Dietgirl Shares Her 20 Best Weight-Loss Secrets


By: , SparkPeople Blogger

Today's guest blogger is Shauna Reid, otherwise known as Dietgirl. In 2001, after seeing her gigantic white underpants waving in the breeze, Shauna decided enough was enough. It was time to lose weight. Then 351 pounds, she could barely walk down the block. Seven years and 175 pounds later, the 31-year-old Australia native is happily married and living in Scotland. (See the before and after photos here.)

How did she lose half her body weight and keep it off? Ultimately, the same way many SparkPeople members did: Through perseverance, hard work and moderation. Here, she offers 20 tips for those trying to lose weight and get healthy.

  1. First, start with the big picture. Write down your goals and be specific. What do you want to change? Where do you want to be a year from now?
  2. Next, focus on the details. Every day we make dozens of tiny decisions that can spell the difference between whether we lose weight or gain. Do you pick the muesli for breakfast or the chocolate muffin? Do you spend twenty minutes on the couch or twenty minutes on a brisk walk? Small changes can add up to huge results.
  3. Start exercising--no matter what your fitness level. At 25 stone I could only shuffle to the end of the street, but I gradually built up to the whole block. Within a couple of years I was running! Don't compare yourself to others, just work within your limits and take it slow and steady.
  4. Eat breakfast. A wholesome breakfast makes me feel smug, satisfied and determined to stay on track all day. My favourite is porridge, livened up with grated apple and cinnamon, or chopped banana and teaspoon of peanut butter.
  5. Be kind to yourself and your body. You donít have to look in the mirror and chant, ďI love me! I am beautiful!Ē but at the same time yelling at your thighs wonít encourage your weight loss efforts.
  6. Make your treats miniature. Instead of banning dessert, I choose smaller portions Ė like an apple crumble baked in a ramekin dish or a small bar of Green and Blacks chocolate. I get my sugar hit without dangerous leftovers!
  7. Lift weights. It wonít make you bigger Ė itíll make you svelte and strong! If youíre worried about loose skin, resistance training is the best thing you can do to tone your body as you lose weight.
  8. Planning is crucial. Every Saturday I take ten minutes to plan our meals for the coming week. I choose from a list of 25 easy, tried-and-true recipes, so itís quicker to cook than phone for a takeaway.
  9. Buy your groceries online. It saves time and youíre not tempted by all the sights and smells of the supermarket. Or tortured by your screaming children.
  10. Feel your emotions, donít feed them. In times of stress itís tempting to bury your feelings in cake Ė better to feel bad about binging than tackle the real issue! But try to find non-edible ways of coping Ė I highly recommend kickboxing classes.
  11. Go Greek. If youíre a cream or sour cream fiend, 0% or 2% Greek yogurt is an excellent substitute. It's low in fat, protein-rich and incredibly creamy. Dollop into meringue nests and top with fresh fruit. Splodge onto a bowl of chilli. Swirl into butternut squash soup.
  12. The best exercise is the one you enjoy. So what if your best friend swears by aerobics at dawn? If youíre a shift worker or just plain grumpy in the morning, this will never suit you. Choose an exercise you like and do it when itís most convenient for you Ė this way youíll stick with it.
  13. Stock your office pantry. It's much easier to ignore the vending machine when Iíve got half an orchard sitting on my desk and a drawer full of oatcakes, nuts and seeds.
  14. Have a cuppa. When hunger strikes and itís not meal time, I make a cup of tea. This gives me time to figure out if Iím really hungry or if Iím just bored or cranky or upset. Herbal tea is great Ė experiment until you find one that doesnít taste like grass clippings!
  15. Have a moan. Losing weight isnít easy, but you donít have to feel alone in the struggle. Start your own blog, or sign up for a message board. Remember, weíre all in this lardy boat together!
  16. Put the scales in perspective. Donít fret over small fluctuations Ė focus on all the healthy things youíve been doing for your body. Get out the tape measure or have a pair of ďmeasurement jeansĒ, so youíre not dependent on the scales for feedback.
  17. Be adaptable. Make your weight loss plans fit around your life, not the other way around. Sometimes circumstances will change Ė a new job, a family crisis, moving house Ė and suddenly your usual routine doesnít work. The trick is to be flexible and know when itís time to tweak your methods.
  18. Set a non-scale goal. Why not train for a charity 5k race or challenge yourself to do ten push-ups? Focusing on fitness means I donít fret about the numbers so much. And all those endorphins make me feel less inclined to go on a chocolate bender.
  19. Accept that sometimes itís going to suck. Despite your best intentions, there will be days when you fall into a bag of crisps. But long-term success is about persistence, not perfection. Itís picking yourself up when you fall, over and over again.
  20. Donít wait to be ďskinnyĒ to start living your life. If you have dreams of traveling or writing a book or learning to scuba dive, donít think you need a smaller bum before you deserve them. Your life is happening right now Ė so forget about your wobbly bits and jump right in!

Content used with permission from Dietgirl.

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  • 1002
    Thanks for sharing your journey and the terrific tips. - 9/3/2011   1:48:14 PM
  • 1001
    I am currently reading this book, and I love it! I can relate to so many of the issues that Shauna has been going through. This is a great list of do's & don't highlights that she discovers during her journey. - 8/29/2011   4:58:11 PM
    Great blog, you make it sound so easy! - 8/24/2011   7:37:12 AM
  • 999
    A close friend continuously postpones everything for when "I lose weight"
    This makes me so made I want to wring his neck, I he can tell. I want him to be happy & I want him to like himself. I know he won't enjoy his life till he loses this weight. I worry about him & I know if I push the health thing any further than I have, he will get mad at me. He is a perfect example of #20. - 8/18/2011   9:45:06 PM
  • 998
    Great blog!!! - 8/18/2011   12:04:40 PM
    great tips for avoiding the pitfalls - 6/20/2011   7:18:03 AM
  • 996
    Great tips. Thanks for sharing. - 6/12/2011   9:20:08 AM
  • 995
    Looks like an oldie but goodie from 2009...wonderful advice, and enjoyed looking at all of the photos of progress. Thanks for re-posting, as I missed this one the first time around. :) - 6/7/2011   11:20:08 AM
    Great tips!!! It helps to get advice from someone who's been there!!! - 6/3/2011   1:07:05 PM
  • 993
    Congrats to you! Your determination & persistence in not giving up paid off. Keep on blogging it really hits home. :) - 4/20/2011   11:14:00 AM
    Thank you so much. Persistence will be my mantra. You are one amazing young lady! - 3/24/2011   11:10:19 AM
  • 991
    great to see you have gotten total contol over your eating and lifestyle...thanks for the great tips
    j~ - 2/25/2011   2:16:12 PM
  • 990
    Thanks for the great tips and encouragement! I so need to hear this. I am having a difficult time with my scale this week. After weeks of losing it just is sitting there and not showing how hard I am working and sweating and watching what I eat! I will set a non weight way to measure my progress and reward my effort this next week no matter what the numbers say. I will keep smiling and doing my best. Thanks for the encouragement. Smiles Barb - 2/20/2011   1:20:23 PM
    Written in "true blue Aussi lingo", made me smile with the colourful use of the English language... Not an ounce of BS in it!!
    Beauty mate... good on yu! - 1/29/2011   11:53:47 PM
  • 988
    Thanks for sharing. You are an inspiration. - 1/26/2011   8:43:47 PM
  • 987
    Thanks for sharing! I especially like #20. - 1/26/2011   7:22:12 PM
  • 986
    Great story! Very motivational! - 1/18/2011   12:38:38 AM
  • 985
    Great article! A keeper. THANKS. - 1/15/2011   9:24:34 AM
    Very inspiring!! - 1/6/2011   6:53:11 AM
  • 983
    Very good insight. Thank you for sharing. You are amazing! - 1/5/2011   3:51:30 PM
  • 982
    I adore Shauna and her web site. She always keeps it real. Sometimes I read her archives from the start of her journey and am always inspired. - 12/30/2010   6:47:38 PM
    Wonderful Tips!! No doubt it has best weight loss tips!! - 12/29/2010   9:20:26 AM
    THESE ARE GREAT TIPS I THINK I LIKE #20 THE BEST - 12/19/2010   2:40:59 PM
  • 979
    Thank you, just what I needed to read! :) - 12/17/2010   2:06:50 PM
  • 978
    Thank you diet girl for sharing this - 12/16/2010   8:40:28 AM
  • 977
    Thank you! - 11/20/2010   6:47:25 PM
  • JND000
    Great tips! Thanks so much:) - 11/15/2010   3:15:37 PM
  • 975
    Thank you! This is a great story!! - 11/15/2010   10:05:23 AM
  • 974
    Thank you for your inspirational story and your great article. Brava to you! - 10/26/2010   1:32:39 AM
  • 973
    I honestly have to say that these are very excellent tips. Pretty much everything you said I was not doing and still wondering why i wasnt losing. I have like 9 or 10 vending machines at work with pretty much anything you can think of and its not fun! So I will definitely try these 20 tips! Thanks for everything! - 8/10/2010   11:50:10 AM
  • AMH1280
    Great tips. Can't wait to start incorporating them into my weightloss plan!! - 1/19/2010   10:23:44 AM
  • 971
    This was great. Talk about boiling it down to just the key stuff! I think I'll print it and stick it in my wallet for those panic button moments. - 1/19/2010   9:31:35 AM
  • 970
    congratulations and thank you for all the wonderful advice! - 1/19/2010   8:01:17 AM
  • 969
    Just bookmarked Diet Girl. Looking forward to reading her book and reading her blogs. Thank you for sharing. - 1/19/2010   7:22:14 AM
  • 968
    Congratulations on your incredible success, and thank you so much for sharing! - 1/11/2010   12:23:44 PM
  • 967
    thanks for the tips! and congrats on your weight loss! - 1/3/2010   5:46:32 PM
  • 966
    I loved the book! Thank you, Shauna for sharing your story and making me LOL several times throughout! - 12/31/2009   5:52:36 PM
  • 965
    Great tips! Very true too. - 11/3/2009   2:00:34 PM
  • 964
    Those were great tips! Thanks! - 10/2/2009   10:31:23 AM
  • 963
    I LOVED THIS BOOK! It was soooo inspirational! Maybe it's time for a reread!~ - 9/24/2009   9:31:05 PM
    Shauna's story is so inspirational. I have to get this book. It's clearly all very practical advice. - 9/17/2009   9:51:20 AM
  • 961
    I appreciate the tips, and appreciate that you've changed your life, and written a book that helps others! Thank you. - 9/17/2009   5:59:59 AM
    Really great tips! Thank you, Thank you, Thank you!!!!! - 9/15/2009   7:21:50 AM
  • 959
    I was so happy to see this article here! Shauna is awesome -- her book is so incredibly inspirational. And not just inspirational, but also truly interesting. I didn't have to force myself to read it, instead, I couldn't stop myself from reading as quickly as possible to see how things worked out for her in the end. - 9/9/2009   12:49:53 AM
  • 958
    This is definitely one of my favorite blogs. So many tidbits of wonderful advice, from someone who knows the ropes, most definitely. She also is kind enough to share some magnificant photos on Flickr. I really enjoyed the blog. Thank you for sharing so much of yourself. From one Scot to Another! LOL - 9/6/2009   10:54:05 PM
    thank you for the ideas. I truly appreciated the tips from someone who has experienced the challenges of losing weight and making life changes to be healthy. - 9/4/2009   10:55:11 PM
  • 956
    I LOVE her sense of humor! Excellent 20 tips -- all of which are integrated into my lifestyle. I really identify with her! Great blog! - 8/12/2009   1:39:47 PM
    Well thanx for shairing, they are really very nice tips - 8/12/2009   8:03:03 AM
  • 954
    I rarely buy a book at retail but this one is in such high demand, I couldn't find it on a book exchange or at a lower price online. I can now say, having come within 50 pages of the end, it was worth every penny!!! My only regret is that it ends. I guess I'll have to surf around the net and see if I can find Shauna's continuing adventures in her online blog? - 6/3/2009   4:01:23 PM
  • Y38NK0
    Are the tried and true recipes you use in your book? - 6/2/2009   9:06:20 AM

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