There are lots of times that I have people ask how I lost weight. While I tell them what I did, I'd rather be giving them general ideas to try for themselves. My path to losing weight is just that - my path. What worked for me, isn't going to work for someone else. I'd rather that they listen to my tips, ideas and choices and figure out the their path.
I know, I know! Everyone wants the quick fix, the easy track or the sure thing. But the truth is that it's like a unicorn and doesn't exist, except in our imaginations. The diets may result in loss, but it returns as soon as you return to your normal eating. The structured weight loss clinics/plans, again they work while you're involved, but stop when you're not involved. The point here is that you need to learn what works for you and make it your life. Not a couple of months here and there, your lifestyle for good.
So here are my top three tips:
Get rid of your dinner plates. You can keep one or two for serving platters, but pack the rest away. Use that salad plate as your sinner plate. You are forced to take smaller portions and therefore eat less. Your brain is tricked into thinking that it's full because you've cleaned your plate.
Find your water bottle. Sounds strange, but I bought a lot of bottles that were trendy and cute, but didn't work for me. I don't like aluminum bottles because I like seeing what's inside and after a while they seem to take on the taste of whatever was put in them. I didn't like the bottles with screw on caps because it was hard to get them off while exercising; not to mention I always wore more water than I drank with the large bottle opening.
As for the contents: water. Fill up your bottles with water and drink. I drink at least 3 of these a day for a total of 75 ounces, along with any other liquids I drink. I have 4 of these bottles and I keep 2 in the fridge with cold water. Sometimes I use room temp water because cold water is just too cold. In the summer especially, I add fresh fruit juice to it. I take berries, melon or even veggies and put them in the blender/food processor and puree. Then I let them drain through a fine colander to get out the solids and seeds. I keep these in small containers in the fridge and add a bit when I need flavoring.
Shop outside. And by this I mean shop the outside aisles of the grocery store. Try spending 30% of your budget in the produce section. Eat what's in season to maximize your spending. Spend 25% of your budget in lean proteins: chicken, fish, pork and turkey. It's fine to add in some beef every week, but the majority of your meals should be lean protein. 30% should be spent in the dairy section; cheeses, greek yogurt, lowfat milk, and eggs. 10% should be spent in the frozen aisles for frozen veg and fruit when not in season. The other 5%, spend in aisles for grains, legumes and rice. this my example of how I try to shop most times. It varies according to what I might be out of or need.
Stop with the pre-packaged, quick, processed foods. If you are craving cookies, make them yourself. This accomplishes a couple of things: first it allows you to know just what is in the recipe you're eating and you can modify it if you want to fit your eating, it makes you work for your food so you know you really want to eat it by putting in the effort to make it and it's not an instant gratification to pull something from a box and eat it. All good things when trying to lose weight, not to mention get healthier.
It's weigh in Wednesday. But here's the deal...I'm not going to weigh myself until next week. Pete is going to help me get started back at the gym and for now, that scale is off limits to avoid more frustration.