There are many approaches and theories about how “best” to lose weight: fad diets, fasts, cleanses etc.
I am going to do it the good old-fashioned way, however, and simply eat right and exercise. Here is how I plan to proceed:
1) Weight Watchers: The thing that I love about Weight Watchers is that it does not say no to any one food. It is not saying that you may never eat potato chips or cookies or cake or ice cream again. It is simply saying that you must be accountable for what you eat, via a points system. Foods are assigned a points value based on the protein, fibre, fat and carbohydrates they contain. Foods that are high in fat and sugar (carbs) and low in protein and fibre – such as candy – are going to be given a high points value. Foods like brown rice, whole wheat pasta, vegetables, eggs, fruit, lean protein and low-fat dairy (which are all low in fat and carbs and high in fibre and protein) are given a lower points value because they will keep you full longer and they are better for you.
My main problem is not that I don’t eat enough healthy food. It’s that I eat too much of everything, period. Pasta is only good for you if you eat 1 cup at a time, not 5. Cookies have a low points value if you only have 2, not 12. So that is, and always has been, my problem: my portions of everything, healthy and non-healthy, are far too big.
Weight Watchers assigns points values based also on serving size. There is no eyeballing your portions, you must measure them out to get an accurate points rating. I don’t know that I will stick with Weight Watchers forever, but the idea of eating proper portions is something that will help me on my way to success.
2) Exercise: I happen to actually like exercise. Sometimes I curse it – like the plank – but I like how it makes me feel. My problem, though, is that I have too many excuses for not doing it and I get in my own way. I want to make exercise a priority in my life, to schedule workouts like doctor’s appointments. I wouldn’t skip going to the dentist or taking medication, so I shouldn’t skip exercise.
3) Eating Late at Night: I have a bad habit of eating really late at night. Now, there is nothing inherently wrong with eating late at night. There is a myth that your metabolism slows down when you are sleeping, but that simply isn’t true. However, my problem is that I am not eating cottage cheese and carrots late at night; I am eating burgers, fries, frozen pizza, ice cream, etc. etc. All junk. I plan to solve this problem by going to bed earlier. Not only will it prevent me from 2 am binges, but I will also get more sleep. I have a bad habit of not getting enough sleep, so I am hoping that going to bed earlier will not only prevent my late-night binges but it will also help me to feel better and more refreshed for the day and to feel more energized for my workouts.
4) Fast food: This is one of my weak spots. I love fast food. I love eating out. When I get home from work and I am very hungry, I have often found myself pulling into a drive-thru because the thought of having to cook while I’m so hungry is unappealing. However, this leads to 2 things: overeating and overspending. Fast food is expensive, in the long run. A $10 meal bought 5 times a week is suddenly $200 a month, in addition to grocery expenses for lunch and breakfast and supper on the weekends. I can cook healthier, cheaper meals myself, meals that aren’t full of fat and sugar that will make me hungry again in 5 minutes. In order to avoid this, I am relying on two things: having healthy snacks at work so that I am not so hungry when I drive home and cooking easy, quick, delicious meals so that I am not too tired and hungry to cook for myself when I get home.
5) Inspiration: Maybe this is cheesy, but I made myself an inspiration poster, full of inspiring quotes and pictures of women who I think look gorgeous and healthy. When I am feeling down or discouraged, I want to be able to look at that poster and remember to stay on track.
I leave you with a quote that I love: “Discipline is choosing between what you want now and what you want most.“