When it comes right down to it – diets and excessive exercise don’t work. We punish ourselves by starving and doing things we don’t enjoy and inevitably that is doomed to failure. There is no secret at all to weight loss. You simply have to burn off more calories than you take in. If you look at charts of how much you can burn in calories per hour during different activities, versus how many calories are in food the answer is obvious again. Don’t eat as much. No matter how much you exercise, bad food has more calories than great exercise. At my current weight, running for an hour, at 8 mph burns 1,500 calories. Problem is – I am not going to go running for an hour. Meanwhile, a Carl’s Junior Six Dollar burger has 1,520 calories, not counting the drink and fries. It takes a few minutes to eat a fast food meal with 2,000 calories, but an hour an a half of running to burn it off. Voila! – Don’t eat so many calories.
Most diets mean you have to give up things. You feel more and more like you are suffering. I have not really given up anything. I started by eating one salad per day. For one of my main meals, I simply eat a salad. I like the pre-made ones I get at Safeway. They cost around $3.50, but the chances of me chopping up my own salad is pretty slim. They each have under 350 calories and the best thing is – I like them! I don’t feel punished because they taste good.
Second thing, I stopped eating after 7 pm at night. Even bad food can be burned off if you stay up long enough. If you eat then go to bed, it turns to fat.
Third, I don’t eat fast food and avoid eating out in general. The portions at all these places are huge and the calorie intake is terrible. One meal at a fast food place has enough calories for two days.
Fourth, I eat slow and I stop eating when I am no longer hungry. When I do eat out, I almost always end up getting two or three meals out of one meal. I eat slow, enjoy the company, and rarely get half way through my plate before asking for a box. Later, if I get hungry, I have an extra meal out of it. I used to finish my plate AND eat later. Now one meal covers two meals.
Fifth, I drink a lot of fluids. Coffee, diet sodas, water, etc. The more fluids I drink, the better I feel and the less I get hungry. I don’t drink fruit juices or sugared drinks though because they have tons of empty calories. Coffee is a great hunger reducer for me.
Sixth – I try to exercise, but I suck at it. So I try to be active at least. I splash around in the pool, get the mail, roam around with the dogs and other things I actually enjoy doing. You can’t exercise if you have to force yourself every time. Find something you enjoy.
Seventh – I don’t talk about my diet or annoy people constantly with what I am doing. I hate listening about food and diets and I think if we dwell on it, we will eat even more.
Eighth – I am a stress eater. So, I reduced my stress by changing careers and that has really helped my urge to eat.
Ninth – I used to eat if something bad happened, or if something good happened. Get a raise at work – celebrate with pizza. Have your boss yell at you at work – Console yourself with ice cream. I now force myself to reward myself and console myself with non-food items. This was actually very difficult at first, and even now my first thought for reward and consolation is food. Try buying a new outfit, going to a movie, buying a favorite book, inviting a friend out to coffee, golfing, instead.
So, now I have lost fifty pounds and I have another fifty pounds to go. I eat what I want, but only when hungry and stop when I am full. I drink a lot of fluids. I went from no salad to one per day. I have lost the fifty pounds over about eight months. It took years to put on the weight, it will take time to take it off too. Give yourself time to lose, don’t beat yourself up. I tried other things for twenty years and none of them worked. Hopefully, my simple plan will help you as well.