I have struggled with weight for years. When I got married, nearly 9 years ago, I started gaining and gaining. Altogether, I gained 45 pounds over the years. Between pregnancies and raising kids, my weight fluctuated wildly but I never saw that pre-marriage weight again.
My husband went to work out of state in August and I started eating better. Today, I stepped on the scale and I am finally back to my pre-marriage weight! Since he left, I have lost a total of 29 pounds now, and boy does it feel great. I was overweight then, too, but a lot less overweight. Now, it doesn’t seem like I have that far to go.
So How Did I Do It?
I haven’t exercised at all. I mean, I chase 3 kids all day, but I haven’t done any exercise routines or made any extra effort to lose weight. The only thing I’ve done is cut carbs, and not even by that much. Now, I don’t drink soda or sweetened drinks, except for coffee. That’s one vice I’m not willing to cut out, but it had to be sweetened. I swapped the sugar for erythritol, but only in coffee. Here’s what my meals look like on an average day:
Almost always, I have scrambled eggs and hash browns for breakfast. I aim to stay under 20 grams of carbs for this meal. I can really tell a difference if I go zero carb or skip breakfast – sometimes a noticeable loss by the next morning. I don’t like skipping though and figure it’s unhealthy, so scrambled eggs and hash browns it is. For a while, I added in a slice of toast, but that put me at almost 30 grams and I didn’t like how I felt. Instead of hash browns, I occasionally alternate and have a breakfast burrito instead. To me, protein is the important part of this meal and in my experience, this IS the most important meal of the day. Low carbs in the morning makes a huge difference for me.
I try to stay under 30 grams of carbs for lunch. By the way, there is no morning snack. If I can swing it, this meal will be leftovers from last night’s dinner. I control portions as best I can without imposing rules. If I have a soup with roll for dinner the night before, lunch will be just the soup, about one cup. I try to eat light if I can but don’t put a lot of emphasis on lunch. If I could pinpoint exactly what has caused the weight loss, it is breakfast.
Again, no snack, usually, between lunch and dinner. If I need something, I’ll have a slice of cheese or celery/peanut butter, something simple and high in protein. For carbs in this meal, I try for under 40. I like to eat a wide variety and if I can, I’ll cut down for dinner carbs so I can enjoy my snack, which finally happens after dinner.
After Dinner Snack
Every night, and I mean every night, I have an apple cut into small slices and very generously sprinkled with cinnamon. This is like the morning cup of coffee, a cigarette or any other vice. I don’t go without it. Period. Cinnamon, by the way, is good for blood sugar. Maybe that’s what’s doing it!
I have an insatiable sweet tooth. I don’t count carbs here officially, but try to keep it under 20. My favorite is these shortbread cookies with dark chocolate on top (chocolate is another good one) that run I think 24 grams for three. I’m working to cut this out, along with that morning toast I’ve given up. I think that’s what pushed me down the last three pounds that have been holding on.
I leave a lot of wiggle room in my diet. I don’t like rules and carb counting, but I do like how it feels to drop numbers on the scale. That progress has made it easier to cut back further, but as you can see by what I’m eating, I’m not at all suffering or starving. In fact, I think I might try to cut down lunch and dinner carbs a bit to see if I can’t get that last 15 pounds out of the way.
The point of this post is that it doesn’t take a big effort to start losing weight. Portion control, carb awareness and self control are all it takes to start seeing results. As you see results, it gets easier to make bigger diet changes. As you make bigger diet changes, you see more results. With more results comes more energy until finally, you find yourself in that sweet spot where you feel great and look great.