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Making SP work for you

Monday, June 04, 2012

What is your formula for success? We all have one, but what becomes clearer to me over time is that a successful eating plan is as unique to us as our DNA. When we start imposing these weird and silly rules for everyone is when we set people up to fail. Ever seen these rules before?

1. Substitute fat free salad dressing for full fat salad dressing
2. Put your fork down between each bite
3. Chew each bite 20 times before swallowing
4. Avoid all processed food
5. Exercise in the morning
6. Don't cheat on your diet
7. Don't exceed your calorie limit
8. Don't eat after 7 p.m.

Now, I'm sure these rules work for someone, somewhere, but they don't work for me. In fact, some of them I think are just plain silly. At the same time, I've found things that work specifically for me. Examples are:

1. Drink a smoothie for breakfast most days of the week.
2. Exercise 4 evenings during the week and on Saturday morning.
3. When you have a social or event to attend, bank your calories and indulge. (E.g, I ate a bratwurst at a major league baseball game. Seemed kinda silly NOT to)
4. Eat a mid-morning snack and a mid-afternoon snack so your blood sugar doesn't get too low.
5. Don't just eat certain foods because they're good for you; eat them because it's what you like.

Those are just a few examples of how I'm doing this program. What are things that work/don't work for you?
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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    I love your blog, and i love the fact you post what works for you and some of the other previous rules. I believe people have different things that they can do to budget themselves and tips and tricks that they can do.

    This is inspiring and motivating, as well as impactful.

    Keep up your hard work. emoticon
    2116 days ago
    Moderation and consistency in ALL things.
    Besides, if we did/ate things only because it was good, we'd never get to ENJOY the benefits OR reap them. Don't you agree?
    2116 days ago
    I think, for me, the main thing has been to constantly reinforce that I am taking good care of myself. For example, starting the day with a smoothie kind of sets the tone for how I want to eat. While I'm having my smoothie, I plan (and during the school year, pack) my healthy lunch and also plan for supper - way easier not to cave to tasty junk if I've got a plan.

    The other thing I do is more of a sensory reinforcer: after my post-workout showers I use a (naturally) scented lotion or body butter. The rest of the time I use unscented lotion, so that little luxury is a reward, a reminder that I treated my body well, and a subtle encouragement to keep doing so.
    2117 days ago
    I think the core and very valuable lesson in what you have written above is to understand and be responsible for what works for YOU. Each of us have different changed habits that we can sustain; where as it might be really easy for my friend to chew something 20 times before swallowing; I sure am not going to sit there and count the number of times my teeth pulverize a lettuce leaf.

    This is both the blessing and the bane of community boards: there are some "Nazi's" out there that will tell you that you are doing it all wrong if you aren't doing it THEIR way, and there are others that are so unstructured, it as if merely belonging to Spark People will somehow magically make the weight go away and the habits change.

    Life is about balance...find the middle path.
    2117 days ago
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    Disclaimer: Weight loss results will vary from person to person. No individual result should be seen as a typical result of following the SparkPeople program.