If you’ve got 100 pounds or more to lose, chances are you’ve already been on numerous diets and exercise programs, without long-term success. The challenges that lie ahead can wear you down.
So what makes some people successful while others continue to struggle with their weight. The standard advice — eat less, exercise more, and don’t give up — Is too general a statement to keep someone motivated for the long haul. After years of working with patients that have overcome the challenges to lose their excess weight there is a common trend these successful weight watchers follow.
Clever Diet Tricks From Weight Loss Superstars
Get some great advice from weight loss superstars who have each lost over 100 pounds and completely transformed their lives. Read on for healthy eating and exercise advice from big-time “losers” who have achieved lasting success!
Assess Your Readiness
Your readiness to lose weight, once and for all, is crucial. In general, the more ready you are — with few distractions or excess stress in other areas of life — the better you will do.
How do you assess your readiness? Ask yourself these questions: “Is my financial situation reasonably stable?” “Is my job and my spouse’s job likely to stay the same
That’s not to say if life isn’t perfect you shouldn’t still embark on a weight loss program. But it is easier to focus on weight loss if you don’t have multiple stresses elsewhere.
Find Support and Advise from Successful Losers
Talk to people who are successfully maintaining a steady weight, and who have maintained it for three or four years.Ask them how they stay that way. You may be amazed,many overweight people think people at a healthy weight don’t have to work at it, but those maintaining a healthy weight typically tell an unexpected story. It’s an ongoing effort to stay lean. They are careful what they eat; they pay attention every day. Hearing this may help those with lots to lose understand that life is going to be different if the weight is going to stay off. Those who have lost substantial amounts of weight and kept it off say they stay true to their eating plan and their exercise plan. Even if they trail off for a few days they get right back on it. (Contact the Patient Education Coordinator firstname.lastname@example.org if you would like to be added to the Dr. Kuri & Associates private patient support group on facebook)
Crush Cravings With a “Bag of Tricks”
When this super star gets the urge to gobble down freshly baked cookies, ice cream, or another favorite comfort food, she pulls out her handy “bag of tricks.” It’s a bag filled with cards listing fun, motivational activities that divert her attention away from food. On the cards, she’s printed everything from “read a book” and “treat myself to a manicure” to “call a friend” and “exercise for 10 minutes.” By the time she has finished the activity she’s randomly selected, her desire to eat has passed, and that intense craving has become a distant memory. This clever tip has helped her reign in her eating and shed 110 pounds!
Consider the Options
Whether you choose a supervised, structured weight loss and exercise program or go it alone, the process will be a substantial life changing process.Instead of thinking surgery will solve all your weight problems, understand that you are adopting a new, life-long plan of better eating and exercise. Lap Band surgery goes hand and hand with lifestyle changes to become successful.
Reign In Your Cookie Monster
My biggest vice was cookies. When I was at my heaviest weight of 252 pounds, I would mindlessly polish off an entire box late at night while watching television. But now I”m 101 pounds lighter, I follow a new strategy whenever the “cookie monster” strikes. Instead of buying a whole package, I stop by the bakery case at the grocery store and purchase just one cookie. This way, it satisfies my sweet tooth and enjoy a cookie — without sabotaging weight loss efforts.
Build in Accountability
Being accountable for following your weight loss plan — whatever it is — is crucial. Almost all organized weight loss programs include some sort of accountability. It could be keeping a food and activity journal,Planning meals and exercise for the week, attendance at a meeting, a weekly weigh in, or other structured program components.
You can build in your own accountability,or partner with a friend. Your structure can be similar to those set by organized programs, or you can make them action based. For instance, you might set a goal and schedule for exercise each week (such as “I’ll walk three times this week after work for at least 45 minutes”). Also set a day mid week to evaluate how well you are sticking with your plans. Adapt them if necessary — or play makeup. For instance, if by Wednesday, you haven’t walked any night, you know you need to walk the next three out of four nights.
Inject “Fun” Into Fitness
This active loser believes that in order to make exercise a permanent part of your life, it needs to be fun, not torture. So after experimenting with all sorts of activities, she discovered — and embraced — the playful world of hula hooping. In the beginning, she could barely keep the hoop up around her hips, but practice makes perfect, and she kept improving. Two months after starting this entertaining exercise program, she dropped 20 pounds (no surprise, since a half hour of hooping burns about 200 calories). Today, She is 135 pounds lighter and teaches 15 hooping classes a week!
Adjust Your Expectations and Set Realistic Goals
It’s frustrating but true. That extra 100 pounds didn’t come on overnight, and it’s going to come off quickly at first and then move more consistently slower. We recommend people cut back 500 calories a day and add physical activity to maintain a consistent weight loss. Losing just one to two pounds a week is best for long term more permanent weight loss. So when you have 100lb or more to lose it could take a year or two to lose.
Set short-term goals,instead of focusing on the 100 pounds. Think about it, for instance, as a plan to lose 20 pounds — five times. To stay motivated, set realistic goals beyond a specific number of pounds.
Set short-term weight loss goals that will help you meet the long-term ones. If your goal is to drop three dress sizes, that’s long term. Short term is answering the question, what am I going to do to get there? You could start as simple as parking farther from stores and adding more daily activity to keep you moving. Or you could Start a more structured weekly walking program (see Walk Talk series to get you started ) for instance. The more short term goals you set and achieve the easier it is to reach your long term goals.
For more long term goals,think about getting to a certain weight, for instance, by a holiday — Thanksgiving, Halloween, whatever — when it’s likely you’ll be in a photo. Or think about an upcoming special event and decide you want to fit into a favorite, currently snug, dress or suit by then.
Overdose on Vegetables
This one former big meal eater now bulks up his meals by adding volumes of vegetables. On the weekend, when he has extra downtime, he and his wife roast a huge batch of carrots, asparagus, peppers, onions, and anything else they pick up at the market. He cuts the produce into bite-sized pieces, lays them out on a baking sheet, mists them with oil spray, and then sprinkles on all sorts of interesting herbs and seasonings. The veggies are roasted in a 425-degree oven until they’re soft and browned, then stashed in the fridge to be reheated and enjoyed throughout the following week. This tip was especially helpful when he first started his weight loss plan, since he had a ferocious appetite and hadn’t yet adjusted to smaller portions. Today he’s 100 pounds thinner and continues to pile on the produce. It’s a win-win: He keeps his weight down and showers his body with good nutrition.
Develop a Healthy Selfishness
A common problem that happens to women, in particular, is having a difficult time putting themselves first. All day long, they’d help their spouse, family, friends, and co-workers. At the end of the day, women often find themselves exhausted. And they often turn to food. The only ‘nice’ thing they did for themselves was eat.
People who lose weight and keep it off have developed a kind of healthy selfishness. That means saying no sometimes and putting yourself first at least sometimes. Having a sit down talk with your family to talk about the importance of helping you and what changes this might mean to them will reduce the stress of trying to do it all and failing. Your friends and co-workers may also need some face time to talk about how this might effect the changes to your relationship with them. For example if you and your best friend routinely have coffee and pastry in the morning you might suggest an alternate place to meet and have your social time together that is more “diet” friendly. A good friend will be supportive and understand your need to make changes. But not everyone may be as supportive as you hoped. This is where you may need to decide how important your goal is and the relationship with that friend. Be prepared if you have to choose between them.
Pause Before You Pounce
This super, super star has learned to conquer temptations using a smart interference plan. When he comes eye to eye with a tasty goodie that pleads, “Eat me!” He thinks about how long it would take to chew it, taste it, and finish it. Then, he forces himself to wait that same amount of time to evaluate whether the treat is worth the calories. Realizing that the sweet thrill would have long been over by that point makes it easier for him to say, “Forget about it!” instead of giving in. Once you get the hang of this psychological technique, it becomes a great way to nip impulse eating in the bud. In fact, this very strategy helped him lose 218 pounds — and keep them off for good.
Fat-Proof Your Environment
Even if you’re committed to following a new, sensible eating plan, it can be difficult when your teens’ tortilla chips fall out of the cupboard every time you open it.
That’s why it can help to “fat-proof” your environment as much as you can. Do a little spring cleaning and get rid of ‘off-program’ or impulse foods at home and work as much as possible. But be prepared when you live and work with others you may need to do some creative compromise.
Talk to your family and brainstorm options that makes everyone happy. If your teen can’t exist without tortilla chips. You might decide as a family that the tortilla chip lovers keep their own stash, not in the kitchen, out of sight. This allows the person trying to lose to feel more in control. If there is cupcakes and brownies at the office always in view by your desk at work, ask if you can move them to a place out of your view.
Spray, Don’t Pour!
When super star was 300 pounds, dinners were automatically prepared in puddles of oil, with each measly tablespoon tacking on an additional 120 calories to her already fattening meal. To lighten up her recipes when she embarked on a healthier eating plan,she switched from pouring on the oil to spraying on the oil. Now, when she sautés veggies, pan-fries meats, and scrambles eggs, she coats the pan with cooking spray — a simple change that dramatically cuts down on the fat and saves thousands of calories per week. Tweaking her cooking technique helped her knock off over 100 pounds — and maintain her loss for nine years and counting!
Reward your Success — in the Right Way
Anyone who’s gotten weight loss guidance already knows the rule: no food rewards for taking off weight.
So what can you do to reward your hard work and keep up positive motivation? As you meet your short-term goals, buy something new, get a manicure, plan a weekend trip or book a day at the spa with your helpful friend. Find ways to reward both short term goals like completing a month of regular exercise and long term goals like losing the first forty pounds.
Size Down in Style
When super, super star was actively losing weight, he always kept a “goal shirt” or a “goal pair of pants” in his closet to serve as extra motivation. Here’s how it worked: He would pick up a clothing item that was one size smaller than the size he fit into at the time, and tried on the slimmer garment once a week. When it fit comfortably, he gave himself a big pat on the back, and then picked up the next size down and kept right on going (he didn’t waste any time)! This strategy kept up his momentum and ultimately helped him lose 229 pounds — and shave 30 inches off his waist.
Find Your Secret Weapons
Finding a way to stay focused is crucial. Most people who have lost a substantial amount of weight and kept it off have a tool or strategy — or several — that help them stay on track and make this time the time they don’t quit or regain.
Eat Before You Eat
If successful waist watcher knows she is going out to a late dinner or party, she nibbles on a light snack an hour or two before the event to help take the edge off her hunger. This way, she’s not so ravenous and unable to eat sensibly by the time she gets to the restaurant. Her favorite pre-meal nibbles are nonfat Greek yogurt, which is packed with filling protein, and fiber-rich non-starchy veggies, like a few handfuls of baby carrots. Strategic snacking helped Her stick to her healthy eating plan — and today she’s 104 pounds lighter as a result!