Friday, January 21, 2011

Diet Tricks

For all of my fellow moms that are on the kick-babyweight's-ass bandwagon, I thought I'd divulge a few of my "diet" tips. I use the term "diet" as a noun, not a verb. I never diet. Instead, I work habits into my everyday routine. If you can't incorporate something into your diet long term, it's ultimately not going to work. Any weight you lose, will, unfortunately, show up again. It's like those shoes in your closet that you KNOW are ugly as hell but you can't get rid of them because they are sooo comfortable. If you don't throw them away for good, you will always go back to them eventually. And, yes, I'm wearing my ugly shoes right now. Don't judge.

Anyway, on to the task at hand. Here are my weight loss tricks:

When you think you're hungry, drink water. Sometimes we mistake the feeling of thirst for hunger. Try downing at least half of a bottled water and wait 15 minutes. If you are still hungry, go ahead and eat. If you're like me, this will happen 6 or 7 times a day. A nice side effect of all that water? A great complexion! Honestly, my skin never looks better than after a few days of being hungry all day long.

I also try to drink water right before meals. It takes the edge off of the hunger so that I don't woof down everything in sight.

Never eat when you are not hungry. This is particularly helpful if you work in an office, as I did, where there is always food sitting around or a party every other day to celebrate something. If you're not actually hungry (a) the object of your false desire will not taste nearly as good as if you were and (b) you'll probably regret eating whatever it is later.

The water trick will help you avoid the temptation to snack without merit, too. If you are trying to avoid said treats, go drink some water. If you're still hungry 30 minutes later and there is anything left in the break room when you come back, then go on and have a snack. Chances are, you'll get busy and forget all about the food anyway. Problem solved.

Don't weigh yourself every day. Any changes that you would see overnight can be chalked up to water weight anyway. To help with this, I don't own a scale. I only weigh once a week at the gym. If I did own a scale, I guarantee you I'd be on that sucker 3 times a day. I don't need another thing to make me crazy. My two year old has that firmly under control, thank you very much.

Stick to four 400-calorie meals a day. Or four whatever-calorie meals you want to achieve your desired weight. Here's a great little calculator that can tell you how many calories you need in a day to reach your goal.

Track your calories. This one is the most labor-intensive, and frankly annoying, habits to get into. I use SparkPeople. It does take a bit of time but it is totally great for accountability. It also makes me think twice about swiping a bite of this or a handful of that from my kid's plate. In the back of my mind I'm thinking, "Do I want to have to figure out how many calories are in two baby spoonfuls of hot dog mac and cheese?" The answer is usually no.

To maintain a little sanity, I don't count calories on Fridays. It's our one night a week to eat out and I refuse to torture myself that way. I try to abide by a strict Don't Ask, Don't Tell policy when it comes to dining out. Once you start looking at the nutrition reports from restaurants, I promise you that you will never want to eat out again. I seriously don't know what they do to make the food so bad for you. Whatever it is, though, it sure tastes yummy. And, lucky for is Friday. Cheers!

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