Preface: the following information is from personal experience and opinion. I am not a registered dietician/nutritionist.
Time and time again, people will message me and vent how they are spending so much time in the gym and seeing no results with their weight. Every week, they step on the scale and those red numbers are glaring the same number right back, or sometimes more. Many of us become discouraged and end up quitting trying to be healthy. Why spend time at the gym if it’s not working?
It’s time to chat about that 4 letter word I don’t like to use often.
Personally, I prefer not to use the word diet when chatting about weight loss. And yes, I’m sure you’ve heard somewhere, diets don’t work. Changing the way and what you eat, however, does.
A few posts back, we talked about setting a goal. If your goal includes weight loss, you need to realize the majority of weight loss (think along the lines of 75-80%) is your dietary intake and the remaining is exercise. To be successful with weight loss, you should combine a healthy diet and exercise. You can do all the burpees you want, but you need to eat right.
Overall, it’s best to aim to lose 1-2 lbs. per week to reach and maintain your weight loss goal. Yes, I hear the groaning. I see the frustration. I was there too. Now, us Americans tend to be terribly busy folks and we are always looking for the quick way, trying to attain instant gratification. Patience is not always our strength. After some quick calculation, I realized my goal would take me almost a year to achieve. A bit defeating.
At this point, it can be so easy to be intrigued by a plethora of so-called “quick fixes” – we are constantly bombarded on social media, in the store, and on-line with ways to lose weight fast. Can you believe Americans spend over $50 billion on diet products and programs per year? Of course! Most of us want to lose weight and we want it to happen RIGHT NOW!
Although I wasn’t extremely excited to wait 6-9 months to meet my goal, I wanted to successfully lose weight and I was on a budget. My plan cost little to no extra money to follow. I purchased similar groceries and at first, I walked or ran outside. No supplements, powders, smoothies, detox drinks, etc. were purchased. Just real food.
Making the change to eat healthier is not 100% easy. Like many of you, I love food. I love dessert. Many of you know I own my own bakery business. Butter, sugar, flour fill up my pantry and kitchen shelves. If I was able to be successful surrounded by cake daily, you definitely can succeed too!
What helped me succeed:
- Planning – make a menu and a shopping list for the week. Use your slow cooker for days you may be very busy. Look up new recipes and pay attention to the nutrition facts.
- Get your family on board – making two meals can create more stress and temptation. You can alter your meals to stick to your plan and satisfy your family at the same time.
- Pay attention to labels – there were several foods I had been eating because I thought they were healthier. Check out the label – I always watched the amount of sugar in foods. You may think yogurt may be a good choice, but watch those labels!
- Watch the low-fat foods – On my plan, I ate full fat foods. Most of the time, if an item is low fat, it may have more sugar added. Also, having more fat kept me feeling full and not wanting to snack unnecessarily.
- Track, track, track – I can’t stress this enough. Whether manually or with an app like LoseIt, you can easily keep track of your intake including calories, carbohydrates, protein, fat, etc.
- Be honest – if you are tracking and entering a cup of yogurt when it’s really two, your intake will not be accurate. You are worth it; be honest with yourself to succeed!
- Watch your restrictions – I have found completely restricting yourself from some foods can cause you to stray from eating healthier.
- Allow yourself a treat – nearly every single Sunday while I lost weight, I had a small hot fudge sundae. It was a nice treat; I looked forward to every Sunday to my small reward. Notice I didn’t say – eat whatever you want on the weekend! I find many people will eat healthy all week long and then totally destroy their hard work in one weekend.
- Again, if you fall off track, jump right back on!
Until next time,