my weight loss tips roundup


I don’t profess to know everything there is to know about weight loss, and I especially don’t pretend to follow all the tips that I do know (if I did I’d be much skinnier than I am now), however, I have had some success in the weight loss department in the past.

As the new year approaches many of us (including myself) are thinking about trying to eat healthier, detox from the holidays, and/or lose weight.  Since one of the most popular search terms that brings people to my blog is “South Beach Diet”, I figure there are many people out there with questions.  So I thought I’d round up all my posts about dieting, healthy eating, etc. into one place.

Start by reading about my weight loss journey: the background, the diet, the exercise, the results, the maintenance, the struggles, and the future.

If you’re interested in going with South Beach or some other similar low-carb plan, you might want to check out my posts about my South Beach phase 1 meal plans and following South Beach while eating out.  You should also look at my recipes – they aren’t all South Beach friendly, but many of them are (and I’ve included a note at the end of the South Beach friendly recipes that tells you which phase they would go with).

If you travel a lot make sure to read my tips on how to eat healthy while travelling and how to exercise while travelling.

Some other helpful posts for your journey toward healthy eating include tips for prepping your food in advancemaking sure you know how to find the best weight for your body, and the heart rate monitor that I use and love.

South Beach has been my diet lifestyle of choice for the past 7 or 8 years, but this year Michael and I took it a step further and decided to move away from highly processed food.  We did what we called a real food challenge, where we ate only local, organic, non-processed food for 100 days.  After we completed the challenge, we decided to maintain that way of eating with exceptions for special occasions.  You can read about our journey with that here: the challenge details, week 1, week 2, week 3, the results after one month, tips on eating real food while travelling, the busy girl’s guide to eating a real food diet, and the results after 100 days.

Like I said, I don’t know everything and I don’t follow these diets strictly, but I have had success with South Beach and eating real food in the past and it helps me to have all the resources in one post so I can reference them when I’m trying to get back on the wagon (aka right now).  I hope this helps you, too!

working out while traveling {Works for Me Wednesday}

Last week for Works for Me Wednesday I gave some tips for eating healthy while traveling.  This week I’m going to talk about how to get some exercise in while traveling.

Exercising can be hard when you are away from home.  If you’re like me, though, not exercising for a week can really set you back fitness-wise (that first trip back to the gym after a week away – ouch!) and not exercising might make you feel sluggish.  Plus if you’re like me you tend to eat a little more food and and a little less healthy when you aren’t at home so burning some calories each day is helpful.  Here are some tips:

If you are in a hotel or resort, you should be good to go.  I think every hotel I’ve stayed at since starting this healthy lifestyle (even shady hotels in Mexico) have had some sort of fitness center.  Most recently our hotels in Chattanooga and Nashville had little gyms with treadmills, ellipticals, bikes, free weights, mats, and exercise balls.  I was able to get cardio and weight training in while we were there.  Sure, it wasn’t as great as the spinning, Zumba, and other group fitness classes I would have taken at home, but at least I was able to work out some.  The resort we went to two summers ago for vacation had a nice, (hot – no A/C!) fitness room that I used.  They even had Pilates and yoga classes on the beach in the mornings and evenings that I went to a few times.  Exercising with a beautiful view!

The gym at our hotel in Nashville (Doubletree) last week [source]

Let’s say your hotel doesn’t have a gym.  Or let’s say that you are not staying at a hotel – with the holidays coming up you might be more likely to be staying with family or friends.  That can be a little less convenient but we can still make it work (said in my best Tim Gunn voice).

Get some workout videos.  You can take these videos with you, pop them in to your laptop and work out anywhere.  I use this method a lot when we stay with my parents or Michael’s.  My favorite is Jillian Michael’s 30 Day Shred.  You can get it on Amazon for less than $9.00. (disclaimer – I tried the whole 30 day thing and didn’t see any difference at all.  This was not an effective way for me to lose weight.  Only doing one session really isn’t going to do much for you anyway since they’re so short, sorry.  Usually I do two sessions back to back when I use this video and it’s not any better than any ol’ session at the gym but it gets in cardio and strength and it’s convenient for when I’m not at the gym.) There are tons of other workout videos, too – Zumba, Pilates, yoga, kickboxing, dance – whatever suits your fancy.


Another option is to get one of those stretchy band things (resistance bands?) and take it with you.  It’s small and light so you can easily pack it in your suitcase, plus you can get a really good workout with them.  I don’t own one (although I want one!) but I’ve used them in workout classes in the gym.  I’m sure there are tons of YouTube videos that show you how to use them if you don’t know.


If you like to run or walk, try to find a nice path or track you can use wherever you are.  There’s probably a park or Greenway of some sort nearby.  This summer when I stayed with my grandparents for a week there was a hospital right down the street that had a pond with a track around it.  I was able to go there and run several times during my visit.  If you can’t find an “official” track, there still might be places you run/walk (one year on Thanksgiving morning I ran up and down my grandparent’s driveway for 30 minutes).    You could also check to see if there is a community gym or fitness center where you could pay a small daily fee to use.

Maybe you don’t want to take the time during your vacation to have a formal work out.  There are other ways you can creatively work in exercise.  Last spring we went to Gatlinburg for a long weekend and on Saturday we went on a hike; we got a little exercise in while doing something different and fun.  You could plan a family bike ride, play tennis, or go swimming.  Play Wii with your nieces and nephews.  Go for a walk with the family after your Thanksgiving meal.  Challenge your cousins to a pickup basketball game.  Put on some music and dance.  Rake your grandparents’ yard.

Hopefully some of these tips will help you stay active while you’re traveling this holiday season.  Do you have a good work out while traveling tip that I didn’t mention?  Leave a comment so we can hear about it if you do!

Linking up to Works for Me Wednesday at We are THAT Family.