You’ve, of course, heard of the show “The Biggest Loser,” right? I consider myself on a much smaller trajectory.
I’ve been at odds with my bathroom scale for decades. My weight has fluctuated up and down through college, post-college, pre-babies, post-babies, pre-Christmas, post-Christmas, and onward. While I’m not a yo-yo dieter, I usually need to change my bad habits after weeks/months of horrible nutritional choices (usually due to travel/vacations).
When I am at the top of a “panic” weight peak, I do tend to immediately correct myself. The reason for this blog is to simply share my secrets to slimming down. I feel I need to remind you, dear readers, that I am not a nutritionist or a dietitian. I am simply a woman who has been in the dietary trenches. Please consult a nutritional professional if you have specific concerns or any kind of medical condition.
I usually set the following guidelines for myself when I want to drop a few pounds. These work for me. Every person’s body is very different, so I would never intentionally declare that this is the new dieting craze that works for everyone. You may notice that I don’t increase physical activity. I actually workout 5-7 times a week and strength train at least twice. I may increase my intensity on a few workouts, but (for me), enough is enough. I find that I can make better (and faster) progress with dietary changes.
Track everything that I eat (this includes supermarket samples!). I use my fit bit food tracker, which helps me figure out exactly the correct amount of calories I can consume each day.
Limit alcohol. I admit, I lose my food control after a few drinks. Therefore, if I stick to only having some drinks on a couple of days a week, I stick to my caloric restrictions.
Drink my coffee “black-er.” Am I ever going to give up coffee? Never. Coffee is a religion for my husband and I. However, I will take my #RoosRoast (http://roosroast.com/) with less cream and sugar. I actually start out the morning with creamer, and add coffee (not more cream) as the sun travels higher. FYI: black coffee is almost calorie-free.
Add pain-free nutrition. Spinach is my weight-loss friend. I have noticed that when I add spinach to my food, I eat less and feel more full. So, I sprinkle spinach and other veggies into my eggs, soups, smoothies and pasta sauce! Spinach is practically tasteless. In addition to spinach, I try to fill up on fruit when I have a craving for a snack. If I attack a craving with a fruit, I can sometimes avoid a hunger crash. Last, I eat a square of dark chocolate when I need sweets (but only 1…okay, only 2…)
Lean protein for fullness. I don’t eat a lot of meat, but I do need to have some good protein sources now and then. Protein has been proven to make us feel full. To be honest, I don’t avoid higher fat foods. I avoid high-calorie foods. Lean protein is actually pretty low-cal. I really like salmon and grass-fed beef (I’m anemic and beef is the ONLY way I can stay healthy…yes, I’ve tried everything).
Stop buying junk food. I don’t buy stuff that I can’t eat. Or, if I have to have something, I eat a little bit and then bring the rest to a party. I don’t have impulse control, especially around tortilla chips and cheese.
Severely limit bread/rice/processed carbs. I don’t like gluten-free as a weight-loss technique because I don’t have Celiac’s disease. I am not gluten-intolerant. I am in love with bread and it makes me go up three pants sizes. If I take out all processed carbs, I lose weight. I encourage myself to have natural carbs, such as potatoes or apples. I eat them in recognizable form and I don’t stress about it. If it is a bread-y processed food, I avoid it.
Weigh myself every day. This gives me a better idea how I am progressing down in pounds. My weight seems to change daily, so I need to visit my scale for a daily reality check.
Eat only when hungry. I don’t have to eat if I’m not hungry. I bring “just in case” healthy snacks when I’m running out. I often have to remind myself that my brain loves food, but I won’t starve. I eat plenty of calories per day.
Allow days of rest. I have to live!!! I like to go out and have a good time. So, occasionally, I take a day off of dieting. I will actually plan out my day of fun ahead of time. This motivates me to make good choices until that date. I find that I enjoy myself more when I allow a few treats.
So, that’s it! These are my “rules.” Even though I am not a rule-follower, I need to reign myself into a few rules when I can’t fit into my pants. These may seem daunting, but losing weight isn’t easy (Don’t let anyone ever tell you that losing weight is easy-they are either lying or are naturally thin). It is so much easier (and fun-ner!) to gain weight! 🙂 As of this writing, I’ve lost 4 lbs out of the 10 I hope to lose. Wish me luck! 😉