Things to Fight When Fighting Your Scale
I decided to write down some thoughts on what I’m doing to lose weight. After a one year plateau, I’ve moved the scale six pounds in four weeks. Here’s some of what I did.
Win In Your Mind First
It’s really hard to rally yourself to the flag of “lose weight.” To me, it’s much easier to move TOWARD a good goal. And beyond that, it’s good to remind yourself with visual queues as to why you’re doing what you’re doing. My tricks: I’ve got poster collages made from all kinds of fitness, running, and adventure sports magazines. There are healthy people and little phrases all over them that remind me why I’d like to drop 30 pounds. I also take monthly pictures of myself to see progress. What a wake-up call *that* is. With these motivators, I find it’s easier to pass up the leftover pizza someone shares in the caf, or the little dish of Snickers not far from my cubicle.
It’s much easier to lose weight when the other people in your household are on board for your healthy eating program. I read often where husbands fight back when their wives change up the menu for their weight loss efforts. There are a few thoughts here. One, in my universe, if you don’t like what’s being cooked, you know where the fridge is. Two, if food is made delicious and exciting, who cares if it’s healthy? I’m not blind to the fact that this is an area of contention some time, but really: if you’re losing an argument wherein your side is that you want to get healthier, there are bigger issues afoot than what’s for dinner.
If It’s Not Easy…
Pick up the ABS Diet Eat Right Every Time Guide by David Zinczenko. This is a little paperback companion to the big ABS Diet book, but it seems to have all the important parts of the big book without all the trimmings. There are lots of easy recipes (like caveman easy) for foods with decent blends of good complex carbs, helpful proteins, and other good nutrients. Nothing too tricky, but that’s the point. Want a sample recipe from page 112? (c) David Zinczenko. This is what Kat made for the Pats game, with some modifications
3 Amigos Chili
* 1 tablespoon olive oil
* 1 small onion, diced
* 1 pound ground turkey breast
* 1 can diced tomatoes w/jalapeno
* 1 can (10.5 ounces) each: garbanzos, black beans, and kidney beans (drained)
* 1 can (14 ounces) low sodium chicken broth
* 1/4 teaspoon salt and cumin
* 1/8 teaspoon cinammon
* hot sauce to taste
Heat oil on medium low. Add onion and saute until soft (about 3 to 5 minutes). Add turkey and brown (about 5 minutes). Add tomatoes with juice, beans, broth and spices. Stir and bring to a boil. Then reduce heat and simmer 20 minutes.
Easy cheesy, right? I believe that easy wins the game with diets.
This little ditty causes me erratic scale readings that go three or four pounds over my actual weight. Salt leads to water retention, which adds up to “fake” weight. Lowering sodium is part of healthier eating anyhow, so I’m starting to really attack this one when it comes up. Fight back. Find alternative spices that complement the food you’re thinking of spicing up. If the food’s good for you, chances are there’s another way to pop its flavor.
Hunger versus Boredom/Stress Eating
Quite literally, you can do a gut check. Ask your stomach (well, ask yourself– stomachs don’t always answer) whether you’re really hungry, and if so, is whatever you’re considering eating really worth the calories? I find that, in the afternoon, when I’m lagging from too much boring work or annoying happenstance, I’ll end up wanting something I don’t really need or want. My way out? I start with a quick glass of water. Then, if I can, I’ll go for a quick walk around. It jumpstarts my blood flow, and gets me out of the state of mind that put me in the mood to eat.
Sneaking plenty of fiber into your diet helps fill your belly up real well. I’m getting a huge boost of mine from All Bran Bran Buds (thanks Jon), or Fiber One (if you don’t mind Nutrasweet), and I just found a box of — get this — just bran. This stuff is amazingly low calorie, and you can sneak it into other recipes. That book I mention above has smoothie recipes to beat the band. Slip a few tablespoons of this fiber into those recipes and you can’t even tell. Have some with fat free yogurt as a topping. Swell. (Just don’t eat it like a plain bowl of cereal– ewwww.)
How much fluid should you take in? The rule I’m going by says take your bodyweight (in pounds) and divide it by 2. Drink that number in ounces. For me, that’s nearly a gallon of water/tea/whatever a day. Oh yes, you definitely have to pee lots more. But after a while, your body adjusts. But the benefits? With all that fiber and all this liquid, your body is a fat burning machine! See, the water’s not just to fill up your body. It’s part of the recipe for burning fat.
Lean Muscle Tissue Burns Fat
I’ve thrown my weightlifting effort into overdrive, because I’m intent on building up plenty more lean muscle tissue with which to attack my fat stores. I think the equation is that a pound of lean muscle burns 50 calories more than fatty tissue. (A day? An hour? I forget, but you get the point). So get those muscles moving. And if you think heavier weights make you bigger, think again. There’s a lot of effort involved (normally) in bulking up. A good mix of heavy weights/low reps and lighter weights/high reps is the trick. And that’s just it: you have to trick your body into being surprised at what you’re throwing at it. That’s how we adapt and grow muscle, friends.
Same Old Cardio
Popular thinking is finally swinging back to the notion that the way to lose weight is by eating fewer calories and burning more calories. By creating a slight deficit in how much you fuel your body versus how much you burn, weight loss occurs. But are you sick of treadmills like we are up in the northeast? Try these: hit an indoor basketball court. You don’t have to be Shaq to fiddle around with a ball and throw the occasional fudduddudd off the rim. Or take a swim at the local YMCA (or your gym, or the school, etc). Go oldschool. Do jumping jacks and mix them with a forward-back style jack as well. Put your hands on your hips and try alternating your left leg forward and right leg back; then switch. Sure you look like Chris Farley doing Riverdance, but it’s fun and sure burns calories. Don’t forget jumpropes.
Are you still reading? That’s all I have for right now. Want to share some of YOUR ideas with me? Comment away!
Things to Fight When Fighting Your Scale