Losing Weight Sucks and I mean really SUCKS!! I feel like I’ve been on some type of on and off again diet my entire life.
A few years back I went on a diet program, which will remain nameless, and lost a ton of weight to the tune of around 45lbs. Yes, I could’ve lost a few more but I was happy where I was at. The program was very good but I was miserable every day while on it.
WHERE I’M AT
Fast forward to now and I’ve gained all my weight back.
Which leads me to believe that diets don’t work. What I’ve done in the past, while temporarily a quick fix doesn’t work.
So what do I do now? Do I just accept that this is how life is for me or do I fight back?
I’ve decided to fight back.
WHY I’VE GAINED WEIGHT
I think the main reason I gained my weight back was due to emotional stress at the time and dealing with that stress the best and easiest way I knew how – FOOD.
They say eat to live not live to eat but c’mon…I want to enjoy food a little. Can’t we learn to find a balance between what is good for us and what is good to us?
WHAT I’VE LEARNED
About a year ago I went to New York with my cousin, who by the way has never dealt with weight issues a day in her life. She’s what you would call “naturally skinny”. So while we were on the trip for her birthday, I decided to use this as a time to experiment (I’m a natural experimenter).
I wanted to observe her eating habits and what I discovered was eye-opening. I’ll go into further details in another post but to sum it all up, we ate 2 or 3 times a day because no one was interested in snacking unless we were super hungry from all the walking and just needed a quick bite to eat so we could keep going; eating was not a priority so if we missed a meal it wasn’t a big deal and everyone ate super slow.
To be clear I hate diets because I always feel deprived and unhappy when I am on them. So I’ve been looking into alternative forms of eating to get healthy and here are a few of my favorites:
There are many different forms of intermittent fasting. The form of intermittent fasting that I like is where I restrict my eating window to a certain time frame during the day. I started doing the 16-8 intermittent fasting regime. This is where I fast for around 16 hours (most of those hours I’m asleep) and then have an eating window of around 8 hours.
No S Diet
The No S Diet is simple – eat 3 times a day, no snacking, no sweets, no seconds except for days that begin with S (Saturdays, Sundays and Special days like your birthday). I highly recommend you go check this website out. The entire diet is on the website but he does sell a little book on Amazon for around $10 that goes into a little more depth as to why this approach is good for sustainable weight loss. You totally don’t have to get the book because like I said earlier the entire diet is on the website. The
A biblical approach to eating. Basically, you eat when you feel true hunger, eat slowly and stop when full. If you are tempted to eat when you are not hungry then pray and ask God for a way out of that situation.
HOW I PLAN TO DO IT
I want to incorporate all of the best practices of what I’ve learned into a program that works for me.
I truly believe in the health benefits of intermittent fasting. Among some of those benefits are allowing your body to relax and not have to digest all day long. I could go into the science behind this and perhaps I will another day but for now, I like the way intermittent fasting makes me feel and the mental clarity it gives me.
I plan on doing a 16 hour fast from 7 pm (hard cut off for me to stop eating) until 11 am the next day.
3 Meals A Day:
Quite simply put I don’t like 6 small meals a day. I don’t want to plan 6 meals every day and obsess about meal prepping and figuring out what times throughout the day to eat. My goal is to elevate the mental stress from eating and make it more normal.
In my opinion and this is just my humble opinion, I feel like while 6 small meals a day does work for weight loss, it is detrimental to people who are addicted to food/eating like me. In the beginning, it works but if we are not careful those 6 small meals can turn from being healthy into an excuse to eat because you know – you just need that meal. At least this is what happened to me. I ate healthily and then those meals started turning to chips and fast food, etc.
I will allow myself 3 meals a day with a caveat – I must be hungry. Yes, I must feel true physical hunger. Also, I probably will have more like 2 meals a day during the weight loss phase since my fasting window is a lot longer. However, as I lose weight and then move more into a maintenance window I will decrease my fasting window and the 3 meals will probably fit into that schedule.
Also, allowing myself 3 meals a day gives me a little flexibility just in case I need to cut my fasting window down a bit for that day.
Ideally I would like to just eat when I am hungry but for now, I feel like I need structure and so I will do this to see how it works.
Eating Slowly & Stopping When Full:
I literally can finish an entire meal in 5 minutes, whereas my skinny cousin takes about an hour just to eat 6 bites of food. I remember observing this one Thanksgiving. We sat down at the table to eat leftover the next day. We both had the same amount on our plates. I was done in about 6 minutes and she was on her second bite. And when I say done, I mean completely done – nothing left on my plate. She didn’t even finish her food – just put it up for later.
Eating fast is about the satisfaction and high we feel from eating. It is an out of control sensation and I want to take that control back.
To eat slowly I’m going to time myself and put 3-5 minutes between bites. If what they say is true that we become full after 20 minutes then this eating timeframe will allow me to get full with fewer bites and subsequently fewer calories.
As of right now, I’m not going to do what most diets do and completely dismiss an entire food group. However, I do want to limit my consumption of fried foods and fast foods. Which means that I’m going to have to plan and cook more. Crockpot here I come!
I do however want to practice the principle of INCLUSION NOT EXCLUSION. You see, on regular diets they make you exclude everything you love. It works for a while but then you start to feel resentful and eventually binge on those excluded forbidden off limit foods. Instead of saying what I don’t want to eat, I’m going to start including better things like fruits and vegetables – especially vegetables. It is my hypothesis that my body will start to want the good stuff and reject the bad stuff…we shall see.
Some foods that I don’t plan on eating anymore from more of a health perspective and not a diet perspective are dairy and bread. I’ve been lactose intolerant and allergic to dairy since I’ve been a baby but more recently I’ve been trying to sneak it into my diet through coffee (coffee creamer) and cheese. Also, I think I have a slight wheat allergy. I’m don’t have celiac disease as I’ve gone to the doctor to be tested for it. However, when I eat anything made from wheat, especially whole wheat I feel awful. I get lethargic; my stomach cramps; I get sweaty and I just don’t feel good. Since most all breads are made from wheat (even if it is striped) I’m going to make the effort to leave it alone.
I like walking and while it may or may not be the best thing for quick weight loss it is something that I can do consistently. At my job, we have a campus full of trails and I love going on those trails for an hour long walk during my lunch.
Walking is good for the heart and overall health so I feel like it would be good to add to my plan. Plus I love just getting out and clearing my mind.
I would like to incorporate some type of weight training throughout the week. Right now I like kettlebells and of course, I must get my squats in.
A Free Day:
Just like in the No S Diet I believe that there should be a day or two when you have freedom to not think about this new lifestyle change. Eventually, your lifestyle change will morph into your regular habits but until then a little mental break is needed. Since Saturdays are a good day for me to relax I am going to choose Saturday to be more of a free day.
I never make a promise I don’t intend to keep…unless it’s to myself. I feel like I have a bad habit of being accountable to everyone but myself. If I was accountable to me I would have lost this weight a long time ago.
Instead of working against my nature, I’m going to work with it. So this blog will be my accountability partner. I make the commitment to record my weight loss journey here for all to see. Specifically, I plan on posting my weekly progress whether good or bad here.
I want to get my water intake up to the suggested 64oz per day. Feeling hungry a lot of times is just dehydration.
I have a horrible sleeping pattern. I normally go to be after 12 am and then have to be up around 7 am. There are a lot of theories about why sleep is good for weight loss but for me it’s more about how I feel. When I am chronically fatigued I just don’t want to do anything. Which means I’m less likely to go walking for my exercise or get any exercise in at all. It’s also harder for me to stay focused and I turn to food to stay awake at my desk.
LEARNING TO LOVE ME
I promise to love myself right now just as I am.
No, I’m not where I want to be but that’s ok because I’m working towards a better healthier me. As long as I make the consistent effort to follow my plan I’m going to be happy with my results no matter how fast or slow.
RECAP OF MY PLAN
Practice intermittent fasting: I want a hard cutoff
to stop eating around 7 pm
Drinks lots of water: 64oz is what I aim to consume. I feel like drinking a glass before my meals will also help you in feeling fuller quicker.
3 meals a day: Allowing myself to have 3 meals a day with no snacking with the caveat that I must be hungry for that meal. If I am not hungry then I will simply wait until the next one.
Food: Include lots of fruits and vegetables within each meal.