I am closing in on 2 years at this process of changing my lifestyle and recently wrote up the 5 tips for long-term weight management. Here they are. Enjoy. Feel free to sound off in the comments.
1.) Accept and understand the truth: there is no quick fix.
Everyone wants it to be easy, we're so desperate to find the secret that
we fool ourselves into believing there is one. There is not.
Sustained weight management is very, very hard and that's why almost
everyone fails at it. However, difficult does not mean impossible, so
you can do it. But you need to respect how difficult it is and avoid
becoming arrogant when success comes easy, because failure is lurking
around every corner. Avoid the trap of wanting it all right now,
because that is temporary and temporary is not what you want.
2.) Buy and eat real food from the grocery store. You
must walk away from the garbage...forever. Face the facts: you've had
enough fast food, soda and junk food to last 3 lifetimes. You don't
need any more. If you're a food addict like me (see my "before picture
for evidence of this) it is absolutely crucial that you never touch the
trash food ever again. People tend to eat junk food not because they
are undisciplined, but because they are hungry. You have to do the work
and always have healthy food on hand. Pack your lunch and eat it. I
stick with what I call "The 6 Food Groups:" fruits, vegetables, lean
meats, whole grains, low-fat dairy and water.
3.) You must measure, weigh and write down everything you eat.
Many people lie to themselves and others about how much they're eating,
but they really have no idea. Remember: everything you eat counts.
Being overweight is being on the wrong end of a math problem, so you
must add it up at the end of the day. This isn't as difficult as it
sounds. As you eat many of the same things over and over, you will
memorize their calorie content. There are websites and smart phone apps
you can use to track your calorie consumption, or you can use a notepad
and a pen like I do. Either way, you have to write it down. This will
keep you accountable to yourself.
4.) Water must immediately become your beverage of choice.
Water has many benefits, including being essential to life but it also
will make you feel full and regulate your appetite. Some people don't
like the taste of water, but I believe you can't have sustained weight
loss without it. Try low-calorie drink mixes like Crystal Light or
their generic equivalents to make it taste better if you have to. But
drink a lot of water. I easily drink a gallon a day. Sodas (diet
included) contain caffeine that will make you want to eat. I also
associate soda with junk food and fast food, so I can't have one without
wanting the other. Don't drink your calories. Water is one of the few
things (besides air) that doesn't have any calories, so drink it early
5.) Stay off the scale. It is
tempting to weigh every day, because we all want the fast results. You
must stop obsessing and worshiping the scale. Instead, weigh once every
2 weeks, maybe even once a month. Again, think long-term. You are
losing weight for the rest of your life, not next week. Also, the
purpose of the scale is to give you an idea of where you are. It's not
an end-all, be-all guide to your success. The scale has the power to
make your day and it has the ability to ruin your day. Don't let it.
Weigh once to start, then not for awhile.