I always lose weight when we travel, even though I eat more and spend zero time at the gym. I always assumed this was because I wasn’t sitting on this darn computer all night long, it suddenly makes sense! My dad ALWAYS insisted we eat a well-balanced breakfast, whereas my mother prefers to skip lunch and breakfast and eat a huge dinner. And guess what? My dad’s strategy ALWAYS works better, but experience has proven (to me anyway) that skipping breakfast makes you more likely to overeat later in the day, which contributes to weight gain.
For me, anyway! After watching a friend down a glass of ice water before dinner one night a few weeks ago in an effort to prevent herself from overeating, I decided to give it a go and see if it made a difference, and I was pleasantly surprised. Not only did it prevent me from polishing off my entire serving of pumpkin ravioli (as I’m known to do), but it also helped me feel less bloated when I got home that night. I’ve been downing a glass before every meal since, and I am amazed at the results!
4. Forget about dieting
I have never been a fan of diets. I find they are restrictive, unhealthy, and rarely set you up for long-term success, so I never cut out particular food groups, and instead focus on eating healthy foods with the occasional glutinous option thrown in to keep me satisfied. I find this strategy helps make the process of losing weight much easier, and it also helps me maintain my weight-loss goals for a longer period of time.
5. Remember: calories in versus calories out
Please tell me I don’t have to explain this one??!
6. Don’t eat through meal preparations
This is where I really fall down. I just cannot help but nibble on the crusts of my daughter’s grilled cheese sandwich while I’m cutting up veggies for my boring old salad, you know? But whenever I’m conscious of NOT eating my way through every meal I prepare, I am always amazed at what a difference it makes. Give it a try!
7. Maintain a good eating routine
My husband often laughs that I eat the same things at the same time everyday, but this strategy of mine has gone a long way in helping me maintain my weight. Of course, this is not ideal for foodies who love to spontaneously try new foods, but if you are a boring person like me, you will benefit from a more defined eating routine. Trust me on this one.
8. Weigh yourself often
I weigh myself every single day, and while some people would argue I would be better off weighing myself once a week, I have always found this to be a more effective strategy in helping me monitor if I need to make adjustments to my food portions, water intake, etc. I’m even more convinced I’m on to something!
9. Get a pedometer
Did you know that Jessica Simpson’s dramatic weight loss is partially due to the amount of steps she walks on a daily basis? . Who knew walking could be such an effective way to lose weight??!
10. Make dinner your lightest meal
11. Brush your teeth
An old colleague of mine once told me her tip for curbing late night eating is to brush her teeth (or chew gum) after dinner, and I have to admit, it actually works! I don’t know if it’s because I don’t want to ruin my minty breath, or because I don’t have the taste of dinner in my mouth to make me hungry, but my teeth are cleaner than they’ve ever been!
12. Lower your alcohol intake
Empty calories aside, I find the more alcohol I consume, the more likely I am to binge-eat, and judging from my other mom friends, I’m not alone on this one. So if you must drink every night, try not to go overboard. And keep your hands off of those Ho Hos!
13. Pay attention to portion sizes
I really, really suck at portion control. I just cannot look at something and guess how many ounces, cups, or tablespoons it is, but this collection of 19 ways to measure perfect and health portion sizes has done wonders in keeping me from overeating.
14. Wear tight clothes
I rarely, if ever, wear yoga pants around the house anymore. Instead, I opt for skinny jeans or something equally form-fitting. Why? Because the less give there are in my clothes, the less like I am to polish off a bag of sour cream and onion chips.
15. Tape a picture of you at your goal weight on fridge
And while you’re at it, tape it to your pantry, too!
16. Eat snacks that keep you full
Rather than gorging on empty calories when you get a case of the munchies at 3 pm, why not grab one of these healthy snacks that will actually make you feel full so you won’t continue to graze aimlessly until dinner?!
17. Stop buying junk food
If you’re anything like me, knowing there’s junk food in the house is a recipe for disaster, so a couple of months ago, I stopped buying it altogether. I may run to the convenience store for a tub of Ben and Jerry’s or a bag of M&Ms after a bad day, but for the most part, I keep that stuff as far away from our condo as I can.
18. Reward yourself
I’m a firm believer that success is contingent on rewards, so I let myself cheat every once in a while. I may have 3 glasses of wine on a Friday night after a particularly difficult week, or I might order my own dessert when my husband and I go out for monthly date night, or I may order a pizza when my husband is out of town and I can’t be bothered to cook. I just try not to make these things a habit.
19. Paint your nails
On the nights my husband is out of town or I’m indulging in a couple of glasses of wine and don’t trust myself not to raid our fridge, I often paint my nails. It keeps me busy for a while so I don’t think about eating, and since I can’t submerge my hands in a bag of chips with wet nails, it often helps me maintain some sense of control.
20. Stop trying so hard
I find the harder I try to lose weight, the harder it is for me to do, so I just try to focus on eating healthy, cutting back on bad habits, and going to the gym regularly. And guess what? When I do those things well, those pesky 5 lbs I can’t lose often fall off and stay off.