5 Keys to Losing Weight

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Last Monday, I began a 90-day challenge to get back on track with my weight-loss. Last year, I stalled out at around 88 pounds lost. I’ll be perfectly honest and say that I could have been quite happy with that, rather than my ultimate goal of losing 95 pounds. After all, I’m over 40 years old. Maybe it was expecting too much to be at a weight I had difficulty maintaining in my 20’s.

Practical weight-loss tips from a homeschool mom who's lost almost 90 pounds.

What I was not okay with, however, was the 8 or so pounds I’d gained in the “learning to maintain” phase.

So, I ordered Jillian Michael’s Body Revolution. When I mentioned it on Facebook, a lot of people wanted to know about it or wanted an update on how it worked for me after I’d used it for awhile. I thought I’d share five keys to weight-loss that I’ve been reminded of over the last week.

You need an accountability partner.

Based on the response I got on Facebook, I asked if anyone would be interested in starting a weight-loss accountability group. I got a huge response and we currently have nearly 120 people offering support, tips, encouragement, and a kick in the pants as needed. I can honestly say that I would not have been as committed to at least one of the five keys to losing weight (the next one), if I hadn’t known people would be checking up on me.

I’ve said before that I am convinced the accountability of my weight loss blog (that is now merged with this one – check out the tab in the nav bar above) readers played a huge role in my success this time. I’ve always been one of those people that is going to do something if I tell someone (or lots of someones) that I am.

Even if you don’t have the benefit of a large group of people, having just one of two dependable people to hold you accountable can play a huge role in weight-loss success.

You have to log your food.

This was true when I did Weight Watchers (many years ago – I stalled out at 40 pounds lost) and it’s true now. I (and you!) have to log my food. It’s too easy to underestimate calories consumed and over-estimate calories burned if you’re not logging. Plus, there is a psychological factor to logging food – who wants to write down junk? I cringe writing down higher-calorie foods even when it’s a planned treat.

Not only that, but tracking makes it possible to look back over your food intake and find patterns such as when you tend to over-eat or how calorie intake correlates to scale results.

It also lets you identify lower calorie, nutrient dense meals that left you feeling satisfied so that you can incorporate more of those meals. For example, I fixed one meal last week that, while healthy, was a higher calorie meal. Though it was good, I knew I didn’t want to eat the leftovers on what would turn out to be one of my higher-calorie supper days.

Similarly, Monday night we ate what turned out to be a very satisfying, delicious, low-calorie meal. I ate the leftovers for lunch on Tuesday. Then, I had another very satisfying, but very low-calorie supper, which resulted in my lowest calorie day for lunch and supper to date – and I had plenty to eat.

5 Keys to Losing Weight

You need to complete challenging workouts.

Before I started this 90-day challenge, it had become quite a habit for me to call 30 minutes on the spin bike watching Friends my workout for the day. Yes, I was moving – but I didn’t even break a sweat. I knew the workout wasn’t challenging me, but I would do it and call it a day. No wonder I gained.

Your workouts don’t have to leave you gasping for air, but you should feel like you’ve worked out. I think we need to constantly be pushing ourselves to do more because the body adapts. What was once challenging won’t always be, so we can’t keep doing the same thing and expect to continue to see results.

You must have goals.

Goal-setting is paramount to success in anything. Goals are one way you measure your progress. They’re what keeps you going.

If you don’t have goals, you can quit at any time. {tweet this}

One of the ladies (who just happens to be my cousin) in the Facebook accountability group posted a quote from Dolvett Quince (The Biggest Loser) yesterday. It said simply, “Give yourself a goal every day.”

Then, she followed it with some very practical advice to just take baby steps. Tell yourself: “Today I will drink more water” or “Today I will take more steps.” And do it! I still love the quote from my pastor from a couple of years ago:

Commitments never result in anything. Consistency does.

It’s those little daily goals – that day-to-day consistency – that will yield results. “Commitment without consistency is empty.”

(He also said, “Consistency needs accountability.” Just in case you needed another nudge toward finding an accountability partner.)

Weight-loss success

(This photo was taken at a wedding I attended last weekend. I’m trying to find some photos of me from the last wedding I attended. The difference is unbelievable!)

Drink lots of water

I read somewhere recently that you should divide your body weight in half to find out how many ounces of water you should be drinking each day. Most days I drink my body weight in water. Literally. It’s not that I’m purposely seeking to drink that much. I’m just thirsty. I used to drink about that much sweet tea every day. Yes, really. Now, I keep three water bottles in the fridge, so I’ve always got a cold bottle ready and I sip it all day long.

Not only does water keep your body hydrated, but it also provides a feeling of satiety. In addition, I’ve read that drinking 8-16 ounces of cold water first thing in the morning speeds up your metabolism for the day.

Another thing that water does for me may sound silly, but it’s true – it gives my mouth something to do. If I’m drinking water, I’m not snacking. I used to be really bad about snacking while working (or playing) online. Now, I keep a water bottle with me while I’m on the computer. It’s not unusual for me to drink two 24 ounce bottles before I’ve even realized it.

An added bonus to drinking that much water: lots of extra steps on my Fitbit from walking to and from the bathroom all day. {grin}

I know I’ve said all this before and none of it is new, but I was reminded of the importance of each of these practices when I got on the scale Monday and discovered that, just by putting each of these keys back into place, I’d lost 5.4 pounds!

If you’ve lost weight, what has been key in your success?

top photo courtesy of microsoft images


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  1. I run with a friend. My working out becomes my social time. I’m also busting my tail, but also having fun.

  2. Hi Kris,
    You’re looking great! I still have about 10-15 pounds to go. It sure is true that it gets harder in our 40s. 🙂

    I have a question for you. My daughter who just turned 8 is possibly dyslexic. I’d like to start using materials with her that would help her (even before getting a diagnosis). With your experience, which would you suggest I start with? Lexercise, All About Reading/Spelling, or something else?


    1. Thanks, Gena.

      Based on my own experience, I would have her do the free dyslexia screening at Lexercise. If it indicates that she might have dyslexia, you can then choose to do the full evaluation to get her diagnosed and started on treatment if she does, in fact, have dyslexia. I wish we had discovered Lexerise when my son was your daughter’s age. It would have saved us a lot of time, heartache, and frustration.

      All About Spelling/Reading are excellent complements to the Lexercise therapy and I highly recommend them, as well. Hope that helps!

  3. BRAVO!
    I plan to be able to say the same next year.
    I take great pleasure in watching you succeed. I’ll be 50 in October. I can do this.
    I have to do this. I have a 9 year old (turning 10 in October) who needs me to have energy and to be around for him!
    THANK YOU for your honesty in all of your WL posts!

  4. You know what is tremendous about how you look? It’s how toned you are. I always imagine that if I ever lost all the weight put on with my twins (10 yrs ago!!) I’d be a bit flobidydobidy (spell check has just pulled that up as incorrectly spelt!!). But you don’t have any flobidydobidiness about you! You must be so proud, Kris, and rightly so!
    PS Yes I know there’s no such word, but it makes such a lovely sound I couldn’t resist, and all words have to start somewhere, right?

  5. What would you recommend for a 61 year old with a bit of heart problem, the beginnings of hip issues, long term knee issues and an inability to withstand heat. I don’t eat much at all even when keeping a log, I realize that this may be part of the problem, not enough scheduled eating times or food.

    1. I would strongly encourage you to visit your doctor. With multiple health issues, you want to make sure you lose weight in a safe, healthy way.

      1. I with that were an option, but since I have no health insurance and am not old enough for Medicare, it is not possible except for emergency type things for which I must use the emergency room (I don’t do that often at all). I will just try to be safe and trust in the Lord. Thank you for your response.

          1. I undersstand, no worries, I pretty much know a couple things, 1 I don’t eat enough or at regular intervals for my body to realize that it is being fed and 2 I don’t get enough exercise. If I can conquer these two it will be a huge step in the right direction. Thank you.

          2. Good luck! I know that tracking food is huge for me. I always do better when I track. And walking is one of the best overall body workouts there is…and it’s low-impact, so that might be a good option for you. Have you ever looked at the Leslie Sansone walking videos?

          3. No I have not but I will now. I hope to get a walk in this afternoon, can’t go far but any distance is better than no distance and it gives me something to build on. Thank you again and for your support, it is invaluable.

  6. You look absolutely FANTASTIC! I read your post first on my phone and could not comment. You appear so healthy and thin and just glowing. Your story helps others and keeps everyone going. Thanks for sharing and being brave to share photos! You are a true inspiration!

  7. Kris-good for you! I think my favorite tip is to drink plenty of water. It’s funny how something so simple can almost make or break our weight loss. Try to have a bottle of water at the ready ALL DAY, especially with summer coming on. Thanks for sharing the pix, too. It helps to keep us all motivated.

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