Monday, July 17, 2017

10 Things To Do Right Now to Help You Lose Weight for Good

I have tried a lot of things that didn’t work and were a little too extreme for me. Remember “Stop the Insanity”??? That was insanity. The science behind it turned out to be off the mark with her philosophy of never eating fat, and just eating whatever you want. Never again eating anything with fat in it for me was a definite no go in the long run (really, have you ever tried non-fat “cheese" {shudder}).  When I fell off the wagon, I felt like a failure, and that is when I really started to eat unhealthy, and the weight snuck up on me.  

In reality, I wasn’t a failure, the diet was.  So, when I decided to get healthier, I tried numerous things, many of which I still use in some form or the other, and I am still learning.  

All of these tips and tools are modifications of the tidbits I picked up from friends, family, reading, etc. I am sure you have your own list of things you've tried. Like you, I tried many of these with limited success. The #1 thing I learned that brought me the most success was learning to really pay attention to what I was eating and why without judgment.  This allowed me to really evaluate whether these tips would work in my life, and how I would need to tweak it to suit me.  So use what works for you, and accept that it might take a while to figure out how you can tweak what you learn to work for you. Be creative. Experiment.  

Here are the things that have worked for and I still use today:

1.  My #1, without a doubt best tip…Set yourself up for success not failure.  All these tips are things that helped me succeed, rather than act as a test of my willpower.  You cannot keep everything in your life the same and expect to change in spite of it.  That is a recipe for disaster.  Figure out what your obstacles are and plan for them. This may take some time and a food diary comes in handy for this.  It should not be used to chastise yourself. Pretend you are a scientist and think of it as your observation journal.

Remember: You are a smart, creative, resourceful, and resilient person, and I have no doubt that you will find those sabotages to your goals one by one, and you will figure out how to chip away at them.  You won’t be perfect ever, but you can keep getting closer and closer until you are satisfied with where you are.  

2.  I make a menu for the week so I know what I am eating. I don’t always stick to it, and that’s okay, but I have a plan for those times when I don’t want to think about what’s for dinner.  It keeps me from going to the grocery store, which stops me (most of the time) from making impulse purchasing decisions.  

3.  I don't buy food that I can’t control myself around. You know we all have those trigger foods.  Those can’t live in my house anymore.  Not that I still don’t have them occasionally, but now I go to get it, and I get the best I can get.  If I do decide to get one of these trigger foods, I know I will eat it with abandon and I won't feel one bit guilty about it because it is a rare choice and not an impulse every night thing.

4.  If I have to buy sugary foods, I buy stuff I don’t like very much.  I know most of us don’t live by ourselves, so you may feel like you “Have to buy” certain foods.  I would challenge that belief because if it isn’t good for you, then chances are it isn’t good for the hubs or your kiddos either.  If you still must buy stuff, then buy stuff that isn’t that attractive to you.  I still buy candy for my kids on occasion. I’m not a total joy kill, plus I don’t want my kids to have a “forbidden” food either, and be hiding in the pantry shoving sugar in their mouth as fast as they can when they do get a chance because I’ve restricted it so much.  So when I do buy candy for them, it’s usually candy that I don’t like so I am not tempted to sneak into it after they go to bed (not that I ever did that before 😉).

5.  When I indulge, I make it worth it.  

  • If I am going to indulge, those calories are going to be worth it.  If I’m going to eat chocolate, it’s not going to be M&M’s (unless that’s your thing, then go for it).  It’s going to be the good stuff, and I keep the good stuff in a secret cabinet, and I don't share.
  • Or, I eat my veggies like my Momma told me I should, and then I eat the fries. I make a deal with myself that I can have anything I want to eat as long as I eat a salad or some veggies first.
6.  I work with how life is, not how I want it to be, and I plan for obstacles.  
  • I wanted to increase my vegetable intake, but realized when I was hungry, I didn’t want to cut up vegetables or fruit, so I grabbed the first things I could get my hands on.  Convenience food is not usually the healthiest food.  So, when I go grocery shopping, I wash all the veggies, and cut them up so they were ready to add to dinners and to snack on.
  • If I am going out to eat, I'm going to enjoy it, but I don’t starve myself to "save up calories". However, I do try real hard to eat healthy for the rest of the day. (Sort of related to #3)
  • There are certain days every week when we have a super limited time for dinner, so I have a few fast but healthy recipes ready to go. Find some here: I’ll keep adding to it as I find stuff, so follow me on Pinterest to get more. 
  • When you can’t get away from temptation, work with it.  I worked in a place that always had (unhealthy yummy food) around. I knew there was no way I was going to be able to say no to that stuff, so I didn’t try very hard (see the “no willpower” clause).  However, I did stop keeping unhealthy food at home as much as possible, and I ate a smaller dinner because I realized that I wasn’t really super hungry. I began listening to my body instead of eating because I was "supposed to”. Another tool I found helpful, was to not go in starving or bring some healthy snacks to meetings where I knew there would be food.
7.  How I quit the clean plate club (sort of).  I did this with training wheels on so to speak.  I loaded up my plate as usual, then I left a bite of two behind.  That didn’t work as well as I would have liked, so I used a smaller plate, filled it with more veggies than anything else, and gave myself the “out" of going back to get seconds if I was hungry, which I did, many times until I felt comfortable with it.  (You would think I starved in a former life.)

8.  I read and try to stay knowledgeable about the latest health news.  Health is important to me.  I also realize that what once was thought to be the best thing (not eating fat for instance) sometimes comes back around as the worst thing.  What I have learned is whole, unprocessed foods as close to their natural state as possible, rarely lead you astray.  For instance, did you know that nuts, notoriously high in calories and once a banned food, has been shown to be digested in the body differently than other foods.  You actually don’t absorb all those calories, and the health benefits are numerous (unless you are deathly allergic, then you know, stay clear…). 
  • This web site is the bomb  I recommend you subscribe for their daily email.  The articles are super informative, but quick reads, and keeps you up-to-date on the latest finds according to science in healthy eating. Also, the guy who runs this blog struggles with food addiction, so if that is a concern for you, then you can find some info here regarding that.
9.  I exercise regularly, but not to lose weight.  I exercise, lift weights specifically, because it really helps with my depression. Depressed me eats more.  If you want to lose weight, then that starts with what you eat my friends.  It's 80% diet and 20% exercise.  (Shoot for 85% not perfection) Exercise has its place for sure.  It boosts mood, lowers stress, helps you sleep, and a million other healthy things, but you will not see a whole lot of progress until you address what you eat.
  • This website has been great for providing endless programs (most of which I can’t do all of, and I don’t think I’ve ever followed any of them to a T, so don’t be intimidated. You will still see results, just not dramatic ones.)
10.  Finally, I know I keep harping on the judgement free stuff, but I really want you to embrace this concept.  Any successful change really does start from judgment free acceptance of where you are. We spend far too much time blaming, shaming and beating ourselves up. You are not a failure (unless you fail to learn).  You are a genius because you discovered something that doesn’t work. Now take what you know and go learn and experiment some more. Use that energy you spent beating yourself up to go make some changes.  

Links to the Other Weight Loss Phases:



  1. I understand the battle of weight loss is all about making small choices through out your day , healthier choices .Well written !

    1. Yes, that sums it up nicely! And if you make one small bad choice it's not a big deal. You will have several opportunities more to make better choices and win the battle over time.