If you’re looking to slim down this summer, but you’re not sure which road to take, I feel your pain! My weight has flip-flopped through the years. I started to gain extra pounds after college, as my metabolism changed, and then again years later after the birth of my son. I have never been obese, but I’ve definitely been chunky! I am my own worst critic, and it has taken me years to accept my body the way it is. With the help of some healthy dieting, I’m finally at a happy point with my own figure.
Successful Diet #1, Slim-Fast
I achieved success with two separate diets at two distinct points in my life. The first was the Slim-Fast diet. I drank two chocolate Slim-Fast shakes a day (one for breakfast, one for lunch), supplemented with two healthy snacks during the day, and a full meal for dinner. And I’ll be honest, my third meal wasn’t always overly healthy! But I tried to stay within my limits (no fast food, etc.). I liked tracking my progress online, as I think it drove me to succeed. I also enjoyed recording what I was eating, and using their food suggestions. I wanted to lose about 10lbs, and I was able to do so over the course of about 4 weeks. The negatives–I was hungry a lot! It was hard not to overeat for that third meal, so I tried to pick filling snacks and I drank a lot of water to fill my stomach. This diet worked for me because I was single and on the go. I would pack my shakes to take to work and drink them on the run.
Successful Diet #2, South Beach
Years later, after the birth of my son, I started to gain weight again. Slim-Fast was not as feasible anymore, since I was home now each day, surrounded by food! I was also a little older, and couldn’t fathom being constantly hungry while trying to care for a baby at the same time. So I tried the South Beach Diet. I liked the idea that I didn’t have to permanently cut out carbs and sugar, like gluten-free plans or Atkins. South Beach gave me the opportunity to start clean–cut out the sugar and carbs and then slowly reintroduce them in a healthier manner. There were plenty of online resources and South Beach cookbooks to choose from. I didn’t feel hungry and I lost a lot of weight right from the start, which made me want to keep going. I lost a total of 15lbs on South Beach over the course of a few months.
When I was on the Slim-Fast diet, I was an avid fan of Billy Blanks’ Tae-Bo DVD’s. I did them religiously almost every day. But as I aged, I just didn’t have that kind of energy anymore. The last thing I wanted to do after taking care of my new baby boy all day was vigorous exercise! Instead I took to 30 minutes of speed walking on the treadmill every night. When the weather improved, I walked outside instead.
Don’t give up! It takes time to find a diet that works for you. Be kind to yourself, and don’t expect to lose all of your weight overnight.