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Several years ago, I decided that my life had to change.  I was very overweight, completely sedentary, and ashamed of what I had allowed myself to become.  I had been on so many diets throughout my life and had always gained the weight back.  This time it was worse than ever.  100 pounds to lose.  I committed to losing the weight and making this the very last time.  I lost 100 pounds and this year makes 3 years of maintaining the weight loss.
In this Instructable, I plan to give you an inside look at what it takes to lose a significant amount of weight (100+ pounds) without gimmicks or nonsense, no shakes or pills required.  I also plan on telling you what it takes (mentally and physically) to maintain that weight for as long as you are willing to put forth the effort! 
Take heart, friends!  Stop reading diet books!  There is NO secret, only science!

Disclaimer: I do not claim to have lost weight in the very healthiest or best manner possible.  I ate processed food, I partook of sugar substitutes, and I indulged from time to time.  This is the way that I lost weight.  It worked for me and has made me into a very healthy person.  I am at the correct BMI for my height and have a great body fat percentage.  That's not to say that it will be the best way for you or that it can't be done in other ways.  This is the experience of just one woman.  I would also like to stress that you should be consulting your doctor before you begin any kind of new diet or exercise routine.

Step 1: Prepare Yourself Mentally for Weight Loss

There are some things you need to consider before you begin any weight loss journey that is as big as ours.

-It will not be comfortable.   You spent at least the last few years being comfortable and if you want to lose weight, you're going to have to switch up your routine.  You will step WAY out of your comfort zone.  You are changing your life and the way you treat your body.

-It will not be an overnight change.   There is a reason that people say "weight loss JOURNEY".  This is something that takes time, like anything else that's worth doing.  It may be years before you reach your ultimate goals.   You will have to remember along the way to celebrate the smaller milestones.  Dropping a pants size, going up a resistance level on the elliptical, having a friend notice a difference, even just feeling better about yourself are all great reasons to celebrate.

-There will be temptation.  The world will not stop because you are losing weight.  Every restaurant you love is still open and the food still tastes amazing.  Work is still stressful.  Lounging is still easier than working out.  The people you hang out with are still not making healthy choices.  The only thing that's changing is you. 

-Your goal needs to be healthy and realistic.  A woman who has 100 or more pounds to lose should not strive to look like their favorite celebrity.  Likewise a man in the same situation should not expect to look like the guy on the cover of a muscle magazine.  Your primary goal should be health.  Any physical changes should be completely secondary.  Make sure to make your goal weight something within the healthy BMI range.  We will talk about realistic time frames in the next step.

You need to ask yourself if you're willing to accept these facts.  if you're not, you may not be ready.  You will have to go into this thing willing to make changes, withstand temptation, and accept any setbacks or mistakes.

If you are going to do this, the first thing I suggest is to make a point of mentioning it to everyone you know.  Tell them what you're doing and what your goal is so that you get asked about your progress constantly.  Post it on your Facebook and Twitter.  Don't give yourself a chance to cop out.  Put it into your head that this is starting and there's no backing down.

Next up, let's talk basics!

Remember to space muscle groups out so you give them a chance to heal between workouts, you list it like that up above I just wanted to elaborate. I've always been told a day is good enough. So working upper body m-w-f and lower body t-th-s so they are properly spaced. I generally lump the core workout in with the upper body since most of those muscles are above the waist with some leg lifts on lower body days.<br><br>If I'm remembering correctly you want to space the workouts because working the muscle causes little tears and ruptures in the muscle tissue and it takes a day to heal itself. Which if you are eating enough protein will result in increased muscle mass. Again this is all if I'm remembering correctly as it has been over a decade since I first learned this all.
<p>Yep, this is exactly right, you'll want to space your workouts by at least one day. Personally, I've had success with my weight loss using a light strength training routine moreso than anything else, but I encourage everyone to stick with what they prefer. The most important thing is to approach your weight loss as a combination of habits that promote an overall healthy LIFESTYLE. That's the basis of any truly effective weight loss strategy. In fact, check out the following article that does a wonderful job of explaining the key factors in a successful, long-term weight loss strategy: http://fatfreeme.net/big5</p>
<p>I didn't mean to imply that water's not good for you, or that drinking plenty of it is unimportant. My point--and the point of the study cited--is that there's no hard and fast rule of 8 glasses per day. &quot;If you are feeling thirsty then you are already dehydrated&quot; is exactly the author's point: Your body will tell you when you need water, and the &quot;eight glasses&quot; figure is purely arbitrary, originally based on rough estimates and blind guesses from the 1940s.</p><p><br>No offense, but one definitely should pay attention to studies. They're admittedly imperfect, and should be considered with a skeptical eye, but they're still far preferable to the &quot;everybody knows&quot; school of pseudoscience. <a href="http://247bestsellersreviews.com/news/85/2014-12-31-2" rel="nofollow"><strong>How to lose weight fast</strong></a></p>
<p>To lose 100 pounds the right way you must reverse the inflammatory fat, this is the dangerous fat this is linked to heart disease, cancer and diabetes. Avoid the commercial diets they do not work.</p><p>Here </p><p><a href="http://howlose100pounds.wordpress.com/2014/02/18/diet-to-lose-100-why-your-childhood-matters/" rel="nofollow">http://howlose100pounds.wordpress.com/2014/02/18/diet-to-lose-100-why-your-childhood-matters/</a></p>
Many thanks for the clarification! I am curious, did you read Body for Life by Bill Phillips? This reminds me of that book. :-)
I had not though it sounds like an interesting read.
He talks a lot about the strategy you just mentioned and it is the one that I still use to this day despite not using his diet plan. His book is also where I learned a lot of the importance of protein to our diets and about nutritional balance at each meal.
One thing to keep in mind for those percentages on nutrition fact sheets; the percentages are based on whats called an 'upper limit' where as if you are trying to lose weight you should shoot for the 'lower limit'.<br><br>Using sodium as an example, the nutrition percentage is based on an intake of 2300mg daily, the upper limit for a healthy diet is around 2500mg and the lower limit is around 1200mg.<br><br>For things like fat and sodium it would be wise to shoot for the lower limit, and on the reverse fibre and protein are two things that you confidently fulfill you daily intake of.
Wonderful point. To be honest I was unaware of that, but certainly it's good to shoot for low fat and sodium! Those things can sabotage an otherwise sound strategy. Thanks!
One thing I've read for weight loss (in the book &quot;&quot;the four hour body&quot;, very good ideas in there.) is to measure inches as well. Measure your arms, thighs, and waist. Then add those 5 numbers up to get your total inches. Then maybe once a week, remeasure yourself so you can see how they have changed. Sometimes you lose inches instead of pounds, and people don't realize that. They just see their weight plateauing.<br><br>As for weighing yourself, do it the same time everyday. I've heard that the best time is in the morning, before you eat breakfast. I know I fluctuate about 2-3 pounds each day, so measuring weight at all different times would be confusing.
This is a great comment and I agree with everything in it. Well written!
This is awesome and congrats miss_ali! I just want to throw in a quick counter comment to ChrisLewis300, for him and everyone else. 8 glasses of water a day should be your minimum intake of water, and you shouldn't really count the water from the things you are eating, because, in the end, it's really negligible. As for things like coffee and tea, they do count towards that goal, but you have to keep in mind that those are a diuretic. This means that they cause your body to flush out more of the liquid by trips to the bathroom, so too much of those can actually counteract the process/count. If you're drinking less than 8 glasses of water a day, your body will hold onto as much water as possible, which causes &quot;water weight&quot; or bloating. So, at least 8 glasses of water a day, more glasses the more active you are. Unless you're insanely active and working in high heat conditions, don't exceed 2 gallons of water a day because then you have too much water in your system which could cause hyponatrima. Be sensible with your water intake and that won't be an issue. And my last point, liquifying your foods/water together doesn't actually stay in your system longer, keeping you full longer, this is completely opposite of the truth. When you liquify your food you've actually completed most of the digestion process pre-ingestion. Your stomach no longer needs to work as long to break down the food since you've done most of it's job for it, thus it will process out of your stomach quicker than eating a normal meal. On the other hand, if you chronically overeat, liquifying your meals can help your stomach shrink back to normal size so you can sense what true full is, sooner.
Its true that the &quot;you need 8 glasses of water a day&quot; is wrong. That's only half of what the study said which was that you need 8 glasses of water a day but you get most of that from the water in the food you eat, fruit, coffee, vegetables, meat, gravy.<br><br>However water does fill you up, and makes you feel full so there is no harm in drinking a few glasses extra.<br><br>It has also been shown that, if you drink a glass of water with your meal the water quickly exists your stomach, but if you liquidize your meal, along with the same water, your stomach must keep the food and water in longer to process it, which means your stomach is full longer so you feel full for longer.<br><br>Of course you can't be expected to liquidize everything, but you can eat dishes where the water is in the meal, hearty soups, casseroles etc.
Very well put! I've heard several diet plans talk about eating water-laden foods and it is very sensible. Many fruits and vegetables have a lot of water content and help you to feel full.
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Bio: I am a teacher, athlete, and life hacker. A fitness coach devoted to making easy to follow, customizable plans with sound and efficient nutrition and ... More »
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