What works for me is not dieting. I do not diet. I eat what I want, when I want. I make an effort to choose healthier foods. Healthier, not ‘health’ foods. Nothing fatfree or sugar free. I consume as much organic, unprocessed food as I can. I eat grass-fed beef, butter, olive oil, eggs from pastured chickens, etc. I make mistakes and I don’t kill myself over them. Yesterday for lunch I had macaroni with hot dogs. Today I’m back to eating good food and I just carry on. I don’t take any supplements, powders, etc. I feel that if your body needs a substance you can get it by eating it. My grass fed beef is full of omega-3s, no need for a supplement here! Finally, and most importantly for weight loss, I track everything I eat at http://www.livestrong.com. Yes, I eat cheesecake and hot dogs and ice cream. But when I do, I track them. It’s a commitment but it keeps me honest about what I’m eating and reminds me that I need to have certain levels of nutrients every day. I measure all of my food and I’m finally at a place where I actually understand what a portion is! I’ve lost 13 pounds since April and I know that once I reach my goal weight, I’ll be able to maintain that weight based on the skills I’ve learned by tracking. I once lost 60 pounds avoiding carbs. It all came back in the end because I couldn’t avoid them forever and when I started eating them, my body packed them on like there was no tomorrow. I really recommend Livestrong to anyone. They have forums and message boards and there are a lot of very wise, very normal people there who have a lot to teach us about fitness, weight loss, and health goals.
Here are some things I’ve learned:
For women, 1200 calories is the bare minimum you need for your body to function. Don’t go below this.
Incorporate cardio and weight lifting into your fitness routine. Mix up your cardio with HIIT sessions as well as lower impact cardio like swimming. Mixing it up helps challenge your body.
Dieting will cause weight gain. Severely restricting calories causes your body’s metabolism to slow down. When you start eating normally again, you will pack on the pounds and will probably gain more than you lost. For healthy weight loss, shoot to lose 1lb per week.
Use a calorie calculator like Livestrong to find out exactly how many calories you need to maintain your current weight. Then use the calculator to find out how many you need to eat to lose 1lb per week. Stick to those numbers. Livestrong offers you the “net calories” which means, how many calories you’ve consumed total – the calories you burned exercising. I aim for the same “net” calories every day, whether I work out or not. This means eating more on days with exercise. This helps keep your body from slowing down your metabolism.
Sodium is evil and will make you puffy.
Drink a lot of water. A lot.
After a while your body will tell you what it needs and you’ll crazy healtheri food. I know i do!