Every day I followed this checklist:
___Contact with accountability partner
___Drink 64 oz water
___No food after 9 pm
___1/2 cup fresh or frozen fruit
___2 cups veggies (or 3 cups leafy greens)
___MyFitnessPal food journal
___45 minutes exercise
The first thing I did to prepare for the challenge was went to Wal-Mart and bought a big insulated cup so I could keep my water cold to drink all day. I struggled the most with drinking 64 oz. of water every day (exercising helps to get more water in though!) Also, I bought Organic Spinach, frozen sliced strawberries, and bananas for my daily breakfast green smoothie. It tastes AMAZING! I just put 2 handfuls of spinach, 6 oz of water, blend, then add a big handful of frozen strawberries, and one banana, and blend until it's all mixed well. That was the easiest way to make sure I got my veggies/fruit in everyday. One tip my mom taught me, was to make a big salad on Sunday night and eat on it all week! I love salads! I put spinach, romaine lettuce, tomatoes, cucumbers, carrots, and some red onion in my salad. I have it pre-made, so for lunch I just throw some of that salad in a low-carb wrap, add some chicken and some ranch, Ta-da! Quick, low-calorie lunch! I also like Boca chicken patties! They are high in protein, and taste great on those thin sandwich buns with a little mayo!
Also, I kept track of every thing I ate with the MyFitnessPal app. It's a great tool to show you the nutritional value of your food! The next hardest thing for me was the "no sweets!" I never noticed how much sugar I ate! I used to eat granola bars, yogurt, or some other sugar filled item for breakfast, no wonder I couldn't lose weight! I cut out sugary snacks, desserts, sodas (diet or regular), pretty much anything that you could sit down and indulge a bowl of! This didn't count bread, crackers, or similar items that aren't considered "desserts." That was a big boost in my weight loss! There is ONE cheat day a week, where you can eat sugary items. :) I learned to replace my sugar crave with an apple or some almonds.
The last, and most important key to losing weight is exercise! I started this challenge at 9 weeks postpartum, and I hadn't done any exercising since I had my son. So needless to say, I was out of shape! I started walking a mile 4-5 times a week, pushing my son in the stroller. Then I slowly increased my walking time, and started jogging closer to the end of the 8 weeks! I can now walk/jog 3 miles like nothing! :) I learned to love walking, it's a great way to relieve stress as well! I also use the Nike+ running app to keep track of how far I walk/jog.