Let's get real. There is no silver bullet. If your intentions are to crash diet, fast, drink some concoction that will melt off the weight, you're in for disappointment in the long run. Years ago, I subscribed to a great diet newsletter, Toot's Diet Tips (or some name to that effect). The one thing Toots emphasized on every email was that your everyday habits dictate your weight. Pure and simple, yes, you are what you eat. And if you pack away half a dozen cookies, a pint of ice cream along with 3 full means, yeah, you could end up with giant saddle bags as I did. Unless you are one of the 3% of all human beings with screamingly high metabolisms. Then, I envy you.
For the rest of us, eating 3,600 calories a day will translate into a pound of fat, beyond the regular metabolic demands our bodies (which vary from person to person). Funny thing, I was flipping through a restaurant application on my iPad this morning, and was astounded at the calorie counts at some of my favorite stops. Boston Market, being one of those, has really high calorie counts on some of what I thought were relatively good choice. OK, well, maybe I got what I deserved with the sweet potatoes in brown sugar and marshmallows at nearly 450 calories per serving. But thinking of what that one side dish potentially translated to when coupled with a meal. I could easily reach nearly three quarters of what would translate into that pound in one meal. When I started counting up the calories, my head was reeling. It's no wonder I packed on the pounds so quickly. But I was bewildered when I got on the scale. WTF? Where was it coming from? Wasn't I making good choices?
It occurred to me while chatting with a co-worker recently, that it's sometimes difficult to see weight gain. She lost 10 pounds recently, and showed me pictures of herself roughly a month ago and you could see the difference in her appearance. Granted, she was conscious of what she was eating, and adding a good morning walk into every day. But, is it true? Can a picture really reveal the truth? Take a look at the before and after pictures on my blog and you'll see what I mean. For the life of me, when I carried those 30 extra pounds, I would look in the mirror and not see what was vividly evident to everyone else. For me, it was denial. I was always the petite girl in school, how could I look like a beached whale?
When my son was 5 years old, he asked me if I was having another baby. Huh? I was 3 years post partem with my daughter ... I looked pregnant? And then I turned to the coverage in our family albums and home videos. I took a hard look at myself and realized what complete denial my ego had put me into. Regrettably, I could then see why he thought I was pregnant.
If you want to lose weight, here are some of my most coveted suggestions:
- Think of it as a journey, not a destination. Weight loss is best achieved while striving to live a healthier lifestyle.
- Stick to the basics. The food pyrmaid is based on good common sense, use it as a guideline and you'll find yourself making better choices.
- Drink water 'till you sprout gills. OK, maybe I'm exaggerating a bit, but drink twice as much water as you think you need. Water helps your body function better, and helps to wash out impurities in your body.
- You are what you eat. Argh, this is an annoying cliche, but true. How you eat on a daily basis will determine how your body metabolizes food. And put genuine thought into your portion size.
- Balance the input with output. Find ways to incorporate activity into your daily life. Don't get caught up in thinking you need to block out an hour of time. Do some crunches or lunges while watching your favorite TV show. Take the stairs. Walk where you can. It all adds up.
Diet pills, food plans, so many of these options out in the marketplace are short term solutions. I'm not suggesting they don't work. Many folks have experienced successful weight loss. But, there are lots of folks out there who have regained the weight later. Make a commitment to yourself for a healthier life, and you'll find the road to weight loss and feeling better will naturally follow.