I have some strict rules I try to follow to avoid gaining weight, or at least to know when I do gain a little, so I can take immediate action. I must also confess that I broke two of them, and am now dealing with the consequences.
First, this summer I wore leggings with elastic waistbands. They looked great under short dresses, but not so good for my waistline. The flexible waistband that expanded right along with my waist masked the discomfort of over-eating.
Second, I broke my rule about starting the holiday season overweight. Since the tendency to eat too much during the holidays is inevitable; it means that January like it or not is about self-discipline.
With my expanding waistline my wardrobe becomes limited to the few things I can still fit into. I refuse to spend money to buy clothes for my new size; my only option is to lose weight and that is my saving grace! I don’t know why the process of taking those pounds off is always much harder than putting them on (and is far less fun), but alas it is!
Here’s how I do it, and of course I have rules for that too . . .
Step 1 – Stop eating sweets.
I find that this is much harder than it sounds. I crave them! I can usually get through the day without eating anything sweet. Evenings are tougher, especially since there are always left over desserts hiding somewhere.
If I can get through a week without sugar the cravings will lessen and then disappear altogether and I start losing weight. If I can continue to stay away from sugar I find that I’m not as hungry, and the weight continues to drop.
Step 2 – Avoid carbohydrates.
This is important too. I need to clear my system and the only way to do that is to limit what I eat to only protein and vegetables. I do eat dairy, but usually just a little cheese and plain yogurt. This extra step increases the speed of the weight loss and that is essential to my sticking to it. When the needle on the scale starts going down I feel victorious. That feeling and fitting into more of my clothes are the best incentives to continue saying no to all those tempting foods.
What I eat is simple, lots of vegetables with a piece of grilled protein, usually chicken, veal, pork or fish. Salads with some protein such as eggs, tuna, or grilled chicken, make a great lunch also. And if I need a snack I’ll have a piece of cheese.
I don’t use any sugar substitutes, and I avoid sodas or desserts. If I crave a sweet I’ll go for a cough drop or a mint instead, it satisfy my craving without upsetting my whole system. I find that the more diligent I am the quicker my body responds and the faster the weight starts dropping off.
There are two things I’ve learned to watch out for. The first is when I say to myself “Oh it won’t matter if I just have a little.” The truth is that it does matter! This is the one thing that I find sets me back and makes the process go on and on.
The second is that once I’ve lost the weight and I start letting myself go back to eating sugars and carbohydrates, I have to be vigilant. If my weight starts creeping up again it is time to take immediate action.
This is where my mother’s advice comes in about watching your weight. “If you take care of it when it happens (that means stepping on the scale regularly) it’s not so hard to maintain your girlish figure”.
It’s one of those French-secrets that works!
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