Katie Gallagher's weight-loss story doesn't have any big twists or turns. She didn't follow a diet fad or jump on board with a popular workout regimen. She simply put the time and effort into cleaning up her diet and revamping her fitness plan — all on her own. Here's how she got her health on track and lost a total of 40 pounds.
"I achieved my results from doing both cardiovascular and weighted exercises consistently and eating healthy foods consistently," she told POPSUGAR. "Consistency is key to seeing results." Katie had been through her fair share of "temporary fad diets and failed attempts of getting in shape." In 2015 she'd had enough. She was going through a breakup and was moving across the country for a new job, so she "saw it as the perfect opportunity to finally do what I had always wanted to do."
"I mostly researched the internet for new workouts to try."
She started with what she was eating every day. "I did not follow a specific diet or really even count calories," Katie said. "I cut out the processed food, the sugary drinks, and started actually setting foot in the vegetable section of the grocery store." Sounds simple enough, but those small changes made all the difference in the world.
"I ate a lot of chicken, fish, and eggs — anything that was high in protein," she continued. "I had to drastically reduce, but not eliminate, the amount of carbs I had been regularly consuming. I switched to foods like sweet potato, quinoa, and brown rice for my carb sources." Rather than using a measuring cup or scale to count every gram of food she was eating, "I literally guessed on portion sizes, put together balanced meals for myself, and destroyed my workouts in the gym every single day."
Speaking of her workouts, Katie didn't waste an exorbitant amount of money to hire a personal trainer or join an expensive gym. "I mostly researched the internet for new workouts to try," she explained. "I followed a ton of fitness accounts on Instagram for ideas, because I was so eager to try anything new to challenge my body. I saw what kinds of things these fitness people were doing in the gym, so I figured if I did their workouts too, my body was bound to change." Her body did indeed change.
Katie used to go to the gym and just work out her whole body, but she found much better results from scheduling her strength-training workouts in a different way. One day she'll work on back and biceps, another day she'll do shoulder and triceps, the next she'll do chest and abs, and legs are a separate session as well.
"You shouldn't wait until you're ready, because I truly believe there is never one moment in time where you feel that kind of readiness."
"I finish each workout with 15 minutes or more of some type of cardio, like walking uphill on the treadmill, sprints, cycling, or the StairMaster," she said. "I really never stick to just one type of workout or routine. If you do, you are more likely to hit plateaus with your progress."
Having been through such a transformation herself, Katie has a lot of advice for women who are looking to turn their lives around. "If your mind is only focused on immediate satisfaction for results, you are already setting yourself up for failure," she said. "It's the little things you do each day that eventually add up over time and bring you exactly what you worked for."
Katie admitted that it was a challenge to adopt this new lifestyle. She "couldn't just carelessly go out to eat all the time and order whatever sounded tasty," and there were even some friends who stopped inviting her to hang out altogether. But her true friends stood by her side and helped her reach her goals.
"You shouldn't wait until you're ready, because I truly believe there is never one moment in time where you feel that kind of readiness," she advised. "You honestly just have to dive into it fearlessly and wholeheartedly." She says when your desire to change is strong enough, you'll do whatever it takes to reach your goals, no matter how hard it may be along the way and how unmotivated you may feel at times.
Finally, Katie wants others to know that she didn't deprive herself of the foods she loved most. "I did not give up any of my favorite foods indefinitely, and that's not what I'm saying that anyone should do," she said. "I still eat pizza and macaroni and cheese, because what is the point of working so hard if you aren't happy?" Amen to that!