I have tried to lose weight over the last decade (or longer) more times than I would care to admit. It has been hard and a failure for most of those years. I finally did it and while I am still working on losing a few more pounds, (full disclosure: I’ve gained back 6 pounds but back to losing again) I wanted to share just what I did in depth including Intermittent Fasting which many are trying.
I’ve broken down what I did and hope this helps all who are eager to lose weight and have been working on it as long as me, or even longer.
Weight Loss Buddy
I am very surprised just how effective this tip aided in my weight loss. One of my good friends and I started on our weight loss journey the same week and we discussed our diets DAILY. She lives out of the country so it was on WhatsApp, but we shared what we were eating, our fears, goals, pics of food and where we would be in 1 year.
I cannot tell you how helpful this was for me. For her too. It really just made us accountable especially neither of us had anyone in the house dieting so we had to rely on one another to stay the course. I suggest finding a weight loss buddy and know they don’t have to be close by.
Document Your Eating
Whether you are a journal writing kind of woman, or prefer an app; documenting what you are eating is crucial to losing weight. Have you ever tried it? First off, you would be surprised how many calories you consume if you’ve never done it. Accurate information can help you spot problems and tweak your eating plan and you will figure our your eating habits and if trying to lose weight, what you need to work on.
I use MyFitnessPal along with my Fitbit to get an accurate picture of what I am consuming along with how many calories I’m burning. I’m up to day 441 right now and that may seem like a lot, but I am friends with folks who are already into day 1000! Why is this a good idea? Because it works! Seeing how much food you are consuming is helpful for lowering your intake and watching it while on your journey.
Low Carb Eating
I was struggling out the gate when I we went on this weight loss journey. I was losing so slowly that I was getting frustrated. I contacted my doctor and I really thought my doctor was crazy when she suggested I eat less than 100 grams of carbs a day. Before she mentioned it I only counted my calories but realized I was consuming a LOT of carbs. Way more than I should have. Once I worked on my carbs, the weight really started shedding.
Eating less than 100 carbs a day is HARD. Really hard and most days I don’t get there. I get close, and honestly that’s all that really matters. I try and limit my bread products to a couple of times a week, but that can be hard for me because I love bread.
Meal Prepping & Portioning
I am not into as much as a lot of folks are. I have those meal prepping containers but rarely use them. For me, meal prepping is making sure I have healthy choices for breakfast lunch and dinner for the entire week. Also, I want a little variety so while my breakfast is pretty much the same daily, my lunch and dinner vary from day to day. Here’s a typical day for me below:
Breakfast: Yogurt, hard boiled egg and coffee with creamer (regular creamer because I couldn’t give it up but I measure it).
Lunch: Healthy Choice meal, tuna salad, or leftovers. I portion the leftovers to ensure I am not eating too much
Afternoon Snack: same as above but sometimes if lunch or breakfast is bigger, I may skip these snacks.
Dinner: A grilled meat (pork chops or chicken) and veggies mix. This can vary depending on if during the week or weekends and if I’m just not feeling eating that. Also, if I made Red Beans & Rice or Pepper Steak, I am eating that but without the rice.
After dinner Snack: lately? It has been awful. I’ve even had nerve to have half a waffle with strawberries on top. When in the zone? One of the above snacks from morning or afternoon snacks.
I have several measuring cups for portioning my food along with measuring spoons for portioning things like sugar and my coffee creamer. I am avid about doing this because I am very heavy-handed and what I THINK is a cup is usually much bigger than what an actual cup equals. It also makes it accurate for charting my food in MyfitnessPal.
Intermittent fasting (IF) is an eating pattern that cycles between periods of fasting and eating. The types of foods are not specified but rather an eating pattern. Here are the most popular versions:
The 16/8 method: Also called the Leangains protocol, it involves skipping breakfast and restricting your daily eating period to 8 hours, such as 1–9 p.m. Then you fast for 16 hours in between.
Eat-Stop-Eat: This involves fasting for 24 hours, once or twice a week, for example by not eating from dinner one day until dinner the next day.
The 5:2 diet: With this methods, you consume only 500–600 calories on two non-consecutive days of the week, but eat normally the other 5 days. Healthline
I usually do this daily and lean towards the first one although I don’t fast for 16 hours. More like 13 or 14 hours, and I started this later in my journey. Intermittent fasting aided in my weight loss journey tremendously and It helped to keep me from late-night eating, (a bad habit I picked up when my youngest was born). I normally eat 10am to 7 or 8pm.
Does it work? Yes! It did for me and it does for others.
By making you eat fewer meals, intermittent fasting can lead to an automatic reduction in calorie intake.
Additionally, intermittent fasting changes hormone levels to facilitate weight loss.
In addition to lowering insulin and increasing growth hormone levels, it increases the release of the fat burning hormone norepinephrine (noradrenaline).
By helping you eat fewer and burn more calories, intermittent fasting causes weight loss by changing both sides of the calorie equation. Healthline
Out of all the changes I made to my life to help me lose 60 pounds; I have to admit that Intermittent Fasting and Low Carb Eating were the two dominant factors that aided in my weight loss. All the above mentioned changes I made to my life helped, so don’t discount them. Even as I may veer off (as I have this past birthday month), by going back to the basics, I am losing again and know this method works.
I hope this drilled down of my last year is helpful and remember that I consulted my doctor several times along the way AND I added exercise to the routine. As you should know you lose weight in the kitchen so don’t look to exercise to get the weight off Lovelies.