Much of weight loss success begins in the mind. What I mean by “it’s only food” is that when I start feeling deprived, that’s what I tell myself. Really, it helps to think in terms of eating to lose weight versus eating for pleasure. When I eat to lose, I try to think of food as sustenance, because in the end, that’s all it is.
Before I start any weight loss program, I weigh-in. Getting an idea of what I’m working with is important for me to gauge my success. I generally weigh myself once a week, in the morning. Make sure all of the factors such as the location of the scale, etc. are the same each time. DO NOT get on the scale every day; this can be self-sabotage. Women tend to fluctuate in weight day-to-day because of water weight.
Another way I measure success is to try on the clothes in my closet and separate everything into sizes, or what fits and doesn’t fit. There is no better feeling than to lose a size and to fit into that pair of jeans, even if they are out of style.
Alright, this is the fun part. Using Google or another search engine, look up “no carbohydrate foods.” The foods that I like on this list are the ones that I can eat as much as I like. Then, look up “low carbohydrate foods.” These are the foods to eat sparingly. Just keep in mind, the fewer carbohydrates ingested, the faster the weight comes off.
So, when making a grocery list, here are some basic rules I follow:
- stay away from white, starchy foods (e.g., bread, pasta, potatoes, rice)
- “low-fat” foods tend to be higher in carbs; sugar is added to make up for taste
- use whole milk, regular salad dressings, full-fat cheese, butter, etc.
- if it comes in a box, bag, or can, check carbs on the label
- snacks are very important, stock up on beef jerky, pork skins, nuts, seeds, vegetables
- frozen, pre-cooked meats are handy in a pinch
- stay away from sugar substitutes; they hinder weight loss
- drink only filtered water; plastic bottles leach toxins into the water in them
Like any weight loss plan, the first week is the toughest. Keep snacks at the ready; that way cheating is less likely to happen.
This is non-negotiable; pick one day a week for CHEAT DAY. On cheat day, eat whatever is desired and as much as desired. Decide which day it will be at the beginning of the week. This gives something to look forward to and if there is a holiday or special occasion that week, save the cheat day for then.
The human body will get used to whatever you put it through and a surprise cheat day will keep it guessing. The most important thing about cheat day is that the next day the program continues.
There are pros and cons with any program, and here’s what I came up with. On the plus side, the lower the carbohydrate intake, the faster the loss. Measuring food is not necessary, and the same goes for counting calories. And, of course, CHEAT DAYS!! Some of the drawbacks, which subside after the first week, are a headache, tired or weak feeling, or grouchiness. If any of these occur, eat some “good carbs” and they should go away. Carbohydrate withdrawal only lasts for a few days.