As an unmarried female in my twenties, albeit my late twenties, I’m obsessed with dieting. I’m not talking about complaining about a few extra pounds over a glass of wine with a few of my girlfriends a couple of times a week; I’m talking day in day out every hour twice an hour constantly thinking about food, calories, exercise, and so on. The root of my obsession began on April 24, 2009 when I woke up one morning, called my mother and informed her I was going to lose 100 pounds in a year…and I did it! There are many realistic ways to diet but the term realistic should never be confused with easy. Nothing about losing weight is easy so the sooner that notion is forced from your brain, the better off you’ll be in navigating the long, painful, annoying, frustrating, and life changing path ahead of you.
We all make excuses about how we got to be so fat. We blame our metabolisms, our health, our genetics, even God! The truth of the matter is that you are fat because you’ve allowed yourself to get that way. I was there with you, I blamed genetics because many of my family members were overweight, I blamed my under-active thyroid (which was removed so the scar made me feel more legit), I blamed society; in fact, it’s easier for me to say who I didn’t blame: me! You need to except that you are the one who did this to you, no one else forced you to swing through the drive-thru, have that extra helping of potatoes, or snatch that last cookie. You made those choices so accept it an move on.
Now that you are ready to accept that losing weight won’t be easy and the weight gain was all your fault, you’ve pretty much hit the bottom of self-loathing and dispair. Have no fear! The only way to go from this point on is up! The work ahead of you isn’t easy but the methods behind the work are idiot proof, I swear to you, you’ll kick yourself. So, here are the ridiculously obvious and realistic ways to diet that will work:
1. Count Calories & Exercise. One pound equals 3,500 calories. Basic math then tells us that we need to eat less calories and exercise to burn calories and eventually we will create a deficit. This deficit will eventually lead to pounds melting off. I am going to put my faith in you and assume you understand what exercise consists of. Stop making excuses, put down the junk food, limit yourself to your daily caloric needs (Google “how many calories can I eat in a day” to find out, so easy!) AND GO FOR A WALK! Try a 10-15 minute walk every day for a week while limiting your calories, I promise you that you will lose at least a pound by doing so and you’ll start feeling better!
2. Motivation. Tell everyone you know your new weight goal. Someone needs to be holding you accountable even if they never say a word. I told my family, my friends and even my co-workers about my goal. I found that everyone was overwhelmingly supportive and many people even offered to accompany me on walks or trips to the treadmill. Having support around you isn’t going to make the pounds come off but it will inspire you to prove to them that you can do this.
3. Weigh-in. During the first few months, you need to know that your hard work is paying off. Buy a scale and step on it every day. Don’t get discouraged if it doesn’t show drastic changes, jut be sure to record your weight once a week along with your measurements. Fitday.com is a free tool that will allow you to do this and even track it for you.
4. Save money by not going out to eat or drink any more. You may become a recluse for awhile but no big deal, you’ll need the money that you’re saving to buy new clothes when you stop dropping sizes.
That’s it. A realistic way to diet that actually works. Don’t believe me? Just try it, REALLY try it, commit to it and see it through. You will lose weight, you just have to want it.