One Mom’s Journey from Fat to Skinny to Confident

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The Dreaded ‘Do-You-Have-Any-Weight-Loss-Tips?’ Question

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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.

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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.

Feel Hunger

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.



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Discussion

There are 8 comments so far.

    Charlie Hills

    December 5, 2015

    In all my years and years and years at this, if I were asked to come up with a single, all-encompassing, headline-grabbing weight loss tip it would be this: want it. If you don’t want it —truly want it — at the most deepest and honest level, no other tip or trick will help.

    We all know that feeling, where we stop wanting it. It may be temporary: an hour, perhaps even minutes. It may last a week or, in the extreme, a year or more. We know we want to lose weight and we know we should use all the tools and tips and tricks we’ve learned. But dang it, that quart of ice cream isn’t going to just eat itself. And if you’ve lost that deep “I want to lose weight” desire, you’re going to eat that ice cream.

    And that’s okay. It happens. You can get right back on. You just have to want it.

    Staci

    December 5, 2015

    It’s sad that headers like, “Walk off 53 pounds in 24 days” is what sales. I know I’ve had success in the past, but since I wasn’t doing things that were long-term livable for me, I didn’t maintain my loss. :-/ Now I’m just trying to find my groove and *trying* to ignore the one million bits of “advice” and “tips” that have been whispered in my ear ever since I started trying to lose weight back in 2006!

    Brenna

    December 5, 2015

    Thank you for your post! I think these tips are good ways for lifelong habit healthy habits and not just “quick-fixes” that won’t last or help.

    Martha

    December 5, 2015

    Great tips! And you hit the nail on the head; if you aren’t willing to live with these “tips” long term then it ain’t gonna work long term. When I finally got it, I didn’t go on a diet per se although I did make changes to my diet because I knew that was the healthy way to go.
    Like you, there are things I can’t live without like French Fries so I order them and eat about 1/3. Used to ask to only give me half or a third, but restaurants don’t seem to be able to do that :(
    Having lost 80 some lbs I get asked all the time “what did you do???” Since what I did wasn’t sexy or headline catching, most lose interest pretty quickly.

    Ann Jones

    December 9, 2015

    This is the best & most honest advice I’ve heard. Dining out is tough unless you are able to find restaurant on line to pre-determine what you will have. I tend to try and choose the healthier option and then eat 50% of what is on my plate – take the rest home or send with a friend. It is not a “fad” idea and something I can do consistently when I’m not sure about calories or ww points.

    Les Raff

    December 10, 2015

    The “downsize” name in my blog actually refers to housing not weight, but the last blog is a “great” weight loss tip!

    http://www.chicagonow.com/downsize-maybe/2015/12/what-i-learned-on-the-it-hurts-too-much-to-eat-diet/

    Agnes

    December 10, 2015

    These are perfect! I’m with you. I hate the recycled one liners that you see in every magazine in every grocery store! These are real world and something that can not only help people but help change their mindset. I mean incorporating fries in a doable way! Genius!

    Roxanne

    December 11, 2015

    Great tips, Rony! As I dwell deeper in weight loss and learn more about my body, I figured that the tips that work for some people won’t work for others. We need to understand our body and know what works best for it and what’s not. We need to find the balance in our body in order to lose weight and live a healthier lifestyle. What tips I give, instead, are motivational tips. So that by the time they embark the journey towards healthy lifestyle, they are now more committed to it and increase their chance of success!