I’m not dieting, but I’m losing weight. Yes, you heard me right. In fact, most people who lose weight and keep it off don’t diet. What I am doing is changing my diet. It’s a subtle difference in wording with a substantive difference in meaning. When you diet, you’re making a commitment no longer than crossing a specific goalpost. When you change your diet, you’re committing to change your behavior on a on-going basis. That kind of long-term change is vital to well-being.
I had to start count calories, at least at first. I had to understand both how much I was eating and how much I should be eating. I can’t do that without keeping tabs on what I’m eating. After a while, I found that I got full much easier than I used to and learned what is a reasonable portion size. I stopped looking for best diet pills here and there, I also stopped drinking most calories.
Once you look at something as a calorie sinkhole, you’ll start changing your choices long-term. If I’m feeling snacky, I’ll grab an orange. I keep prepped vegetables in the fridge for quick salads and omelettes. If I know I’m going to be eating out later that day, I eat lighter meals and take home leftovers instead of clearing the plate.
It’s a lot of work to keep on top of it, but I had more than a few positive long-term changes from it:
- I get fuller faster and stay fuller longer.
- I recognize what a reasonable portion is.
- I know what foods are filling but not loaded with calories.
I’m taking the view that this needs to be a long-term change for me, not something that I complete. I’ve set a goal to get to 210 (which is on-track for March-ish right now), but maybe I’ll go further than that once I get there, but one thing at a time, right? ) . Whatever happens, it’s a goal for a new maximum weight. The changes I make now have to reflect that.