I'm going to tell you why you need to change your lifestyle to lose weight and keep it off. I spent half of my adult life chasing this illusion of losing weight quickly through a diet and keeping it off. It would have been more useful for me to imagine myself on the red carpet at the Oscars, next to the hottest actor of the decade. The theoretical premise of a diet solely focuses on the temporary. There are some quick fixes for losing weight but there are none for maintaining that weight loss. Over the past year, I lost 50 pounds and gained a new mindset about dieting. What I realized on this journey is that in order to be successful at weight loss you have to make changes that can be integrated into your lifestyle. That's why you need to change your lifestyle to lose weight and keep it off.
I have tried everything from low carb, intermittent fasting, drinking a gallon of water a day and a plethora of other strategies. By the way, do you know how hard it is to find a bathroom throughout the NYC subway system? Anyway, I would lose 20-30 pounds and then gain it all back within 6 months. The January before my 40th year of life, I said enough of this merry go round and decided to make a lifestyle change. I threw away every notion of a diet like what time I could eat and what I could eat. I followed guidelines that I could keep up for a lifetime. I didn’t over exercise, take any pills or spend 1 hour in the sauna. Why? Because that has temporary written all over it. I decided I needed to change and the first thing I was going to change was my own perception and relationship with food.
Here are some of the changes that I made for myself. Can you follow my guidelines step by step? Maybe you can or maybe you can’t. When you are freeing yourself from a diet, you have to set up guidelines that work for you. I can live without a hamburger, that might be your non-negotiable. It’s all about what works best for you.
My Diet Break-up Strategy
- Always remember that the weight loss journey starts in the kitchen
- Eat fruits, vegetables and lean protein
- Eat the serving that is on the box
- If you are hungry after eating, wait 15 minutes before going back
- When you want to snack, measure out your serving
- Don't consume endless amounts of healthy foods unless it's vegetables
- Measure your oil and don't free pour
- If you are really craving something, eat it in small portions
- Don't eat at every social event
- When you feel like splurging, don't let people make you feel bad about it
- Before going to a restaurant look at the menu and make a healthy choice
- When Eating out Ask for Sauces on the Side
- Limit your fried food consumption
- Watch out for food pushers
- Move as much as you can
- Measure your wine and other alcohol
- Most importantly, embrace your own journey and know that there will be haters along the way
They will say things like "That's enough, how much weight do you want to lose?” Pay them no mind. Stop when you are good and ready and maintain your weight by not slipping back into old habits. We know how to lose or gain but maintenance is another story.