Haley J. Smith lost over 100 pounds before walking down the aisle trim and slim—but this was definitely no easy feat. It took her about 15 months and an immeasurable amount of dedication, hard work, and perseverance before she finally felt comfortable in her own skin. But she’s not done yet. “I’m not at goal weight or goal size, but I’m going to keep pushing! Don’t quit just because you are starting to feel comfortable with your body! Keep pushing, there’s always room for improvement and always new goals,” she captioned a recent Instagram photo.
Her weight loss journey, summarized in colorful thumbnails on her social media page, is an inspiration to anyone looking to lose inches or get into shape. And we did some serious stalking of her posts to share some of her best weight loss tips ever! Read on to find out what they are so you can slim down and get the body you’ve always wanted, too!
Find a Workout Buddy
Haley shows off this super cute pic of her and her now-husband posing with medicine balls at the gym. Not only does she hit the gym with her hubby, they also bike and run marathons together. Clearly, incorporating fun workouts with your beau is key to getting fit. In fact, A 2012 study published in the journal of Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise discovered that participants who were challenged by a workout buddy performed better. And other studies have found that shaping up with a S.O. is one of the best ways to stay motivated. So even if you’re not sweating for the wedding like Haley, hitting the gym with a friend or dragging your boyfriend out of bed for a morning run is just as fun and effective. For even more effective ways to trim down don’t miss these 50 Best Weight-Loss Tips!
She Orders Smart
Going out for a friend’s birthday dinner or celebrating Taco Tuesday doesn’t have to undo all of your progress and hard work. “Turns out most restaurants have a ‘lite’ menu with the calories already listed, and MyFitnessPal usually has the meals stored for easy look-up,” Haley points out. If you can’t get your hands on your favorite restaurant’s nutrition stats, play it safe by ordering two healthy appetizer options instead of an entrée. So long as one of them is something light and veggie-based and you stay away from anything fried, this strategy is one that will help you dial down your calorie intake. And no matter what you decide to order, be sure to stay away from these #1 Worst Menu Option at 40 Popular Restaurants.
Tracks Your Progress
Whether she’s snapping progress pics, setting monthly goals, stepping on the scale, or using her Fitbit fitness watch, Haley is always tracking her progress. Keeping a log, virtual or hand-written, can help you set clear-cut goals and remind you of how far you’ve come. For even more ways to stay on track with your weight loss goals, don’t miss these 40 Tips for Motivation That Actually Work.
Cook More Often Than Not
Nutritionists are dedicated activists of preparing meals at home to avoid overeating and noshing on unhealthy fare. And Haley is, too. Many of her Instagram posts feature home cooked meals, many of which are prepared with the help of Blue Apron, a service that delivers recipes and the ingredients to cook them at home, right to customers’ front doors. The Serrano pepper and goat cheese-topped burger with zucchini-cilantro slaw is one of her fave Blue Apron meals. She says she loves the service because it introduces her to new foods and is “so quick and easy.” Anything that makes eating healthier at home easier is something we’re big fans of!
Make Protein Your BFF
Haley always incorporates the muscle-building macro into every meal of the day. Some of her go-to protein picks include omega-3-rich salmon, seared cod, and chicken. But when she’s short on time, Haley opts to sip her protein. And she loves the Premier Protein’s pre-made protein shakes for an easy post-workout snack. But after digging into their products’ ingredient lists, we were dismayed by some of the harmful additives we spotted, such as maltodextrin (a type of sugar) and digestive-system-disrupting sweeteners like xylitol and inulin. “Because [these sweeteners] aren’t completely digested, they hang out in our intestines where they become fermented by colonic bacteria. The by-products of fermentation include gastric distress, diarrhea, cramping, gas and bloating,” Cassie Bjork, RD, LD weighs in. When your busy schedule gets in the way of whipping up a home-cooked meal, fall back on one of these Eat This-approved protein powders instead.