I’ve never believed in extreme diets, or really any diet you don’t plan to maintain for a lifetime. Sure, sometimes you have to pull in the reigns when you’ve gotten into a bad habit, but to give up whole food groups entirely or severely restrict calories just won’t work if you plan to keep the weight off for good. The “secret” to losing weight for good is to make small changes that add up over time, so that you cut calories without feeling much deprivation. This method really works. You just have to be patient in waiting for results.
My husband Tyler is a great example of how small changes add up over time. Before we met, he ate out a lot, thought that ordering a side salad next to his burger with fries made him a “healthy eater,” and didn’t pay attention to portion sizes. He never looked really overweight, but for awhile his BMI was 29 – just one point away from obese.
After we met, Tyler slowly started to shed pounds. He didn’t go on a diet, or drastically change his habits all of the sudden, but we did start eating more meals at home, and he did start to eat slightly smaller portions (mainly because I dished out our meals in the kitchen then put plates on the table instead of serving family style – so we rarely ate second helpings). He also developed a taste for salads and vegetarian meals, since this is largely how I cook.
Each year that we dated, Tyler lost about 5 lbs. Here’s a peak at the progression:
2007 (Don’t let that plate of Thanksgiving food fool you)
The differences between these photos are subtle – but they add up to 25 lbs lost – and the differences in how he feels and his health stats (blood pressure, cholesterol, triglycerides) are huge. And not once did he feel deprived of foods he likes.
So yes, it may take a few years to lose weight this way, but it is effective, relatively painless, and long-lasting.
Even though Eating Made Easy is not a weight loss site, many of the tips you’ll read here will support slow, steady weight loss that you can maintain. So keep on reading!
DeanaJanuary 10, 2012 at 8:34 am
Wow this is really amazing! I never would have believed that he lost 25 lbs, but the pictures say it all. Unfortunately I think my photo progression would be in reverse 🙁
AngieJanuary 12, 2012 at 4:27 pm
This is really incredible. I have a similar story, but a little more “all at once.” I lost about 15 pounds during the first three months of 2008. Since then, I’ve kept it off by keeping some of the same healthy habits I learned when I was losing the weight. Much like Tyler, I never felt deprived. I still ate large quantities, but instead of chips with dip, I had carrots with dip. Very subtle changes that added up to keeping 15 pounds off without much change in lifestyle.