Last May, I met Wendy who became one of my very first virtual clients when the pandemic disallowed me from seeing people in the office. Like many of my clients, before coming to me, she couldn’t lose weight no matter what she tried. Even when she did manage to lose some weight, she always gained it back in the end. Her past efforts included common practices such as cutting out food groups, feeling guilty about eating her favorite foods and skipping meals to cut calories or skipping meals due to embarrassment when she ate because she was overweight (even though she knew she had to eat). Together, she and I came up with a game plan customized to her and her lifestyle. A plan where she could be reassured she could have her favorite things like cheese and sweet treats without feeling guilty or deprived and a plan that allowed her to rethink how she looked at meals and establish a healthy relationship with food. At MV Nutrition, that is how I help clients lose the weight and for good.
In the end, Wendy lost 40 pounds in 8 months…during lockdown! So, I invited her to my Caliente Kitchen show to share with you her 5 secrets on how she managed to lose the weight and keep it off after years of trying with no success and in spite of quarantine!
It sounds so simple right? But, if you can believe it, eating is vital to losing weight. When you skip meals, your hunger hormones go haywire in a way that does not translate to eating habits that help you keep weight off long-term. So, eating balanced, portion-controlled meals 80% of the time (we’ll get to the other 20% later) is key.
2.) Meal planning
Meal planning doesn’t have to be as complicated as people make it out to be, but it can also be a game-changer in your new lifestyle. When your meals are planned out ahead of time, it prevents you from overeating, snacking too often and impulsively choosing foods inconsistent with your goals simply because a better option was not planned in advance. Meal planning sets you up for success in your weight loss.
3.) Try new foods
The fact is, many of the foods you’re eating right now may not be the best choices to stick to if weight loss is your goal. So, trying new foods and introducing them into your diet not only gives you access to a more diverse pedigree of nutrients, but can displace foods that may be incompatible with losing weight.
4.) Keeping foods I enjoy
This is a big one, but one that’s also possibly the most abandoned when weight loss is being pursued. This is the other 20%. Many people mistakenly think the cookies and chips need to be jettisoned from the diet completely when the weight loss cap is fastened on. However, if you allow yourself to enjoy your favorite foods 20% of the time while sticking to your eating plan the other 80%, you can prevent sabotaging binges and maintain a healthier relationship with food. It’s this healthy relationship that is non-negotiable for a successfully healthy lifestyle.
5.) Accepting setbacks
Many of us are too hard on ourselves by nature and, when we set out to do something and aren’t 100% perfect every step of the way until we meet our goal, we also tend to abandon that goal. How many times have you made a new year’s resolution, had a relapse before it was even February and then scolded yourself for even trying before falling right back into old habits? By learning to accept our setbacks as part of the process and then continuing to move forward, we allow ourselves to celebrate even more when we reach the finish line.
If you want to hear Wendy expand even more on these key tips, check out the video above! I also demonstrate one of Wendy’s favorite recipes that played a pivotal role in helping her to include more vegetables into her diet.