If you are planning on losing 50 pounds or more, you need to mentally cowgirl or cowboy up that it is going to take some time! Now I am not being negative, if you choose not to go on a diet to lose the extra weight you are caring around, you will just be that much older down the line 5 months to a year. However if you are gearing up, psyching yourself up to lose a large amount of weight - be realistic. You did not gain the extra weight in 3-4 weeks, so it makes since that it will take longer than 3-4 weeks to lose that extra weight. So as you give yourself the freedom of knowing that losing a large amount of weight is going to take some time. You need to come up with some good, livable diet strategies for you and your household. (Especially if you are wanting your household to support you! You may be on a diet, but that does not necessarily mean the rest of your household wants to be! My kids would revolt, hold strike signs in the front yard if I tried to make them adhere to my diet plan.) However, let's be real. Most of us have to figure out how to diet at home, or at work - the exact same places that we put on the weight. So what works?
1) I started by cleaning out all the "junk" food and "unhealthy" food that were my triggers. I instead bought snack food for my kids and family that were not temptations for me, but they love. For example, ice cream and Popsicles do not tempt me at all! So they are no problem to have in the house.
2 & 3) If my family demanded to have certain foods in the household that they think they can not live without. I will occasionally buy these items, but my rule is "no food but healthy food is allowed out on my counter". Any other type of foods have to be stored in a drawer or cabinet. You see I have 3 children that range from the ages of 3rd grade-8th grade. Since they outnumber me, and I wanted to not feel like a short order cook. I started to keep a basket of snacks on the counter so the girls could reach them and help themselves. Well that had to stop because if I was hungry and walked into the kitchen, I would most likely grab at the first food I saw and eat quickly before I had even had a chance to think "Is this a good choice? Is it the best choice for me?". Now I have some snacks down low, that the 3rd grader can reach by herself when she wants an afternoon snack but I don't have to stop folding laundry, etc.. to run go get it for her. Also the less time I am in the kitchen, the less opportunity there is for me to eat.
4) Plan ahead, have healthy snacks, or calorie correct portion snacks ready to eat and in a place that you know if you get hungry you can look at these 2 places and anything there will be safe to eat.
5) I really don't like to make 2 dinners but sometimes I try to "tweak" the meal a little bit for me. For example, on nights I make spaghetti for the family. I set aside my spaghetti sauce with out meat, to the side before I add meat to the sauce for my family. Also instead of using noodles for spaghetti like my family eats. I cut a zucchini in long slices wet them with water, and coat them with bread crumbs and bake them in the oven. (I will often hit the top with a spray of Pam) this allows me to eat at the table with the family. My plate looks very similar to theirs. I get the flavor of the marinara sauce, but not all the calories for the noodles. A win-win situation!! (also some nights, I skip the sides that I am serving the family if it happens to be a baked potato, or mac and cheese etc.. I will subsitute a low calorie bowl of soup as my side, but still eat the meat portion of the dinner and throw in a fruit.)
6) Also sipping hot tea in the evening is amazing! I try to buy flavored teas for the things I like, "coconut cocoa" tea, "cocoa spice" tea, can you see a chocolate theme here? Also mint tea is great as well. I am excited to try a pineapple tropic tea this upcoming week!
7) Remember as you lose weight, and you adjust to a new eating pattern some of the things that would make you a raving lunatic might not be a big deal any more. You might have tried some things that work, so stick with those. Other strategies might not have worked or are no longer necessary be flexible to change. Look for better subsitute for the things you are craving.
8) Get a support group! I don't mean a girlfriend that has only 5 pounds to lose!!! If you don't know anyone personally find some weight loss blogs of real people losing weight! Watch the TV show Extreme Weight loss. They will help to keep you inspired as you are on this journey!
9) Also Keelie over at RealFat says to take pictures of yourself while you are on this weight loss journey. I love, love, love this idea! Because if you have a lot of weight to lose it might be a few months before other people start to recognize all the hard work you are doing. So you can look back over the photos and see how your body is changing and be encouraged.
These are my tips that I have found that seem to help me in my weight loss journey. I have currently lost 52.1 pounds and have 48 pounds left to go. I have been on a diet since January 7th 2011. That means I have been on a diet for 5 months. and I have 48 pounds left to go. So I know and understand that losing weight is hard, and yes, sometimes gruellingly slow. However keep it up! We are here to encourage one another no matter what the journey or struggle we might each be facing. I thank everyone that leaves sweet comments and encouragement on my blog! Thank you, Thank you, Thank you!! I read each of them and treasure them in my heart!!