before and after pics I lost 125 pounds
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Best 30-Day Weight Loss Challenge (2023)

My 30-Day Weight Loss Challenge

When I really decided to lose weight, I needed to set some goals. A 30-day weight loss challenge is a great way to start. You can lose anywhere from 5-12 pounds in 30 days by following a healthy, low-calorie diet and exercising regularly. I lost over 100 pounds after I turned 40. Now I feel healthier and happier.

Take a look at your body weight and determine how much weight you want to lose. Weight loss comes down to creating a daily calorie deficit. Which means you burn more calories than you consume.

If you are looking to lose weight, I’ll show you how I did it, how to set goals, and how to reach them. If you are ready to lose weight and embrace a healthy lifestyle, read on to begin your weight loss challenge and fitness journey.

before and after I lost 125 pounds

1. Start Your Weight Loss Challenge by Setting Goals

How much weight do you want to lose in 30 days? First off, set realistic goals. Losing weight takes work and dedication so you have to decide how much work you are willing to put into it to get the results you want. Increased physical activity and a healthy diet are all you need to reduce your body weight and achieve weight loss success! Remember it’s always smart to talk to your doctor before starting any weight loss and exercise program.

2. Change Your Diet to Lose Weight

When I started my weight loss journey and my fitness challenge, I weighed 297 pounds. I was carrying around over 100 pounds of additional weight and fat. I knew I had to change my eating habits, and count the calories burned each day by making a realistic diet plan that I could maintain for life. Calorie intake should be a minimum of 1,200 a day in women or 1,500 a day in men. Achieving this will help you start to lose weight. When you exercise, you burn calories, which is how you can really impact your calorie deficit. For example, 45 minutes of running or spinning can burn 400 calories or more, depending on your intensity level. Start a low-calorie diet and increase your physical activity and you can lose weight fast.

I cut out processed foods and packaged foods and ate more whole foods like fruits, vegetables, and lean protein. To avoid temptation and reduce my daily caloric intake, I only buy healthy food.

To lose weight fast, I stopped buying fattening favorites like chips, bread, pizza, and pasta and only brought healthy low-calorie foods into my house. Simply by reducing my caloric intake I started to drop weight fast.

Track calories to make sure you are running a calorie deficit every day to help reach weight loss goals. Avoid foods with added sugar and sugary drinks. Develop an eating plan that allows for the calories you want to consume, then up your exercise routine to meet your fitness goals.

Eat on a schedule, control portions, and keep track of calories burned through exercise. I avoid late-night eating and my old emotional eating habits. Avoid binge eating by never eating out of the packaging. If I want a few chips I put a small portion into a bowl and that’s all I will eat. If I have the whole bag of chips in front of me, I’ll binge eat the whole thing. Using smaller plates for meals makes reducing portions easier too.

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My Eating Plan and Healthy Recipes for Weight Loss

3 of My Favorite Breakfast Ideas to Lose Weight:

• Egg whites with avocado toast I choose bread with whole grains.
• Overnight oats (I use steel-cut oats) with non-fat yogurt and fresh berries
• Non-fat cottage cheese with sliced fresh peaches or apples

Lunch Ideas for Weight Loss

For lunch, I have either a meal replacement protein shake blended with half a Fuji apple and a banana or a mixed green salad with a protein like Garbonzo beans, chicken breast, or tuna. You can make a dressing with extra virgin olive oil and vinegar, but I often skip the oil in the dressing and just add a dash of Balsamic vinegar and fresh ground pepper.

Best Dinner Ideas for Losing Weight Fast

My dinner usually consists of fresh steamed or grilled vegetables, or a salad, along with lean protein like fish or skinless white meat chicken. Healthy fats like those found in fish, nuts, and olive oil are healthier than red meat fats.

Best Snacks to Succeed with your Weight Loss Challenge

Instead of my old go-to snacks like junk food, chips, and sugary drinks, I enjoy something like carrots and celery, sometimes with hummus, and sometimes just alone. It helps satisfy my craving for something crunchy while it is filling and nutritious. I also snack on raw nuts and seeds but be careful not to overdo it. Nuts contain a lot of fat, so I restrict myself to a 1/4 cup of raw nuts a day.

3. Cardio Workouts and Strength Training to Lose Weight

To succeed in your weight loss challenge, get focused on a workout routine and fat-burning exercises for weight loss. Exercise for at least 30 minutes every day, even if it’s just walking. Try to get in 10,000 steps each day. Of course, the more you exercise, the faster you can get to a calorie deficit and burn fat, which is essential for weight loss. Cardio exercise is important for heart health too.

I start my day with 30-45 minutes of spinning. Cardio workouts are a great way to start the day. I feel invigorated all day after tackling this fat-burning exercise. I bought a spinning bike at the beginning of the pandemic and am super happy with the quality of the bike and the convenience. I have an article about losing weight with spinning if you want to learn more.

Sunny Health & Fitness Premium Spinning Bike

This is the spinning bike in my home gym. It’s a sturdy steel frame and magnetic flywheel with widely adjustable resistance. This is the best exercise machine I use to lose fat.

I add jumping jacks, burpees, and squats using my kettlebell. Kettlebells are a great home workout tool and the adjustable kettlebell from Bowflex is my favorite because it is quick and easy to adjust the weight and it doesn’t take up much room like a full set of kettlebells. Kettlebells offer a wide variety of workouts from Goblin squats to Russian twists.

Next, I focus on strength training by weight lifting for weight loss and muscle gain. If you want lean muscle mass, weight training is essential to aid weight loss and gain muscle and stamina. I use my kettlebells for squats, presses, and halos. I use the Bowflex adjustable dumbbells for rows, bicep curls, tricep kickbacks, deadlifts, and lateral raises.

I work out from home and found that it not only saves money over a gym membership but allows me to invest in my home gym. Working out from home is more convenient too. I can jump on my spin bike, my home gym machine, or grab some weights anytime it is convenient. Here are some of my favorite gym machines for losing weight fast.

4. Drink plenty of water every day

Staying hydrated is super important. I drink at least 8 glasses of water a day. It also helps me feel full. In fact, when I am feeling hungry I have a glass of water first. Often this makes the hunger craving go away helping me to lose weight.

5. Keep track of your progress

I started a photo journal of my weight loss progress. It really kept me inspired to continue my new healthy habits, consume fewer calories and stay focused on my weight loss.

I recommend using fitness trackers to help stay focused on your weight loss challenge and goals. I like my Apple Watch because I can track exercises like strength training, and cardio exercises like indoor biking, swimming, walking and running. It tracks steps, stairs climbed, heart rate, and oxygen level which really allows me to dial in my workouts.

my photo journal as i lost over 100 pounds
Photo journal of my weight loss journey

6. Reward yourself for completing the weight loss challenge!

Maybe buy yourself a new piece of workout gear, a new book, or go on a mini vacation.

My favorite reward on my weight loss journey was a new pair of jeans the next size down. It is super rewarding to fit into clothes that I couldn’t fit into before.

Weight loss rewards don’t have to be big or expensive just so long as they motivate you to continue on your weight loss plan and avoid weight gain.

Weight Loss Challenge Conclusion

I lost over 100 pounds and you can too with my tips for succeeding with your weight loss challenge and healthy aging. I hope you found this article helpful and that you are inspired to create your own healthy habits for lasting weight loss, heart health, and a positive view of yourself. I feel so much healthier and happier now. I know you can too!

Remember to drink plenty of water, choose healthy options, and incorporate portion control, fiber intake, and healthy foods. Get in some cardio workouts, and add strength training to your routine. The harder you work, the faster you will see results. And don’t forget to reward yourself along the way!

Ready to get started? Check out my favorite home gym workout here.

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