I could be a professional dieter at this point. After 15 years of being self-conscious of myself and always “being on a diet,” I lost 15 pounds in four months after throwing diets out the window and just being more conscious of what I ate. This is how…
First, I made a priority of eating three regular and healthy meals a day; pasta, bread and carbs galore. My trick? I only ate one serving and I also filled up on a lot of veggies. Yes, I was hungry for a few weeks as my body got used to eating less, but you will be hungry on pretty much any diet.
My next priority? Snacking. I only ate one serving of fruit or some fresh veggies between meals. It was difficult since I am constantly around snacks at my workplace, and this was always one of my downfalls. As I reprogrammed my body to not constantly be snacking on chips and crackers, it slowly became easier to say no.
Another rule I always follow is to never drink my calories. This is something I live by at this point. Except for an occasional glass of wine, you will never see me drinking anything other than water. If you think this will be a big step, start by using a water enhancer such as Crystal Light so you can still have some flavor in your life.
I also tried to cram exercise into my schedule. Not by forcing myself to go to the gym everyday, but by doing a quick 20-25 minute interval training DVD at home in the mornings before work, maybe two-three times a week; and by being active on the weekends. I did fun stuff like hiking, ice-skating and being outside at the playground with my son.
Treat yourself. If you find you really want something sweet, let yourself have it. Don’t go to extremes, but a little sliver of cake or a couple of cookies won’t completely derail your weight-loss efforts. Allowing a little “cheat” here and there will actually help you to stay strong on your diet instead of crumbling in a calorie-deprived mess mid-way through.
I have been able to keep the weight off too, by making these permanent lifestyle changes. I have to retool my eating every so often when I realize my portions are becoming too big, but overall, I feel (and look) great!