I promise this is not turning into a weight loss blog. Nevertheless, I've had several requests for my "secret" to losing over 30 pounds so far. So I'm going to share what I've been doing, but I daresay you've heard it all before.
Okay, step one, I decided to go with a meal replacement plan because that's worked well for me in the past. I chose Slim-Fast because it was relatively inexpensive, and because they were advertising a new formula which supposedly satisfied hunger for up to 4 hours. To my surprise, it actually did. From day one, I could drink a yummy chocolate milk for breakfast and not be hungry until 3 or 4 hours later.
Step two was signing up for Slim-Fast online. I have since seen other sites that have the same kinds of features, but I still recommend their site. They will plan out your week of meals and snacks for you, so if you're the type who doesn't like to count calories or points, it's already done for you. The only caveat is the dinner recipes are not for a family, so you need to multiply by how many servings you want. I made quite a few of their dinners, and everything was yummy!
If you don't want to go with their recipes, you can input your own foods and recipes and replace them in your plan. The website automatically calculates your calories and nutritional content. Then it has a comparison column of how much of each nutrient you should be getting, versus how much you are getting. Now, you could do all of this for yourself, but why would you? Best of all, there are no "Slim-Fast police" who come and remove your profile if you're not actually using Slim-Fast. Anyone can use their tools. It's all FREE!
Step three was developing new habits, which the website helped with. If I picked up a cookie, I had to know how many calories it had so I could put it in my day's list of food. And I soon learned that I could use up my day's allotment of calories pretty quickly if I ate a lot of junk. Not to mention I'd still be hungry. It didn't happen overnight, but gradually I changed the way I ate. Now, it is no problem for me to eat one Oreo, or five M&Ms.
My other big problem before was portion control. Again, this comes down to knowing how many calories are in your food. I used to eat until I was full without thinking about how much I ate. Now, I think about that. I have literally eaten whatever I wanted to on this diet, I just have controlled my portions. Lasagna, pizza, cookies, cake, you name it. You just have to decide ahead of time where your limit is, and then don't go over it.
Finally, I got some support. The great group of ladies over at One Weigh or Another have been instrumental in keeping me motivated. Especially when we've had contests. We weigh in once a week and I always get encouraging comments, whether or not I've lost any that week. So find one or more friends who also want to lose weight and hang out with them. Or come over to One Weigh and lurk for a while. You'll be inspired.
Now, you may be wondering where exercise fits into all this. I bodly assert that if you do what I did for the first six months, you will lose weight anyway! Once I lost about twenty pounds, I decided it was time to add in some exercise, but I still haven't increased my calories. I try to do some treadmill or weight training every day, but I don't freak out if I miss it. And the weight is still coming off.
I fully expect the last twenty pounds to be the hardest to lose, but I'm going to keep plugging away. It's no longer a question of if, it's just a matter of when!