It’s not official until tomorrow, but I’m pretty sure I’ll be earning a 75-lb star tomorrow! Woot!!
I admit that most of my weight loss attempts in the past resulted in failure. I’d come out of the gate a hardcore dieter determined to succeed, but then I’d have a birthday party or something went wrong with dinner and all my careful plans would go flying out the window.
It’s easy to have the mentality, “Oh, well, I messed up big time. Might as well enjoy myself for the rest of the day.” The problem with this thinking is that “day” turns into “week” and “month” all too easily. It’s hard to get back up on that wagon! In fact, I’m pretty sure I’ve been run over by that wagon quite a few times.
I didn’t think small changes would actually work–surely they wouldn’t make enough of an impact on the scale. I was too impatient. I wanted to lose as much weight as I could, as fast as humanly possible. But that’s just not reasonable. Life happens. Kids get sick. Work blows up. Family members need help or, Lord forbid, pass away, leaving you to deal with grief and emotional loss. How do you get through all the things life throws at you and still find time to lose weight?
Make small changes that you can live with every single day. Here are five things I’m doing right now that help me stay on track. I might not always be 100% on plan, but these small deficits do add up on my calorie balance sheet over time!
1. No seconds. I eat exactly what I want, but I take as small a portion as possible that will still satisfy me and I do. not. go. back. No matter how good it is. Whether it’s cheesecake or Mom’s heavy mashed potatoes at Christmas. No seconds!
2. Measure out a serving. Measuring cups and a digital scale are my friends. If I sit down with an open bag of chips, they’re disappearing. I simply cannot keep my mind around how many I’ve eaten, and with the bag right there, it’s easier to keep reaching in “just one more time.”
If I’m going to indulge in a potential binge-inducing diet buster, I make myself measure out exactly one portion and I put the bag away in the pantry. The kids have learned that Mom is NOT happy if they get a snack after school and leave the open bag out on the counter. I can’t help but nibble… So the rule is measure, then put away. Out of sight, out of mind. Combined with the first step, this keeps me from eating the entire bag.
3. Use a smaller plate. I have a few smaller plates that I always pull out for lunch and often for dinner too. I can fill that plate up with a huge salad and feel like a king. It looks like a lot of food because it’s right up to the edges of the plate. It might be a mental game with myself, but it really does help me control portions.
4. FAT is not the devil. In fact, some healthy fats can help you absorb more nutrients! If you put a little real butter or olive oil on your vegetables, you will absorb more of the nutrients because many of them are fat soluable. Fat is important in your diet — it’s crucial for healthy hair and skin.
Even more, fat helps with satiety. Have you ever sat down to eat a healthy vegetarian meal and left the table feeling… unsatisfied? I can eat a mountain of veggies, beans, and brown rice, but not feel like I’m full. It’s because there wasn’t any fat in the food. A little rich butter, olive oil, or coconut oil does wonders for making your food taste and feel decadent. aka satisfying! Even Weight Watchers recommends 2-3 servings of healthy oil every single day.
PSA: Avoid margarine at all costs. Please. Man-made fats are HORRIBLE for your body. Even Smart Balance or any of those “healthy” or “light” butters are completely processed and loaded with chemicals and preservatives. It’s so much healthier to eat a tiny bit of REAL butter and enjoy the taste!
5. Indulge. Yes, I said it — do not cut out all your favorite foods. Because eventually, you’re going to succumb and feel horrible about slipping. Then that diet wagon might just conk you in the head and you’ll find yourself walking along down a dusty dirty road in a mile-deep rut.
It’s important to feel satisfied and happy while eating healthier. Find things that taste decadent and wonderful to you and ENJOY THEM at least once a week or so. My go-to favorite: Dove dark chocolate. I can nibble on one little square (1 pt) with a cup of coffee and feel like I’ve died and gone to heaven.
What little things have you tried in the past that helped you lose weight successfully?