As someone who has been obese on and off since the age of five, I understand how difficult it is to not only lose weight, but to maintain it. After being on weight loss diets for at least half my life, I started changing my lifestyle gradually in November of 2013, and by August of 2015, I reached my goal weight after losing 115 lbs, and have gone from a size 22-24, to a size 10-12. I have been the same weight now since that time. The changes I’ve made are now habits.
Here are five suggestions that have helped me the most. Pick one, or more of these and see if they make a difference:
- STOP DRINKING SODAS, especially diet ones, they are full of potentially harmful ingredients and recent research has shown that they are so chemically artificial that the body doesn’t know how to process them, and is storing them as belly fat. Also, be aware that most people who drink two or more diet sodas a day are obese. You will save money by switching to water, plain, or infused with fruit, seltzers, or unsweetened tea or coffee, they will quench your thirst much better than diet, or sugary sodas did.
- WALK AT LEAST A HALF HOUR A DAY, even in you do it in 10-minute intervals, which I had to do when I was much heavier, and could go no further. I now walk at least an hour a day. Though what you are eating is much more important in losing weight than exercise, it is a terrific thing to do for your heart, bones, metabolism and moods. You will also get Vitamin D from the sun, and will see things you don’t see when you’re driving, in bad weather head for a mall. As a bonus, I now am acquainted with several dog walkers, mother’s pushing baby carriages, and people out tending their gardens in the neighborhoods where I walk.
- START YOUR DAY EATING A FOOD SUCH AS EGGS, the protein boost will make you feel full and there are endless ways to prepare them. Sneak some veggies into them if you are making a casserole, frittata, omelet, or scrambled eggs. Other good protein sources are peanut butter, or avocado and cheese, or marinated salmon on toast, these make delicious and satisfying breakfasts, and will energize you. Other options are chicken soup in the winter, gazpacho in the summer, green drinks, fruit smoothies made with unsweetened almond milk are ways to boost your fruit and vegetable intakes. It’s much cheaper and healthier to make your own, as you can control the ingredients, most of which can be kept in the freezer. It will be easier to ignore the doughnuts, muffins, bagels, birthday cakes and the vending machine at work if you start your day with a healthy breakfast.
- DITCH THE SALTY AND SUGARY SNACKS, which will make you hungrier and craving more, instead eat a few slices of cheese, fresh fruit, or a handful of unsalted nuts. Instead of dessert, have a large cup of herbal tea after dinner, there are many kinds and drinking them will induce relaxation and help you sleep.
- EARLY TO BED, EARLY TO RISE, according to a June 5, 2017 article in Time magazine by Alexandra Sifferlin, based on 10,000 people who have kept off an average of 66 lbs. for over five years, most people who are successful at long-term weight loss are early risers, and go to bed early as well. 98% changed their diet in some way, 94% exercise on average one hour a day, 78% eat breakfast every day, 75% weigh themselves at least once a week, 55% used a weight loss program, and 62% watch fewer than 10 hours of TV a week. Some of them succeed using low carbohydrate diets, some eat less fat, all moderated portion sizes and cut down on junk food. Slow & steady, works better than fast and drastic, almost all the contestants on The Biggest Loser gained back at least 66% of their weight loss. Some things people said were helpful, were keeping a journal, staying in the day, rather than worrying about keeping weight off, and staying consistent to their healthier routines. Even a 10% loss of weight improved people’s blood pressure and blood sugar levels, so it doesn’t have to be all or nothing.