whatever your priorities are. You control what you put in your mouth. You control the physical activities you do. Commit your mind and thoughts to your goal and your body will follow. This is one of the top easy and effective ways to lose weight and keep it off.

2. Start Small and Realistic

I know. I know. Everyone wants a beach body in 10 days and so they dive headfirst into a fad diet that consists of eating only celery and drinking water because that must surely be the way to get there. WRONG. EVERY. SINGLE. TIME. We live in a world of instant gratification and so this idea of quick weight loss is understandable, albeit unrealistic. And when the scale doesn't move and we are hangry, we in turn feel defeated, unmotivated and drown our diet failure sorrows with a pint of Ben and Jerry's. Sound familiar? Stop the madness! By starting with small steps and realistic goals you are far more likely to actually lose the weight, instead of losing your motivation.

Realistic weight loss goals?
Aim to lose a pound a week or go down a dress size in a few months, instead of a few days.
Satisfying diet tips?
- Switch to diet soda from the full sugar pop.
- Aim to introduce more water into your daily routine by alternating between a sugary drink one meal and the next meal drink a bottle of water.
- Use Splenda or natural sweetener in your tea or coffee instead of sugar.
- Buy sugar-free baked goods at the grocery store instead of packaged cookies (most stores carry everything from sugar-free cookies and cake mixes to sugar-free pies and ice cream).

- Cut down on your carb consumption by eating riced cauliflower or mashed cauliflower β€œpotatoes."
- Make sandwiches and burgers into lettuce wraps to forgo the bread.
- Eat spiralized vegetables in place of pasta.
- Buy frozen vegetables instead of the canned ones for better taste. Or better yet, eat fresh.
- Eat fruit when you have a sweet tooth.
- Choose baked instead of fried chicken.
- Choose a salad for dinner a couple times a week.
- Drink almond or nut milk instead of cow's milk.

Realize that food should always be enjoyable and you never have to give up any of your favorite foods, just learn ways to make similar substitutions. There are food substitutions for everything these days.

New to exercise?

- Start with a simple, 30-minute daily exercise of your choice. Push your body to its own limit, not above its limit. If you can only make one walk around the block, then do that every day. Your body will condition itself and you will begin to comfortably be able to do a little bit more and more.
- Anytime you park your car, park at the furthest end of the lot.
- Always take the stairs.
- Take more trips when carrying in groceries.
- Play with your kids at the playground instead of sitting on the bench watching.

Anytime you have the option to be physical, do it. You will form habits that just become second nature to you.

Your diet and exercise regimen can and should be enjoyable to you. By starting slow, you allow your body to become accustomed to these small changes and after a while, those choices you made will become just how you eat and drink. You will no longer crave soda. Your body will never be satisfied unless you drink water. You WILL notice a difference in your energy levels and the way you feel when you choose to eat fresh, clean food as opposed to junk and fast food. Your body will crave the healthy stuff where it once craved chips and fried chicken. WHAT?! You say. There's no way you would ever crave a salad over a big juicy burger? Trust me. It's real. It will happen if you give your body the proper time to adjust. And you will wonder how you ever lived on all that take out.

3. Weigh Yourself Every Day

Yes, you read that right. I know that contradicts everything you have probably heard about staying away from the scale or only weighing yourself once a week. But successful weight loss requires accountability and there's no better accountability partner than your scale (or tape measure if you're measuring your progress in inches lost). By weighing yourself every day you can be aware of your current weight and adjust your daily goals in accordance. So you have lost a pound today? Great! Don't undo it by cheating with that piece of cake at the office.

Or yes, you lost a pound so you can consciously decide to splurge at your friend's birthday, even though you might gain it back. Better than gaining an extra pound, right? Or you weigh yourself and see that the take-out dinners you've been eating the last two nights have led to a two pound gain, so you know you need to really buckle down the next few days or week and eat a little healthier or do a bit of extra cardio. It's really up to you what your personal limitations are, but look, your diet is part of your daily existence. You make food choices every day, multiple times a day. And for the most successful weight loss and weight management, you have to make some of your daily habits a bit healthier.

It's unrealistic to think you will only eat healthy and exercise like a pro every day for the rest of your life. You will fall into temptation sometimes. You will be too lazy to exercise some days. There will be cake. Not only will you sometimes fall off the bandwagon, you should. Let yourself enjoy a Christmas cookie, a dinner out with friends, a piece of your birthday cake. Nobody has ever completely sabotaged their body with one slice of pizza. Use your scale to keep these moments in check and you will be just fine. But remember tip number two and don't be unrealistic. If you spend the night out with friends, you will probably have to do a little extra work to make up for it. Be as honest with yourself as the scale is to you.

4. Cardio is Not Your Friend

Well, not your best friend anyway. So many people spend all their exercise time devoted to cardio and are completely missing out on the activity that not only works better, it works in a shorter amount of time. Strength training! And before you protest, no that does not mean you will develop a body like a bodybuilder (unless you're a guy and then yes, you probably could). There is such a lack of knowledge for women when it comes to exercise and strength training. It has been drilled in our heads that plugging away on treadmills and ellipticals is the key to our weight loss dreams, which is nowhere near as effective as strength training.

Now don't get me wrong, cardio has it's place, but instead of spending 45 minutes in the gym going at it on the treadmill, your time (and body) is much better spent doing 15 minutes of cardio and 30 minutes of strength training. When we incorporate strength training into our exercise routine, we are not only burning calories while we work out but our bodies are still burning calories LONG AFTER WE HAVE LEFT THE GYM. Why? Because strength training builds our muscles and muscles burn fat. The more muscles we have, the higher our basal metabolic rate, which is the number of calories our bodies burn at rest. So basically, as you sit here reading this, your body is burning calories. And if you went out and did some strength training and built up a little more muscle, your body would be burning more calories while doing absolutely nothing. Pretty sweet huh?

Now rest assured, your body will not turn into the Incredible Hulk when performing these types of exercises. As women, we do not have enough testosterone to create muscles like that. Strength training for us results in fat loss, toned abs, arms, and legs. So what type of exercises are considered strength training? That would be activities such as:
- Pushups
- Situps
- Lunges
- Planks
- Squats
which should all be performed in β€œreps” or sets. Meaning you do 10 or 12 pushups, rest for a few seconds, then do 10 or 12 again, rest, do them again for a total of 3 reps or sets. Then move onto the next exercise. Or you can choose to do one set of each exercise (so 10 or 12 of each) then do another round for a total of three times, in what's called a circuit. It's up to you how you prefer to do your sets, both ways or great.

You can also pick from a ton of different strength training exercises depending on the parts of the body you want to target, etc. Remember! When it comes to exercise, do what you can! If you can only do 4 or 5 of a certain type, do what you can. One is better than none and your body will build your endurance until you can do 10 or 12! Strength training can be done in or out of a gym so don't let lack of a membership or embarrassment keep you from getting those toned abs you've always wanted. Train smarter not harder!

5. Use Supplements Wisely

Supplements, when used correctly and realistically, can be a great addition to your weight loss plan. Appetite suppressants can really come in handy when trying to get your calorie count under control. Some popular appetite suppressants are Phentermine, which has to be doctor prescribed, through your PCP or a specialized weight loss clinic and L-Theanine or St. John's Wort which are actually vitamins created for mood support but have been reported to have appetite suppression as a side effect. Fat burners are great to speed the metabolism of processing food, as well as burning fat in foods you may be eating. Roxy Lean is a pill sold at GNC and has some great reviews. But there is no magic pill for weight loss. The pills were made to go alongside a diet and exercise plan. You have to put in the work.

So there you have it my beautiful readers, 5 easy and effective ways to lose the weight and keep it off in 2018. Set your mind to it, be realistic and start small, weigh yourself every day, do strength training and use supplementation wisely. By following these tips, you are on your way to a leaner, meaner, stronger more confident you! I myself followed these easy tips and have lost almost 100 pounds and kept it off for more than 10 years! So I know y'all can do it too! Through it all, though, be confident in yourself and love who you are at any weight, shape or size. Your worth is more than a number on a scale or a dress and it's for sure not for anyone else to tell you what that number needs to be. Your weight loss journey should be about you and only you and becoming the person that YOU want to be.
Have or did any of these tips work for you?
I would love to hear comments on your successes!
XO Jena
*Based on a study at statista.com
**Based on a study at statisticbrain.com .