How to lose weight now...and keep it off!

My own story

This short article is intended for those who are in the same situation as I was. I simply aim to share the experience I had personally in my battle with losing weight and keeping it off.

Important: See a doctor if you feel you have a more serious eating disorder. Always consult medical professionals about your weight-loss concerns before embarking on any weight-loss programme, in order to establish your own, specific medical condition. There may be a better way for you, but this how it was for me!

Lovely ladies

Lovely ladies can be happy with this but it just wasn't what Iwanted for me
Lovely ladies can be happy with this but it just wasn't what Iwanted for me | Source

Why, Oh why me?

Why, oh why, is it so difficult? And why, oh why, me?

What cruel, twisted mind cursed some of us miserable beings with the wretchedness of being overweight?

Some people are comfortable and happy with their 'over-weight', but it just wasn't like that for me.

There are very many reasons and combinations of reasons causing some people to become overweight. Some people are comfortable and happy with their 'over-weight', but it just wasn't like that for me. I would like to share my own personal battle with being overweight and how I managed to finally lose the extra kilos and have since then managed to maintain my lower weight over a period of time.

Some people become overweight due to psychological/emotional reasons and the weight cannot be effectively lost until the underlying reason for overeating is established and then addressed. This may be one of the most important parts of the weight-loss programme; Identifying the true cause of gaining weight or overeating.

Fortunately, I didn't have any serious medical condition that was causing me to gain weight. It turned out I was simply an emotional eater, quite addicted to certain foods, with very little will-power to resist temptation. I would join in eating with others at any time, whether I had eaten already, even if I wasn't hungry. I had always been overweight, even as a child, so I had no interest in any type of physical activity. School sports lessons hd always been a sourse of great anxiety for me, and I dreaded the days on which I had switch into a sports kit, where everything would be revealed!

If you recognise your own story reflected here, then you may be interested in how I overcame the addictive eating habit I had formed, since childhood.

Naturally, in any weight-loss regime or eating disorder, the first step is to visit a medical professional and ascertain there are no underlying medical issues causing the extra weight.

Let the battle commence

Let the battle commence!
Let the battle commence! | Source

Mmmm...Tasty Vicious Circles

Oooh, my favourites...
Oooh, my favourites... | Source

Round and circles

If you really want something badly enough, you can achieve it!

Being overweight (and not being happy about it) will NEVER raise your confidence levels, it will only lower them. This lowering even more will lead to you more overeating and so the circle is perpetuated. The vicious circle. NO WIN= NO WIN.

Analyse what you are doing that is keeping you overweight and then CHANGE THINGS. Don't let a minor issue like food bring you down..

In the great scheme of things food should really be a minor issue. Yet when you are overweight, food, and the avoidance of it, becomes one of the major issues in your life. Think of all the energy (not calorific energy, unfortunately) we use thinking about, worrying about, feeling guilty / depressed etc. about food! It's almost immoral! It's not worth it.

Several years ago!

Several years ago!
Several years ago! | Source

What have you got to lose? (Apart from weight!)

Be honest with yourself and try to identify what food means to you. Is it really that important? If you need help to do this, then you should seek professional help. If you are SERIOUSLY overweight, then you MUST seek medical advice. Your local doctor will advise you on how best to deal with your particular issue, or at least be able to refer you to another professional in the appropriate field.

If, however, you only have up to approximately 10-15 kilos to lose, then there is a possibility you can 'go it alone'. But if there is any help out there, why not go for it and ask for professional advice anyway? What have you got to lose? (Except a few kilos?)ยด

Time on Big Ben, London.

Time is of the essence!
Time is of the essence! | Source

A matter of time

No crash diets or starvation diets!

It is so, so annoying to have to come to terms with this next point, but it has to be said; this will take time!

You have to also face up to the painful fact that, the same way it TAKES TIME for you to gain those extra kilos effectively, then it will also TAKE TIME for you to lose them EFFECTIVELY.

Crash dieting/ starvation might seem a faster, more efficient way to get you kick-started into losing your unwanted weight, but the sad thing is it just DOES NOT WORK.

From what I have understood after a bit of research is that there is one major physiological reason for this. You cannot trick your body. Your body is built for survival, in spite of our relatively low-risk life-styles. This means that when you go into starvation mode for a two-week concentrated effort to lose a few pounds, your body panics, as it realises there is not enough food being ingested to sustain itself for very long. (It hasn't yet heard of "crash diets" so it can't be blamed entirely). The body's logical reaction is to assume there is something terribly wrong (and there is... with your head!) and food supplies are scarce. The body goes into self-protection mode and reduces the amount of calories it uses. It becomes VERY POSSESIVE of the calories (ie. your fat) it still has. Yes, that very same fat you are trying to get rid of so drastically. Remember, your body is like a finely tuned piece of machinery, sensitive to all the abuses you subject it to, yet it stoically attempts to save you from yourself and ensure your survival, as far as it possibly can.

Do Crash diets really work?

Something else I understood over the years is that even though you will, inevitably, lose some weight if you crash-diet, you will not be able to maintain the 'crash diet' for very long. I certainly couldn't. My brain became so bored and anxious for food that I had a psychological reaction to binge as soon as I achieved my goal weight. When this happens, your body is so relieved to be back to 'normal' (or at least what you had trained it into believing was 'normal' for you) that it becomes protective again and takes on the new intake of calories with great enthusiasm, thus you immediately regain the weight you lost. The circle is closed again. The vicious circle, that is. Oh dear, here we go again.

Say NO to crash diets and starvation modes. They just don't work!

Say no

to Crash Diets

to Fad Diets

to Starvation modes

How do other people deal with food?

In my experience, people who are overweight have a different relationship with food than others who are of a 'normal' healthy weight. Usually, people of a normal, healthy weight really enjoy eating food too, but they also enjoy LOOKING FORWARD to eating food. (They do not actually have to BE EATING IT necessarily. They can enjoy PLANNING what they or the family are going to eat, even SHOPPING for it and COOKING it, People who are of a 'normal', healthy weight can even enjoy WAITING TILL THEY ARE HUNGRY before eating so they enjoy their food more! Sometimes these average-sized' people prefer to eat in company, sharing the eating experience with others as a social event, unlike many overweight people who often tend to prefer eating on their own, making eating a purely personal experience.

Friends can help.

Friends and family can help
Friends and family can help | Source

Find a 'buddy'

One of the best 'tricks' or 'tips' I personally have found most useful is to observe or 'monitor' a close friend or member of the family whose weight and health you aspire to and then to follow their dietary pattern as closely as possible. They don't even have to know that you are doing this, and it's probably more useful for you if they don't! Then you will really start to assimilate what it s like to have a 'healthy' relationship with food.

You will probably find they adhere to set meal times avoiding snacking. In fact you may notice their food eating behaviour is EXACTLY what you have been told to do do lose weight. They do all these things naturally, subconsciously and even better, they don't even consider themselves to be 'dieting'.

People who are at a healthy weight use expressions like

Healthy="OH, I couldn't possibly eat that now, I'm not hungry!"

Me ="What has hunger got to do with it? I fancy some!"


Healthy="I'm afraid I've already eaten"

Me= "That's ok... I'll just eat again!"


Healthy="I don't like it with mushrooms in, I'll pass."

Me="I'll pick the mushrooms out and eat the rest, no problem!"

Do you notice the great difference in attitude to food here?


Are you scared of being hungry?
Are you scared of being hungry? | Source

Are you scared of being hungry?

Overweight people often have a FEAR of being hungry as if it were some dreaded condition to be avoided at all costs yet I have noticed that many 'averagely-sized" people take hunger as a pre-requisite to eating.

Overweight people have only to observe how averagely-sized people behave in respect to food and follow their example.

A great mantra could be "If you want to be size XYZ, then eat like a size XYZ!"

Step 1. Identify your triggers

One of the most helpful strategies for me in my battle with the bulge was to take time to analyse what were the most recurrent factores that triggered my bad eating habits. Once I had established these 'triggers', I was then able to deal with specific areas of my behaviour and take control again of my food. I was determined not to let something like a bad day at work end up meaning a bad day for my new eating habits, leading to more weight gain and more guilt!

I became committed to breaking that circle!

Take a short while to answer the questions in the poll below

STEP 1: Identify WHEN and WHY

I usually overeat when :

  • I arrive home after school or work
  • I am depressed or just feeling low
  • I am stressed or nervous
  • I am bored
  • I am alone
  • I am in company
See results without voting

Many years later but also many kilos lighter!

overlooking beautiful city of Padua, Italy.
overlooking beautiful city of Padua, Italy. | Source


There is one main conclusion to be drawn. Crash/Starvation diets DO NOT WORK. Fad diets DO NOT WORK. Short-term miracle weight loss products DO NOT WORK. You may not like the news but you have to change your ways. After acquiring bad eating patterns, it is a very difficult thing to unlearn bad habits and re-learn new, healthy habits. However, as long as you believe it is worth it, you will manage to do just that.

Healthy eating patterns together with a reasonable daily exercise routine is the only way that leads to permanent healthy weight maintenance.


Thank you for answering the questions in the poll, which will help you to identify key areas to focus on.

I hope some have found this useful and a little inspirational. If I can lose weight and keep it off, then literally ANYBODY can! In follow-up articles I will go into greater detail about other strategies that helped me to lose weight and keep it off.

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Please let me know by commenting below if you need extra support in your weight loss regime 18 comments

CMHypno profile image

CMHypno 6 years ago from Other Side of the Sun

Interesting and informative Hub on losing weight, Marie. Very good advice

wrenfrost56 profile image

wrenfrost56 6 years ago from U.K.

You are so right, you can not trick your body! Good sound advice and I like your before and after shots too. :)

marieryan profile image

marieryan 6 years ago from Andalusia, Spain Author

CMHypno, hope the advice is useful. I have been a 'yo-yo dieter' for years so i know there are NO SHORT-CUTS. You learn bad habits from wherever, or for whatever reason. Bad habits that others haven't learnt. So you have just no choice but to change those habits for good if you WANT to be a healthy weight.

marieryan profile image

marieryan 6 years ago from Andalusia, Spain Author


I was a bit reticent about posting the BEFORE and AFTER, as I don't think my 'AFTER' can inspire many dieters now but hey! one's perfect!

Cari Jean profile image

Cari Jean 6 years ago from Bismarck, ND

I am currently trying to shed some pounds and I have found that I really have to pay attention to WHAT I eat. I found I was eating way too many carbs, not enough protein and was feeling hungry all day long. Now I'm trying to lessen the carbs only eat whole grains and add more protein. So far it is working but I know I need to add exercise as well. Thanks for this great hub it is full of great info!

carmellowyoshi profile image

carmellowyoshi 6 years ago

Outstanding hub. It is great that you incorporated polls and pictures to get the reader involved. Thanks!

chirls profile image

chirls 6 years ago from Indiana (for now)

Nice hub! You have a lot of great tips and it was fun to read. :)

marieryan profile image

marieryan 6 years ago from Andalusia, Spain Author

Cari Jean...don't forget about excercise. It's hard to keep the two things going! if you concentrate on diet, you might forget about the excercise! I think the important thing is to get a BALANCE, but people like us with 'disorders' find it easy to obsess with one thing at a time...We find it hard to balance. Please let me know what works for you!

marieryan profile image

marieryan 6 years ago from Andalusia, Spain Author


Thanks for reading! Glad you liked the tips.

fucsia profile image

fucsia 6 years ago

the pitfalls of the emotional hunger is insidious. If our relationship with food is not healthy, losing weight foreve becomes impossible!

nice hub!

marieryan profile image

marieryan 6 years ago from Andalusia, Spain Author

fuscia, you are so right. you have to get a HEALTHY relationship with food otherwise forget it...

emotional hunger has no bounds!Remove the emotional tie with food. Break the connecton. Choose instead another activity when you feel the URGE: have a bath/take the dog for a walk/clean the bathroom/wash your hair/buy some shoes/write a hub/make a cup of tea....choose your new habit and connect up with it, not a different one, the same one, so you can easily remember what it is you should be doing, instead of snacking. There is almost a 'blind' moment when you go mad and eat something silly,so you have to have the strategy ready and easy to apply. ...KICK THE HABIT and just eat like 'normal' people!Easy to say, HARD to do, I know, but I also know that it can be done.

susansisk profile image

susansisk 6 years ago from Georgia, USA

Great inspiration. You have done well. It is also good, as you said, for dieters to see their doctor. I recently found out that I had hypothyroidism that had contributed to my weight gain.

marieryan profile image

marieryan 6 years ago from Andalusia, Spain Author

Hi susansisk, Thanks for reading!

Finding out you had thyroid problems was a stroke of luck for you! (although I hope everything is under control for you now!)

That is a really good reason to see your doctor: you may have a medical condition contributing to weight gain that you were not aware of. Thyroid problems seem to be more common than we imagine.

Kaie Arwen profile image

Kaie Arwen 6 years ago

marieyan- I don't diet........... fact is I usually have trouble keeping the weight on. I try to eat healthy............ I mix the naughty in with the good for you!

You did a great job with this, and provided really useful information........... if you don't mind I'm going to cut and paste your section on "starvation" for my eighth graders.......... no matter how many times I tell them or print things out for them to read they simply don't understand that message!

Thanks for this!


Ingenira profile image

Ingenira 5 years ago

Looking at your before and after photo, your dieting tips are very convincing !! You definitely look 10 years younger with the extra pounds off. Congratulations ! Good Work ! Voted up and useful.

marieryan profile image

marieryan 5 years ago from Andalusia, Spain Author

Kaie Arwen, that is a great compliment if you can use my experience for eighth graders! Thanks!

What a paradox that you have to struggle to keep weight ON! I understand that must be as difficult for you as keeping weight off is for me! It reminds me of the old proverb: "The grass is always greener on the other side"! Thanks for commenting.

marieryan profile image

marieryan 5 years ago from Andalusia, Spain Author

Ingenira! Thanks so much for the comment but I think you may have been exaggerating somewhat! 10 years younger! I wish!

However, I CAN say that losing weight certainly made me FEEL younger, if not anything else! Thanks for compliment!

Fari 6 months ago

Mama Marie!!! I miss you and loved reading your writing!!! You are such a super star!!! Sending you lots of love

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