Join Date: Jan 2013
Weight loss tips
I'm new here (obviously). I've actually been reading posts every now and then, but I never registered as I didn't feel I had much to contribute.
These days... well, overall my life has changed for the better. I got a job, I'm reasonably happy with my appearance, and I've dealt with the slight anxiety problems I had as a young adult. Weight-wise I've decided that I'm fine so long as I stay under 60kg, though I try to stay closer to 55kg. Usually I hover between 57 and 59 anyway.
I've been thinking for a while about writing here a list of weight loss tips. I don't know why I decided to do it tonight, but here we are. I know these tips can be very specific and won't help everyone ; I know many of you will already be familiar with them. But when I was struggling to lose weight, I'd have been happy if someone had given them to me, and if it can help even one person, that's all the motivation I need.
Sooo, here goes.
1. Find a low-cal food you like and can eat almost as much of as you like. For me, spinach is one such ; it is so low in cal that I can even afford to put some sour cream in it. Tasty and healthy. Mushrooms work too, they're mostly water (well, most vegetables qualify). Even carrot sticks dipped in low-fat cream with vinegar and a spoonful of mustard could work. These work as "hunger controllers". Someone posted about always being hungry on 1300 cals a day. With vegetables - heck, even mashed potatoes are not THAT caloric - you don't have to be hungry. Then you have to decide if you'd rather be hungry but have some sweets, or not be hungry and give up the sweets in favour of a large helping of vegetables and/or rice. And I've heard a ton of things about rice and noodles but they're actually great, IMO. 100grams of uncooked rice is only about 330cals (considering that a normal portion size for an adult is 80 grams). You can even afford to add a little butter to it for a 400cal meal (unless you eat meat with it, which I don't always - sometimes I just have rice and nothing else for the meal). Or have less rice and more meat if you need the proteins. You can also add a spoonful of cream and mushrooms, for instance. Spices are also a great idea to help make an otherwise bland meal a good experience.
In the same line, having apples or other fruits on hand can be very convenient if you want something sweet to appease your hunger.
2. Don't tell yourself "I can't have this". It only makes you want it more. If you're past your calorie quota for the day, you can tell yourself "I can have it, but in a few hours". "In a few hours" can also translate as "tomorrow", but hey, so long as you're sleeping you're not hungry. The waiting may be tough, but at the end of it you get your reward in the shape of a slice of cake or piece of chocolate that you can eat free of guilt.
3. Think positively about the weight loss. In other words, don't tell yourself "I'm so ugly and disgusting, no-one could possibly like me". Tell yourself "I'm now on the path to look awesome, and if I stick to it I will in a few weeks or months." Always look ahead.
4. If you feel you simply must have a piece of chocolate now or you will die, don't let the desire rule you. First of all, if you can't reign it in, have a SMALL piece. I'm talking one mouthful, two at most. Often, the urge will be satisfied with that much (yes, surprising but true, at least for me). If not, you can always have one more, until you feel you can control yourself. It's easier to eat more than to "un-eat" something, so always aim for a smaller helping, and just have more if you're really hungry.
5. Wait a while after the main course. It does take about 15 minutes for the feeling of hunger to go, especially if you're a fast eater (I am). Wait with a glass of something, talking with other people, it's a nice way to end a meal - and then if you feel you're not hungry anymore, skip desert. If you feel no longer hungry but you long for something else to end the meal, have some coffee for instance, or a small piece of chocolate (that'd be about 50cal, nothing dramatic).
6. Don't eat too much early in the day. Well, it really depends on what sort of diet you're following. I did mostly the calorie-control thing, so eating too much early in the day meant I'd have to go with very little for the rest of the day, or go over the limit (which doesn't exactly work in favour of losing weight, and you CAN get sick of even spinach). Plus it's nice to have something to look forward to at the end of the day. It's easier to go hungry in the afternoon if you tell yourself, "tonight I'm having this great meal".
7. This one is more for people who don't live on their own and live with someone who's a big eater. Often, you have this piece of cake in your fridge, and you tell yourself : "I don't really want it now, but if I don't have it X is going to eat it, and then I'll have nothing." And you end up eating when you're not hungry, and feeling bloated. There are several solutions to that... one is to have separate sections of the fridge (works with a roommate, inconvenient if you're with your family). Another solution is to label whatever food you covet with a "don't eat, property of X". Yet another solution is just tell yourself, "well, who cares if X eats it, I'll just make/buy some tomorrow".
And for anything that doesn't go in the fridge, it's nice to have your own little stash, to eat as much or as little as you like without fearing that other people devour it before you have any (hey, I grew up with too brothers). That's if you can control yourself not to binge it. If you can't, you can also have your personal stash under lock and key and give the key to someone else.
8. This one is going to seem obvious, but it's surprisingly hard to assimilate. Do. not. eat. if. you're. not. hungry. Simple, eh ? Well, it took me years to assimilate. These days I so much hate that bloated feeling (almost as much as hangovers) that I avoid over-eating like the plague. When I indulge, it's more in the nature of the food than in the quantity. Thing is, when you're eat as fast as I do, you often find yourself bloated before you even know what hit you. Everyone will say, don't eat so fast. Yeah, I probably should. I don't. So my solution is, eat however fast I please but take a break now and then to evaluate just how hungry I still am. At the very least wait between parts of the meal.
9. Diet soda can save your life. I know, I know, blablabla, unhealthy, blablabla. Well, I don't smoke, I rarely drink and I never did drugs, so to each their own poison. I'm not telling anyone "you can't lose weight without diet soda". All I'm saying is, it helped me a lot. It does a lot to stave off the hunger and it gives you something sweet you can have almost as much of as you like.
And finally, counter-tips. Things everyone say to do but I don't. There aren't too many of these, actually...
- Do not skip meals : how often do you hear that one ? Personally, I consider that my body knows best, in the same way that I get tired of sweets if I indulge too much. If I'm not hungry, I don't eat, and that's the end of it.
- Breakfast is the most important meal of the day ! Yeah, I heard that one so much I got sick of it. I don't care what it's supposed to be, everyone's different. I can't stomach a big breakfast early in the day, I just can't. At most I have coffee and maybe a little piece of chocolate to go with it.
Well, that's about all I can think of at the moment, it's already a very long post... once again, these are the methods and tips I assimilated through the years. I'm not claiming it to be healthy ; I'm not saying it's the best exemple to follow. I'm not a doctor and I'm not making anyone do anything. I'm only sharing what helped me through the ordeal of weight loss. And I'd be interested to hear any tips you guys may have.