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Does it feel like you’re the only one on the planet that has to constantly think about what food you’re eating? It seems like your entire day revolves around food. I know how you feel. Do you feel like you’ve tried every diet known to man only to fail and gain most, if not all the weight back? Me too sister. But really, it’s not about your diet. The truth is, the most important thing you need to change is your mindset. I have found numerous mindset changes that will finally help you lose weight. No matter what diet you’re on.
I know what you’re thinking, “But Barb, you’re still overweight. How can you help me?” Well, I haven’t always been overweight. I have had my share of successes and failures, as you’ll read. But like many of you, I have a hard time following my own advice sometimes. I will say, I have learned enough that I haven’t gained all my weight back. I can at least tell you the changes I made when I was successful and hopefully that will help you not fall back on bad habits like me. And like many of you, I also struggle with a health issue that makes it extra hard to lose weight.
I fell for it. More than once, unfortunately. The fad diet. What can I say, I was desperate. I will say the most successful diet I was ever on was the, “having a newborn baby diet”. I went from 175lbs to 140lbs in a week! But I have tried many a diet in my past. You see I have always been a medium. Never skinny, never really obese. But it’s not hard to be overweight when you’re only 5ft 1in and you have an addiction to Venti caramel lattes. I have tried Slimfast, paleo, keto, low-carb, the Zone, and finally Weight Watchers. And the only one I actually learned from and lost significant weight (55lbs to be exact) on was Weight Watchers. (No, I’m not an affiliate. Nor do I endorse Weight Watchers.)
After 20 years of trying to get off this extra chub, I learned from not only my successes but also my failures. So I’m going to share with you what I believe helped me lose weight. And it wasn’t necessarily just the food I was or was not eating.
What Will Really Help You Lose Weight?
Yes, changing what and how much you eat is vital to losing weight. Because you ain’t gonna lose that last 10lbs eating Krispy Kreme every morning. Sorry, but it’s true. But the real key I found was certain mindset changes that happened with me when I was on Weight Watchers. And you don’t have to pay $48 a month to be successful.
- Get an Accountability Pal or Two: This is THE most important thing you can do! I owe the majority of my weight loss success to my accountability team. Mainly my mother and my close friend. We checked in on each other nearly on a daily basis. I know my relapse with my weight was because I was no longer attending WW weekly and stopped checking in with my partners. That’s why you need accountability partners outside of your weight loss program if that is what you are doing.
- Have Support at Home: I am very fortunate that I have a husband that always supports my health choices. Some don’t. Try to get your family on board to help support you. Let them know how important this is to you.
- Not a Diet, a Lifestyle Change: You cannot go into this thinking you are on a diet. Because you are setting yourself up for failure. You have to look at it as a lifestyle change.
- It’s About a Bad Habit: In the theme of the last tip, this is truly about ridding yourself of a bad habit. Just like biting your nails, smoking, or any other bad habit eating too much or the wrong food is a bad habit. You have to look at it that way.
- Educate Yourself About Healthy Eating: This is such a huge factor in helping you lose weight. Today more then ever it is more difficult to make sure you’re eating healthier. That means knowing what proper portioning is and knowing what’s really in the food you eat.
- Proper Excercise: I lost 50+ lbs without doing much exercise at all. Would I recommend that? No. I now know how important some exercise is. Even if you can’t run a marathon. The most important thing you can do is walk. Start walking, even if it’s just around the block. Then from there add a little more exercise. Ask your doctor for suggestions.
- Drink Lots of Water: Another thing to do that cannot be overstated is, drink water! This truly will help you lose weight. If you’re like me it drives you crazy because of course, you will end up peeing constantly. But suck it up buttercup! It’s great for you in more ways than one.
- Eat Breakfast: No matter what time a day you get up it is important to kick start your metabolism. Eat within 2 hours of getting up. I gained weight because I was not eating enough and was putting my body into starvation mode. And then, of course, I would eat the wrong things later in the day.
Stop Dieting, Start Making A Lifestyle Change Instead
You’ve probably heard this numerous times. Especially if you ever tried Weight Watchers. But what the heck does it mean?
The idea of a diet carries with it many negative connotations. It means you have to give up your favorite food, you’ll have to exercise your brains out, or you’ll have to eat teeny tiny portions. At least that’s what usually comes to mind when people say the word diet. That’s why we have to change our mindset instead. We literally have to trick our brain.
Think of it like you’re going on a journey. Only this journey is going to last your entire life. To get the most out of any journey you have to be able to enjoy it. So, how can you do that if you’re huffin and puffin climbing up that hill to see the sunset? Or you’re to sick to spend time with your family and friends. Invest in your health now so you won’t pay for it later.
My best tips that I learned when I was successfully losing weight
- Learn proper portion sizing and make it a habit at every meal
- Snacks are not the enemy if you are choosing healthy snacks. ie: nuts, fruit, veggies, certain cheeses… Remember moderation. You can have chips or crackers just don’t sit there and eat the whole bag or box.
- Fats are not all bad as long as you’re eating healthy fats. And once again in moderation.
- Take your time eating. It takes time for your stomach to send a signal to your brain that it is full. So don’t rush. When you feel full, stop.
- Think about why you are hungry. Before going to the kitchen to eat something, think first, are you actually hungry? Or are you bored, wanting a snack while you watch TV, or emotional.
- Learn about macros to help you figure out what is best for your body. It’s a simple way to eat right without all the hassle of a diet program! Here’s a great tool: Keto Macro Calculator
These are some of the tips that really will help you lose weight. The next step is the hardest and that is to keep it up. That’s where I am right now. I have slacked due to health issues, laziness, and life happened. Give yourself grace and do what I’m doing and get back up and start again.
Choosing the Right Diet to Help You Lose Weight
Now that you have the tips to help you be successful on any diet, which do you choose? Well, that is the question, isn’t it? It really is a personal thing. We are all different. We all have different health issues, ages, and we all have different amounts of weight to lose. The best suggestion I can give (and I’m not a doctor mind you) is to consult your doctor. I know, people rarely do that. They just hop on the latest fad diet and wait for the pounds to melt off. The reason this is a bad idea is that it can be very dangerous.
If you don’t want to visit your doctor to find out what’s best for you. And I highly recommend this. Because they can actually do lab work to see if you are among those of us who have hormones working against us. The one diet that really works for most people is calorie and portion control. Keto, paleo, Whole 30, and many more diets are about eliminating entire food groups. The reason you should consult your doctor before going on them is that they can drastically affect your body. I found out that because of my specific health issues Keto and Paleo are a bad idea. My body actually needs more carbs then those diets allow. This is why I believe most people should stick to diets that don’t eliminate entire food groups or are drastic in food intake reduction.
Tips for Safe Weight Loss
Below is a list of safer options to help you lose weight if you don’t want to consult your doctor first.
- Use an app to monitor portion control, calorie intake, exercise, and water intake.
- A healthy amount of weight loss should be no more than 2lbs a week. This is a marathon, not a sprint. It can fluctuate from person to person but this is ideal.
- Eat fresh, non-processed food as much as possible.
- Keep healthy snacks available at all times
- Buy yourself a cute or fancy water bottle so you will be more inclined to drink more water.
- Get a walking buddy. Ask your bestie to set up a regular walking date a few times a week.
- DON’T weigh yourself more than once a week
- Check your labels. Sugar and soy are in almost everything!
- Measure and weigh yourself at the beginning of your weight loss journey. And make small goals. When you hit one of your small goals reward yourself (not with food). I bought myself two bottles of fancy nail polish when I lost my first 5lbs.
- Remember if you mess up one day, tomorrow is a new day to start fresh. DON’T GIVE UP!
Weight Loss is a Lifestyle Change
Remember always, losing weight is not something that happens overnight. We all struggle, we’re all human. It really is about changing habits and developing new routines. And if you fail, you can always start again. It’s only truly a failure if you give up.
I may be in health slump myself right now, but I haven’t given up. I have gotten rid of most of the sugar in my diet and I’m working on a plan to get more active. It’s when you give up that you really fail. I know how frustrating it can be to change your lifestyle. I’ve commiserated with my friends about how it’s not fair we have to constantly monitor what we eat. But it is something I have accepted. Those women who walk around and can eat anything and stay skinny may have other issues we don’t know about. It’s never a good idea to compare yourself to others. No one is perfect and everyone has something they struggle with in life.
Things to Remember on Your Weight Loss Journey
- You are worthy of love no matter your size
- Being healthy is the best gift you can give yourself
- Always have a buddy in the process
- YOU CAN DO IT!
So, when you feel like you’re alone in your struggle. Remember there are many of us out there who share your frustration. Grab your health buddy and make it work. You got this!
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