Going Against the Grain — Not Your Typical Weight Loss Advice (Part 3)

Say “Lose Weight Fast” and you’ve got my attention.  You’ve also got me at, “3 Amazing Secrets to Fast Weight Loss” and “Lose 10 Pounds in 10 Days”.  I imagine you’re expecting me to say that’s a bunch of hooey — that slow, steady weight loss is the way to long term success.  While that is certainly true, there is also some research that shows losing weight fast works and can lead to additional weight loss.  Plus, here’s the biggie —  keeping that weight off.  Maintaining a weight loss is much more difficult than losing it.  The percentage of people who maintain a weight loss is still, sadly, in the single digits.

Let me clarify here that by ‘losing weight fast’ I am not suggesting unhealthy, risky, or dangerous methods that lack common sense.  I am suggesting natural, healthy weight loss without diet pills or invasive procedures.  As in, with food and activity, naturally.

Depending on how your extra weight is defined clinically; overweight or obese, the number of pounds you can safely drop in a short period of time varies.  Usually, about 2 to 5 pounds a week for about 2 to 5 weeks would be considered ‘fast’.  Losing more weight per week for longer would put you in a risky, unhealthy weight loss bracket.  I would then be forced to track you down and swat your behind.  So don’t do it!

One reason losing weight fast works for many women is that it is a huge mental motivational boost.  You see results right out of the gate.  Most of us women who carry a little or a lot of extra weight get pretty darn excited when we hop on that scale and see the dial heading left instead of right.  My motto is: success builds on success.  When our minds grasp the fact that we can do this, and we see results, it’s a mental stimulus that keeps us going.

I’m wondering how I can demonstrate what fast weight loss might look like.  I’ve tried to figure out how to encourage and motivate you with your health efforts without spilling secrets of my own personal life.  If I ever figure that out I’ll let you know.  In the meantime, bear with me as I am going to be your guinea pig.

First, if you’re unfamiliar with the term Body Mass Index (BMI), this will help:  http://www.nhlbisupport.com/bmi/

I am considered ‘Normal Weight’ by the BMI standards.  But just barely.  I’m standing close to the fence of the next category: Overweight.  Last year, I was just over that fence.  At the lower end of the Overweight range but there none the less.  It wasn’t so much the ‘BMI category’ or the ‘numbers’ that bothered me.  It was the fact that I just plain felt uncomfortable in my own skin at that weight.  I had less energy, my clothes felt tight, my thighs rubbed and jiggled.  I really hate that.  Weight has been an issue for me since my teenage years.  I don’t want you thinking this is an easy thing for me.

Here is the gist of what I did.  These are a few small things I did differently to get me off the dime.  Remember, this is my story.  It is not a diet.  These are general things I added to my current lifestyle.

  1. I took some time to think about activities that I really enjoy doing.  The list wasn’t very long.  That was my first clue that something was out of balance.  Physical activity of any kind barely made the list at all!  Walking the dog was on the list because I take him out on a few acres of lovely, wooded land behind the house.  Relaxing=enjoyable.  The elliptical machine upstairs, however, didn’t make the cut.  I narrowed the list down to a physical activity I truly like to do for the sheer joy of it.  Dance!  I love to dance.  This is key: I linked ‘physical activity’ with something ‘fun’.  Fun fitness.  Go ahead, roll your eyes.  But it works.  I dance around the house.  Sometimes I line dance with friends.
  2. I took stock of veggies I like.  I bought more and ate more.  Take special note of the word ‘more’.  Who gets motivated thinking about what you have to ‘give up’ or ‘eat less of’?  More is more motivating, don’t you think?
  3. I added a grapefruit first thing every morning.  (Notice that theme of ‘more’ again).  I peel it, take the membrane off each section and savor each hard earned juicy wedge.  I crave my morning grapefruit.  Yes, you can train your taste buds over time to crave fruit and veggies.
  4. I ate less breads and desserts.  (Here’s where ‘less’ comes in.)  I made my choices thoughtfully.  I adjusted the portions to a smaller size.  I don’t believe deprivation works.  In my world of food, the word ‘never‘ is a set up for defeat.  All things allowed in moderation is a set up for success.
  5. Food is a gift from God and, in my opinion, one of life’s greatest pleasures.  I try to keep that in mind.

Sensible, healthy, nearly painless and effective.  Let’s summarize.  Fun fitness.  More veggies and fruit.  Less starchy foods.  And an attitude of thankfulness to God who gave it.

Always start your plan on a positive note.  What can I add or do more of that’s good for me?  Then, make a decision on what you can reduce or do less of.

Fast weight loss for me was 2 pounds a week.  I said goodbye to a ‘stubborn 10’ in 5 weeks.  Before you groan and say “She calls that fast?”, let’s reason together.  I had gained about 1 pound a year for 10 years.  (You guessed it, it was following the birth of my last child.)  I lost 1 pound every 3 1/2 days for 5 weeks.  One pound gained per year verses 1 pound lost every 3 1/2 days.  You do the math.  I call that fast.

Over the next several months I very slowly lost a few more pounds but that was just gravy.  Sorry for the pun.

Keep thinking outside the Corn Flakes box.  If you stay in there too long, you’ll get stale.

About Luanna Diller

Luanna Diller's professional expertise includes nutrition, health behavior change, and wellness. She has over three decades of experience in counseling, teaching and motivating thousands of clients to achieve healthier lifestyles. She is a wife, mom to a teenager and a young adult, Registered Dietitian and Christian women’s ministries leader. She is a creative cook, loves to dance and recently discovered a knack for hand making glass beads.
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3 Responses to Going Against the Grain — Not Your Typical Weight Loss Advice (Part 3)

  1. Shannon says:

    Oh Luanna, What you share makes me think I can DO this, Jim and I did eat grapefruits daily(and its true that you start to crave them) for awhile and we also cut out the potatoes and most bread. We ate ALOT of veggies and meat and we felt great but how do we get the momentum going and keep it up? You know our crazy busy lives! I’m happy being me but I feel bad I don’t look good for my husband and its hard playing with all my “Loved” grandbabies! I look forward to your posts, please keep it coming:)

  2. Shannon, Keep reminding yourself of how you FELT when you ate that way. Buy a few veggies and fruit next time you’re at the store. You can’t eat them if you don’t have them handy!

  3. Pingback: The Fifty-Something Fifty | Food and Faith for Women

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