What I've learnedThese are the tips and tricks that I would share with myself if I could travel back in time.
(Read: They are specific to me, but may spark an idea for some variation that may be helpful to someone else.)
- Cutting too many calories makes me binge and eat more than I would have otherwise. Then I feel bad about myself and there's a downward spiral.
- Cutting out chocolate is impossible for me. I have quit chocolate, with the exception of the highest quality. For example, a Chocolate Raspberry cupcake at my favourite shop or a truffle are allowed, but I stay away from candy bars or snacking on chocolate chips.
- Eating the suggested calorie amount for someone 5 lbs lighter than I am allows me to diet without starving (provided I'm making good choices). I like the calculator at BodyBuilding.com to start with, and modify the ratios based on how my body feels.
- Having pre-washed and pre-cut veggies in the fridge makes lunch-prep and healthy snacking much easier. ie. I do it.
- The more fresh produce I eat, the more I want it. I actually like vegetable+fruit smoothies.
- I tend to binge on fatty foods (I'm looking at you, peanut butter and chocolate) in the afternoon/evening - incorporating more fat into my meals curbs those uncontrollable desires.
- An exercise program/schedule helps me stay on track with regular workouts. I'm not perfect, but it helps. I like to use DVD programs, especially those by Jillian Michaels (but with more rest days than recommended - that lady's tough!).
- Don't expect to loose a lot of fat quickly - it is a slow process gaining and loosing.
- Journaling makes a BIG difference! I occasionally change my preferred format, but keeping track helps so much. I have switched between My Fitness Pal, a paper journal, Loose It! (the free version), and the FitBit app with my FitBit Pedometer.
- Sometimes I need to watch the scale, sometimes I need to forget it exists and just keep working at it. It varies. Pay attention for times when the scale feels too important, and cut it out.
- Celebrate every little accomplishment. It's a small change but it's making a big difference. Be proud!