Today is an anniversary for me. One year ago today I started Take Shape For Life. In 4 months and I lost 30lbs. I have maintained that weightloss ever since. Here are 10 things I learned from the process of transitioning off of medifast meals and into maintaining my current weight with a paleo diet. I think they are all things that can be applied whether or not you do TSFL.
1. Take your time. TSFL Transition calls 4 stages for adding back in certain foods over a span of 8-16 weeks. If you want to ease into it and take 2 or 3 weeks to add in each thing, then do it. This also holds true if you are interested in just weaning yourself off of other conventional/processed foods. Work on one thing at a time. Drop the diet coke one week. Quit dairy the following week. Stop making sandwiches and start eating salads for lunch the third week. Or however long it takes. And if you are the type of personality who just needs to cold-turkey all your changes at once, then go for it!
2. Cut out the weeks (ie foods) that don’t work for you. I chose not to add dairy or grains back to my everyday diet.
3. Don’t obsess over the scale – that’s a hard one for me still. It moves up, I get worried. I relax, it goes back down. I do like having it to track my progress (and maintenance) however, instead of weighing daily, I try to do it once/month (ok….once/week)
4. Figure out how many calories are appropriate for you. Everyone is different. I have spent the last several months playing with how many calories work for me…but I’ll save that for another post! Find out what works for you.
5. Moderation is key! I’m not going to say I’m never going to have something again. But I don’t need to gorge on it either. That goes for dairy, grains, whatever. I may not have it on a regular basis, but when I do indulge, I don’t need to go overboard. Enjoy the piece of pizza or bowl of ice cream. But maybe not the whole pie or the whole container. Or what about wine? Not so great for weightloss, but I’m figuring out what works for me to maintain my weight. And a glass or two on the weekends works for me.
6. The more sugar/carbs I have, the more I want them. The less I eat them, the less I want them. The longer I stay away from them, the easier it is to resist them.
7. Try new things! I have discovered a whole host of new veggies that were never in my repetoire before. Zucchini, squash, mushrooms are some of my favorites. I have also discovered the juicy yumminess that is chicken thighs…where have they been my whole life? Certainly not anywhere near that drab chicken breast that I’m used to.
8. Plan ahead. I’m the type of person that when I’m hungry….I can get HANGRY! (hungry + angry) I gotta eat and when I’m super hungry or even hangry…I don’t always think with a clear head and it’s very easy for me to suddenly veer my car into the closest drivethru. I’m pretty good at not getting to this point, because now I always have a bar or a paleo kit in my purse…just in case. Better to eat that than some fast food that I’m going to regret later or worse, that will make me feel like crap later.
9. I dont need to be 100% perfect 100% of the time. This is another hard one for me. I’m a perfectionist. And when it comes to how I eat, I’m either all in or all over the board. It doesn’t have to be that way. Stop stressing. Do the best you can. If you fall off the wagon, get back on with the next bite. If you are going to have an extraordinary dessert, savor every bite! And don’t think twice about it.
10. Trust the process. You can do it. Whether it’s the process of losing weight, transitioning back to “real” foods, trying a new sport or exercise, whatever you put your mind to. You can do it.