I know it’s not as glamorous as a diet or fitness program with an exotic or cool-sounding name, but I lost weight by consistently controlling food portions and walking every day. The weight came off slow at first, with many weeks showing no results. However, I remained persistent and was finally able to loose a large amount of weight.
My Biggest Issues
I have little patience. I want to see amazing results in a very short time period. In the past, I would give up after just a few weeks because I didn’t see quick results. I also tend to eat mindlessly, out of boredom or just because the food is there. Leftover cake goes directly into my mouth if I don’t make a conscious effort to resist.
Why I Chose Portion Control
I consistently ate larger portions than those recommended by the USDA1. In addition, changing hormones, decreased activity level, and muscle loss during the aging process all lead to a slower metabolism and the need for less calories. Smaller portions was a good way to accomplish my goals. I consumed fewer calories and could still enjoy my cake in moderation.
Adding Activity or Exercise
Eating less wasn’t enough for me. I spent hours on the computer at my jobs and goofing off. I needed to get moving. I began to walk between 3 and 8 miles nearly every day, even if the weather was bad. This helped the weight come off more quickly.
I lost nearly 70 pounds in 10 month time frame. The weight came off slow at first and I didn’t see results every week. Results were quicker when I combined portion control with exercise, but I maintained a healthy weight loss of 1 to 2 pounds per week as recommended by the CDC2. Some tips I learned on my weight loss journey:
- Aim for improved health and the weight loss will follow
- Choose whole foods over processed foods
- Drink a glass of water before every meal
- Eat slowly and stop when no longer hungry
- Keep moving
- Be consistent, even on days when you don’t feel like
- Start slow and don’t try to do too much all at once
- Don’t diet, but make permanent lifestyle changes
Persistence Pays Off
While portion control and walking may seem quite boring, it’s the persistence that pays off. To keep pushing myself on days when I feel like giving up, I remind myself that I did not gain all that weight overnight so I shouldn’t expect to lose it that quickly either.
1. USDA; Weight Management: Decrease Portion Sizes; ChooseMyPlate.gov
2. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention; Healthy Weight – it’s not a diet, it’s a lifestyle!; CDC.gov