While this is not a blog about weight loss, I would like to touch on it. Weight loss can help improve many health conditions such as arthritis, diabetes, sleep apnea, fatigue, high blood pressure, etc.
It’s not that easy though, right? I was a yo-yo dieter for years. And once you lose it, it appears again – worse than before. From being chubby as a teen, to being anorexic in college, to gaining 62 pounds with my first pregnancy. It was a constant back and forth for decades. A never ending battle. What’s worse, older you get the harder it is to lose. Can you relate to any of this?
The problem is there is no best diet because everyone has different needs. I hear the frustration of so many. We all struggle with the same issue. Since I have switched from dieting to lifestyle, I have done much better.
Here are some weight control tips that have worked for me… so far. Not just to lose weight, but to maintain it. It has become much easier than it was in the past. Read through and see what ideas might work for you. Down the road as life happens adjustments may need to be made.
Weight Control Tips That Worked For Me…So Far
(In no particular order)
✅First I don’t “diet” anymore. Whatever you do, it should be something you can do forever. If you engage in extreme dieting you won’t be able to keep it up and when you stop you will just end up gaining it all back. It should become a lifestyle that you can live with. If you’re miserable doing it, it won’t last. You’ll give up.
✅ I use a scale. Weigh yourself as often as you need to. It is helpful to know how your body is reacting to what you are doing or when you need to start being proactive.
✅I don’t just weigh myself, I weigh my portions. This was the most eye opening to me. I had no clue how much I was eating. Portions are really tiny. I still use the scale on and off. I got one at the bed and bath store with a coupon for $16. I think it was the Biggest Loser brand. When you pour some chips or cereal in a bowl or cut some avocado, I guarantee it will not be that 1 oz. listed on the nutrition label. 17 chips is a serving. 17 broken chips? You only need to do this until you get the feel of portion sizes.
✅I write it down. In the beginning, this was the most important. Now, it is just when I need to make up for some over indulgences like during holidays, or when I have shoulder surgery and I can’t do anything so I walk around eating everything I see. Write down every thing you eat. Seriously. You don’t think you need to, but when you see it in writing you will be much more successful, and you’ll think twice about putting it in your mouth. You can use a notebook, but i like to use My Fitness Pal. They have a huge food database. They even have some restaurant meals so you can include meals out. It works out the calories, protein, fat, fiber, carbs or whatever I set it to track. I can also set the amount I want to eat each day so I can see if I ate enough fiber, or had too many carbs. Those amounts are important too, not just the calories. It also lets you add foods by scanning the barcode with your phone. All free. There are many other good trackers online as well.
Update: I recently switched to Cronometer. I can track more nutrients with it.
✅I have 1-2 days a week that are “cheat” days. I don’t mean I go crazy by that. I mean I still eat within my guidelines but I allow myself to eat more. (Sometimes it is dairy free ice cream or some carrot cake or other treat) The higher calorie days also keep my metabolism up.
✅Don’t starve yourself by reducing calories too much. Your body will catch on and it will backfire. A very low calorie diet is the worst thing to do. It will end up messing up your metabolism, hormones, making it even more difficult to lose weight. You will also be losing muscle, not just fat. you don’t want that. You will not be able to maintain such low calories and the weight will come right back on. When people say they only eat 700-800 calories a day, that is not enough. Use an online calculator and find your sweet spot. Mine is 1200 for weight loss (My Fitness Pal calculator). When you lose or gain significant weight you will need to update it because your calorie requirements will change.
✅I have 35-50 grams of fiber a day. That’s how much you should be eating. People don’t get nearly enough fiber.
✅I have moderate amounts of complete protein everyday. (protein helps you lose weight and maintain muscle) Have a little with each meal.
✅Mix resistance training and cardio. I walk with my husband most everyday. If the weather is bad have an alternative exercise.
✅I strength train. (doesn’t have to be heavy weight, just some weight -even body weight) Muscle burns more calories than fat. When you lose weight without the protein and strength training you will be losing muscle, and that is bad especially at my age… Losing muscle mass initially lowers our weight, but in the end makes it more difficult to lose weight. Muscle also burns more calories through out the day. There are so many other benefits linked to exercise as well.
✅I use sugar blocker methods (click here) to moderate carbs and sugar spikes when I’m gonna over do it (like at Christmas or a birthday party).
✅Always have a plan. Without a plan you’ll fail. Have a plan when you go out, go to work, to a party, vacation, etc.
✅Don’t drink calories. Drink lots of water. You can add cut fruit (not sweetener) for a little flavor if you want. My favorite is lemon, blackberry or watermelon.
✅Poop everyday. There I said it. If you’re not, you need to change something about your intake.
✅Have healthy food in stock and easily accessible. You’ll grab what’s available. Make healthy items available. Take part of a day and prep meals for the week so it is easily available.
✅If you don’t buy it, you wont eat it.
✅Eat healthy, quality food. Avoid processed foods. Eat whole, nutrient dense food.
✅Calories matter even if you are eating healthy, but not as much.
✅Get quality sleep. Your sleep has an effect on your ability to lose weight. I haven’t had this in a while due to pain issues. Looking forward to having this again soon.
✅Have your hormones checked and make an effort to balance what you can. Hormones that affect weight include: insulin, thyroid, D3, estrogen, cortisol, leptin, ghrelin (affected by lack of sleep ) and testosterone. Out of whack hormones can lead to extra fat storage and difficulty losing weight.
✅Don’t let people guilt you into eating some thing you feel you shouldn’t eat.
✅If there’s something you like, but it’s not something you should eat, come up with a healthier substitute or make a healthier version.
✅Nut flours have less carbs than regular grain flours, because they’re well…nuts.
✅Find out what foods your body is sensitive to and cut them out or eat less of them. I have eliminated gluten and dairy. I did add limited organic dairy back, because I wasn’t getting quite enough calcium. Legumes bloat me. I still eat them but I limit how often. Generally, I eat high fiber, high fat, moderate protein, low sugar, low carb.
Have you been successful losing weight or maintaining a weight loss?
How have you been successful and what steps did you take?
What do you find to be the biggest stumbling block?
“Let not him who eats despise him who does not eat, let not him who does not eat judge him who eats; for God has received him.” Romans 14:3