I am not a weight loss champion.
In fact, most of my adult life I have struggled with fluctuations in my weight. I consider myself reasonably lucky that at my heaviest I tend to wear it well, given my larger frame. However, I don’t feel good about myself when I am at the heavier end. I tire more easily and am generally unhappy with the way I look. And then there is the small problem of all my clothes being too tight.
I just finished nursing my latest excuse for weight gain, and now it is time to get back on track. I hadn’t wanted to cut back on calories while nursing my little man because nursing is a major drain on my energy. Between that and running around after two kids, I didn’t want to severely cut my intake.
So, as I implement my usual strategies, I wanted to summarize them to share with you. If you’ve been following me, you know that I am allergic to exercise, so these strategies are strictly about intake. Good luck!
- Eat real food. I could probably write an entire post dedicated to this. Eliminate anything that has additives like fillers, nitrates, colors, too much salt and too much sugar. THINK: Food should have nutritional value. Examples of things to cut out: Mac’n’cheese, most pasta centered meals, white breads, pretzels, candy, desert etc.
- Eat a variety of foods. For our family, this means mixing up the types of meat we eat during the week: alternate beef, chicken, pork, and fish. Once in a while I’ll get away with a vegetarian meal. Another trick we use for vegetables is eating every color of the rainbow (very easy to do on salads).
- Drink zero calorie beverages. I am generally opposed to the drinks with fake sugar because I think we don’t have enough research about what their true effects are on our body. I simply drink seltzer. In particular, I drink Polar Seltzer because I like the fact that there is no sodium and the flavoring is natural. If I need a little more substance, I drink half seltzer and have no sugar added juice. Note: Orange juice and vanilla seltzer tastes exactly like a creamsicle, remember those? Exceptions: Wine and coffee. I still need to work on this.
- Drink More Water. When you think you are hungry, try drinking some water. I read that sometimes your brain mixes up the signals for hunger & thirst.
- Eat half of what you used to eat. Or pick a different percentage if you want to slim down more gradually. This is a great rule for going out. Whatever you order just eat half of it.
- Don’t eat out. I don’t know about you – but I always eat too much if I go out to eat. I also tend to eat the wrong things, so when I’m trying to cut back, I cut down on eating out (bonus: it’s cheaper). Along these lines, I gave up buffet restaurants years ago.
- Eat good deserts (credit to my dad for this one). He basically said, “If you’re going to eat junk, eat good junk.” This leads me to an important point. I don’t believe in rigid dieting, there are always exceptions to the rules, and if you just try to muscle through it, you won’t succeed. So for me, I don’t eat candy or doughnuts or cake, however I will splurge once in a while on a crème Brule or really good ice cream. But then again, see note above regarding eating half. Try sharing it with a partner, or only having a couple bites. If you pay close attention as you eat it, you’ll notice that the first couple of bites are the most pleasurable, so no need to “fill” yourself up with it.
- Eat slowly. It takes a while for your brain to get the message that it is satisfied.
- Buy/Use smaller plates. The newer styles of dinner plates seem gigantic to me. Try out using a smaller set of plates to remind you of what is an appropriate amount of food to put on the plate. Goes back to #7 also, if you have to get up for refills it gives you more time.
- Don’t buy snacks. This could also be: don’t bring anything into the house that you’ll be tempted to eat/drink. I consider myself to have decent willpower, but if it is in the house, I will eat it. Packaged snacks are general fillers (see #1). Super hard to do while you’re parenting because the little ones need to eat more often so try to get snacks that are dedicated just for them. (i.e. that you don’t like)
So there is my list for lazy dieting. I don’t count calories or starve myself, I just try to become more aware of what I am putting into my body.
I’d love to hear your feedback. Do you already use any of the above? Do you have any special tricks that work for you?