Diet Tips from a Party Chick
Lose Weight Without Changing Your Lifestyle
At my wedding, in 2004, I said "I do" at my dream weight. I felt carefree, light, glowing, as if I could take on the world. Too bad that feeling didn't last a week. After a seven-day honeymoon in Los Cabos, Mexico, filled with nonstop eating and drinking (guacamole, margaritas, quesadillas -- olé!), I couldn't even zip up the yellow dress I'd worn on the night of my rehearsal dinner.
Then came seven years of continual restaurant dining and takeout and many nights out drinking, and I was 10 -- okay, 15 -- pounds past my wedding weight. No, I wasn't huge, but I felt self-conscious, bloated, and generally blah. Determined to stop piling on the pounds, I set out to change my mind-set and habits without changing my lifestyle. I would still go out and have fun; I'd just be smarter about it. "No excuses" became my mantra. I had some additional motivation: My 10-year high school reunion and the MORE/FITNESS Women's Half-Marathon were only months away. The good news is that I hit my goal weight while enjoying my social life, aced the race, and had a fabulous time with my classmates. Here are the top 10 lessons I learned while "mingling" away my middle.LESSON 1: Be a loudmouth.
I have a tendency not to share my goals, but this time I told my husband, friends, and family about my weight-loss targets and asked for encouragement. More than a few studies have found that making goals public boosts accountability, increasing your odds of success. Because declaring my objectives made me feel as if I had an "I'm trying to lose 10 pounds" sign around my neck, I found talking the talk made me walk the walk.LESSON 2: Stop yo-yoing.
Allison Vernon, the supportive personal trainer I started working with, told me, "Don't do anything today you can't maintain for the rest of your life." Consistency is key when getting healthy. For me that means don't drink four glasses of wine one day and then eat just 1,000 calories the next. Research has shown that one of the best ways to lose weight is to not skip meals. You have to find your happy medium to find your happy weight. Although it's mundane, I have the same breakfast (oatmeal plus a cup of berries) and lunch (grilled-chicken salad) pretty much every day and vary my dinners. When I know exactly what I'm going to eat, I'm less likely to miss a meal or slip up.LESSON 3: Log to lose.
I caved in to what those diet books say and started recording my meals and sweat sessions. I sent my photo food journal (taking iPhone pics keeps me from underestimating my portion sizes) and exercise log to Vernon so she could give me tips, like "You need more color on your plate" or "Try to cut down on sugar substitutes" or "That's a great choice for eating out!" Enlist a friend if you don't have a trainer. Studies have found that women who go on a weight-loss regimen with friends drop more pounds and are more likely to keep them off than those who do it solo. Also superimportant is sleep: The more shut-eye I get, the better choices I make. Skimping on zzz's can make you more apt to indulge in junk food, according to new research.
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