Friday, January 31, 2014

Weight loss thoughts...

I've had a few emails recently asking for some tips on how I lost weight and I have been thinking of what to say and wondering if I am the right person to ask as I am not an expert on the subject.
After all I went to the "experts on weight loss" after years of trying many diets.

I am happy that I did because this week I weighed in at half a pound under my goal weight.
I start maintenance for 6 weeks and if all goes well I'll get the golden key and can be a lifetime member of WW.

Weight Loss Thoughts...

You have to REALLY WANT to lose weight. You need to commit wholeheartedly if you want to succeed.
When my doctor told me that I HAD to lose AT LEAST 10 pounds for my high blood pressure or else!
He mentioned that my chronic hip pain was because I was carrying too much weight and it was putting too much stress and pressure on the joints.  (No pain sounded quite attractive.)

Do some research on the science behind how one loses weight.
Get informed on the options and look at all your options.
Weigh the pros and the cons and ask yourself what works for you. If you are super disciplined you can probably do it by yourself, if on the other hand you need help being accountable and benefit from support and encouragement like Weight Watchers offer perhaps you'll be more successful if you join.

I chose Weight Watchers because I had read so many success stories from women just like me who lost weight and it changed their lives. I asked myself if a 300 pound woman can lose 150 pounds then why can't I can lose 30-35?

Eating plans (diets) that you start and then give up simply don't work.
You need to make a permanent lifestyle change or you will gain it all back when you start eating "normally" again.
I like the support that the meetings offer and the weekly weigh in keeps me on track and accountable.
The scales at WW are more accurate than many on the market and they record ounces as well as pounds.
I only recently bought s scale because I knew that I would be attending fewer meeting once I hit my goal.
(I opted for a digital model that measures both pounds and ounces)

Homemade soup made with fresh veggies and low sodium vegetable broth helps to fill me up.
I frequently will enjoy two bowls of soup.

Exercise... I know that I am personally not a fan of gyms and as much as I dislike sweating I HAD to do something.
I also wanted to do it on the cheap so I took up walking.
I started slow at 20 minutes a day and have worked up to an hour most days and 2 hours twice a week.
It was surprising to me how easy it was to add distance and the IPhone app Walk Meter is the best investment to motivate and record the routes and walking times. It also records the calories used!

Clean out your cupboards and fridge and get rid of everything that tempts you to overeat or binge on.
For me it was potato chips and cheeses.

Stock a few things in the fridge that you can heat up in a hurry for times when you are hungry and tired.
Those are the times when you are weak and might just grab something high in fat and calories.

Leftover soup is great in the fridge or freezer if you have a microwave.
Janet's Carrot Soup is quick and easy to make and I have memorized her recipe.
Salsa is tasty and very low in points I eat it on everything from scrambled eggs to fish. 

Stock your fridge with LOTS of fresh fruit and a variety of vegetables.
If you eat meat buy only the leanest cuts and remove any skin or fat before cooking.
Use vegetable stock or water instead of oil when sauteing
Try to eat at least 2 dinners a week that are meatless....more is better if you can do it.

Sit down to eat at the table and make your table look pretty.
Use nice dishes and cutlery, a tablecloth or place mats and napkins.
Enjoy your Perrier or water in a crystal flute.
Try adding a candle or some fresh flowers.

Eat with intention...savour the flavours and do not get distracted by the TV, telephone or your computer!
Slow down your eating...put your knife and fork down periodically.
If you have a spouse, partner or roommate this is a great time to strike up a conversation...
you can pretend you are on a date!

Use bright colourful vegetables and think of it as "art on a plate."
It is more satisfying if it is visually appealing.
You are feeding your soul as well as your stomach.

Allow yourself a few small treats each week so that you do not feel deprived because that's when you'll get discouraged and throw in the towel.
Celebrate your successes and accept your failures ~ get right "back on track" after a slip up.

Drink lots of water!
I opted for Perrier and buy it by the case. If you like tap water add a slice of lemon or lime and serve it in a pretty glass. If you like it cold buy a beautiful jug and fill it with slices of lemons and limes and keep in in the fridge so it's handy.

For snacks opt for fresh fruit...add a bit of protein.
A bit of yogurt, a tablespoon of peanut butter, a wedge or two of Laughing Cow Cheese.

I keep sliced carrots, celery and peppers in a bag for when the munchies strike...I will use a tablespoon of Lighthouse lite Dilly Dip as a dip and it takes awhile to chew through a handful of veggies so by the time I am finished I feel satisfied.

I love balsamic vinegar on steamed veggies.

Baby Bok Choy steamed in water topped with balsamic vinegar.
Baked trout marinated in lemon juice, herbs and garlic.
Sweet potato wedges oven baked with a drizzle of olive oil and sprinkled with salt and pepper.

When dining out look for things that are steamed over fried and things that are not cooked in cheesy or creamy sauces and stay clear of the bread basket!
I avoided dinners out for several months because I just didn't trust myself to behave!
Lunch was easy because I would order a salad with some protein and ask for the dressing on the side...dip the tines of your fork in the dressing with each bite and when you have finished your salad look and see how much remains...and think about all the calories (points) that you've saved!

If you are going out to an event like a buffet or cocktail party it is a good idea to have a low calorie healthy snack before you leave home.
This works for me I do not arrive utterly ravenous and then I want to eat handfuls of salty nuts and naughty high fat appetizers!

You might like to get in the habit of keeping a sensible snack in your purse for emergencies.
Keeping the blood sugar levels in check is important or you might feel light headed and shaky.

It might sound silly but brushing my teeth regularly helps me keep my mind off food.

I am sure that I am forgetting some things...
so now it's your turn to share a few of your tips.

We can support each other by sharing what works as it might be just the thing that helps another woman who is on the same journey.

Think healthy thoughts and get positive about your future.
I wish you success.

Thank you for popping by The Humble Bungalow blog.
I am grateful that you spent some time here.
I hope you have enjoyed this post that was written as a response to several emails.
Should you like to suggest a topic for a future post please email me.

I'm looking forward to meeting up with a few bloggers for tea this weekend.

I hope that you have a wonderful weekend.


  1. I am in the process of losing weight and agree with a lot of your advice. Especially cleaning out your kitchen of bad foods, they are just too tempting. Also looking at weight loss as a permanent lifestyle change.

    I am like you and hate going to the gym. In order to be successful at maintaining a good weight I think everyone must find a form of exercise they enjoy doing, or else they will resent it and fall off the wagon. For me, I like to do yoga.

    1. I just got a month pass at our local Yoga Studio...have been missing the stretching and I have found myself less flexible lately. Do you practise at home or in the studio?

  2. Many many congrats for reaching that goal weight! You have done so so swell and you are right you have to really want to do it otherwise it will never happen, it's not easy.
    I think I tried about 9 different diets and lost 45lbs - TWICE! It took me a wee while to grasp that I just couldn't go back to my old ways. I loathed Weight Watchers, the group thing didn't work for me at all, so one really has to find one's own path.

    1. I still find it hard to believe that you were ever a FFG...your style inspires me and actually helped start me on my weight loss. Thank you Tabitha.
      Linda C.

  3. Funnily enough I always exercised but it made no difference to my weight, everyone is different, my gene profile has revealed that I would need to do about 4 hours a day for it to influence weight loss, everyone is different.

    1. Oh and also that fat not sugar/carbs ( which now goes against current thinking) is my enemy, even on a low carb diet, again there is no one size fits all in this, it's trial and error.

  4. You listed a lot of good tips here. I find portion control is something I have to pay attention toat my age. Our daughter moved away to attend college. With one less person, I need to be careful not to cook too much or the two of us will eat it anyway. Exercise helps me. I've done weight training to build muscle, which in turn revs up the metabolism.

  5. THANK YOU so much for this posting. You've given me A LOT to think about. I need to lose about 15 lbs. & always seem to fail each & every time I try.

    You are quite the inspiration! Cheers to you!

    Linda from Denver

  6. Leslie, I know that every one of your tips is exactly right. I am still struggling with being motivated enough to get serious. Yes, I have a bit of hip pain and have 30-35 lbs to lose. You are a wonderful role model.

  7. Well done!!! You are inspiring - and your tips are all so sensible. I'm with you on the Perrier, the raw veggies and sensible snacking. Like you, I find that brushing my teeth is a great motivator. Good luck with the next six weeks!

  8. Congratulations on reaching your goal! Thank you for taking us on this journey with you - it's been inspiring. Your tips/reminders in this post are spot on. The only thing I could add is something that works for me - asking myself if I'm actually hungry (whether it's at mealtime or if I feel a snack craving) and also stopping eating before I feel completely full. I think often we eat past the point when we should have stopped - just one more bite, just one more piece, and all that. Emotional eating has been an issue at times for me.

  9. Have you considered training as a WW leader? You'd be great at this!

  10. I agree with materfamilias. You would make a great leader, Leslie, and your teaching experience would be invaluable. I recently reached my first 10 lb. goal and have moved on toward my goal of losing 10% of my original body weight. When I first attended WW many years ago, I disliked the meetings and quit the program. My current WW meeting is enjoyable, mainly because of the teacher. And I have learned how out of whack my portions were prior to starting the program.

    As always, I enjoy stopping by and sharing your post. Always entertaining and full of great information.

  11. I'm so excited about our tea, Leslie! And I agree: you would make an awesome and inspiring leader. You really connect well and you understand the whole journey. Your post is excellent. Congratulations on hitting your goal! Ha, you're going to get to see me do WW for tea - it's pretty tricky at that place.

  12. So many great tips here! I agree, it's got to be a lifestyle change, and slow and steady. I'm with you big time on the Perrier in a crystal flute, cloth napkins, nice presentation, anything that helps you slow down and enjoy your food. congratulations on your success!

  13. Congratulations! You've done so well. Lots of great tips in this post. Looking forward to tea tomorrow.

  14. Thank you for taking the time to list all the things that helped you in your weight loss journey. Congratulations on arriving at your destination!
    My motivation was 2 beautiful dresses that I really wanted to wear at this Christmas ,and, the hot Australian summer...just did not want to carry excess weight. Achieved my goal, got to wear the dresses and was so delighted!...Now I am having trouble losing the last few lbs, to get down to where I would really like to be. I am thinking of joining WW. ,mainly I think for the recipes. I know that movement/exercise is the key for me. I have also had to eliminate cheese.
    Linda C.

  15. Thank you for the motivation and inspiration. Your tips are great for a healthy life style as well as losing weight. Have a wonderful afternoon with fellow bloggers. What a treat! Bonnie

  16. What an informative post! I have been doing My Fitness Pal for 8 weeks now and am noticing the loss. It is a challenge to keep on for months and months but you did it! I want to throw away blood pressure meds by the end of the year. Congratulations!

  17. What a clever and exhaustive list. Your own metamorphosis has inspired many of your readers, I'm sure. I particularly like the idea of dipping the tines of the fork in vinaigrette, it is a subtle and innocuous way of enjoying the flavour of it !

  18. Congratulations! I did WW in the mid '90s, but gradually regained everything I lost and more, because stopped counting points and weighing in. This time, I did it with My Fitness Pal, which has the advantage of being free, and online. Reached my goal last spring and have kept it off but it takes logging and keeping up with regular exercise.

    1. My Fitness Pal is a great program. Congratulations on your success and maintenance Duchesse.

  19. Good for you!! I agree that WW is the best way to establish a healthy life style. It's flexible and encourages positive live long habits. Having worked nearly 30 years in the medical industry, I have seen so any fads come and go. Those that choose fad diets inevitably fail as they are unsustainable and actually cause set backs. Great post!! leslie

  20. I found your blog after visiting Pondside. You've shared some very good tips. Thanks for sharing your success story. It will be inspiring to many of us who need to make the commitment to lose weight for our health.

  21. I too am trying to lose weight - about 20 pds. I love to exercise, but have trouble with emotional eating/bad decisions. What role is technology playing in your weight loss? Commentors mentioned it helping? What about pedometers or Fitbit? Any information would be helpful. Thank you all for your inspiring and positive stories!! M.

    1. The only tech tool that I use is Walk Meter an app for my IPhone that tracks my walking pace, time, calories burned and kilometers walked. I tried MFP and I left when I joined WW. MFP is a great program with members who support each other, you track your weight loss and food that you eat every day and the best part is that it is free!
      If you love exercise you've got a big advantage and those pounds should easily melt away!

  22. You have so many good weight loss tips Hostess. I second all of them but the one that is big for me is to not have 'it' in the house, whatever 'it' is that you can't control yourself around. I don't keep potato chips, snacking (roasted, salted) nuts or anything with sugar apart from very dark chocolate in the house and it helps enormously. I've been focusing on getting sugar out of my life for the most part and everything else seemed to fall into place for me.