I am not closely monitoring my diet on My Fitness Pal like I used to as now I’m in the maintenance mode phase. I’ve gained back a lb or 2, but for the most part, I’ve been able to keep off my 10+ lbs without feeling deprived. What I’ve learned with this new eating lifestyle – What used to work for me to shed weight and feel healthier when I was younger stopped working many years ago. It was time to stop blaming my metabolism and try something different.
I’m thinking you may be in the same boat of unsuccessful attempts at losing a little weight or feeling healthier. Here are my 3 key tips for keeping my weight off.
3 Things Keeping My Weight Off
Most Days, Not Eating Until 3pm
I know what you’re thinking… “I can’t do that!” Yes, you can.
I’ve been intermittent fasting since mid July. I can’t believe I’ve been able to do it this long, but now it’s a part of my lifestyle and easy! There is a lot of information on the web about intermittent fasting. It’s a simple concept. You eat within a set time frame (anywhere from 8 straight hours and less) and do not eat during the other times. When you fast, your body adjusts its hormone levels to make stored body fat more accessible. I chose 3pm because then I have more freedom to eat what I want for dinner. It works for me. But you could choose say, 1pm-7pm (I found 6 hour time frame works best.)
The most important thing to know when you’re first starting- your body will take time to adjust. It is used to getting food throughout the day, so when you stop, your blood sugar, hormones, etc will likely make you uncomfortable. Stick with it! After a few days, your body will learn to modify itself to expect food only during the 6-8 hours you eat.
If you feel like you need something to eat during this transition phase of intermittent fasting, have protein. A small serving of egg, tuna fish, tofu. A slice of beef jerky. On days I work out, if I get hungry before 3pm (I eat 3-9pm) I will have some vegetables with an egg or a can of tuna.
The downfall of intermittent fasting: if you eat a heavy amount of carbs or have a full meal outside of your timeframe, your body will want to continue with the same the next day, and likely the day after. In other words, if you have a “cheat day,” prepare to feel the ramifications for a few days after until your hormones readjust.
- Feel uncomfortable for a few days adjusting to intermittent fasting. Once your body adjusts, it isn’t hard.
- After being on it for a while, if you are hungry outside your goal timeframe without it being a day after a splurge, listen to your body and eat. But eat a small portion of protein/vegetables.
- If you have a cheat day, expect the next few days to be hard because your body will tell you it wants carbs. Cheat days are a part of life! But there are ramifications.
80+ Grams Protein a Day
Wow, is it hard to eat this much protein! But I noticed people who work out a lot with a macro-diet lifestyle eat much more than this. Some of my active friends eat 120 grams a day! I’d rather not eat than consume more than 80 grams of protein (haha) so this is the level that’s right for me.
Try tracking your protein grams for a week and see how you do. If you’ve never done this before, I bet you’re consuming much less than 50 grams. This is one of the main lessons I learned during my new diet lifestyle. I knew I was a carb and sugar addict, but didn’t realize how deficient I was in my protein consumption. I believe this is why I could never lose weight before with calorie decreases and exercising.
I don’t closely track my protein each day anymore, but I did it long enough to be intentional when choosing my food to try and get in as much protein as I can. If I don’t, my body will stall and want to gain weight. This is motivation for me to choose chicken or tofu instead of a potato or rice during my meals.
- Track your protein for a week on a diet app like My Fitness Pal.
- Increase your protein to as much as you can tolerate the following week, and keep increasing until you’ve reached a level your body says to stop.
- Track your protein for at least a month to see what works for you, and to train your mind to make good protein choices.
Snack on Veggies and Frozen Fruit. Nuts for a Splurge!
It doesn’t sound exciting, I know. But trust me, after your body adjusts to less sugar, the desserts will taste too rich for your palate after a few bites. My husband and I discovered frozen fruit which we have almost every night to satisfy our sweet cravings. He likes the frozen medley. I prefer the blueberries. Try it! I refused it for a while because it did not look appetizing, but when I finally tried it, I was hooked! I also like dried mangos but they are more caloric and have more sugar.
When I’m craving something salty like chips, I grab some pistachios. I ration them out to try not to overdo it, which I many times still do. But I’m aware of the overages I had, which is key. The next day I’ll remember, and have less to balance out.
I have a few go-to veggies I love. Cherry tomatoes, cucumbers, and carrots are my favorites. I eat tomatoes like they are chips, carrots with a little ranch or hummus, and cucumbers with salt and lemon, my Asian Cucumber recipe, or my favorite Trader Joe’s carrot ginger miso salad dressing. I’ll eat these veggies outside of my IF time zone if I’m hungry without guilt that I’ve eaten outside of my 6 hours.
- Once your body adjusts to less sugar, you won’t crave it as much. Find a healthy sweet to make you feel like you’ve eaten dessert.
- Don’t deprive yourself of foods you love for certain moods, but choose healthier options.
- Stay consistent with foods that won’t take you down the “carb and sugar spiral”
If you enjoyed this post, check out my other diet related posts since I started this journey:
Hope this was helpful, and I’ll check in again soon!