By Guest Contributor Jodi Vetter. Follow her blog!
Say what? Cheat?! Really?! Yep. Most fade diets are extreme and have you giving up stuff you love to eat. What worked for me is to have one day where I ate whatever I wanted. Chocolate—yep, candy—yep, beer—yep. In order to lose weight, you don’t have to completely cut out all the foods you enjoy—just enjoy less of them.
2. Drink water.
Most people are chronically dehydrated. Drink enough water, (sorry TMI warning) so that when you urinate, your urine should be clear to the color of watered down lemonade. Limit the number of sodas you drink too. I normally drink one can a day, because I don’t drink coffee. I do drink diet soda.
Keep a journal/log of everything that you eat, and every activity you do. People who write down what they eat, drink, and do are more conscious of what they put in their mouths and will lose up to 10% more weight than those that don’t. And this doesn’t mean calculating points, carbs, or calories, it just means writing it down.
4. Small incremental goals.
I have been training my dad. At first his goal was to be able to walk 5 minutes. I worked with him in the pool, and on the treadmill, and now he can walk 15 minutes. The key is to make small incremental goals and small incremental changes to lifestyle
5. Moderate to hard exercise 60 minutes a day, 5 times a week.
When I first started out, I would plateau frequently. After doing a lot of research, I discovered that the human body burns fat more efficiently if you workout over 30 minutes a day to 60 minutes a day. When I train for marathons, I actually tend to try to gain weight, because if I diet too much, I will get injured or sick.
6. Weigh yourself once a week.
Your weight can fluctuate between 1-5 pounds every week, and for women who get periods, you can even gain up to 10-15 pounds in water weight prior to your period. Weigh yourself once a week, using the same scale, at the same time during the day.
7. Know your triggers and avoid them.
Know what activities, emotions, and people trigger eating and do things to mitigate the triggers. My mother-in-law is a huge trigger for me, so when she visits, I become hyper vigilant about keeping junk food out of the house, because if it’s there I will eat it.
8. Avoid boxed foods and frozen dinners.
Fresh is always best, which is hard during deployments, because you want easily prepared convenient foods. The foods in boxes and frozen are often laden with salt and fat (even the diet frozen foods!).
9. Try new flavor combinations.
My new favorite go-to deployment meal is leftover steak, fresh strawberries, spinach, red onion, and low-fat raspberry vinegar and oil salad dressing. Experiment different flavors, like with salad ingredients I gave above, strong flavor combinations can satisfy cravings.
10. Don’t buy into diets you don’t think you can live with.
Don’t consider yourself on a diet, because dieting often means you are giving up something you enjoy. Consider it a lifestyle or paradigm shift. If you are considering doing a significant change in diet, that is not medically necessary, think about whether you can truly live with those dietary changes. Also consult with a doctor or nutritionist before doing anything extreme. Often diets like the Paleo-diet, while having numerous weight loss benefits, may not be healthy for everyone.
Moderation is the key to success!
Jodi Vetter is a veteran and military spouse. She has been married 16 years and has two wonderful children. In 2011, Jodi was diagnosed with Asperger’s Syndrome, a high functioning form of autism. Her son, Ryan (9), also has autism. She has made it her life’s work to advocate for adults and children on the autism spectrum. She is currently working on a memoir documenting her experiences as a veteran, military spouse, and woman with autism. She is also published in Chicken Soup For Soul: Raising Kids On The Spectrum and her poetry has been published in different magazines and college publications. In her spare time she enjoys running marathons, half marathons, and other endurance sports, stand up paddleboarding, and Crossfit. Read more of her work on her blog!