How To Effectively Lose Weight In 3 Months
Let’s face it. Weight loss is not an easy process. It is most certainly not easy when you’ve been struggling with being overweight for most of your life or when you’ve been sedentary for a really long time.
In this article, I will share with you the exact weight loss tips and weight loss hacks that helped me to effectively lose weight in 3 months. Be sure to read my other article for more tips on how to lose weight fast.
To be more precise, these tips helped me to lose 20 pounds in just 3 months and keep it off! No gym, no dieting, and no personal trainer required. And it’s all-natural so no cosmetic procedures either.
If you’re like me, you’ve tried every single diet you can possibly think of and the weight either just doesn’t move or it always comes right back. Sometimes you even gain more weight than before you started the diet in the first place.
13. Lowest hanging fruit first (start with your diet)
Many people, when they go on a weight loss journey, like to jump off the deep end by committing to a gym, a full meal plan, workout schedule, and personal trainer. While that might work for some, it’s not necessarily true for others.
I wanted to lose the weight on my own. With my own efforts and no equipment. I knew I would end up getting discouraged if I tried to do it all at once.
So I started with what was the lowest hanging fruit at the time: my diet. And when I say “my diet” I mean what I eat in a day. I started by reducing my portion sizes, increasing my fruits and vegetable intake. I drank more water, reduced sugar, reduced processed foods, reduced-sodium.
Some of these weren’t too difficult for me because many of them weren’t foreign concepts. For example, cutting out soda wasn’t hard because I was never really a soda drinker, to begin with.
You will have to evaluate your lifestyle to figure out what is the lowest hanging fruit for you but I can guarantee, if you start there, it will be much easier to commit to your weight loss journey.
12. Effectively lose weight in 3 months by eating less and moving more
The number one secret to weight loss success is to eat less and move more.
It’s not rocket science. If you are eating more food than your body needs, you’re gonna store the extra as fat.
When I first started this weight loss journey back in July (it is the middle of October as I write this), this was where I started.
I had recti diastasis after the birth of my second child and I was sedentary for years! I had zero core strength so I couldn’t really move much. But I had all the extra fat around my belly (among other places).
I reduced my portion sizes and girl can I tell you. I felt so freaking greedy when I saw that I was able to eat half the amount of food I normally do and most times, even less.
Before, I would just put food on my plate. I wasn’t even measuring out my portions. I was overeating every single time but “food nice!” lol.
What I started doing was measuring out my portion sizes. According to everydayhealth.com, one appropriate portion size of rice is ½ cup. I was eating waaaaay more than that.
So I started by reducing my portion sizes and measured out ½ cup of rice for dinner. Yep. I literally bought measuring cups so I could measure my portions.
You don’t have to but it makes it easier. At first, it was difficult and there were days when I had to do a little bit more. But one thing that helped me stick to it was to drink water with my meals to help me feel fuller.
Now I eat about a ¼ of rice (just to give you perspective) and it often feels like too much food.
Read these articles on portion sizing to gain a better understanding of how to choose the correct potions to help you achieve your goal:
- Serving Size vs Portion Size Is There a Difference
- Serving and Portion Sizes: How Much Should I Eat?
- Portion sizes
As I’ve mentioned, I had recti diastasis and no core strength. I was also sedentary. And as someone who works from home sitting around my computer every day for HOURS, you can imagine that there wasn’t a lot of “movement” in my day. Right? And you would be correct.
When I just started, I wasn’t able to do the workouts you see me doing in the video above. So what I started doing was simple. I would go for walks. I mentioned my recti diastasis for this point: I wasn’t able to do any of the “proven” workouts I saw when I did my research.
I wasn’t able to do anything gym trainers suggested simply because if I moved too much, I risked splitting my abs open even more than they already were.
So I started simple. I went for 5 minutes walks. Then 10 minutes. Then 15 minutes. Then 30 minutes.
Then I slowly increased difficulty over time with jogging intervals and now I am able to run 2 miles nonstop. Now I can jog for 30 minutes and it’s beginning to feel like it’s not enough of a challenge so I will soon have to increase difficulty.
Ways to move more:
- Daily walks
- Daily jogs
- Take the stairs sometimes
- Dance while doing your daily chores around the home
- Play with your kids
- Do squats while watching tv
- At home workouts
- If you live in a safe neighborhood, walk to the grocery store
Read: Exercise you can do at your desk
11. Workout first thing in the morning
Like I mentioned before. The secret to weight loss success is to move more and eat less. And I can’t tell you enough how difficult the move more part was in the beginning? I struggled to stay motivated and many days I just skipped the workout altogether.
I eventually started working out first thing in the morning. You see, once you’ve done the workout for the day, it’s done. You don’t have to think about it for the rest of the day. You feel really proud of yourself and the burst of energy that you get for the rest of the day has got to be worth it. At least is for me.
My morning workout routine now looks like this:
5:30 – 5:50 > wake up, brush teeth, put hair in a ponytail, quick face wash (not a full cleanse)
5:50 – 6:00 > get dressed, find phone and headphones, turn on activity tracker (I use Samsung health app, but Runkeeper and Walkfit are great too), select playlist
6:00 – 6:30 > jog (I start with about a 5-minute walk to warm up my muscles then I jog for about 15 minutes. Then it’s a brisk walk for about 5 minutes pumping my arms above my head for maximum calorie burn. Then jog for the next 5 minutes). That has me sweating like crazy by the time I get back home
6:30 – 6:45 > abs and booty!!!
6:45 – 6:55 > cool down stretches
7:00 > get the kids ready for school and make breakfast (I usually try to eat something by 7:30 at the latest so I’ll grab a cup of tea and or a banana before breakfast is ready).
8:00 > shower, proper face cleanse, eat breakfast, write (or whatever I feel like doing)
9:00 > start teaching for the day
Please bear in mind that these are estimates and I try not to be rigid about my morning routine. I like flexibility so there are some mornings when things get shifted around or dropped altogether based on what’s necessary for that specific day.
10. Start with cardio. Start by walking
Listen, girl. When I just started my weight loss journey, I was so unfit. And that’s a grave understatement.
I couldn’t walk for more than 5 minutes without being in pain. I couldn’t climb a flight of stairs without being out of breath. I had no core strength whatsoever so I couldn’t do a single crunch. My toddler could literally leave me in his dust in a hundred-yard race. That’s if I made it to the finish line.
I started small. I wasn’t about to overdo it and push myself beyond what I knew I could actually manage just because someone said I should. I started out by walking no more than 10 minutes.
I would walk a little, then stop. Then walk a little. Then stop again until the 10 minutes were over. Before long, I was able to go for 30 minutes.
As the weeks went by I was able to move up to a light jog now I am strong enough to run for a full 30 minutes without dying.
Starting off with cardio exercises like walking improves your heart health. Increases your stamina and is one of the best ways to lose weight in the long run.
9. Caloric deficit
The idea of eating less is not about starving yourself and not eating healthy. That’s crazy! Please try to foster a healthy relationship with food.
I’ll tell you this: I am a foodie! I LOOOVE TO EAT!! That’s why I will NEVER go on another “diet” to lose weight again. It just makes you freaking miserable and that’s not at all what you want to achieve.
The idea of eating less is about caloric deficits. Not starving yourself. And no, you don’t have to go crazy counting all your calories all the time. You just need to pay attention to the type of foods you eat and have a general idea of what foods are low in calories.
Please take note that you will still have to eat some foods that are high in calories too. It’s about balance.
Take this meal I made for lunch for example.
I have no idea the exact number of calories but I know it’s low calorie, high protein, and high fiber. It’s freaking delicious!
How I achieve a caloric deficit:
- Eat high fiber meals
- Drink more water
- Eat more filling meals
- Reduce processed foods as snacks
- Eat smaller portions
- Use healthy oils
- Workout more often (at least 30 minutes of daily exercise)
8. No fad or restrictive diets
Did I mention I hate fad/restrictive diets? Don’t get me wrong, they “work”. You do lose a few pounds trying some of these diets. I know this from personal experience because I’ve tried a few myself.
The problem with them is that they are nutrient deficient and they are unsustainable.
Think about it: can you really eat only eggs for the rest of your life? Can you really only drink juice for the rest of your life? Can you really feed on apple cider vinegar? Can you really only drink cabbage soup?
The problem with fad/restrictive diets:
- They leave you feeling hungry, weak and fatigued (well duh! You don’t have enough food in you)
- They negatively impact your hormonal health and your metabolism (which is the opposite of what you want if you are serious about sustainable weight loss)
- They increase stress, guilt and anxiety over food choices (because now you feel terrible for eating that bar of chocolate that made you gain 2 pound after you’ve just starved yourself to lose one whole pound)
Read: The 7 Worst Fad Diets in History
Fad/restrictive diets are dangerous. They are popular because they promise impressive results in very short periods of time. And because a lot of the time we are lazy, we want the results quickly. I know, I’ve been guilty of this.
When I tried the egg diet or the ACV diet I wasn’t thinking about the long-term effects of these diets. I just wanted to lose weight now. Fast! Fad diets promised that.
And while they do deliver on the fast weight loss as a result of significant caloric and carbohydrate deficit:
- They are not sustainable
- Lead to a whole host of other health related problems
- You gain the weight back (often more than you lost) the moment you resume normal eating.
Here are some fad diet myths and facts you probably wanna know about before jumping on the next one.
“MYTH: Juice cleanses help your body get rid of toxins, so you can lose weight quickly.
FACT: Juice cleanses are often sold as a way to boost your colon’s ability to detoxify your body. This involves fasting, and drinking only water or a blended juice drink for a number of days or weeks in order to lose weight. Some celebrities claim to have lost 14 pounds in 2 weeks with this method.
You may lose weight initially due to a significant decrease in overall carbohydrate and calorie intake. But once you go back to normal eating, you will probably gain the weight back.
Plus, with juice cleanses you will be missing the important nutrients your body needs to keep you healthy. For example, juice cleanses tend to be very low in protein, which is an important nutrient to keep your muscles intact when you’re trying to lose weight.
A better alternative to juice cleanses? Work with a registered dietitian nutritionist (an RDN) to develop meal plans that help you cut calories while feeling satisfied.”
If you do plan to try any short-term diets though, you can look into these to see if any would work for you.
7. Make it a lifestyle change
One of the most effective things that made me effectively lose weight in 3 months, that made weight loss work – and continue to work – for me was that I decided to make it a lifestyle change.
I didn’t want to just “lose weight fast”. I wanted to lose weight for good!
I don’t believe in body shaming so I can’t tell you that “you need to lose weight”. I also believe beauty comes in many shapes and sizes but for me, I did not like my 200-pound body.
I felt very uncomfortable, insecure, unattractive. I was slow and lethargic all the time. I was weak. I couldn’t play with my kids.
I had so many other complications that began developing as a result of the weight:
- Irregular period
- Painful period
- Excessive sweatiness
- Joint pains
- Lower back pains
- Weakened pelvic floor muscles
- Sleeping discomfort
Just to name a few.
I didn’t want to just drop a few pounds for a short period of time. I wanted to shed the pounds permanently. So what I did was evaluate my lifestyle choices that contributed to my weight gain. Those I had control over and slowly made changes over time.
I changed my approach from being obsessed with the number on the scale and instead focused on losing excess body fat, getting stronger, faster, and more flexible. I wanted to be fit and healthy, so that became my focus.
Lifestyle changes I made to effectively lose weight in 3 months:
- Daily walk or jog
- Working out at least 3 times a week
- Only use cane sugar (no processed sugar)
- Only use sea salt
- Smaller portion sizes
- More lean meats (such as chicken breasts)
- Cut back on cheese
- Healthy snacks (such as yogurts, oats, nuts, etc.)
- More fruits and vegetables (I keep those in my fridge all the time now)
- Set sleep schedule (I go to bed around 10:30 every night and wake around 5:30-6:00)
- Included more high fiber foods in my diet
- Significantly reduced processed foods and snacks
- Drink lots and lots of water every day
Just to name a few.
These weren’t changes that were implemented all at once. They were slowly, gradually implemented over time to avoid shock to my system. This way, it was easier for me to stick to them as I got used to them.
What lifestyle changes can you make today to help your weight loss efforts?
6. Do it for personal reasons (your why needs to be strong)
You have to do it for yourself. Your reason for losing weight must be a strong personal one. You will not remain committed if your why is not strong enough.
Why? Simple: a weight loss journey is not easy. It’s much easier to “accept your body at any size” than it is to tell yourself that you are going to make a change to be healthier. It’s much easier to eat all the delicious food on your plate than it is to put it down when you are full.
It’s much easier to pay for a procedure than it is to actively fight out of your comfort zone move each and every day.
It’s you’re why that will give you the willpower to push through the hard days. The days when you really don’t feel like it and boy have I had many of those. The days when you just wanna give up because you feel like you can’t manage.
For me, my why was simple: I should be able to protect my kid if he’s in danger. I finally made the conviction one day when I was picking my youngest up from school and he ran out in the road.
I wasn’t able to catch him because I was too weak and too slow. Thank God nothing happened but at that moment his life flashed before my eyes and I couldn’t save him.
I would just have to stand there and watch my kid get hit by a car because I wasn’t able to run after him.
That has been my why. So on those mornings when I can’t be bothered to get out of bed, I think about what I would tell my kid if I wasn’t able to save him. “Sorry baby, mommy just wanted to sleep some more?”
When I’m on the jogging track and I feel like I’m too lazy to push myself I remind myself “come on Lis, Skai can still outrun you”.
So what’s your why? Why are you trying to lose weight?
Because you wanna fit in? That’s not good enough. Because someone told you you need to lose weight? That’s not good enough.
If your reason for losing weight and embarking on this healthy lifestyle journey does not come from within, I promise you, you will fail. You will relapse into your old ways.
Think about it: how many times have you tried losing weight before? Have you been successful? What was your reason then? You probably can’t even think of a why because you either didn’t have one or it wasn’t strong enough.
So what’s your why?
5. Listen to your body
Now naturally I don’t expect you to push yourself beyond your breaking point. Beyond your limit.
You have to be in tune with your body. Your body will tell you when you need to rest. Your body will tell you when you need to take a break. You’ll need to listen to it.
I remember there were times on my journey when I’d wake up in the morning, get dressed for my workout and feel my body tell me that I’m too sore to go today. That I needed to take a rest day.
But because my why is so strong and that was mixed with some toxic fear of failing myself, I would still push. And I would pay dearly. Because I refused to rest for one day, I would be in pain for a whole week. That would of course reset all my efforts.
I quickly learned how to be in tune with my body. Now when I go for my morning jogs, I can tell when it’s time to slow down or when it’s time to walk instead of jog. I can tell when I’m not pushing hard enough and when I need to give it a little more. I am now able to tell the difference between my mind being lazy and my body needing to rest.
Listen to your body. Take days when you only do stretching exercises, so you can learn to feel your body. Become aware of your entire body and listen to it when it tells you it needs rest.
You also need to listen to your cravings as well. Your cravings are your body’s way of telling you it needs something.
Read: What do your food cravings mean
One way I manage my food cravings though is by taking multivitamins. I don’t have many food cravings anymore because, in addition to eating a healthy diet, I also supplement with multivitamins.
So that is something you can consider. Please, however, consult a health care professional before you take any form of medication.
I can’t tell you enough how important proper hydration is. Did you know that drinking the appropriate amount of water each day can significantly boost your weight loss efforts?
No. Not drinking juice (even if you dilute it). Drinking plain old H2O is what you need to be doing.
Yes, I am aware that not everyone likes the taste of water. My advice is to add a slice of fruit that you like to your water. It will definitely improve the taste.
I personally only drink 100% pure spring water but Jamaica is the Land Of Wood And Water so access to that is not difficult for me.
Purified water is not a bad option but because I deal with acid reflux from time to time, so drinking spring water is the best option for me simply because it helps balance the pH of my stomach.
How much water should you drink?
The standard recommendation for an adult is about 6-8 8oz glasses of water per day.
Many “experts” like to tell you to drink 2 gallons of water to lose weight. But as with everything in life, please remember there’s no one-size-fits-all.
The amount of water you need depends on a number of factors such as diet, climate, amount of daily activity, weight, and sex.
Use the standard recommendation as a starting point guideline. Track your water intake for the day and pay attention to how you feel throughout the day. You can journal it or use this habit tracker to make it easier.
One rule of thumb to know if you are drinking enough water is to observe the color of your urine. If your urine is golden or brown, you DEFINITELY need more water.
If it’s clear, you’re drinking too much and if it’s about light yellow, then you’re most likely drinking the right amount. Assuming you’re not consuming anything that might affect the color of your urine.
3. Eat lots of fruits and veggies
I’ve already mentioned this but I feel it needed its own heading for emphasis. Fruits and veggies are nature’s cheat code for weight loss. They are low in calories, nutrient-rich and many are high in fiber making you feel fuller for longer.
Naturally, everything in moderation. Just because apples are healthy, that doesn’t mean you can eat only apples all day, every day. That will lead to a nutrition deficit. You want to achieve a caloric deficit. Not nutrient deficit.
I now almost always have fruits and veggies in my fridge and every meal is prepared with an array of vegetables. I drink lots of natural homemade fruit and vegetable juices now and I must say I am quite pleased with my result so far.
Get creative in the way you prepare your meals so you can find more ways to include fruits and veggies in your meals. No, you don’t have to feed on kale and spinach but you can include them in your soups and sauces, for example.
2. Increase fiber and protein consumption
Another thing I did was to increase the amount of fiber-rich foods I eat as well as protein-rich foods I consume.
I’m not a big fan of protein shakes so I try to eat more beans and lean meats – such as chicken breast – to get more protein. I consume more whole grain oats, plantains, sweet potatoes, brown rice.
I’ve also swapped out my breads with whole wheat breads to increase my fiber intake. I eat more nuts as well. My favorites are peanuts, almonds, and cashews.
I use nut butters, drink plant milks (mostly because I’m lactose intolerant), and eat lots of avocadoes.
This is not an extensive list of course, but I wanted to mention some examples to give you an idea of what to include in your diet. I read the labels of the foods I buy and I spend lots of time researching the nutritional facts of the foods that are available to me here in Jamaica.
1. Listen to upbeat music while you work out
The last tip I will mention for today is to listen to upbeat music when you are working out. The music itself doesn’t actually contribute to your weight loss directly but it keeps you in the mood for the workout.
It keeps you hyped, pumped, and motivated to power through your workout session.
This is from personal experience. Any morning I start my workout without one of my playlists blaring in my ears, the workout session seems to feel more difficult and strenuous to complete.
I have noticed that when I listen to upbeat music, it influences my mood and keeps me pumped for the duration of the workout.
Try it and let me know how it works for you. What kinds of music do you listen to while working out? What other audio tracks do you listen to? I’d love to know in the comments below
I started my weight loss journey at 198lbs. Actually, I fluctuated between 198 and 200 lbs. And as I write this article, it’s mid-October and I am currently 180lbs.
That’s 20 lbs in only 3 months!
And I haven’t gained a single pound back.
I have had weeks where my weight plateaus but I never regain the weight.
All the tips I have shared in this article are things I actively do. They are what have been working for me and I hope they can work for you too.
Please keep in mind that I am not a trained health care professional so the information I share is for educational purposes only and is not meant to supersede professional advice. Please consult your physician before making any changes to your diet or otherwise.
However, if you’d like to reach out to me for more tips and things that I do on a daily basis that help me to lose weight, my social handle is @FemmAllure everywhere.
Sharing is caring so please share this article…
Good luck on your journey. As always, thanks for reading and till next time…
Stay sweet, stay feminine, classy, and unapologetically woman.
[…] It would also be mostly water weight so you wouldn’t lose much – if any – body fat. As a result, you’ll gain the weight all back just as fast as you lost it and possibly more. Nah, sis! we ain’t about that life. We want to lose the weight and keep it off. Read how I lose 20 pounds in 3 months and kept it off here. […]
#9 is the best thing you can do for yourself when it comes to losing weight. Eating all those unnecessary calories, fats, and sugary will do nothing good for you in the long run. I agree, I love working out to a good song. Heck sometimes I’ll even start dancing on the treadmill on the gym not giving a damn if I get weird looks. I don’t know what it is about working out but it definitely gives me the positive energy and vibes that I need after a long day.
I couldn’t agree more! Without caloric deficit, you will not lose weight. It’s just impossible. I am like you. Working out just gives me so much positive energy for the day. It’s amazing and I don’t go to the gym but I go jogging in my neighborhood and on the jogging track. And sometimes I’ll be dancing to my beats and not giving a damn if other joggers think I’m weird. 🤣
[…] Related read: How I lost 20 pounds in 3 months and kept it off! […]
[…] me, losing weight was a big part of learning to love my body again. You can read how I lost 20 pounds and kept it off here. But trust me, since I started this health journey, I have been able to see myself and love myself […]
This is some great advice (congratulations on your health journey, btw)! I am making some changes to my eating habits and exercise routines to make them more effective so your tips have been incredible as it’s given me a lot of clarity!
Thanks for reading and congratulations on your health journey as well. I’m glad my article has been useful to you. If you ever need more tips, feel free to reach out to me. Good luck!