I was alway thin until I experienced a loss in my life and then my eating went out of control. I remember being a young girl and listening to my mother and her friends talk about how hard it was to lose weight and I thought to myself they were just lazy and unmotivated. Boy was I wrong! When I’m struggling with my weight my mother’s conversation plays over and over in my head and I remind myself yes it’s hard, but not impossible. The one thing I have learned is to never give up. I saw my mother struggle to lose weight and even be successful a few times, but ultimately she gave up and I saw first hand the results of that decision. She died of NASH (nonalcoholic stealohepatitis) which is an abnormal amount of fat in the liver cells that causes inflammation within the liver. Liver cells are damaged, die and then are replaced with scar tissue. It’s a horrible way to die, and even sadder, it can be avoided. NASH is on the rise in this country because of obesity. Im not a nutritionist or a weight loss expert, but I have put together a list of tips that I have learned and used that helped me in my weight loss journey. I hope that they can help someone else who is struggling. So reach out my friend and take my hand and we’ll be on our way.
I wrote down everything I put into my mouth for at least the first few weeks, I was really surprised to see a pattern develop and it makes it easier to make changes. If I have a really good week I know exactly what I did.
2. Drink Water
It really helps fight off hunger. I drink at least 8 glasses a day and usually more. According to Web MD, drinking half an ounce to an ounce for each pound of weight is what is recommend daily.
3. Know why I’m eating
Am I hungry, bored, stressed or sad. If I know it’s not time to eat I’ll have a glass of water and take a few minutes to get in touch with my feelings. I have discovered that I eat when I’m bored. There is so much to do in life I should never be bored, but I often find my self wanting to eat for this reason.
4. Have a smoothie every day
This is what I eat for breakfast most days and I make them in a variety of ways. It is a great way to get several servings of vegetables and fruit at one time. I add some protein powder and golden ground flax meal, its delicious.
5. Eat nuts every day
Its good protein and healthy fat. I don’t eat an excessive amount, just a 1oz serving which is about one handful. I eat a variety of raw unsalted nuts, but no peanuts.
6. Meat free meals
I cook several meals a week free of meat, dairy, and eggs. I substitute beans and rice, Quinoa small amounts of natural peanut butter, and whole grains. I don’t like the taste of meat or eggs and I’m allergic to dairy so its not a problem for me to eat like that. On the other hand my husband thinks he will die without meat, but he has survived so far with less. There are so many great meatless recipes out there and remember plants have protein!
7. One change at a time
Make one change a week – increase water one week, next week less sugar, next week increase vegetables and fruit and so on. It all adds up to weight loss and being more healthy.
8. Eat vegetables and Fruit
I can’t say that enough, they are full of fiber and help keep me full longer. I get at least three servings of each vegetable and fruits in my morning smoothie.
9. Wear a pedometer
I wear one daily to know how many steps I have taken, I challenge myself to take more steps each week. Move it and lose it really is true.
10. Know my triggers
We all have them, mine are Cheetos and Poppycock. I can’t stop until they are gone so I don’t buy them! Don’t set yourself up for failure.
11. Cook at home
Cooking at home is so important and the best thing I can do for myself. I control the fat, the salt, the portion size. I buy the best foods I can afford like fresh fruits and vegetables which are organic and GMO free. Cooking at home helps me save money so I can spend more on good food. If you can’t afford organic, just eating the regular fruits and vegetables are still a good choice.
12. Eat a rainbow
Eat fruit and vegetables of many colors from red tomatoes and green kale to purple cabbage, and I try new ones to expand my palette. Cook them different ways, roasted vegetable taste so much better than steamed. Barbecue pineapple and peaches, it totally changes the flavor, it’s so delicious.
13. Plan ahead
I have snacks ready to grab and healthy meals planned for the week, it helps keep my focus. If I’m going to a function and there will be food, I plan ahead, eat a salad and don’t arrive hungry, I allow myself one dessert. (If I just happen to overdo it, I simply go right back on my plan of eating healthy. We are after all, just human)
14. Keep track of weight
When I don’t want to get on the scale there is a reason why, I know I won’t like the results. I don’t weigh every day, but when I do I write it on the calendar because I want to know which way the scale is moving.
15. Find support
Whether it is TOPS, Weight Watchers, or a friend, find support! I’m in TOPS and I can’t say enough good things about it. In TOPS we say “the way to goal is a lonely road we need someone to care” (taken from the friendship circle).
16. Give yourself grace
If I have a bad day, its OK, I just get back on my plan right away. I don’t want to let one bad meal or day turn into a week or month of bad days. At TOPS we say “We are human start again, each day is a new beginning”. Everyone mess up once in awhile it’s, OK.
The thought of losing 40 pounds sounds almost impossible for me so I don’t think of it that way, it’s 5 pounds at a time. I have to remember I didn’t put in on over night and its not going to come off over night. I pat myself on the back and celebrate each 10 pounds with a reward like new workout shoes, yoga pants, exercise DVD, pedicure etc…..
18. Find inspiration
Watching documentaries like ‘Fork Over Knife’ really was an eye opener for me. There are some good movies on Netfix like ‘Fat Sick and Nearly Dead’, ‘Hungry for Change’, ‘Vegucated’, and ‘GMO OMG’. Reading other peoples weight loss success is also inspiring to me.
19. Never Give Up
What works for one person may not work for another, that is why there are so many plans and ideas about weight loss. Don’t fall for a quick gimmick that sounds to good to be true, like losing 30 pounds in two weeks, it just doesn’t work that way.
Everything in moderation, I don’t cut out any food group all together. No carbs, no fat diets don’t work. My body needs both, and I try to keep a good balance.
21. Eat Breakfast
I have learned that breakfast is my most important meal, but is my least favorite meal so the smoothie is perfect for me. I know if I don’t have a smoothie I will likely consume more calories than I should.