Over the last year I've lost 45 lbs and become much stronger. I'm no fitness expert, but I have learned a lot through this journey.
-Switch up your workout routine at least once a month. This principle is called muscle confusion. If you keep springing new workouts on your body, it will never get used to them and you will avoid the dreaded plateau.
-Weight training is BORING. I used to mindlessly use the weight machines and free weights at the gym. It wasn't terribly effective. It was only when I started working out to videos that coached me through the process, taught me new things, and motivated me, that I got my muscles to get stronger.
-Train your abs every day. Just 15 minutes a day will strengthen your abs like crazy. I think this is especially important because I hurt my back a little over a year ago, and I could have prevented it if my abs had been stronger.
-Vegetables are you best friend. Super low in calories, super high in vitamins and whatnot, and they can taste good if you try new recipes. Ideally, I would eat vegetables with every meal. Of course, I fall off that wagon all the time. But nothing will make you healthier.
-When your workout starts getting too easy, you're plateauing. Try wearing wrist weights (I use 2 lb ones) during your workout. Try wearing a weighted vest (I have one that's adjustable from 5-20 lbs) during your workout. By adding weight to your body, you'll make your heart pump harder and you'll burn more calories.
-Some workout videos that I have tried and loved (but remember to keep changing them up):
The Bar Method Body
The Lotte Berk Method
Callanetics Evolution and Cardio Callanetics
Slim in 6
10 Minute Trainer
Crunch Super Slimdown Pilates Yoga Blend
Jillian Michaels: 30 Day Shred, No More Trouble Zones, Banish Fat Boost Metabolism
-Exercise 5-6 days a week, combining strength training, cardio, and flexibility training (yoga, pilates, etc)
I know how hard it is to stay motivated. At first the only thing that kept me going was seeing the results: the numbers on the scale kept shrinking. But now I do it for my health. I want to be a strong, capable woman forever.