I just lost 44 pounds and I didn't really count calories.
I made lifestyle changes.
I know that diets, the way we have been doing them in America, don't work. We want quick fixes, and so we starve ourselves and then gain all the weight back plus more...we ruin our metabolisms and our health this way.
I made one change at a time, until I could stick to it. Then I would make another.
It takes 21 days to make a new habit. So to get the human tendency to create habits to work for you instead of against you, create new habits consciously for 21 days. Then you don't have to think about everything you do every time you do it, you just eat and live a certain way that works by habit.
I went through my house and got rid of everything that was a temptation for me and gave it to the local food pantry.
Then I only brought into the house what I knew was healthy for me to eat.
I gave myself some rules, that seem to work.
I don't eat after 8pm at night.
I eat 4 meals a day, with the biggest meal at lunchtime, so I can work some of the calories off during the day. One of the "meals" is very small, like a handful of nuts and a piece of fresh fruit.
I always eat breakfast right when I get up in the morning.
I never eat huge amounts (volume) at one sitting, so my stomach eventually shrank and I feel very full if I overeat now. No binging.
I sit down when I eat. I enjoy eating my food.
Focus on how you feel when you eat.
Don't dissociate and go into a "zone" while eating. Notice when you feel full. If you learn your body's signals, your body will help you to decide what is best for it. Once you stop giving it intoxicating, overly strong flavored foods like soda and chips, you will notice the more satisfying subtle flavours of foods and these will keep you going.
Plan ahead for when you go places.
Bring food along if you have to so that you ALWAYS have a good choice with you at all times. Never put yourself into a position where the only food easily available to you is the addicting stuff.
Try at least one new recipe, one new food, every week,
so you can find excitement in your eating.
Don't think about what you are giving up, think more about what you are adding to your life.
Here's my recipe for you:
Fall harvest recipe:
Scrubbed and quartered skin-on small red potatoes.
Saute a large Vidalia (sweet) onion. Yellow onions fine, too.
Saute a blend of mixed fresh mushrooms.
Saute a pan full of fresh spinach.
Throw a splash of fresh lemon juice* in with the mushrooms and spinach while sauteing them.
Use half butter, half olive oil for sauteeing.
Sprinkle with sea salt, pepper.
Deglaze the pan with water or wine and pour over potatoes.
Optional: Add some crushed garlic to the spinach while sauteeing.
Serve all together with some fresh, unpasturized apple cider, or fresh grapefruit juice.
For dessert, figs.
* Use an organic lemon. Before squeezing the lemon for juice, use a lemon zester to get all the surface zest. Allow zest to dry on a paper plate. Use in recipes that call for lemon zest.
From talking with people who have weight issues, most of them seem to have become addicted to certain foods. Then they get cravings. The reason is that the foods they are eating, like Doritos, Cheetos, Chips, ect. are foods that are all partial foods -- they have had the enzymes and vitamins removed and so your body can't digest them correctly. This leaves them feeling hungry all the time, even right after they eat.
They also sound like they might have a sugar problem.
Sugar feeds yeast, and so you might have too much active yeast in your system. So when you cut back on the sweets, you get really bad sugar cravings. If you get rid of the excess yeast you will have fewer cravings for sweets. Go to a naturopathic Doctor and get a prescription for Difulcan or Nystatin to get rid of the yeast, and cut back on the sweets. After you give up sweets for a while, your taste buds will change and you will taste food differently. Sweets can also make you gain weight because they affect your insulin levels. You can get very sleepy and tired after eating sugar, and then it is harder to get the energy to exercise.
1. Start by taking a multi-vitamin every day.
2. Then learn to cook some things.
You don't have to cook "fancy" to eat well. In fact, it is often the "fancy" type cooking that adds all the sauces and flavourings that make you want to eat more than to fill you up. For a while, just don't put sauces on anything. Find out what each food really tastes like without anything added to it. You might find that what you are "hooked" on is really the additives, flavourings, oils and sauces that are put on everything that is processed before you buy it.
3. Try training yourself to only drink water.
You can buy some lemons and limes and slice them up ahead of time and add a slice to your glass each time you drink some water. This one thing will make a huge difference. Then you can use those calories to eat something more substantial and satisfying. I save glass drink bottles I get and rinse them out and fill them with boiled, cooled water and keep them in the fridge. I leave a little space when filling them so I can add a splash of lemon juice just before going out. This makes drinking water inexpensive, refreshing because they are cold, and very convenient. If your water tastes bad, buy a good water filter.
4. Learn to shop.
Avoid anything that is artificial. It is very possible that it is something ADDED to the foods you are eating that makes you crave them so much. There are over 400 chemicals that food manufacturers can add to foods without having to put it on the label. How do you know for sure that some of them aren't addicting?
The best foods in the store are around the edges. Shop the outer perimeter of the store. There is really nothing you NEED in the center isles. The center isles are all foods that have to be preserved in some way (and so think of it like it is "old" food -- not good.) If it can't spoil after a month, you don't want to be eating it in the first place....
So go to the produce section, and buy whatever looks the freshest.
Go to the frozen foods and refrigerated sections.
Don't eat all the stuff in the boxes and cans and bottles.
5. Learn what not to eat.
Cut out all the stuff made from flour for a while.
You can get rid of anything that started out as a white powder...white flour, pasta, etc.
6. Cut out all the stuff that is fried.
When you heat oil to very high temperatures you change its composition and make it not very healthy. Switch to using olive oil, and add it after cooking. You need about 3 tablespoons of oil a day for good health, so don't give up oil altogether. Learn to steam, saute, bake and broil foods. Then add a bit of olive oil and lemon after cooking for flavoring. Cut out all the things that are breaded for a while, like breaded meats, fish and vegetables.
7. Get more variety in your diet.
Add alternative forms of protein to your diet.
Don't just eat meat for protein, and if you do eat meat, don't eat any fat that is from the meat.
You can cook it with the fat, but remove the skin from chicken and the fat from beef before eating it.
If you need more fat in your diet, add it back in the form of olive oil. In fact, coating a chicken breast with olive oil before cooking it actually tastes better then with the skin.
Seafood is a great protein choice. Broiled, or baked, not fried. If you get it canned, like tuna and salmon, all you have to do is add a small amount of olive oil and fresh lemon.
Start eating some nuts (not peanuts), nut butters (any nut can be turned into a nut butter), but not too many. Just a small handful every day. Start having beans once in a while with meals. They are inexpensive, and give you a lot of fiber. If you eat more fiber and get your insides moving, your outsides will move better, too. After you get used to eating nuts as a snack, switch to the nuts that aren't coated in oil and salt. Then you won't be as tempted to overeat them.