I lost 25 pounds and 3 pants sizes three years ago, and I have kept it off. Perhaps I can help someone by sharing some tips and my weight loss success story. I’ll start with the diet part of the picture.
I’ve always eaten healthy foods regardless of whether my intent was weight loss. When I decided to seriously lose the pounds, there was no ‘overhaul’ of the way I ate. All I did was switch in some protein and switch out some carbs, and I ate smaller portions at dinner. (The skinnier me resulted more from getting up to exercise before work and a general increase in exercise than anything, but that’s for another day.)
Every day when I’m at work, I bring my own food. No buying. I eat the same thing every day, though lunches do vary. I found what worked for me, and I didn’t want to think about different foods to eat all the time. Surprisingly, it doesn’t get too boring.
Your attitude counts! View food as a fuel and a solution for hunger, instead of some kind of thrill. You know what’s a thrill? Having people ask you how much weight you lost. Wearing smaller sizes of clothing. Whatever your taste buds enjoy is only there for a minute. It helps to be in the mindset of ‘temporary’. Put unhealthy foods in the same category as alcohol, nicotine, sex (as in outside of marriage), possessions, etc. – whatever good feeling you derive from it doesn’t last long – and there’s a payment of some sort after it’s over. For me, this works most of the time. Sometimes I just eat that cheesecake or whatever is calling to me. Moderation is the key.
The foods I have listed below are eaten at intervals depending on when I’m hungry. I eat 6-7 times a day. You’ve probably already heard that ‘eat often in smaller portions’ works.
I used to eat low-cal wheat bread with a little peanut butter. I changed to protein. For awhile I ate a hard-boiled egg. I switched at some point to egg substitute – I like Better N Eggs – ½ cup is 2 eggs. 60 calories, 0 fat. Spray a cereal bowl with nonstick spray, then microwave them for 1:45.
I did not change what I ate the rest of the morning. I switched to soy milk on my cereal (lactose intolerance) after I lost the weight. It’s only 70 calories, so you spare some calories compared to skim. It is really good stuff. Here’s the rest of my morning cuisine:
- Raisin Bran or Frosted Mini Wheats bite-size, with light soy milk, plus a cup of Nestle’s Fat-Free Hot Cocoa (20 calories)
- Medium banana
- Apple (I cut it up before I leave the house. It aggravates my TMJ (jaw inflammation) if I bite into it or eat other crunchy (or chewy) foods.
LUNCH (no change)
Frozen entrée from Weight Watcher’s, Lean Cuisine, or Healthy Choice. Occasionally I have a Lean Pocket. I typically will not eat one if it has over 300 calories.
Here’s a little thing I do to add some protein: add some cubes of cooked chicken. When we cook chicken breasts at home, I often take the ones we don’t need for a recipe, I bake them plain, cut them up and divide into baggies. I put them into a freezer bag.
You can also season or marinate chicken breasts, freeze, then pull one out for lunch at a later date.
SNACKS: Instead of the animal crackers I used to eat, I changed to 1) grapes and 2) low-fat 50-cal string cheese (Sargento). (Animal crackers are not really bad, just nutritionless.)
I have days where I can’t get full. Popcorn is the only thing that is guaranteed to fill me (low fat, of course). I like the Pop Weaver Light, available at Wal-Mart.
I had been eating either two servings, or a serving that was too large. Keep dinner to one serving. The size of a serving, if you’re having pasta or a casserole, is around 1 cup. A standard Corelle cereal bowl holds around one serving of these kinds of dishes. The lighter recipes may allow 1 ½ cups. For the ‘protein plus sides’ kind of meal, you’ve probably already heard that a serving of protein, like meat, is the size of a deck of cards. 6 oz.
Generally speaking, replace white carbs with something else. A sweet potato instead of a white potato, wheat bread instead of white, change to wheat pasta, brown rice,etc.
My husband loves his sweets, which he insists on having around at times. During my weight loss journey, I was able to overcome the temptation. The low-fat pudding cups help with the sweet tooth.
*A little web research on the hot flashes and night sweats, from which I suffer, revealed that white sugar is among the triggers that also include caffeine and citrus.
Prayer: I prayed that God would enable me to resist unhealthy temptations. My prayers were answered. Visualization helped me, as I would look at sweets or extra servings as if the devil was lurking around it, smiling, telling me, come on, you deserve it. Be off with you, devil!
Future Plan: In a future post, I’ll provide a Weight Watcher recipe occasionally that I pulled off their website when I had an online membership many years ago. Before that, I’ll talk about exercise. And see my links to fitness videos.
If you’re trying to lose weight, I wish you success. Don’t forget to pray about it! Let me know how you’re doing!