Here are some tips that have helped me shed some pounds. I'm about 5'7" and at my heaviest I weighed about 191 lbs. That's a lot of weight! I lost as much as 62 lbs within a short period of time (not recommended) because I gained some of the weight back and went up to 171 lbs. Since February of 2009 I've tried to change my behaviors so that I'm not focusing so much on what I eat, but how it makes me feel. I weigh myself today and I'm at 147 lbs. That translates into a one pound a week loss on average for the past 6 months. I know it sounds discouraging because when you are trying to lose weight, 1 week can seem like an eternity but...here is how it worked for me and kept me motivated. You don't lose 1 lb per week. Some weeks you'll lose more than others depending on what you are eating and activity level. So don't get discouraged. It will be hard at first and it will take a little bit of getting used to but, once you have done it for a week...you'll feel a huge difference!
1. I know it sounds simple and repetetive but, PREPARATION is key. I'm a branch manager but there is no such thing as banker's hours for me. My commute is about 1 1 1/2 hrs everyday. I work long hours and by the time I get home I would either skip a meal or have to order in (usually the latter). So, every night I prepare my lunch and dinner for the next day and bring them to work. And I've saved so much money!
2. I don't usually eat anything 3 hours before bed time. Since I normally have my dinner at work at around 6 pm, it works for me. If you have a family or a significant other, this can be a little tricky, since you'd want to spend time with them at dinner time. Trust me! I was in your shoes when I lived with my boyfriend. But, you can compromise and maybe have family-together-dinner time during the weekends or on a particular couple of nights a week.
3. You have to WORK-OUT. But don't over do it! It has been my experience that the more I focus on what calories I burned through exercise, the more I can't stop thinking about food and what to eat. It's crazy! Therefore, I resolve to work out at the end of my day (ususally at around 10 PM) When I have already eaten everything for the day and there is no chance that I'll just eat whatever just because "I worked out." Unfortunately exercise doesn't give you license to just eat whatever.
4. Make it simple. I usually run everyday for 2 miles. It only takes me about 20 mins and then I do some strength training 3-4 times a week and only for about 20 minutes. All in MODERATION.
5. I don't really snack but I will have my 3 meals a day. No exceptions! I do bring in a snack for just in case I can't have lunch or dinner at my set times. But is always something small and healthy, like an apple or banana (my fav fruit). Once you are in touch with your body, you'll see you don't need much to quiet those hunger pangs.
6. My typical day looks like this: Up at 5:00 AM, breakfast at 5:30 AM, lunch at 11:00 AM or 11:30 AM, dinner at about 5:30 PM or 6:00 PM, work out at either 9 or 10 PM. I can use the snack when either I'm going too long between breakfast and lunch or lunch and dinner. Be flexible! Everyday will not always be picture perfect.
7. The best part for me is that I use all "real" ingredients. Bring on the sugar, the brownies, pizza, olive oils...anything! I refuse to eat anything "fat-free" or diet food. I can't do it! And in the long run, I don't think anyone can either. And guess what!...I've lost weight! Just keep it balanced...when you eat regular "normal sized" meals your body will not be screaming with cravings that you can't control.
I challenge you to try it for 3 days...Not even a week! Follow the tips above like not eating 3 hours before bed...you'll feel light as a feather the next morning and its easier to start any new behavior when you feel good about yourself as opposed to when you are bloated.
Let me know how it works for you and will keep posting any new tricks I implement and work. But the most important thing is that it works for you...you cannot implement anyone else's tips unless they work with your lifestyle (this includes diet book that offer unrealistic approach on how to live and eat).
One last thing, check out the book: I Can Make You Thin. Surprisingly its the most straight forward diet book I've found and trust me...I have a collection that I refuse to read anymore. But this one has some really good tips. Not everything in the book I apply to my life, but there are some essentials that can work nicely with your routine.