A few days ago, I wrote a post called “i’ve gained 10 pounds” in which I promised this blog wouldn’t be turning into a weight loss blog. And it won’t be! But I have gotten a few requests for my weight loss tips, so I’m happy to share them.
First, I want to say that I read this fabulous blog called Ramshackle Glam and I love what Jordan Reid had to say a few days ago about her relationship to her weight, and more specifically, about the Blueprint Cleanse.
This cleanse, which is basically a juice fast, has become popular in NYC recently thanks, in part, to people like Julia Allison and the girls at Non-Society. (If you don’t know what or whom I’m talking about, let’s keep it that way – you don’t want to know.) My friends and Faryn, Marina and Chloe recently did the Blueprint Cleanse themselves. I haven’t yet spoken to any of them directly about their experience, but I think it went just fine.
That said, Jordan Reid didn’t have quite the same experience. Everyone’s different! (If you want to read Jordan’s review of the cleanse and her thoughts about dieting, here’s the post.)
I bring up Jordan because I appreciate her perspective on healthy living and her weight, which is – mostly – that she doesn’t give it much thought. True, the girl is naturally thin and many of us aren’t. Many of us have to pay close attention to what we eat to avoid gaining weight. But something I want to say before I list my weight loss tips is this:
If you live your life in a perpetual state of trying to lose weight, or obsessing about, talking about and worrying about your weight, there might be something else going – something bigger than your concerns about your body.
I am not a psychologist and I’m not a nutrition expert, and I do believe in eating healthy, fresh, naturally lower-calorie stuff whenever possible.
I also think that obsessing about our bodies and our weight is crazy and ultimately ineffective. Just so you know.
So now that I’ve gotten that out of the way, if you want to safely and responsibly shed weight for the right reasons….
Here are my 5 Tips for Lasting Weight Loss!
1. Be realistic. Be realistic about how much weight you need to lose. Ultimately, you want to maintain a healthy, average weight. If you have a desire to be thinner than that, you need to look at what’s really going on because it’s probably not about your body, it’s about something else.
2. Be patient and stay committed. Whether you have 100+ pounds to lose, or if you’d only like to shed a few, losing weight takes time. It’s done by making lasting, simple changes to your diet and your lifestyle. It can be fun, but it can also feel challenging, so be patient with yourself. You are human, you will make mistakes, expect to fail sometimes – if you want weight loss to last, be loving with yourself, practice making changes every day and stay committed no matter what. This is not about willpower, it’s about commitment.
3. Be simple. Make simple changes. Eat less. Eat more greens. Eat more protein and whole grain. Take walks. Sleep more regularly. Do some yoga. These are all simple adjustments. Don’t go crazy overhauling your whole life in a weekend because it’s not likely to last and you will feel badly when it doesn’t. Pick a starting point that feels comfortable and thoughtfully make changes in that area of your life. More changes will follow. Then revisit #2.
4. Be smart. So, you have to eat a little bit less if you want to see the scale move. Period. That’s just the math of it. Exercise is important, but exercise is really more about your health – your heart, your mind, your bones – than it is about weight loss. In fact, if you never exercised, you could still lose weight by changing what you eat. I don’t recommend doing that, most people wouldn’t, because exercise is good for you. But what you eat and how much is the more important piece of weight loss. If the scale didn’t go down over the course of a month (a month, not a week, see #2), you need to be honest with yourself about what you’ve been eating and then eat a little less. Period. There are no quick fixes.
5. Be indulgent. Not all the time, no. That’s what got you into this mess. Be indulgent when it matters to you. Go out to dinner and enjoy yourself. Have a few drinks with friends at a special event. Enjoy a slice of cake on the rare occasion that one might present itself. Don’t buy cake at the store, keep it in your freezer, and eat it by yourself, but do not miss out on life because of your weight loss – trust me, that will backfire. Weight loss is not prison and dessert IS allowed. Giving into temptation sometimes, and indulging on occasion can make watching what you eat so much easier.
I think that’s it. I could share dozens of other tricks, tidbits and advise, but the bottom line is that we all KNOW HOW to lose weight! Eat less, move more.
Losing weight isn’t so much about what you do, as it is about what you think and feel. You’ve got to believe in yourself, in your ability to succeed, and you have to keep practicing the habits necessary (you know what they are) to achieve results, even if it takes 2 years. There are no quick fixes, there aren’t any shakes or powders that will solve this issue for you.
My overall thesis statement advice is this: Think about why you might be overeating. Then be loving with yourself while you practice eating a little bit less. Do it every day and see where you end up!