Body Blog: Why Weight Loss Hits the Wayside
I am destined to be big-boned. That practically became my mantra throughout high school as day after day I sat next to my beautiful, svelte friends and felt like a blob. While I clearly couldn’t metabolize chocolate-covered pretzels and pizza like they could, looking back I realize that even I slimmed down just by correcting a few errors in thinking. If you’re so fed up with dieting that you’re ready to cry, a few simple tips may help you finally break through.
1. Do not skip meals.
Sleeping through breakfast seems like the easiest way to cut calories and lose weight, right? Wrong! In high school, I did just that. I also decided to spend my lunch period most days talking instead of eating. I would never put food in my body until 3PM, and I wouldn’t stop eating until around 10PM. I justified my grazing by saying, “Hey, I haven’t eaten all day, after all!” By the time my body got fed, it had no idea what to do with so much disgusting, unhealthy food. The pounds finally started to budge when I put my body on a system. Eat something wholesome (oatmeal, whole-grain toast, an egg) as soon as you wake up. Give your stomach something to work on all day. Our tummies love consistency, so don’t forget lunch and dinner, either!
2. EAT your calories.
Even on days when you don’t think you’re eating much, you might be loading up on “blind calories” — calories you don’t even realize — just by what you drink. Anything other than water, black coffee, or plain tea is a weight conscious gal’s worst nightmare. While sports drinks and mineral water may be alluring, the sugar and additives are sure to sidetrack your best intentions. It’s the common misconception that fruit juices are must-have staples to a diet. The truth is, you are getting loads of sugar from the fruit itself (even if it’s unsweetened juice, check out the grams of natural sugar) and none of the fiber. Don’t have a glass of orange juice – eat an orange. Same goes for apple juice or cranberry juice or…, well, you get the idea. In general, allotting your calories for food rather than beverages will leave you much more satisfied.
3. Go do something!
I used to think that walking around the hallways to get to class was sufficient exercise for me. Like me, you may be stunned when you realize that your exercise isn’t as effective as you think it is. It also didn’t help that once I came home from school, I tended to spend hours and hours on youtube loaf around all night. The more often you can get your heart rate up, the better off you will be. Can’t commit to a strenuous gym regiment? Don’t despair. The most successful exercise is what can be incorporated into your daily life. In other words, park farther away, take the stairs, grab the bike instead of your car. Trade one TV program for a half-hour walk a day. You’ll be surprised at how gratifying it is. (And there’s always Tivo, after all).
4. Embrace veggies.
Growing up, I never never, ever ate vegetables. Mashed potatoes and corn on the cob was about as close as I came. Today, I can’t get enough of them, and I actually crave them. I love a huge plate of wilted spinach with a touch of sea salt, pepper, and olive oil as a base for my meat or grains. 50 calories for a cup of spinach keeps me way more satisfied than a small McDonald’s french fry order (230 calories) ever did. And I’ve never felt more alive since making veggies the bulk of my meals. I smile and run more than ever. That alone is worth it to me.
Don’t despair about weight loss. Just listen to your body. It can tell you more than any dieting book can. Being the person you’ve always dreamed of being is far from impossible for anyone. The former big-boned blob has spoken.