People have been looking for that magic pill that will erase excess weight for years now without success. There have been many programs and products that have made millions of dollars off billions of frustrated dieters. The result? Our society is still overweight but to a dangerous level from the complications of obesity.
If I had all of the answers I would right now be writing what I believe would be a best-selling, billion dollar-earning book rather than writing a discussion post here. I am neither a doctor nor dietician but I am a crazy old man with some common (and not so common) sense tips on how I have lost 30 pounds over the past year. If my plan were easy, I would be discussing it on my own talk show rather than amongst my Obesity Connect and Diabetic Connect friends. It’s NOT easy! But, I love you all that if just one tip can help one person, I’m satisfied.
A few months ago a co-worker came up to me and said, “Ray, You are looking so good” and asked, “How did you do it?” I was flattered and happy to share my story but with each tip I offered she replied with expressions like “I couldn’t do that,” “I don’t like that,” and “that won’t work.” I was thinking to myself, “how about if I take you outside and bludgeon you?” It is understandable that the points that I am about to make are, I believe, true for ME and for my body and likes/dislikes and my tastebuds.
1> Do not starve yourself. Make sure to eat at least three meals a day but with the right portions, you may consider eating 5-6 times a day whether it is a meal or a snack. Breakfast is the most important of all of your daily meals. It helps to fuel your body and you have the whole day to burn the calories. Some people will eat after a certain time at night while others would not consider it. Since I refuse to cook for you, I will leave that decision up to you.
2> Water has many properties and most of my research suggests a minimum of 64 ournces of water daily. This doesn’t mean you should go run outside in search of the garden hose. You can work up to that goal a little at a time. I want to say that tap water is better for you than bottled. Why? Tap water is regulated better, has fluoride, and is substantial cheaper than bottled.
3> Portion control is very important when it comes to a weight loss plan (I hate the word diet). Might I suggest investing in a decent quality scale in order to stick to your plan for counting calories, carbs, etc. Another suggestion is to journal your food. There are many online free services available to you. Simply ask me if you would like referrals to them. By weighing your foods you will be more accurate in sticking to serving size portions.
4> Do NOT weigh yourself daily! There is nothing worse than looking at a one pound weight gain one day even if there’s a two pound loss the next day. The key is losing weight is to be realistic on what’s a safe and sane target per day or week or month. If you are intending to lose ten pounds a week for ten weeks to lose your hundred pound goal, the only thing you’ll lose is your sanity. Slow and steady wins the race.
5> Take baby steps. Make a change that you can live with and live with it before making another change. Nothing will burn you out more than a complete lifestyle change overnight which is why many New Year resolutions do not usually last long. Sure, you’re fired up … but will you stick with it? For me the answer is no.
6> You may wish to consider swapping certain ingredients in your favorite recipes for healthier options and/or to check out new recipes online and in cookbooks or with friends. You don’t have to deny yourself of everything you’ve ever loved. Be sensible in finding alternatives: sugar free for sugared products (if your body tolerates it); lower carb/calorie/fat/sodium this for higher amounts of that; brown rice and breads instead of white. Read the labels!
7> You do not need a gym in order to exercise. Go for a walk; touch your toes; dust your ceiling; grab one pound cans … whatever it takes!
8> Shopping when hungry or unprepared are both bad ideas. Make a list of what you need so you won’t buy what you want. Leave tempting family members art home to avoid having ice cream and Ho Hos tossed in your cart or with that whining “Can I have this?” … that goes for spouses as well as children. If you let your family plan your diet, you’ll be dipping fruit loops in marshmallow crème for dinner tomorrow.
9> Add some new products to your eating plan and find new ways to try them. Don’t like fish? It may be time to try again. Our tastes change every so often that we are no longer the child we were twenty or so years ago. Maybe that explains why many of us are still addicted to sugar? I’m just sayin’
10> Finally, don’t go out rewarding yourself with new outfits if you are sincere about a drastic weight loss program. Consider shopping in thrift shops or for elastic waists and baggy tops for interim clothing to make more room in your budget for a celebratory wardrobe when the time comes. If you are five or so sizes from your target, you could spend thousands of dollars keeping up with the needs for temporary clothing wardrobes.
Be good to yourself. You’ve made the decision to lose weight. Congratulations!!! We are here to encourage each other on the journey. Don’t burn out. Remember that slow and steady wins the race.