100 lb. Club - Successful strategies
02-13-2009, 07:17 AM
I believe in commitment, but I'm also finding that the key to life change (and weight loss) is a series of skills and strategies I'm developing. Here are some of mine...what are yours?
1) In a buffet situation I allow myself 1 trip through the line. I can have anything I want on that trip, but not return. (Limits my portions and forces me to really thing about what I want.)
2) In a restaurant when I get full but still have some very delicious part of the meal in front of me I remind myself that I can have it tomorrow at home. I try to imagine it on my plate. I also ask the server as quickly as possible to package it for later so that it isn't sitting in front of me, calling my name!
3) I've discovered that once I have some I want more. (For instance it is easier for me not to have any brownies than to just have one if more are available.) So, if there is a treat I really want, and it will be available for a period of time, I take it and defer eating it. Then, if I still want it I have it at the last possible moment, when I am less likely to be able to have a dozen. (So I might put aside the brownie until others have finished the platter.) Sometimes I don't need to eat the original item, other times I can enjoy it happily but not have the opportunity to eat five more.
Those are some of my strategies...what are yours?
02-13-2009, 10:38 AM
1) I can 'treat' myself but I can't treat myself every day. This usually comes into play when I get cravings for things I don't normally eat. Sometimes I'll let the craving sit for a week and see if it is really there.
2) It often looks better and smells better than it tastes. Sometimes I like the idea of eating something but I know the execution won't be as good as I've built it in my mind.
3) I may have to convince myself to exercise but I know once I do, I'll always feel better.
4) I don't need to be a slave to instant gratification. Now this one actually came up yesterday. I was at my physical therapist and they had various chocolates/candy in a bowl but none of them really appealed to me. Then I was offered a good piece of dark chocolate so I grabbed it and put it in my purse. It was there for about 4 hours when I started thinking to myself that I could go for a piece of chocolate when I remembered the piece I got earlier! So I ate it and I enjoyed every moment of it.
I've really been focusing on calorie counting but I don't have enough time to sit down and plan a week of meals... plus, with my family, I never know if the item I was going to eat will still be there when I got to eat it... SO... I'll pack breakfast and lunch for work, add up the calories, and then know how much I have left over for dinner. Unless I know I am going to have a big dinner or go out... then I am pretty deliberate with what I pack for my earlier meals.
I also find it helpful to look up menus for restaurants prior to going out. It is easier to pick out a healthy meal when I am at home looking at a menu than when I am out socializing, hungry, and everything sounds delicious.
02-13-2009, 04:05 PM
I went to the buffet yesterday since I am calorie cycling and it was a 'high day'. Before I left the house I tracked what i knew I would eat from there and I measured my portions with the little rice bowls. I ended up having enough to fill a plate and was plenty full from that. Bf decided it was a cheat day for him and loaded up with three plates! *L*
02-14-2009, 01:40 PM
1. I really really really think about foods that are less than healthy before I eat them. I NEVER make split decisions about food choices.
2. I stick to my meal plans faithfully.
3. Drink water with every meal/snack to fill me up.
02-14-2009, 01:56 PM
1) I don't let myself get way too hungry. This equals danger for me, as my blood sugar gets low and I get desperate and will eat anything.
2) I discovered that the days I didn't exercise I felt terrible about myself. So I decided to exercise every day except for Sunday. Problem solved!
3) When I REALLY REALLY want something bad, I just have it and move on.
I discovered it's when I eat something bad that I didn't really want, THAT'S when I start to feel guilty and bad. The times that I really, really want something are not very often, so it's okay for me.
4) Hot drinks are good for filling up that empty "space" or need to eat something.
02-14-2009, 02:09 PM
I have a similar buffet strategy, although I get two trips - BUT I have to pretend to be my picky (and thin) sister - taking barely a "taste" sized portion of anything I want, but not letting any of the foods touch - in fact, keeping at least 3/4 of an inch border around each food. I eat very slowly, with tiny bites. The second plate I do much the same. If the buffet has an excellent salad bar that I can make a huge low-cal salad from, I do that in lieu of plate one, and go on to plate two only if the salad wasn't enough. I try to stay away from dessert alltogether, unless there is jello, preferably sugar free or fresh fruit, or something that won't spike the blood sugar too much.
It's funny, because I always thought my sister was kind of crazy. To be so picky about what she would try, then take barely a tablespoon or two of each food she chose and make sure each tiny mound was in no danger of touching an adjacent food. Each plate could barely contain 300 calories, even of the most caloric foods. Now, I see it as a great strategy.
I'm trying to really stick to my food journal. Yesterday was the perfect example of a day I tend to slack off with my food journal, because hubby did all of the cooking and I didn't plan ahead. I didn't want to journal, because I already "knew" that I had gone over my calorie alottment for the day. I didn't journal all day, but kept thinking I really needed to. After dinner, I was starting to get those old negative thoughts of "I'm so off plan, does it really matter if I just eat what I want the rest of the night." I caught myself, and decided that journaling would help remind me why I need to do it, and why continuing to eat wasn't a solution. I tallied up my total and realized I had only gone over my target by less than 200 calories - certainly not a "totally blew it," like I was thinking. It gave me the extra incentive to skip my evening snack (although if I had been really hungry I still could have had something small and been ok, and just trim the 200 from today's calorie range). Because I follow an exchange plan, I hadn't stuck to my exchanges. I was a little high on fat, and low on milk and fruit (but good on veggies). I often find myself low on the milk exchanges, so I take calcium supplements and eat a lot of veggies and small boned fish like sardines.