As a blogger I get a few media requests now and then. So-and-so magazine wants a quote or such-and-such website wants an interview. They don’t bother me; actually I appreciate the opportunity to share my story and potentially influence more people positively.
However, sometimes what they are looking for is “Weight Loss Tips” and I usually let out a big sigh. I know what they are really looking for and it’s not what I want to share.
You know the ones. We all do!
Drink a big glass of water before each meal. Brush your teeth after dinner. Dip your fork in the dressing instead of pouring it on. Ask for a to-go container when you get your meal. Don’t drink your calories.
And so on and so forth.
It’s not that these are bad tips — I follow a lot of them! — but they just saturate the market. Every weight-loss post or article keeps recycling the same ones, or at least it seems that way to me.
My most recent inquiry was from a pretty big website/personality that I would love a mention from. Especially since I’m still trying to promote the What You Can When You Can book.
However, I know the tips I want to share probably aren’t what they want to hear. They are probably looking for specific, calorie-cutting, unique, diet-like, eye-catching one-liners and all I have are more broad, lifestyle, mindset shifts.
But I submitted some anyway, hoping to grab thier attention. I did my best to skirt the line between practical and “thought process” stuff.
This is what I ended up with:
Make Eating out Rules for Yourself
I’m a big believer in losing weight on your own terms. If you do things in the name of weight loss that you aren’t willing to do long-term, chances are you will regain or fail altogether. For example, I was not willing to give up french fries long term so instead of making them off limits I made a family rule that only one of us can order fries to split and that person is never me! This way the fries aren’t on my plate. I still get a few to cure my fry craving but I’m no longer mindlessly eating a mound of french fries just because they are in front of me. Other personal eating-out rules include: always ordering a small size, dressing is always on the side, broth-based soups instead of appetizers and burgers get no cheese. These things may seem small but they all add up! Doing what you can when you can consistently over time to reduce calories will pay off in the long run.
Work WITH Nighttime Snacking
Snacking in the evenings has always been a problem. I learned early on I had to work with it to be successful. Instead of saying no to nighttime eating, if I really want something it has to be something I made homemade, Grabbable snacks out of the pantry are not an option. For example, one day I made “nachos” out of fresh peppers and cheese. Another day I really wanted cake so I made one in a mug. The act of making something really helps me stop mindless eating and made the snack that much more enjoyable and satisfying.
So many times we hear “don’t let yourself get too hungry” but I found the opposite to be true. Feeling true hunger helped me learn when my body needed food and when I just wanted to eat for eating’s sake. Stop eating because the clock tells you to, and learn to feel and trust your own hunger signals by allowing yourself to get hungry between meals. Hunger is not an emergency and feeling that growling stomach before filling it with nourishing foods will help you learn which foods satisfy you longer and which ones cause cravings later.
Bulk it up!
Serve a side salad or fresh cut veggies with every meal. It really helps reduce the overall calories of what you consume. If possible add more veggies to your meals, too. Bulk up chili with chopped zucchini, add vegetables to pasta dishes, pump up the carrots in stews.
I think it’s funny my tips got shorter and shorter and I got more and more specific. I definitely have more to share on the mental shifts than I do on the practical tips. It’s not that I don’t have a lot of practical tips, it’s just that I’m more passionate about the lifestyle stuff.