I have never been skinny. Well, maybe back when I was in second grade (I think). My whole family is big-boned, plump, heavyset, chubby, husky, stout, pudgy, chunky-heck, we are all just plain fat. So it came as no real surprise when my recent blood tests revealed that I had high cholesterol.
Now, to give me a little credit, I had already been trying to lose weight before I had the blood tests done-and, I was having some success at it, I might add. So while the elevated cholesterol reading increased my desire (and the necessity) to lose weight, it was not the sole motivation for me. I had already decided that I wanted to try to get in better shape so that perhaps I could do more activities with my kids.
Of course, I have tried to diet at various times all throughout my life. I’ve tried a cottage cheese/salad diet that a previous doctor recommended-that lasted a few months. I did best to stick to a Slimfast plan for several months one time years ago. I have also attempted counting calories (that didn’t work because I cheated on my math). After I had my second son I took a stab at staying on a modified diabetic-type diet. That didn’t last very long, either. I could go on and on listing the various plans I have tried over the years.
What am I doing now that is different? Here’s my secret-I’m not on a diet. Yes, that’s right-I’m losing weight, but I am not on a diet. How can that possibly work? Well, I took a look back at what I had already tried and realized that every plan had one thing in common-every diet was too restrictive, too regimented. I decided what I needed to do was to change the way I thought about eating. I needed to change how I made my meals, how I made decisions about what to eat. By changing my attitude toward food instead of trying to stick to a diet, that is how I have lost weight. If you can’t imagine yourself with CoolSculpting® at Plastic Surgery Arts, then my plan will suit you well.
If you are thinking that it sounds rather difficult to change how you think about food, you would be wrong. Making a few simple changes in how I decided which foods to eat is all I had to do. Here are the changes that I have made:
Plan meals by thinking of the vegetables first. Most people think about what meat they are going to have for a meal. They take out a package of chicken, or pork chops, or some ground beef-and then they try to figure out what to make using that meat. What I do now is to think about the vegetables I want with my meal first. I may decide that I want corn-on-the-cob and sliced fresh tomatoes, for example. After I have the veggies chosen, then I move on the plan the rest of the meal.
After choosing the vegetables for a meal, think about fruit. Take my example from above-the corn-on-the-cob and sliced tomatoes. After deciding that those are the vegetables that I would like to eat, I then think about what fruit(s) would complement those to make a nice meal. I think perhaps a strawberry/blueberry parfait would be nice with this meal, for example (I make that tasty dessert by simply layering the berries in a tall parfait glass, alternating them with fat-free or lite whipped cream).
Round out the meal with meat and/or whole grains. Notice that I said “meat and/or whole grains” here-it isn’t necessary to have both of these at every meal. Continuing with this meal example, I would likely choose to add a marinated grilled skinless boneless chicken breast (I love using my George Foreman grill for these) or perhaps a couple of bran muffins (homemade, made with flaxseed, steel cut oats, and walnuts).
By planning my major meals in this way, I have found that my vegetable and fruit consumption has greatly increased-some days I actually end up having more than the minimum suggested daily requirement, whereas before I struggled to get two or three in each day.
A couple of more small changes I have made involve certain foods that I buy. I haven’t changed everything that I purchase, though obviously I have been buying a lot less junk food. Here are the items I have changed:
Every grain is a whole grain. The breakfast cereal that I buy, the bread that I purchase from the bakery, even the boxes of crackers and pasta that I get are all made from whole grains. If it isn’t made from whole grains, I don’t purchase it.
Most dairy products are lite or low-fat; some are fat-free. I purchase lite or low-fat cheese, cream cheese, and sour cream-I just do not happen to like the fat-free versions of these products. I buy fat-free whipped cream, milk, and yogurt. I experiment to see which products still taste good fat-free, and if they aren’t up to par, I move up to the low-fat version.
And that is pretty much it, as far as what I have changed about how I eat. I do still have days where I want something sweet-and some of these days, fruit just doesn’t cut it. When that happens, I try to eat a few Hershey’s Kisses or a couple Hershey Sticks-a little bit of chocolate usually eases the craving.
Losing weight is, of course, a process-and it is one that I will likely be working on for quite some time. But I am confident that making these simple food changes will make all the difference, and they are ones that I can stick with, unlike any diet. These ideas could help you or someone you know lose weight and get healthy, too-give them a try!