Weight loss can be a struggle. Adding a quarantine to the mix and being stuck in our homes for months certainly doesn’t help either. However, I managed to lose 20+ lbs during it and here is how.
My Struggle With Weight
If you’re anything like me, weight has always been something I struggled with. I was always on the chubby side as a kid and through my teenage years. Even though I was in sports regularly and my mom cooked pretty healthy meals, I guess you can say it was just in my genes.
It wasn’t until college after breaking up with a toxic and absuive boyfriend (another story for another time) where I started to get control of my life and my weight. This was around 2014 and I was a whopping 175. I know to some this might not seem like a lot but for someone that is 5’2 is was too much. Within 6 months I got to my goal weight of 130 and was able to maintain that weight for almost three years.
Then I met Josh and 9 months later I got pregnant. A combination of that “relationship weight” and having a baby really put a toll on my body. I never hated my body, I am proud of what it has accomplished and gone through. However, the extra weight really affected my way of life and confidence. Once Jordy started walking I realized I couldn’t keep up anymore and I was getting winded within 5 minutes of playtime. This was not okay. So around May of 2019 I started on my new weight loss journey. I think I lost maybe 10lbs, I honestly don’t even recall my starting weight, but the weight loss was short lived. It lasted maybe two months and I put it all back on and then some. After that I kinda gave up.
Fast forward to March of 2020, we were hit with COVID-19 and placed under quarantine. I don’t know if something just finally clicked, or if I felt the need to come out of quarantine better than I came in it, but I got my shit together. This was the same feeling I got back in 2014 when I lost a lot of weight.
I started out weighing 188lbs in March. I was unhappy, I had super low confidence, and I wanted better for myself. Today, I weigh 165lbs and have lost 23lbs and went from a size 14/12 to a size 10! I feel stronger, happier, and a lot more confident and this is only the beginning.
I know many of you are wanting to know how I did it and could go without the story, but I felt it was important to know where I came from and how I got to where I am today. So without keeping y’all waiting any longer. Here is how I lost 20+ pounds during quarantine and how I’m continuing to lose weight!
How I Lost 20+lbs During Quarantine
I just want to note that I am not a medical professional. These are things that I did that worked for me, however they may not work for you.
1. Low carb/ No added sugar
For me carbs are my guilty pleasure. I love them in all forms. I cut out all processed carbs like breads, pasta, beans, and potatoes. I also cut out added sugars. We as humans consume a ridiculous amount of sugar and carbs daily. Way more than what we need. Just look at a nutritional label or that Starbucks drink you have every day. Natural sugars are okay, like those those that are found naturally in fruits and such, however I also cut out sugar alternatives like honey and agave. I used stevia and monkfruit sweetener when I needed to sweeten my coffee. But I primarily didn’t consume much sugar or processed carbs.
2. Eat whole foods
This ties into #1, but I rarely ate processed foods. I primarily ate just meats, vegetables, and fruits. This can be easily done by shopping the perimeter of the store and staying out of the aisles where the processed foods are.
*Note: having a toddler does make that difficult. I did still buy Jordy her snacks like goldfish and fig newtons, however it did take me a lot of willpower not to consume them.
3. Drink WATER
I know you hear this everywhere, but it makes the biggest difference. I try to drink at least 4 bottles of water a day. I could tell the difference in days where I didn’t drink any water versus when I did. Not only did it help me stay full during the day, but it hydrated my skin and aided in digestion!
*Pro Tip: get a reusable cup that has a straw. Something about drinking your water through a straw makes you consume more. Also stay away from those big jugs like hydroflasks, and clear cups. Having large quantities of water and being able to see how much water you need to consume, makes it harder for you to consume it. Stick to a 22 fl oz reusable cup with a lid and straw!
4. Intermittent fasting
Intermittent fasting for those who have never heard of it is when you fast for a period of time and you only eat during a small window during the day.
I currently fast from 8pm at night to 12-1pm in the afternoon. This means I skip out on eating breakfast and my first meal is lunch. I then have a snack between lunch and dinner, making dinner my last meal.
There are different way to do intermittent fasting, however the 16-8 method is what works for me.
5. Exercise 30 min a day 4-6 days a week
This was probably the easiest out of all the things I did. I work out 6 days a week for at least 30 minutes. My workouts usually consist of 30-45 minutes HIIT workouts and strength training and then I leave one day for yoga and then one day to rest. However, there are days when I don’t feel like working out. So on those days I go for a walk with Jordy around the neighborhood for at least 30 minutes.
Moving your body is important. So even if its just a quick 30 minute walk, move your body!
6. Fasted cardio
This ties in #4 and #5. I do most if not all of my workouts during my fasting period. I workout everyday around 11am before my fast is over and I can eat lunch around 12-1pm.
There is research on doing workouts during a fasted state claiming more weight loss. This is due to the fact there is no food in your system so your body has to burn fat for fuel during the workout. I am not sure how much of it is true, but it is something that I have been doing.
I prefer to workout in the late morning/early afternoon because I have more energy, however when I have to go back to the office my workouts will be in the morning, yet still during my fasted state.
7. Burn more than you consume
Regardless of whatever diet you want to follow, you wont see much progress if you aren’t burning more than you consume. This is standard science, you have to burn more calories than you consume. Whether it be on a daily basis or a weekly one.
The best way to do that is through tracking what you’re eating and burning. I can honestly say that when I wasn’t tracking my food, I really thought I wasn’t consuming as much as I was, even though I was eating healthy. Too much of a good thing can still be bad. I love the lifesum app, it is visually appealing to me and is user friendly. I use it to track all of my meals and water intake. I also use an Apple Watch to monitor to my fitness and the data automatically uploads to the lifesum app to show me what I’ve burned.
There are tons of apps out there, definitely check a couple out to see what works best for you!
8. Get enough sleep
Every time I would see sleep on a list for weight loss tips I would roll my eyes, but getting enough sleep is so important. Outside of the health benefits for getting your necessary recommend hours of rest, it has a huge affect on your mental state the next day.
When I don’t get enough sleep I am more likely to eat bad and not workout. I am usually in an irritated mood and I don’t get anything accomplished that day. So sleep is a very important part in helping you stay on track!
9. Don’t focus on the scale
Listen y’all, the scale isn’t the only way to measure how far you’ve come. I know this post is how I lost 20+ lbs, but I’ve lost way more than just pounds. I’ve lost inches, I have more stamina, I’ve gained more confidence, all these things the scale could never show me.
I only look at the scale maybe every two weeks. The best way to see physical progress in my opinion is through pictures. Every Monday in the morning when I wake up I take a picture. That is where I found happiness in my progress when the scale wouldn’t move.
Also, be kind to yourself. Our body is constantly changing so don’t beat yourself when the scale goes up a little or you look a little bloated in one picture. Just keep going, because I promise you the before and after results will blow you away!
10. Don’t let one slip up ruin everything
This is a major key right here! We are all prone to bad days, mess ups, and cheating on our healthy lifestyle habits. For me personally I was one to dwell on it and allow it to ruin all my progress. You know what I’m talking about…You eat some french fries and instead of just moving on you feel bad about it and spiral out of control and eat bad for the rest of the day and then the rest of the week, and then all your progress is lost.
DONT DO THAT!
I never feel bad about straying off course or eating something I shouldn’t have or missing a workout. If I want French fries I will eat some damn French fries lol, but I wont let that ruin my entire day. I know my next meal will be something more aligned with my new eating habits. If i miss a workout, I will make sure to do better the next day. Give yourself some grace. Don’t let it ruin all your progress. Just hop back on track for the next meal or the next day!