If you glance at the cover of almost any woman’s magazine, you will undoubtedly find the words “weight loss secrets.” Women are obsessed with weight, either losing it or keeping it off. And I won’t lie. I, too, feel compelled to watch my weight. It’s a part of our culture. It’s the American way. Yet, with all the temptations from fast food to an ever-increasing supply of tempting goodies on the shelves of the supermarkets, weight loss is difficult.
Luckily, you have found this article. I have some weight loss/maintenance hints for you that are my “secret” weapons, and I guarantee that they have worked for me for years. Why should you take my advice? For one, I am in my mid 40’s and am happy with my weight. I don’t think too many women my age can claim that. I am not skinny, but I feel really good at my weight. I maintain a BMI of 21, which is well within the desired range. Maintaining a desired weight in your 40’s is not easy. So, that would be the second reason you should read on. For the last 15 years my weight has not fluctuated more than three pounds. In fact, my doctor always comments on the fact that my weight is exactly what is was the year before…for 15 years at least.
Are you intrigued yet? Okay, here they are – my favorite weight loss “secrets.” I hope they do the trick for you.
#1. Tootsie Roll Pops – This is my favorite tip. I have a serious sweet tooth. Unfortunately, sweet things generally have a lot of calories. So, I keep these delicious treats stock-piled in my cupboard. I have one each evening about an hour after dinner (when my sweet tooth is most demanding.) Tootsie Roll Pops last a long time, (much longer than it takes to eat 350 calories of ice cream,) and it is very low in calories – only 60 per pop!
#2. Never eat anything unless it is on a plate. Do NOT ever sit in front of the TV with on open bag of anything! If you are hungry, grab a plate. You can see how much you are eating if it is divvied out onto a serving dish. Hundreds of calories can be consumed before you are aware if you just grab a handful of something.
#3. Gum. This is also a good idea for anyone with a sweet tooth. It gives your mouth the satisfaction of chewing while supplying a refreshing taste for your palate. There are even several flavors of gum available now that mimic the flavor of desserts! If you worry about cavities, don’t. Most gum is sugar free.
#4. Weigh yourself daily. I know. You’ve always been told to weigh in only once a week. I don’t buy into that because a lot of weight can be gained in a week. I want to know if I’ve gained a pound or two. It is much easier to lose one pound than five. Many experts say that it is too discouraging and that the weight may be water weight etc. Well, if that’s the case, and I I really watch my intake, than I will still be losing weight. Isn’t that the point?
#5. Movement. Yes, it is essential, but it doesn’t have to be strenuous. You need to move. It not only burns calories, but it keeps you occupied so that you aren’t even thinking about food. If you feel the urge to grab a snack, grab a dust cloth instead. Get away from the kitchen and go find a dusty spot in your house that you’ve neglected. If it’s a nice day, go for a walk or pull some weeds in your garden. Any movement is good. Grab your kids and fly a kite or catch butterflies. Play video games that require movement. Think dance games. Your kids will enjoy laughing at you while you burn those calories.
#6. Exercise. Okay, I’ve said the “E” word. Sorry, but it is important for you to get the heart pumping. If you are not a big fan, take up walking. Everybody likes to get outside, clear their minds, spy on the neighbors etc. Pull out the Ipod to listen to your favorite tunes as you pump those arms and move briskly.
#7. Snack. This is much more fun than #6. You need to keep the metabolism going, and you do that by feeding your body. Have healthy snacks on hand. Keep carrot sticks ready to go. Buy those little cheese wedges to dip your veggies in. Eat an apple. The varieties of apples available now are amazingly good: Fuji, Gala, Braeburn, Jonagold, and Pink Lady are all very yummy. Eat a little wedge of cheese with your apples slices and it is the perfect snack to tide you over until your next meal. Popcorn is another great snack that I recommend. If you buy the little snack bags, you will eat approximately 100 calories of a natural, healthy, delicious snack.
#8. The Three-Pound Rule. This is my maintenance tip. I have a weight limit. If my scale ever registers this number, I diet. I hate to diet, but it usually takes only two days to get the weight off. I just cut back on extra calories, move a little more for a few days, and I am back to my “feel good” weight. My husband laughs when I say I need to diet, but I am only 5’2″, so three pounds on me translates to tight pants, and no one is ever comfortable with a binding waistband. This has worked well for me and has helped me maintain my weight for the last 15 years!