I’ve lost weight before. Lots of weight. In fact, over about 6 months, I lost 60 pounds. It was impressive. I felt great, looked great, and had the willpower of a hunk of granite.
This time, I’m not so great with the willpower. So I’ll give you some of the things I do to help curb my appetite. It’s not a diet plan, it’s not a 12 step program, just some things I do that help me lose weight.
Tip 1: Have Snacks
When you eat a giant salad for lunch, you WILL be hungry at 2PM. You will NOT want more salad, and you’ll probably cave into bad snacks unless you have some good ones readily available. Have apples available. Or preferably, vegetables. Carrots are great. Yes, they are one of those “bad veggies” that are high in sugar, blah blah blah. You’ll never meet a person that is fat from carrot intake, trust me.
If plain carrots don’t light your fire, try dipping them in hummus. Hummus is magical food. It’s really great. I’d suggest making your own though, because the store bought stuff if loaded with olive oil. You can make it really low fat, and add stuff like taco seasoning for a really yummy carrot dip.
Tip 2: V-8 is Great
Yes, it’s terribly high in sodium. It’s not really cheap. For some reason, however, this low calorie drink seems to satisfy a “food” craving for me. Plus, if you get the spicy kind, it leaves your mouth feeling all hot and bothered, which makes other food not sound as appealing. If you are hungry for food, a small glass of warm or cold V-8 might make things all better for about 50 calories. It’s a caloric bargain.
Tip 3: Have Thirds
This tip is often titled “eat smaller portions”, but I like my way better. Use a small plate, and allow yourself to go back for more. I like to use a really small plate (saucer size), and go back a couple times. I don’t feel guilty getting more food, and the time it takes to go back and forth allows your body to realize it’s full. Small plates are awesome.
Tip 4: Eat Frozen Veggies. Lots of Them.
Frozen veggies are often more healthy than fresh. I’m not making that up, it’s really true. If you eat green veggies (I like broccoli and peas) in mass quantities, it will fill you up with very little caloric regret. Plus there’s lots of fiber. I think that’s supposed to be good too. Be careful you don’t get frozen veggies with sauce already built in though. Like adding a bunch of salad dressing to a salad makes it unhealthy, sauces or butter on veggies negates the “low calorie” thing. I like to microwave an entire bag of frozen broccoli, put some seasonings on it (dry, no calorie), and eat the entire thing. Sometimes I’ll chase that with a half bag of frozen peas as well.
Tip 5: Drink Water
Another staple in diet tips, this one, for me, is simply a matter of physics. Drink a lot of water before eating, and you can’t cram as much stuff in. Yes, the water “goes away” quickly, but usually we overeat because we don’t give our bodies time to feel full. This helps a little. (It’s not magic though, I mean, it’s water, not food. Don’t expect too much.)
Tip 6: Beer and Wine are not Beverages
OK, they are. But pretend they’re not. If you like beer or wine (or hard liquor I guess), treat them like desserts, not beverages. If you by a 30 pack of Bud, and chug ‘em down like water — you will get a beer gut. “Beer gut” isn’t a metaphor, it’s a huge belly from drinking too much beer. Just because it’s not sweet doesn’t mean it’s not loaded with carbs. If you really like beer, get some expensive imports, so drinking one costs like $5-$6. You won’t chug 10 of them in a row, trust me. Same goes with wine. Sure, you can drink it with dinner, but don’t think of it as something you wash your food down with — think of it as a spice or something that adds to a meal. Have a glass of water on the table if you get thirsty, don’t gulp your wine.
Tip 7: Don’t Worry About Thanksgiving
It’s one day. Anyone that has tried to eat smart on Thanksgiving knows, it sucks. Enjoy yourself. If you want to try to be smart, eat slow. You’ll know when you’re stuffed before you have to unbutton your pants!
So there you go, Shawn’s tips for losing weight. Ask me in about 6 months if it worked again. I need to lose about 50 pounds this time, and I don’t have nearly the will power I did before.