Easy Three-Step Diet Plan
A Gentler Approach To Dieting
We All Know The Truth...
To lose weight, we all know the truth: just eat less. When I eat more, I weigh more, and when I eat less, I weigh less. It's that simple. It's all about calories in versus calories out. Of course the ultimate goal is to be healthy. We should go about weight loss in a healthy way, choose healthy foods most of the time, and we should exercise, too. It seems simple enough.
So where does it all go so wrong?
For me, (and maybe for you, too) it is because I overeat (and undereat) for emotional reasons. Although I have never been obese, I can say that I have struggled with this issue for over thirty years---ever since I was about 13 years old. I find it hard to admit that.
I first wanted to lose weight when we were weighed in the nurse's office in junior high. My friends who were taller than I was weighed less than I did. That did something horrible to my psyche and pushed me to lose weight. It started out in a healthy way but soon became way too restrictive. I lost fifteen pounds and loved all the compliments I got. But eventually I couldn't take the restrictive diet and began overeating. I gained the weight back plus more. And so began my pattern. I will focus on a diet, lose some weight, then inevitably overeat for a period of time until the weight is back, I'm upset with myself and angrily declare that I will start "tomorrow".
Does any of this sound familiar to you?
The amount of weight really doesn't matter, it could be ten pounds or a hundred. What matters is that it is an unhealthy pattern, it takes too much mental time and it is a zapper to self-esteen. Currently I have been in the overeating phase of the pattern. I have put on some weight, and every time I declare that today is the day I'm going to "start" my diet, I derail it by the end of the day.
Through the years I've read too many diet books to count, joined Weight Watchers and LA Weight Loss (each more than once) and "started over" about a million times. Altough I have had weight loss success at times, it never lasts for long because I go back to over eating. Truth is, I'm really exhausted by all of it. But I think I've finally figured out why diets haven't worked for me!
Diets aren't the answer for me because when I'm on them, I feel the pressure to be perfect. I have to adhere to a certain amount of calories, or only so many carbs. It always starts out as a plan that I can follow, but only for so long. And when I deviate from it, I derail the whole train! So now I'm ready to try something a little gentler, something that has worked for me in the past but that I got away from because I felt I needed to follow someone's else's plan.
Three Steps to Weight Loss
Let me say I am not a doctor or weight loss expert, I'm just someone trying to be sensible about weight loss, trying to come up with a plan that will work for a life rather than a while!
Here is my 1,2,3 approach to Weight Loss. It is about progress, not perfection or pressure!!!
1. Get rid of the scale! No more daily or obsessive weigh- ins. Weigh in once a month, bi-weekly, or weekly, but no more than once a week. I plan to weigh myself once a week.
2. Say these words to yourself after each meal: That was breakfast, that was lunch, that was dinner; now you are done. No strict guidelines, just sensible, intuitive eating*.
3. Exercise and be aware. Exercise every day, in some form, even if it's just for a few minutes to start. Remind yourself to be aware of healthy choices.
*(It works best for me when I don't snack, but if snacking works for you, go for it..it's all about eating when you're hungry, stopping when you're full and finding what works for you.)
Just declaring this is working already! The reminder to be aware was enough to get me to choose water instead of soda. I didn't need a food guideline or a checklist. I just "declare to be aware", a gentle nudge in the right direction, and already I feel less pressure, more positive, and more apt to choose a better option. I will be more aware when I want to overeat and take a moment to ask myself why I am doing so. Maybe just that awareness will be enough to ward off an overeating episode. It's amazing that when I am not restricting myself, I feel like making a healthier choice. Whereas when I am restricted, I end up rebelling--wow!
Today I allowed myself a slice of zucchini bread for breakfast. I said to myself while eating, "this is breakfast." When I finished I said, "that was breakfast. Now you're done." I enjoyed every bite, stopped at one slice, and was fulfilled until lunch. It is so different than the thoughts that go through my head when I am thinking about what I should or shouldn't eat according to a plan!
A few diet books that really have helped me are , Thin For Lifeand anything by Geneen Roth. They focus a lot on the emotional and mental aspects of overeating and dieting. I hope they will help you, too! I also love the work of Brooke Castillo and included some videos about her. The Thin Commandments
I plan to update readers on my progress one week from today. Now I am off to the treadmill, and I feel psyched rather than stressed or scared. It is a much better feeling.
Wish me luck--and if you try this approach, let me know how it works for you!!!