Making a lifestyle change to get healthy and/or lose weight is a journey unique to each of us. While you're on your way, hearing about other people's transformations can be inspirational and encouraging.
So, if you're in need of a little motivation, check out these weight loss tips from people who have been there and done that.
Matt Schiffman, VP of Brand Management at RSP Nutrition, lost, and kept off, over 45 kilograms after he decided to take charge of his health through small daily improvements.
One improvement he implemented immediately was a shift in his diet. "For me, a ketogenic diet worked well because I love fatty cuts of meat and savoury foods," he told INSIDER.
But you can't force it. That's why his advice is to find a diet that works for you and allows you to eat the types of foods you love. "There is no one single right diet, but there is a diet that is right for you," Schiffman said.
Intermittent fasting is at the centre of professional firefighter Mike DeMaria's weight loss. He recently lost 10 kilograms by sticking to a strict eating schedule through intermittent fasting (IF).
Eating only between the hours of noon and 8:00 pm, he said e watched the weight melt off of him. As he began to lose weight, he also felt more energised and started to work out more frequently in the gym switching between running, Stairmaster, weights, and other exercises.
One tip from DeMaria: avoid doing the same workout every day. "Some days I run five to seven miles outside, while others I may run two to three miles on the treadmill," he told INSIDER. He also alternates between the Stairmaster, quick plyo workouts with burpees, push-ups, etc., and lifting weights.
As an Army veteran, April Storie told INSIDER that physical fitness has always been a part of her life. But in December 2016, her dad died, and the grief was unexpected, immense, and exhaustive, which led to poor food choices and lack of physical activity.
In November 2017, she said she discovered an app called Aaptiv and purchased a one-year subscription. "As I began to move more, I started making healthier eating options," said Storie. "I eliminated all inflammatory causing foods and stopped all supplements and pain medications with the goal of allowing my body's systems to heal and restore themselves," she explained.
Storie used the meditation section of the Aaptiv app morning, noon, and night to help eliminate stress, and the yoga and walking programs for gentle yet effective movement while her body healed. Aten 10 months, Storie is down 11.7 kilograms and has her sights set on returning to 5km running races.
IRONMAN Foundation ambassador athlete Marcus Cook is proof that patience and perseverance wins every single time. Cook dropped from 221.8 kilograms down to 105.6 kilograms in a year and a half after his close friend and boss died from cancer.
"Before he died, he said 'I'm dying because I have an incurable disease, and you're dying because you have a choice,'" Cook told INSIDER. "When he said that to me, I changed everything about what I was doing and made an about-face turn.
To get started, Cook committed to doing something new every day, a tip he often gives to others. "I realised that my weight didn't appear overnight, so it wasn't something that I could change in one day," he said.
His something new included parking his car far away from the entrance of the store, taking the stairs up six floors instead of the elevator, and then swapping out a burger for a salad at the restaurant instead. These small changes led to Cook setting a goal to complete an IRONMAN triathlon.
"Three years ago, I weighed close to 226 kilograms and could barely swim a lap," said Cook. And now, after reaching his ultimate fitness goal of finishing the IRONMAN World Championship triathlon on behalf of the IRONMAN Foundation in Hawaii this month, Cook gets to celebrate.
After turning 30, Allan Misner said he began packing on weight.
"I went through years of yo-yo dieting, and it wasn't until I hit on a single change that helped me lose weight and keep it off, Misner told INSIDER.
It was a mindset change that eventually led to a 25-kilogram weight loss in 11 months.
"Weight loss is only possible if you make a mindset change," Misner said. This comes from finding your why.
"When you have a deep and emotional why (mine was my daughter), you have something much stronger than willpower: you have commitment," he explained. "My daughter, Bekah, was getting into Crossfit and mud runs, and I was getting less and less fit (I was around 40% body fat and getting fatter)," he said. "I realised I was going to miss out if I didn't do something, plus, I didn't want to watch her from the sidelines - I wanted to be in it with her," he said.
So, Misner committed to getting healthy and fit, and within 11 months he was in good enough shape to complete a Tough Mudder with his daughter.
Katie Dunlop, creator of the workout and health movement Love Sweat Fitness, lost the 20 kilograms she gained in college by ditching fad diets and trendy workout plans. She follows three simple rules: have a clear "why," dream big, and plan small.
"For years the only 'why' I had was, to be skinny so I'll fit in better, and boys will like me," Dunlop told INSIDER. "It's sad but true, and I don't think I was alone in that very superficial reasoning," she added.
When she finally hit her breaking point, she was 20 kilograms overweight, dealing with depression, and facing the lowest point in her life. That flipped the switch and was the moment her "why" changed.
"For the first time in my life I was able to recognise that it was about more than weight, I wanted to wake up every day feeling good from the inside out, and I recognised the only way to do that was to make healthy changes," she explained.
And when it comes to planning small, Dunlop said it's often easier to start by adding something into your routine than to take something out of it. "If your goal is weight loss, instead of starting with cutting out certain foods, try adding more veggies to your plate; you can slowly start to transition to less junk and more healthy foods."
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