I intended to start a weight reduction program many times in my life, probably more than 1000 times (each Monday, first day of each month, etc.). On several occasions, I had success; however, the successes were only temporary. I eventually gained back all the weight I lost, plus some extra pounds. On February 1, 1999, I kept my usual Monday morning intention and actually started an eating behavior modification. Click here for more history.
Before you start any change in eating behavior, consult your doctor and discuss your plans with your doctor.
There are many "diet" plans on the market today; however, I chose not to follow any particular plan. I did not want to take any medication and I wanted to eat the food I like, just less of it. In my opinion, the problem with taking non-prescription medication, or following a particular "diet" is that eventually you will stop taking the non-prescription medication and/or get tired of depriving yourself of food you like. When you stop the medication or start eating all foods again, you will gain the weight back along with some extra pounds as well. I wanted to follow a process that I could live with the rest of my life and would result in weight loss. Of course, if a doctor advises you to take a medication and/or follow a certain plan, please follow your doctor's instructions.
Following are the items I have implemented to loose my weight:
None of the above items are new or revolutionary; the items are common sense and you have probably read about them (or something similar) many times. So far, implementing the items above have resulted in a major weight losses for me.
- Established realistic weight reduction goals, 2 pounds per week (both 1999, and 2009).
- Recorded my weekly goals vs. actuals in a spreadsheet on my PalmPilot (both 1999, and 2009 although now on Android device).
- Reduced the amount of snacks at night. In 1999, I had either no snack or half a pack of peanut butter and cheese crackers (3 crackers) for my nighttime snack. Before the behavior change, I would have one or two packs of peanut butter and cheese crackers every night. For 2009, I have an apple, and diet soda for my evening snack.
- Replaced my lunch junk food dessert with an apple (1999 only). For 2009, have combo lunch / dinner at restaurant. In 1999, was still working, and took lunch to work.
- Significantly reduced amount of diet soda I drink, and replaced it with spring water (both 1999, and 2009). Click here for more...
- Started reading labels on food and reduced high fat/high cholesterol food. I significantly reduced (not eliminated) my intake of foods that are high in fat or calories (both 1999, and 2009).
- Realized the vast difference between the food label serving size and what I considered to be a serving (both 1999, and 2009).
- Reduced my serving size to be more inline with the recommended serving size, but I am not starving myself (both 1999, and 2009).
- Eliminated candy / popcorn from the refreshment stand at the movies although usually still purchase a diet soda (both 1999, and 2009). I go to the movies about 3 to 5 times a week.
- Maintained my walking. I have always loved to walk. On most weekends, I do not use my car. I walk or take public transportation (both 1999, and 2009). Although now that I am retired, I rarely use my car at all. I am out every day, but use the T (local transit).
- Checked my weight daily, as soon as I got out of bed each day (both 1999, and 2009).
- Eliminated desserts after eating a big restaurant meal (both 1999, and 2009). In 2010, after loosing 50 pounds, I do reward myself with a dessert when I hit a target weight loss ending in a zero.
- Have a fiber cereal with skim milk for breakfast each weekday morning (both 1999, and 2009). For last 8 years or so, have the fiber cereal 7 days a week although with 1% fat milk vs skim. Just could not stand skim milk anymore.
- Have french toast with lite maple syrup for breakfast on the weekends. Before the behavior changes, I had the french toast with butter and regular (not lite) maple syrup on the weekends (1999 only, 2009 cereal 7 days).
- Changed to fat free bologna. I love bologna and could eat it every day for lunch. Unfortunately, a lot of regular bologna is very high in fat (1999 only). In 2009 I was retired so not bringing lunch to work.
I do not feel deprived and still eat most of the foods I like. I really do not feel hungry at all during the day. I did have a snack (low fat, or no fat pretzels) between breakfast and lunch each workday (1999 only). In 2009, I am retired, and have no in-between meal snacks. On both Saturday and Sunday, while I am in downtown Boston, I ate in a fine restaurant and have whatever I feel like from the menu. The only compromise is that I usually do not have a dessert (1999 only). In 2009 / 2010 / 2011, I eat in restaurants 7 days a weeks since I am retired.
Since the summer of 1999, and again in 2010 / 2011, I have received many compliments from people on my weight loss. With the warmer weather and no bulky winter clothes, the weight loss was really noticeable. I thank the people for noticing and their compliments make me feel good. The compliments also add to my incentive to loose more weight.
If you are embarking on a weight loss program, good luck.
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