Last week, I discussed the secret to losing weight. I also challenged you to join me in trying to drop a few pounds. More specifically, I publicly declared that I am attempting to lose ten pounds within the next ten weeks. Finally, though it’s a little embarrassing, I revealed my then-current weight in order to put my money where my mouth is. My weight back on January 25th? 215 pounds.
Though a pound a week may sound a little slow-going to most, it’s generally considered to be the healthiest, and most long-lasting, process to weight loss. A pound lost a week signifies portion control without starvation. We all know that extreme weight loss in a short amount of time often indicates an unsustainable diet. The real secret to weight loss is modest portions all day, every day. We’ve got to reduce those calories.
With that being said, I had a fairly successful week in regards to my eating.
I cut back on bread, like I wanted, but did not take it out of my diet completely because I know that isn’t realistic. I still ate my sandwiches for lunch, I still had pasta for a few dinners, but I made sure not to eat the extras when I could help it. For example, no garlic bread with said pasta. (Confession: I snarfed a small piece–just one.)
On taco night, I limited myself to two tacos instead of three. I also excluded the chips and salsa. However, I still enjoyed my shredded cheese. Again, I’m not going to make myself suffer during this process. I like cheese. I’m going to eat cheese–just not as much.
For drinks, I stuck to water and coffee only. No sweet tea, no soda. Sweet tea and soda are killers for me. As I’ve been doing for years, I also kept my creamer to one tablespoon per mug.
Potato chips did not make it onto my plate at all. I’ve never really craved potato chips, so this isn’t a huge deal to me.
Finally, my daughters and wife made chocolate cake one night. Of course I’m going to eat my daughters’ cake! But, I only had a half of a slice. Just one. Haven’t had any since.
We also got dessert one day at a restaurant. The four of us split it–a skillet cookie. Man, this thing looked delicious. It was a giant chocolate chip cookie covered in warm chocolate syrup and topped off with vanilla ice cream. That moment proved an important psychological test for me. I knew if I did not have any of it, I would feel denied and bitter. Those feelings would fester and, if personal history proved any indication, I would just binge on something else later to make up for it. Instead, I ate a spoonful. I got a taste of it, just enough, and felt satisfied. Moderation. Moderation is key. (And then I had one more spoonful, but that was it–I promise.)
Generally speaking, I continued my practice of avoiding food after dinner. I also did much better with my snacks between lunch and dinner. I regulated myself to a granola bar or a bowl of healthy cereal. That time between 3:30 and 5:00 p.m. has traditionally been a weak spot for me. That’s the time of the day I most need to watch carefully.
The results of all this? An unexpected surprise. I weighed-in this morning at 213 pounds. I hoped to weigh 214 pounds, so this extra lost pound pleasantly surprised me. However, I’m not going to shoot for 212 pounds next Saturday. According to my schedule, I hoped to weigh 213 pounds next week, so I’m simply going to strive to maintain 213 pounds. We all know weight goes up and down according to water intake, bowel movements, stress, water retention–all kinds of things. If I weigh 212 pounds next week, that’s great, but if I stick to 213 pounds, that will satisfy me as well. The primary goal is to make sure I don’t go back up to 214 or 215 pounds.
This is a slow, methodical process, but it worked for me once before, and it will work again. It just takes discipline, a positive attitude, patience, and portion control.
(Did you enjoy this article? Check out Scott William Foley’s short stories HERE!)