I've been changing my weight over the past few weeks. A friend asked me how I was doing it...
So here are some things I'm doing.
1) Be accountable to someone other than yourself. I'm in a weight loss competition. This means that I have a group of people who are losing weight with me. It helps to be able to encourage one another--and it feels like eating right is a weekly endeavor--rather than an overwhelming never ending battle.
The amount of weight I have to lose is discouraging--but I can be good one week at a time and look for weekly improvements.
2) Write it down. The woman who started the weightloss competition gave us each a diet notebook. It was so much fun to fill it out! I love my calorie counting app--but I used the physical notebook the first two weeks. And now I fill it in later. The act of writing the food down keeps me aware of what I'm choosing. It makes a difference.
3) Give yourself limits--But Start with Minimal Limits. I know myself. I naturally rebel against diets. I hate the limitations. I crave everything I'm not supposed to have. When I first started--my only limitation was that I TRY to eat around 1800 calories a day--but if I went over--no big deal. And I did. A few times. But I didn't bust the bank. I knew that I had to write it down--so it made me think about my choices. Is a 700 calorie steak worth the calories? Is a salted caramel cake worth the calories? HELLLLL YESSSS!! And I enjoyed every bite more than I ever would have if I wasn't writing down those calories. The other limitation--I had to try to drink 150 ounces of water every day. I was constantly refilling my water bottle. And going to the rest room.
4) Enjoy food! I've had a great time relishing food and just enjoying my favorite foods.
5) Never get hungry. My mom likes Balance Bars. I bought myself some. I like them! They're tasty! And I bought the weightloss shakes. I also bought a big thing of nuts. Every couple of hours, I'll check in with myself and make sure I'm not getting hungry. If I feel myself getting hungry--I have a shake or a bar or some nuts.
6) Take Vitamins. I also like to take fiber pills too. Energy pills are energizing and take away the appetite--but since I want to eat during the day--they're not really that helpful for me. Energize yourself with vitamins from fruits, veggies and vitamins!
6) Add Limitations Later. I realize that for me, I needed to get used to my minimal limitations before I added new ones. I started on May 20th. On June 8th, I decided to add this rule:
No food--except vegetables or herbal tea--after 7pm.
There's something really nice about having an empty stomach when you go to sleep. But this only works if you have consciously made sure to eat plenty BEFORE 7pm.
My suggestion to you--write everything down and give yourself one or two rules that you KNOW you can follow. Then if you want to add all the "no sugar", "no gluten", "dance a circle in black sand under the light of the full moon" stuff later--Go to town!
And as for exercise--enjoy it! It will energize you and keep you in touch with your body. I am enjoying it more because I have less weight to carry around on my skeleton. I carried a 20 pound watermelon into the house the other day. It was heavy. That's how much weight has been released from my body! That's my favorite part of this. I'm so far away from looking skinny--that it's really not a motivator--but imagining 20 pounds lifted from my aching bones--that MOTIVATES me!
As for exercise being a tool for weight loss--I could work out for days--but I know that keeping track of my food is way more important to my weight loss. Exercise is an important part of losing weight--but the benefits aren't burning calories--they're about releasing endorphins that keep you encouraged, oxygen, learning to love your human body--these things matter more to me.
I hope this is helpful for anyone on the fence about dieting.
By allowing myself permission to eat whatever I want, I avoid the dreaded "last supper" mentality where you spend your nights enjoying the "last donut", "last Ben and Jerry's". I had 6 donuts last week and a pint of Ben and Jerry's. I'm not proud of that, but I had it. Because that's a part of life. Somedays you just want a freaking donut--or 6.
Okay, I need to stop writing now! Good luck!