The following is a guest post by Melissa Cameron.
Every year, I find myself racing to fit into a swimsuit. By racing, I mean dieting. By winter’s end, the weight is back and I’m fretting about summer again.
I’m tired of it. I’ve ping-pong dieted and setting unrealistic (and often unhealthy) expectations of myself one summer too many. This spring, I’m setting a trend for the future: realistic, smart, long-term weight loss.
No Really, It’s About Time
Excess poundage doesn’t appear overnight. It’s not going to go away overnight either, short of a lot of cash and a friendly cosmetic surgeon with a liposuction tube. I don’t know about you, but I’d rather spend extra money on a vacation, not on a medical visit!
The first thing I resolved to do was to make any changes in moderation. If I went in with frenzy and threw out all my favorite foods and declared I would never snack again, I’d be setting myself up for failure. Of course I’ll snack; perfectly healthy people snack.
What I did was stop eating some kinds of snacks. For example, the first week, I resolved to stay out of the potato chip bag. Just potato chips. It felt doable. And it worked!
Encouraged and feeling successful I “gave up” cookies the next week (so now I’d sworn off cookies and potato chips). Instead I bought some apples and cut them up. When I felt like something sweet, I had apple slices. If I wanted something crunchy, I had a handful of baby carrots.
Moderation is Key!
Again, that worked. My goals didn’t seem overwhelming to me. I could give food items up without feeling denied because I hadn’t set up so many restrictions I was bound to “cheat”. By not cheating, I didn’t disappoint myself with feelings of failure for falling off the diet wagon and sabotage my diet by giving up on it because I’d broken a rule. Better yet, bit by bit, I was making positive steps towards making healthier eating choices.
Here are some other steps I’ve taken:
- Cut down on prepared, package meals. Cooking for scratch takes more time, true, but I have much more control over what we as a family eat. The food tastes better and I can cook ahead, package and freeze for quick and easy meals when we are pressed for time.
- Learned portion control. Learning portion control is a no-brainer way to cut calories.
- Drinking more of water. Water is filling. Sometimes when I think I’m hungry, I just have a glass of ice water. When I’m not hungry after, then I know it was thirst. Try it, it works!
- Thought about whether I’m really hungry. We’ve all done it – gone to the fridge and stared in, thinking we were hungry. When I do that now, I sit and think, “Do I really feel hunger? Or am I just bored?” More often than not, I’m just bored. Now that I recognize that, I’ll go do something else to not be bored than eating out of habit.
- Increased my exercise outside of weekend outings with the family. Exercise burns calories, and boosts energy, plus builds strength and tones muscles. Just 20 minutes a day of a brisk walk is a great way to jump-start an exercise regimen without spending a dime. I carry a pair of Bowflex dumbbells with me when I go around the block!
What do you think? Do you have diet changes that have worked well for you? Share them!
About the Author
Melissa Cameron is a married mother of two. She enjoys time with her family, learning new recipes and blogging about health and family. When reviewing her diet and exercise routines, she checked out reviews of P90X (an intense workout program) to see if it might work for her. So far she’s lost several pounds and is well on her way to looking good for summer!