I am thrilled to introduce myself as HealthyWage’s new director of social media and communications. What makes me so excited about HealthyWage is that it directly addresses the cultural problem we face, living in society where we all get blitzed every day by social and marketing pressure to eat high calorie foods. HealthyWage helps to facilitate a healthier environment by making weight loss fun, exciting and social, and by providing a way to stay focused and accountable in our hyper-indulgent culture. In this role, I’ll be providing you with useful content from leading experts in the medical, dieting, nutrition and fitness industries and I’ll also be interacting with you directly on our blog, Facebook chats, Twitter parties and more. While my primary function at HealthyWage is to help you meet your ambitious weight loss goals, I hope to learn just as much from you. I have struggled with weight my entire adult life and only just recently, made meaningful progress on my weight loss efforts. I have lost a total of 68 pounds in 9 months going from 285 last December to 217 this morning and have have 37 more to go to get to my goal weight of 180 pounds. It is rare that you get opportunity in life where both career and personal efforts work in tandem and I hope to make the most of it here at HealthyWage.
So, I’d like to start off with sharing my story and let you know what has and hasn’t worked for me this past year. And let me be clear that these are choices I have made based on what works for MY lifestyle and MY weight loss goals – it may not work perfectly for you but I believe it’s always good to compare what works for others to develop a custom program that works for YOU. While each day is different and brings new challenges, I’ve created some “rules” in my life that work for me and I’d like to share three with you today:
1) Basic Math
No matter what program or methodology you choose it all comes down to this – calories IN must be less than calories OUT. In other words, if you do not burn more calories than you consume you absolutely will not lose weight. I know you already know this but do you actively think about it as you go through your day? I do and I try very hard to not lose sight of it. Whatever program you choose MUST help you burn more calories that you consume, plain and simple – lots of exercise allows you to eat more, not exercising enough restricts what you can eat. The one non-negotiable task I set for myself every day is exercise – above all else, exercise. And trust me I HATE to exercise but what I hate even more is NOT being able to eat SOME things that I like. If I don’t exercise I am forced to rely solely on a very strict diet which makes me a very miserable person.
2) No Sugar in Beverages
Reducing sugar from your diet is incredibly important in reducing overall daily caloric intake. I found, for me, a quick and simple change was completely eliminating sugar in all beverages I drink. I no longer touch soda, fruit juice, sweetened iced tea or coffee with sugar. I now only drink water, iced green tea without sugar and coffee with just a little bit of almond milk (which technically does contain some sugar.) You will eventually come to not like sugar in your beverages – I know everyone says this but it really is true. I can’t handle taking even a sip of a coke anymore because of how sweet it tastes to me. Now this doesn’t seem to work the same way with food for me – I can eliminate cookies for a year but they taste great every time I eat one. Not with beverages – after a short period of time without them, your body won’t crave them and you won’t miss them.
3) Give Yourself Some Allowances
This may or may not work for you and you should find the variation that does work. Some people prefer to have an incredibly strict diet and regiment that doesn’t include the occasional allowance of dessert or maybe french fries. I find that for ME not allowing some room to “cheat” as some call it, is a recipe for failure in the long run as I get cranky and the diet becomes too stressful. In fact, I allow myself to have a few cookies here or there or even something like a burger with fries at least once a week. I know myself well enough that these foods won’t send me into a tailspin of overindulgence but satisfies my craving just enough to not need it all the time. There are certain foods that I stay away from completely as I don’t have enough self control with those foods to just have one bite or limited amounts – pasta is one them so I don’t even try.
So, I ask that you at least try implementing these few strategies that work for me to see if it might help you with sustaining longterm weight loss. Let me know how it goes and I am always curious to hear what is working for others that are achieving great success so please don’t hesitate to share!