Want to lose weight? I noticed a story doing the rounds at the moment about a Sydney grandmother in her 50’s who lost 31.5 kilos in 3 months without doing any exercise. Everyone wants to know about that, yeah?
If you read the story what you find is a veiled promotion for a diet supplement product costing $130 a pop.
If you read between the lines, you find what every successful weigh loss plan involves.
- commitment to action
- sustained commitment until results show
- a simple clean-eating plan with a focus on protein and fresh vegetables
- an eye on the goal
In the entire story there was only one mention of the supplement – if it was that important I’d have expected more extolling of its virtues so I’m working on the basis it was helpful but not integral. More attention in the story was on what she ate.
She generally had
- low-cal fruit for breakfast with a little yoghurt (watch out for the sugar-laden varieties!)
- salad and protein for lunch
- meat or fish for dinner with vegetables
What’s missing from the story is how she maintained her motivation over that three months, especially in those early stages we all struggle with. That’s where points 2 and 4 above come in. You’ve got to work on your head game.
Commitment to Losing Weight
Unless you are totally committed, your success is a puff of smoke. We all wish we were slimmer, fitter and healthier. We want it to happen. We give it a go. But our wishes and hopes fall over at the first point of stress or distress or walk past a bakery!
Dig deep and find why you want to lose weight. What’s the payoff you get from being fat? What payoff will you get from being slimmer? Which payoff is bigger? If it’s the first, cut yourself some slack and admit it’s not that important to you right now. If you want it to be not so then pump up the voltage on what you’ll get out of being slimmer – really think it through and you might surprise yourself. Paint a big picture of what you’ll get out of being slimmer. The richer and more impactful you make the benefits the easier your commitment will be.
Don’t just do this in your head. Get it on paper. Make it large and colourful and bold – stick it up on the wall so you see it everyday to remind yourself when you’re waning of why you need to stick to this new way of living to lose weight. Can’t bend over to tie your shoelaces? Find an image of someone easily doing that and pop that picture on your chart. Images are powerful. Create a vibrant wall chart of what you will get out of losing weight – and look at it often. Add to it as you go if something new pops into your head as a why you will succeed with this.
A million diets are out there. Many work. The question is, will you work? Losing weight is hard work. To get the result you have to be prepared to recognise it is going to be hard to shift a load of mental thinking processes and a barrel of stimulus-response automatic reactions. The hard work is in sticking to a plan
Eating Plan to Lose Weight
What to Eat.
One of the most accepted eating plans on the planet to lose weight is simply eating clean, fresh food.
- A palm-sized portion of protein (eggs, fish, poultry, lean meat).
- Any quantity of vegetables you like if they are not drowning in sauces or dressings (a touch for flavour is fine but just a touch).
- Some dairy – cheese, milk, butter (not margarine etc) and yoghurt (not the highly sweetened ones).
- A limited amount of fresh fruit. More of the low-cal ones eg berries.
Sounds easy. Then why is it so hard?
Because our fresh food concept has been corrupted. Manufacturers don’t profit from fresh food – and much of our stores are stocked with manufactured food. Aim to get your food as close to fresh and picked as possible. The least amount of processing the better – none is best! Try and only shop from the outside aisles of the store – usually that’s where the fresher food is presented eg fish, meat, dairy, vegetables. The inside aisles are where the high calorie stuff lurks – biscuits, tinned meats, prepared meals etc. Watch out for the frozen aisles – choose food that was fresh but is snap frozen – avoid the packaged foods and check the label if you’re unsure.
Retrain yourself to check out those food labels to see if that tinned fish is in brine or water (hint choose the water variety). Check your yoghurt to see how much sugar is in it – keep it zero or low. Get used to reading labels.
Oh, and I know the deli section is in the outside aisles but be careful. Processed meat is not ideal and certainly not ‘clean’. Often you won’t know if it is manufactured in some way. Stick to fresh bacon and leg ham off the bone if you need deli meat at all.
Don’t even go near the confectionary, bakery or biscuit aisles!
Our taste buds have been spoilt into enjoying things that taste great and not only make us feel good but sabotage our body. We are literally killing ourselves. It’s insane. Especially when the solution for most of us in the western world is accessible.
I’m one of those people you hear cry plaintively, “But I don’t eat much!” when people say the way to lose weight is to cut back on food. What I didn’t admit was that I ate mostly carbs – chocolate, biscuits, chips, cakes, pasta, bread, rice. So, I truly didn’t eat a lot – but those items I ate were loaded with calories! When I honestly tracked my intake I was astounded that I was eating easily 3000 calories a day – no wonder I was putting on weight even though not eating much!
When people say ‘eat less’ what they usually mean is one of two things:
- eat a reasonable portion sized meal (most of us do not need to eat a traditional wharfie-sized meal) and make sure your dinner plate is not big. The size of crockery plates have increased markedly. Find a smaller one and use that. Oh and avoid buffets!
- cut back significantly on the crap. Carbs are the culprit in weight gain so minimise them – if you’re not sure what a carb is or if what you are eating is a carb, ask Google. Chocolate and ice cream are not a daily food requirement – use these sorts of things as a small treat or reward at the end of the week if you’ve stuck to your plan. Top tip – avoid keeping stuff like this at home – it’s just temptation that you know you will give in to!
Eye on the Weight Loss Prize
Be really clear on what is achieveable for you to lose weight. Set yourself some goals but make them realistic. Losing 30 kilos in 30 days is not going to happen. Losing 30 kilos over twelve months is doable – but that maybe too long a goal to aim for and sustain motivation. Make it shorter term to get going. Aim for an overarching goal weight, sure, but maybe focus more on behaviours that will get you there. For example, a goal might be to eat only fresh food for a week. Or, to go chocolate free for a day then another then another etc.
Try this method: print off a monthly calendar for the next month. At the top write out your behaviour goal then each day you achieve it, cross off the day.
The key to keeping your eye on the prize is to set your goal then write it up and put it on a wall, on your phone screensaver, on your computer – wherever you are likely to see it.
So, can you really lose 30+ kilos in 3 months without exercising? Yes. If one person can do it, then so can others. This woman claims to have done so and explains the basic plan she followed. Emulate her behaviours and you emulate her success.
Read the original news report that prompted this article.
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