This article is sponsored by BikiniBod. All opinions are my own.
If you've been reading my articles, lately you probably notice I am on a bit of a health and fitness kick. I've already talked about eating healthier. And I have already given the dirty deets to cutting calories in small ways without having to eat food that isn't good. Now I get to talk about my favorite part of losing weight, exercise! Now before you start groaning about the word “Exercise,” please stay open minded about that word. Exercise comes in many shapes and forms. For example, a few things that people would not consider exercising but they are included, cooking dinner, grocery shopping, mowing the lawn, walking in your neighborhood, dancing, and even cleaning the house. So what I plan to talk to you all about is how I managed to lose 14 pounds in 59 days with exercise, barely any change in my diet, and taking a daily supplement.
So first let's talk briefly about food. I speak more about what foods you should eat more often in my How to Eat Healthier in Your 20's article. But for the sake of my weight loss journey I am only pointing out the few foods I chose to cut out first. If you want to see weight loss quickly, the easiest way to get there is by cutting out the bad foods. What I consider to be bad foods in my diet is fast food and sweets in particular. I am so addicted to sweets, and I know that I usually have between 3-5 sweet snacks a day. These sweets can range from Ice cream, candy, soda, cookies, and even pie or cake.
Since I am so dedicated to losing weight, this was the item I decided I would cut out. I would still have sugar from fruits, jam, etc.. But no more of the sugary snacks. This is the only dietary change I did during my weight loss time frame other than taking the Bikini Bod supplement. Another side note, I did not make any dietary changes the first 30 days of my weight loss journey. It was not until month two that I decided I was going to try a little harder to diet.
What is Bikini Bod?
Okay, so you are probably wondering what the heck is Bikini Bod? Well let me tell you, it is awesome. While I do not think it is the sole purpose for my weight loss, it has helped. This is a dietary supplement you take daily about 15-30 minutes before your first meal. The supplement is supposed to curb your appetite, boost your metabolism, make your skin smoother and makes your hair and nails grow like crazy. It also has the equivalent of caffeine that you get in a single cup of coffee. I take the pill first thing in the morning with my allergy pill and go about my normal day. The added benefit of taking Bikini Bod is that the ingredients are all natural, and the pill itself is Vegan-friendly.
The first thing I noticed was how much longer my hair got while taking the supplement. It went from being right at my shoulder to an inch below my shoulder within a couple of weeks. I thought nothing of it at first until I went to the doctor and realized that I had also lost 6 lbs 3 weeks into me taking the pills. That's when I realized hey, those pills may be working! As for my nails, I did have to clip them more often than I am used to. I prefer my nails to be shorter, so I was cutting them pretty often. I did have a caffeine boost from the supplements, but I am a caffeine fiend, and I still had coffee on top of the pills.
I do think the pills helped boost my metabolism since I was losing weight fairly quickly at first. While my workout routine was a little more strenuous than it was before me taking the pills, I think they may have helped in me losing the pounds so quickly at first. But overall, I think they helped! While I do believe I would've lost weight without my exercise routine, I do not believe my results would have been as much as they were.
My Weight Loss Exercise Routine
I had to create a workout routine for myself for two reasons.
1. I work from home, so that means my lifestyle went from sedentary to barely moving. So I have to make up for that for having chunks of time where I am moving.
2. I feel better when I am moving. On the days where I do not do any exercise, it is hard for me to focus on my work and I feel antsy. So I make a point to do some exercise daily.
My schedule consists of some bike riding, weight lifting, hiking, walking and running. While the varied approach may seem a little intimidating, I think it is the best way to continue to exercise without getting bored. Also its a good way to mix things up, so you work more muscles in your body overall.
I got a new gym buddy, Lauran, so we now go to the gym 2-4 times a week. If you have not read my article, Why Group Workouts Keep You Motivated, you'll know that I work best in exercise when I have a friend there with me. So having a buddy to tell me, “let's go to the gym,” even on days when I am feeling more sluggish than usual, actually helps. We stay there for about an hour and 10 minutes each time and choose a different section of our body to work. We alternate between lower back and legs, triceps and shoulders, and biceps and upper back. We make sure to do squats, 100 abs and stretch every time regardless of which segment we are doing that day. Just to add some cardio to the mix, we ride our bikes to and from the gym. The ride comes to about 15 minutes each way to get there.
The gym has made an enormous difference in my weight loss I am sure. The thing about lifting weights is that it takes a little time before you see results especially if you are overweight. But do not get discouraged, because even if you cannot see the results, you start to feel them. You sleep better and all those muscles you develop help burn fat from your body more quickly. And eventually, you'll begin to look as good as you feel. I love the going to the gym, and now we've reached a point where we are timing ourselves on how long it takes us to get there on our bikes. So far the record time returning is 13 minutes.
On top of my weight lifting routine, I make sure to get some cardio in by hiking twice a week with my friend Sadia. We go on our walk for about an hour twice a week in different parks, and we talk the whole way. The best part about hiking is that the only indication that you've been exercising is the fact that you are sweating profusely in the end. Since you are walking up and down different hills, you are burning way more calories than you may think. I use the MapMyRun app that tracks our trails and calories, and we usually burn between 500-800 calories each time we hike. I also have a Fitbit that tells me how many flights of stairs I do in a day, and it often says we do over 20 flights of stairs after a good hike. We know this is a great cardio workout for us but also a great way to vent. And again another reason I get my butt up and go is because I have a friend to do it with.
On the days that I am not hitting the gym or going on a hike with Sadia, I still have to be sure to get some daily steps in. So I take a walk around my neighborhood. I walk to a nearby park, about a mile away, with a track where I can use my 252k app. What this app does is gradual changes in interval training routine for 30 minutes to prepare you to run a 5k on your own. Even if you do not plan on running a 5k, interval training is a great way to lose weight. The app tells you when to walk and when to run. If you are not a runner, don't worry it starts you with baby steps, so you only run for a period then walk, then run, then walk. Eventually, you will get to the points where you are running the entire way.
So after all of this running around over the course of two months, I notice some changes. I am sleeping like a baby as I mentioned before, I have so much energy, and I am pretty motivated to work harder on my business. Exercise is no longer something that I groan about having to do. It's something I love to do, and the additional benefit is losing weight slowly but surely.
I am excited to be 14 lbs lighter but, I still have some ways to go to get back to where I was in college. But I know that with continued regular exercise, and chopping off more bad foods in my diet, I'll be there in due time. I have decided to stick with the Bikini Bod supplements to aid in my weight loss for now and see how it goes. To all the millennials out there working to lose weight just take it one day at a time and one day, you will start to notice the change.