By Marianna Boyce
I hope everyone had a great start to the new year! Hopefully, if you made any resolutions, you will keep them much longer than I ever did. If you read my last LMC post, “D-I-E-T…That Dirty Four Letter Word,” you already know I swore fad diets off forever. I chose the whole lifestyle change instead.
I simply started by cutting my calorie intake. I continued eating the food I was normally eating, just much less of it. What a novel idea! When I lost five pounds in a few weeks, I was surprised and excited all at the same time! This pushed me to go a step further.
I had to make myself accountable in some way so I downloaded a calorie counting app on my device. I measured everything for a couple of weeks just until I was confident in the portion sizes I should be eating. On days I exceeded my calorie allowance, I logged everything anyway! Seeing the overage in calories ALWAYS encouraged me to make better choices the following day.
- Download any free calorie counting app of your choice. I personally like the “Lose It” app.
- When entering your personal information, set your goal weight 10 lbs lower than your actual weight. Losing 10 lbs is obtainable for anyone. Set new goals as you reach each one. “Inch by inch, anything’s a cinch.”
- Log all food and drinks…even one itty bitty Hershey Kiss. (22 calories by the way)
- Eat only enough to keep from being hungry. Fueling your body throughout the day makes for a good experience which is how it’s supposed to be. You should never be hungry, but you should also never be “stuffed”.
- Drink plenty of water! It has zero calories!
- Don’t go back for seconds.
- If you love salad, load up on lettuce, carrots, cucumbers etc. Eliminate or go easy on cheese, bacon bits and croutons. Choose wisely on dressing. Don’t go overboard if you choose the creamy ones.
- If you love bread and dessert, don’t cut them out completely, just cut the portion at least by half.
- If you somehow find yourself at Rush’s or McDonalds, choose a smaller burger and skip the fries.
- Always have healthy snacks available at home and work. One ingredient snacks such as grapes, bananas, apples, almonds, pistachios, or boiled eggs are good. Any of these, plus a glass of water should be enough to satisfy. (Unless you have a food allergy to them.)
- Eat or drink protein if possible. Protein makes you feel full.
- If you like chips, buy the individual small bags of baked chips. They are more expensive but they are pre-measured and only average 150 calories per bag. Limit yourself to one. You’re at least getting to eat chips! How cool is that?
- If you walk or exercise, log that in also. This will credit more calories to your account for the day.
- Your goal is staying below your calorie allowance. This is when weight loss will occur.
- Weigh once a week in the morning before you eat or drink anything. Don’t be afraid to step on that horrible scale! If you are serious about this method, it won’t be long you’ll be happy to step on that wonderful scale. (Yes, I just said that!)
- Don’t beat yourself up over a bad day. Log it all in, get over it, and move on to the next day. Don’t EVER wait until the following week. Your progress is worth more than tossing it out the window for one bad day. It’s going to happen, but this should never derail your plan.
If your goal is to lose weight and keep it off, stop “dieting”. It’s easy getting started. Simply cut down on what you’re currently eating. If you are under the care of a physician and on a specialized diet, stick with your doctor’s plan.
Take a week or two to familiarize yourself with your new app. Logging will get quicker. This app will begin to remember your favorites so be patient. If you don’t like logging, do it for three months. Once you know your limits, you can discontinue logging but keep eating wisely. I’m the type of person that needs to keep track.
I have lost 10 lbs since October. This time span includes 2 family reunions, Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year’s Day. My clothes are fitting much better already. One photo is me this past summer at 155 lbs. The other is me at 145 lbs which is where I am currently. My goal is 135 lbs. This is where my body is at its optimum.
Some may need to lose more and some less. Regardless of gender and if given a fair shake, this can potentially create a HAPPY NEW YOU for all of 2019, and even beyond. This is what works for me. I would love to hear what works best for you.