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All diets do work, but not any one plan is perfect for everyone. The truth is you have to find the one that works for you. Not only that, but find one that you can live with and turn into a healthy lifestyle change.
Even though I run 40-60 miles a week (in full training mode). I still have a few extra pounds that I've wanted to drop for years. I have attempted several fad diets in the past. I lost weight on all of them, but it all came back because they were just a fad, not a lifestyle change.
A healthy diet and lifestyle change incorporates both healthy eating and exercise. For me I already had the exercise, and it is in the form of something I love, Running. But leaving town a lot, eating out (way too much) adds up. A day or two of healthy eating wasn't enough to overcome the 4-5 days of non-healthy eating.
So I had to find a new healthy eating lifestyle that I loved and would worked for me.
First I needed motivation, something to get me started and push me to find the right diet and eating plan. I found it in the form of, well watching The Today Show of all things. It was a week or so into January and I saw them do a segment on Dietbet. For some reason it stuck with me so I decided to go online and check them out.
I have always been a person who is motivated by money, and I consider myself my best competition. So Dietbet sounded like the ideal thing for me to try. (In short, your betting your own money against yourself, that you'll lose 4% of your body weight in 28 days. If you don't, you lose your money. If you do, you split the pot evenly with all the others in the contest. You get your own money back as well as a cut of everyone who didn't make their weight loss goal.)
I have entered a few different games now. I have even won $41 to date, and I haven't lost a penny of my own money! But the best part is, I am down 15 pounds and still dropping. My clothes are fitting better. My stomach is getting flatter and I feel so much better about myself!
Unfortunately due to a recent injury I haven't been able to do any running for the past 4 weeks. Which means, I have had to really push myself onto a new healthy eating lifestyle. My healthy eating alone has everything to do with my 15 pound weight loss to date.
However, I won't lie I have done some anaerobic exercises like crunches, arm weights, squats and lunges. Low impact strength training types of mini workouts throughout my day, that I can do without making my injury worse and let it heal.
Now I am not perfect, I love my Pepsi and still enjoy a great burger or pizza. But I have inserted them into my life on an occasional basis. If I told myself, no more Pepsi until I loose 20 pounds. I know me, all I would do is crave it.
So if I want a drink, I have one. I don't keep them in my home anymore, if I want one I have to force myself to go out and get one. I went from drinking 1-2 a day, to now only having 1-2 a week if that.
I also like to reward myself with food I love. If you cut out everything you love, your never going to make your new eating style work for you the long run. In my opinion it's impossible to say, I'll never have (insert your food of choice) again.
So, I eat smaller portions, my personal general rule of thumb now is: only eat half of what I used to eat. Once a week I do go out to dinner or lunch and order whatever I want. But I make sure to only eat half of it. Truth is, now that I have been doing this for almost 2 months now, my stomach gets fuller quickly anyway. Eating only half a burger or 1 slice of pizza is just as satisfying and filling as it used to be for me to eat more.
To help curve most if not almost all of my snacking, I have added a little trick. For me I HATE the taste of peppermint before I eat. It's like brushing your teeth and then going to drink orange juice, it just makes things taste gross.
So I chew a lot of gum! If I feel like a snack I pop a piece of peppermint gum in, and chew it for a minute. Then if I still want a snack I'll have one. But generally the left over peppermint taste of the gum is too strong and makes the snack taste gross, so one or two bites is about all before I loose my appetite for more.
I am eating healthier foods, more fruits and vegetables in my diet. I am more aware of calorie counting when planning meals. I try to stay away from foods and drinks that are too sugary. But that's okay, I LOVE cold water! So I try to fill up on a glass of water before each meal. (I guess that is one great thing about this never ending cold winter!)
That's it, nothing major. I haven't paid hundreds of dollars to try the new, newest and greatest thing. I picked something that I knew would work with my personality and habits and went with it. I'm using more common sense when eating, and to be honest I know I can keep this up for life.
I'd like to drop another 30 pounds, but I will still be thrilled if it's just another 15. I'm keeping my weight loss expectations realistic and I have NO desire to be a size zero. I'll be perfectly content with a healthy and fit size 6 or 8.
I look forward to getting back into running again in the coming weeks, and to be honest I am really excited to see what this extra weight loss does for that. I have a feeling because of the lower weight I will be able to shave 20 minutes off my overall marathon time without any extra effort.
Oh, I am also REALLY excited to take all my Dietbet winnings and put it toward the purchase of a few cute new running skirts for spring and summer.
So if your someone who wants to, or struggles to loose weight, have you been able to find something that works for you? Or are you someone who has already found a way to drop weight and live a healthier and more fit life? If so please share! I think aside from finding something that works for you, hearing other's stories can be a great motivational tool!!!