I'm not on a diet...
We were in Kitty Hawk, North Carolina a month or so ago, celebrating one of our incredible friend's birthday. His Grandparents have an amazing house on the beach, one of those places that cause you to lust a little bit and then quickly repent. We were sitting in their sunroom, having casual conversations with a few people and the topic of my weight loss had come up. One of the ladies asked me about cheating on my "diet." I told her that to be honest I had never cheated from the day that I started this journey. She was in shock! "Never cheated???? Not even once???" I could tell in her voice (and the fact that she brought it up again while Shelley was around, hoping to catch me off guard :) ) that she was struggling believing that.
To address how I have been able to be consistent, let me first start with this....Diets do work!!! I will never tell you other than that. Back to my last post, many diets work, simply because you are putting yourself in a calorie deficit and your body is burning stored fat for fuel. They work, because initially your body is getting rid of water weight that it had been retaining, due to your eating. They work!!! While sitting here at Barnes & Noble, in my view is a HUGE display of diet books. They wouldn't be selling them, and making as much money off of us, if they didn't work! I have yet to meet someone, who has struggled with their weight, and not gone on some sort of diet which resulted in some level of weight loss. It's not like a diet is the "thing" that we've all been missing!! Seriously, it's not like I was sitting at Golden Corral eating a ton and just waiting for someone to lead me to a diet! We have gained weight and have been unable to keep it off, because we have not been able to be consistent in the "diets" and have been unable to make them a part of our core beliefs or simply our lifestyle!!!
Consistency is the key! This is the thing which will get us the results we want! Since my initial weight gain 17 years ago I have lost weight, doing diets! Why? Because they work...But I have never been able to be consistent on a "diet." The fact that most diets have to factor in "cheat days" screams INCONSISTENCY! It's like they are saying to us, it's impossible to stay consistent with this eating pattern, so we are going to factor inconsistency right into the equation! I did the low carb thing for a while back in 2006 and lost some weight doing it, but how in the world am I going to really live a lifestyle of no pasta and bread for the rest of my life..I'm Italian!! Did it work??? Yep, I lost some weight...did I stay consistent with it??? Nope!
Here are a few reasons I don't think we stay consistent...
1) We set ourselves up with too large of a deficit: Don't be extreme!!! If you can only handle a 250 calorie deficit each day (which equates to a loss of a 1/2 lb per week or 25 lbs a year) rock it!!! Stay consistent with it. Don't start with a 1,000 calorie deficit per day (2 lbs per week or 102 lbs a year) and then in a week head down to Captain Georges, crush it... use up all of that deficit and then some!! Stick with what you can maintain...You are not on a diet you are just eating less than you burn in a day, you are being a good steward of what you have to work with.
2) We place foods "off-limits" instead of learning that there are no bad foods, just bad amounts of that food: This is huge!!! I am now wearing 32 jeans from tight 42's and weighing in the 180's from 278 and I still eat what I want when I want! It's funny how when we think in terms of "diet" we start to think "diet foods" (carrots and other things)... there's nothing wrong with these foods. I actually now try to eat about 80 percent clean foods, but when I started, I ate 20 percent clean foods and the other 80 percent of my calories were spent on non-diet foods, but I still consistently lost weight. Learn to live within your range and spend your calories how you choose. When we place foods in categories and then eventually delve into the "forbidden category," we have a tendency to eat WAY more...so guilt creeps in and we start to say to ourselves, "I have already messed up, so I might as well just eat a ton and start again tomorrow." Even now, if I feel like eating a doughnut, I eat it, it's my business and I manage my calories how I feel. No shame or foods that are off limits!
Let me give you some info that could be a revelation...If you have 2,500 calories to work with, meaning if you eat over that you will gain and if you eat less than that you will lose, and you consume 3,000 calories of veggies and fruit you will gain weight!!! No matter how "good" the food is, a calorie is a calorie!!! At the same time, if you eat 2,000 calories of McDonald's, you will LOSE weight! Down the road we can get into how much better you feel when you eat the healthier foods, but the reality is, there should be no foods that are "off-limits," only excessive amounts of that food. Shelley has a sweet-tooth and still continues to have dessert every night and as far as I go, I will not stop eating fried fish whenever I want to. There are no bad foods, just bad amounts!
3) We don't live within our range, just legalistically lock ourselves to a number:
Once you've figured out your BMR and what you actually have to work with, and then factor in a deficit that you can sustain consistently...You now have your range! This is where you would like to be with your deficit everyday (goal) and where you know you should never go over, because you will gain weight (reality). Living in your range gives you the freedom of knowing that with dinner parties, birthdays, holidays, etc you might not always be able to keep that deficit, but you will choose to never eat over what you actually have to work with. Picture it like a savings, you might hope to bank 1,000 deficit every day, this is your goal, but on somedays you might only bank 200, others 500, 700 and sometimes zero! Life changes and everyday is different...don't just make the decision to gain by going over what you have to work with!
This may seem basic to some and to others may be profound, but I promise you that consistency is the thing which has helped me lose over 90 lbs! You can do this! You can change your life! You can stay consistent! You are worth doing this and getting healthy is very attainable!!!
If you need help setting up a plan and figuring out your range, please give me a shout!!!