Here's my list, in order of importance, for me.
1. Planning. I plan my meals as much as I can a week in advance, especially for weekdays. I create my meal plan, build my recipes, all a week in advance. Then as soon as I can, I enter everything into the tracker. This way, if I see I'm over for a day, or under for a day, I can change the plan without having to do it on the fly that day. Also, it takes the thought out of it. In the mornings when I'm leaving for work, I already know what to put in my lunch bag without having to think about it, and I don't have to sit and wonder all day what I'm going to make for dinner, it's already planned out for me. These days, I try to leave an extra 100-200 calories each day, that is for an after dinner snack and is for whatever I feel like snacking on. Monday night it was a bowl of froot loops last night it was an english muffin with a bit of butter and cinnamon and sugar. Without planning, left to my own devices, I would have had way too many impulse meals and snacks, and I don't think I would have seen the progress I did without having the plan in place.
2. Cooking at Home. There's no WAY I could have done this if I didn't cook the majority of my meals at home. Before, when I was fat, I knew how to cook, and actually enjoyed it when I did it, but I was lazy and often opted to just eat out. Now, eating out is a treat. I used Pinterest to find a lot of great recipes and other sites with healthy cooking recipes on them. I try new recipes all the time. Since May of last year, I have made over 125 new recipes, and most of them have been fantastic, and taught me that eating out at a restaurant was not necessary to have delicious, satisfying food. I also managed to find ways to lighten up things I liked to eat before.
3. Getting enough protein and fiber. I have found that these two things are the keys to helping me feel full. This week, I didn't plan out as well, and my protein is only around 80-85 per day, and I've noticed I've been hungrier. On weeks where I get 100 or more, I feel full and satisfied all day long. While I don't do a low carb diet, I've also found when I go over 200 grams I tend to be hungrier, usually because those 200 grams are taking up calories that should be spent on protein and fiber.
4. Working the things I like into my plan, even if not healthy. I love sweets. I could eat a whole sleeve of oreos no problem. But to keep me from doing that, I work other sweets into my plan that provide more nutrients. Like, I mentioned froot loops above. They're pretty much all sugar (sugar is the first ingredient on the ingredient list), but they also have 3 grams of fiber for 1 cup. So, I use that as a good snack for me when I just want something sweet. Same for fiber granola bars... they satisfy my sweets/chocolate cravings, but also provide a lot of fiber. I also still have my one Diet Coke per day, in the mornings. I don't like coffee or tea, and I personally have found that the flavor of Diet coke helps w/ the sweets cravings. Your mileage may vary as some people have found that diet sodas make cravings worse. I even do Diet Cherry 7-up in the evenings sometimes with the same results.
5. Figuring out an eating schedule that works for me. Throughout most of my journey, I ate very little breakfast. In fact, my "breakfast" was just a 120 calorie fiber granola bar, with some snacks a few hours later before lunch. Even now I have a 250 calorie breakfast between 9 and 10 and don't eat lunch until 1-2. I also ate dinner late, after 8pm. So, pretty much breaking all the "rules" about when you should eat. But this worked out well for me. I found if I ate a bigger breakfast, I was more hungry throughout the day. Again, not everyone has these results.
6. Every now and then, just letting go. Over Christmas, we visited SO's family for a week. They are not healthy eaters. So, for that week, instead of stressing and agonizing and not enjoying myself, I just ate what they ate. I ate cookies, fried foods, everything. And you know what? I didn't gain anything...I felt like total crap and I think my digestive system wanted to kill me, but I didn't gain anything. I didn't lose, but I didn't gain. I got back on track after New Years, but those two weeks were a huge eye opener for me, sometimes you just have to enjoy life and what comes along with it.
| current weight: 143.0