Ever since I entered my late twenties, I’ve noticed my metabolism dropping. I’m five feet, six inches, and for years I weighed 120 pounds. Lots of people actually called me “skinny”. But slowly, as I passed my 25th birthday, the pounds begin to creep up. 138 pounds. 147 pounds. By the time I turned 30, I was well over 160 pounds. I tried several different diets, and would go though spurts of working out, and I would lose 3-5 pounds here or there. But once I reached my goal or my “deadline”-usually a special occasion or vacation, I would fall back on my bad eating habits.
It wasn’t that I ate a ton of junk food, I actually ate lots of healthy items-salads, fresh made sandwiches, cereal, my problem was that I would eat A LOT. More than I needed to appease my hunger. I would also eat really late at night, around 10 or 11 pm. These were the two main things working against me in my search for a weight loss plan that worked.
I’ll be honest and tell you I really just sort of stumbled onto the idea of portion control. In January of this year, I got my wisdom teeth removed. I’m really sensitive about anything having to do with my mouth and teeth, so it was a full two days before I would eat or drink anything other than water and Jello. On the third day I added a little yogurt and some soup, and by the fourth day I had permission to eat whatever I wanted. But because I was so paranoid about causing myself any pain, I stuck to my mostly liquid/tiny portion diet for over a week. I slowly eased back into eating normal things, but I would eat very little portions, and had soup and Jello more than anything else. It wasn’t until a co-worker commented about my weight loss, check over here, that I realized that I had accidentally been on a diet for over two weeks.
I decided I wasn’t going to waste this opportunity, and began making a point to limit my portions. I would still eat what I wanted, but in very small amounts. If I went out to eat, I would order from the kid’s menu. I had to remind myself that this wasn’t the last time I was going to eat this item. So no matter how good the pasta or brownie or pizza was, I didn’t have to treat it as though it was the last one on Earth. There would be another time when I would eat something just as good, so there was no need to stuff myself now.
I also stopped eating after 9 pm. This time works for me because I go to bed pretty late, usually after 11 pm. But you can choose a time that works best for you. I go to bed hungry sometimes-but that’s okay. However, if I feel that I’m so hungry that it might keep me from falling asleep (this happens sometimes when I’ve had an early dinner) I’ll drink a small glass of skim milk. This settles my stomach enough to let me go to sleep. But for this to work, you’ve got to train yourself to stick to it. Try your hardest not to cheat. There have been many nights when my husband has a late night bowl of cereal, and I have to decline his offer to make me one, too.
I try to exercise regularly, and running after my 15 month old all day burns a lot of calories, but the idea of portion control and really looking at how I ate and the amount has helped me lose over 10 pounds. I’ve made a permanent change in how I approach food, and it really worked for me.