Losing weight and getting healthier is a common new years resolution or goal for many people. I know this is a food blog where I usually give you ideas on what to cook and eat. But today I wanted to talk about what I do to keep my weight under control even with all the cooking I do.
I will start off by saying I am not in expert in this area. But I thought I would talk today about what works for me. Those of you that know me and have seen me in person, would say that I don’t need to worry about my weight. Well, I don’t because I work at keeping it where it is at. Weight for me is not really about how I look. I have given up being the size I was 15 years ago, before I had kids. I will never be able to fit my hips into junior size pants again. But for me that is not what it is about. It is about being and feeling healthy. I don’t feel good or healthy when I gain weight.
I do want to say that have never had a major weight problem. When I was younger I could eat just about anything and never gain weight. But now that I have had a few kids and I have gotten a little older it is an area that I have to pay more attention to. I like food and cooking, and I like to eat what I bake, so I do have to watch my weight. I can easily pack on the pounds just like anyone else.
I know that you don’t gain 20lbs overnight. Weight gets added a few pounds at a time. The average person gains something like 2 to 5lbs per year. My thought on this is that if you ignore the 5lbs you gained last year, and the 5lbs you gained this year, it will add up. No 5lbs really is not much, but over a few years it adds up to 20 or 30 lbs. I would much rather try to lose 5lbs now than 20lbs later.
So here is what works for me. It may not work for you but here are my thoughts.
1. 95% of what I drink is water. It is probably closer to 99%. The main thing I drink is water. Water has no calories. I think pop, juice, and other drinks are mainly wasted calories. We rarely have pop or juice in our house. If we have juice it is only 100% juice and we drink very little of that. Most people add cream/milk and sugar to their coffee and tea. That just adds calories. And I can’t believe what most starbucks style coffees and hot chocolates contain. If you are trying to lose or maintain your weight, drink only water.
2. I try to walk everyday. I usually do this first thing in the morning. It is my time all by myself. I find I get a better start to my day by doing this. I usually walk a mile or so, which is not a lot, but it is enough to be at least some exercise. However, when it is winter and 20 degrees out or August and 95 degrees at 8:00 in the morning I struggle with being motivated. One thing that I have found that helps me is to wear a pedometer all day long. Keeping track of my steps make me think about getting up and moving. I keeps me from sitting on my backside all day. I stick it on my waistband and wear my shirt untucked so it will be hidden. I find this really helps motivate me. The average person should take 10,000 steps a day. I know that on my average day I need to walk at least a mile to make the 10,000 steps. Wearing a pedometer everyday for a couple of weeks really helps motivate me and remind me that I need to walk everyday. I also start wearing it when I have some weight to loose. I know that in order to loose weight I must walk more then 10,000 steps. I bought mine at Walmart for around $10 and it was well worth the price.
3. I rarely wear clothes with elastic waists in them. Elastic stretches and can easily hide weight gain. The majority of my clothes have regular waist bands in them. The only things I have with elastic waists are exercise clothes, a few skirts, and my pajamas. I know this may sound funny, but it works for me. I need a regular waist band that gets tight when I gain 5 or more pounds. It helps keep my weight down, it really does.
4. I refuse to buy a bigger size in my jeans. I really mean this. I started this last year when I realized my jeans were getting tight. I could have just gone out and bought a bigger size, after all I still was not over weight. But I refused to do that. Instead I lost the 5 or so lbs that I had gained. This works well for me because I have been buying the same brand of jeans for at least 5 years. I am very tall and have a very long inseam. There is only a few brands of jeans that make them long enough for me. I know my size in these brands. I have been that size since I had my son almost 7 years ago. And at this point I really do refuse to go up a size. I know that as I get older and my shape changes, or styles change, I may have to change this rule, but for now this works for me. In fact I recently made myself enforce this rule. I needed some new jeans. I had not bought any for awhile and my favorite brand and style of jeans were on sale. I knew it was a good time to buy some. But I also knew that I had put on some weight because my current jeans were a little tight. I was very tempted to buy new jeans and buy up a size, but I did not. Do you know what I did? I bought some jeans, but I bought the same size I always do. Even though they were a little tight. Why, to motivate me to lose a few pounds, and it has worked. I am motivated to exercise a little more and eat a little less. I have already lost a few of the pounds that I want to.
Like I said in the beginning. I am not an expert at this. I have never faced the challenge of having to lose a large amount of weight. And yes I may have a faster metabolism than some of you. My weight may come off more easily then yours. I may only have a few pounds to loose when you have a lot. But it is still in area that I have to work at and I think it is an area we all struggle with.
So, what works for you? Do you have any tips for keeping your weight under control?