Why wait until January to start your weight loss program?

Why not start now, by preventing that weight gain over the holidays?

I had my own personal battle with weight loss, but am pleased to say, that I won the battle. There was no magic pill, or herb or anything, it was simple everyday foods that we find in our local grocery store. No magic bullet here.

Lets face it, if it was that easy, nobody would have a weight problem would they? But for every ad that shows off the latest and greatest quick weight loss pill or diet, there will be a crowd of people spending their hard earned money to lose weight the easiest way possible. After all, who wouldn't just like to pop a pill and have that fat melt off?

With our busy lives and schedules, it can be hard to stop and take the time to see where we are going with our lifestyle and our health. This is especially true for weight issues.

Sometimes it takes a scare to get you to make your weight loss a priority, but it is better if you do not wait until that point. You are going to have to put your health and your weight issues at the top of your "to do list".

I was leading a busy life, and had gradually gained weight over years, I really didn't think it was an issue. I knew I had to lose some weight, but didn't think I needed to lose very much. It became one of those, I will get at it soon things. Or the next "new years resolution".


Portion Control Instead of Deprivation Works

But when I did make the time for a physical, my doctor surprised me with a high blood pressure reading. I knew something was wrong, when she took it 3 times! She said "you have to take meds, or do something about your lifestyle and lose weight" She felt I was about 25 pounds overweight. I am 5' 10", so didn't think that was obese or anything. But she informed me, that you do not have to be severely overweight to start to have health problems.

This scared me enough to stop and spend some time and really think what I was eating. I thought I was eating healthy foods, which I was, but just too much of them!

She sent me to see a dietician, which at first annoyed me, because I knew what I was suppose to be eating. I had visions of a diet sheet stuck to the front of the fridge, with rice cakes and other tasteless foods for the rest of my life. But after my first appointment, I felt motivated.

She didn't want to change my habits too much. She said it was much easier to change portion sizes, and fat quantities of the meals I was eating. She had me write everything I ate for a week. At first this seemed just odd, but I soon saw a pattern and my portion sizes had been growing.

For example: I love peanut butter on toast. She showed me what a tablespoon of peanut butter looked like, and I realized the gob I had on my knife was much bigger. She also had me chew each bite more, rather than gulping down food. She also changed out some of the brands of food I was eating for lower calorie intake.

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Make Some Minor Substitutes to Ingredients

She had me change my meals for the day, enough to drop 250 calories per day, which she said would drop 2 pounds a month. If I added some extra exercise into my day, then I could lose it quicker.

I was a bit disappointed with this rate of weight lose, but she said the slower I went with this plan, the more likely I was to stick to it and keep it off.

One of the first places she attacked, was my sandwich at lunch. I still got to eat my whole wheat bread, but we changed out the cheese for pickles, and dropped the mayo (which can be 100 calories per knife full) and changed to mustard. That trick was responsible for over 200 calories right there. I still ate my cookies for dessert. So didn't feel too deprived.

I really didn't notice the change, because we had changed the flavor of the sandwich so I didn't feel like I was missing anything. There is nothing worse then eating something that is suppose to taste a certain way to you. You will be looking for something else to grab afterwards, so it is better when you first start out, to change the flavor a bit, rather than just omitting an ingredient, such as cheese.

 If you are used to ham and cheese and mayo on a sandwich, then ditching the cheese and mayo is going to leave you with a boring taste. But if you take your ham and add pickles, and a hot mustard or some other mustard, then you are making a change that you may just enjoy, that is less calories!

We are creatures of habit, and we have to change these habits slowly. I know this is not what you wanted to hear. You were hoping I was going to tell you that you would lose 20 pounds this week easily. Not going to happen. But I will tell you this. When I started this slow route of losing 2-3 pounds per month, I felt good, I hardly noticed the slight tweaks I made to my routine days. A couple of friends were trying to lose weight at the same time. They did try more aggressive methods, that did work. They came to work in their size 6's, but did not look good, were tired, and cranky, and hungry all the time.

They had tried those diets where you give up breads and carbohydrates. They saw me eating my ham and pickle sandwich and couldn't believe that I was losing weight.

Lost 26 Pounds With Simple Changes

By the end of that year I had lost over 26 pounds. Just by ditching cheese and mayo at lunch, and walking my dog a bit more. They laughed at me at first, when I still had my 2 cookies for dessert, but a year later, they have lost and gained weight twice.

Now they look at my lifestyle change, and are now thinking that maybe the slow way was a better way. As they are the same weight they were a year ago, torturing themselves with the latest fad diet, and I am down over 26 pounds and feel great.

The best part is my blood pressure actually dropped after I had lost 12 pounds. It is completely normal. I could have so easily ended up on meds, for the sake of 12 pounds. But who knew? So, you can lose weight easily, like I did. Just find something in your day, a bit here and there to shave off, and have some patience, nothing to big or drastic, and you will notice weight loss, and your health will improve.