You need to eat less, move more. Sound familiar? Unfortunately that would only be true if we lived in a bubble. I imagine, to some extent, it would be true the first couple times you attempt to lose weight as well. But our bodies are moth than just a math game. Our bodies are not as simple as calories in, calories out. We have metabolisms, body types, and genetics at play as well. Most weight loss companies are starting to turn their back a little more on portion control and reach instead for quality food choices. For some people, it really does come down to portions. The vast majority of us, need help figuring out healthier choices. Notice I didn’t say healthiest, that is too unrealistic. With so many variables between individuals, no one choice will ever be the healthiest for every person.
If portion control is a problem for you, there are more tricks than just weighing your food every meal. Although, it is great to see the actual weight of food, to give you a better eyeball at it later. Some people drink a full glass of water before sitting down to eat. Others serve themselves off of smaller plates, we totally do this in our house. Seeing a full plate helps your brain “see” that it should feel satisfied once you have finished. If you are not making exact portions for the people eating, keep the serving dishes in the kitchen, and eat in the dining room. Then, you have to choose to get up from the table, walk to the kitchen, and refill your plate. This requires more thought and action that just asking for a bowl to be passed at the table. When eating out, wrap up half your meal before you even take a bite. This will help you to keep from over indulging in the sometimes gigantic portions at restaurants.
If perfection is your problem, I can only say to make a choice and stick with it. You can research until your head hurts, but you won’t find the perfect answer if white rice or brown rice is better for you. Some people have underlying problems that affect digestion of food and they may benefit from a more restrictive diet. For the most part, though, eating whole, real foods is going to be the best idea. I was talking to clients the other day about the vilifying of real foods. The example talked about was fruit. Even I recommend you limit fruit to the morning hours, and only one or two servings on your weight loss portion of your journey. However, binge eating some strawberries is never going to be as bad for you as downing a carton of ice cream.
If you are the type that needs clear direction, there are so many plans out there. Try them, until you find one that fits your life, your taste buds, and your budget. Then you just adapt it as you go to what suits you best. Over six years ago, Mike and I decided to try paleo. We bought Dr. Loren Cordain’s book, with a six week meal plan in the back. I have constantly found myself drawn back to the paleo lifestyle. It works for me, my energy levels are great, and I feel great in my clothes. The part that makes it a lifestyle, is that while I have done stretches of strict eating to reset my body, day in and day out I don’t need to make 100% paleo choices.
If you are unhappy in your life, in your skin, anything, you will struggle to make lifestyle changes. Some people can go through a drastic or traumatic experience that propels them to make changes. They lose weight and feel great, but if they need to find themselves along the way to make the changes stick. To remember why they love themselves, how to love life, and be grateful for what they have been given. Some people are not just unhappy, they are depressed. Definitely seek professional help, once you lift the fog that you have been living in, you can search out happiness. (Depression is not the opposite of happy, remember that unhappiness is the opposite) For other people, losing the weight means shedding protection layers, revealing insecurities, or dealing with past sadness, hurt, and anger. Sometimes, you can work through these things with a journal, other people may need a counselor.
“Being at your ideal weight is more than just looking good.”
So tell me, what motivates you to shed the weight for good, to stop yo-yoing? Once you are at a healthy weight, what will you do then? The journey doesn’t end with a number on the scale. The journey continues, so what will you use your healthy body to do? Run races, enter lifting competitions, be a better mom, be the best wife you can be, pour your newfound energy into a cause close to your heart? The key to the lifestyle is to make the changes stick.