Tips From The Time I Survived a Diet

by Lindy on January 11, 2011

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This is part two of a two-part series on diet and exercise (since it’s the new year and all).  The other day, I covered exercise, today I bring you my tips for surviving a diet.  I wrote these tips after successfully losing eight pounds. I lost eight pounds after a friend posted a picture of  me on Facebook that made me want to go hide under a rock.  Has this happened to you?  This article is kind of cheeky, but also kind of true.  It’s cheeky-true.  It’s also 5AM as I write this intro and my wit is still in bed.  Best to get on to the tips.  Enjoy!

HOW TO SURVIVE A DIET

Step One: Make hunger your BFF.

Weight loss means hunger.  There’s no way around this one.  Most commercial weight loss plans don’t tell you this part.  They hire celebrities to go on TV and talk about all the yummy food you get to eat.  They talk about curbing hunger, and fighting hunger, and kicking hunger to the curb.  They even make hunger into a semi-cute, but still mean-looking, orange fluffy monster.

They don’t tell you that you’re going to be so hungry you may just turn into raving, drooling, hungry beast and you just might consider eating the nearest small child.

Diets equal hunger. If you make peace with this fact now, you will be much better off.

Just remember….

  • Hunger is your friend.
  • Hunger means you’re doing something right.
  • Hunger means calories burning, and bodies shrinking.
  • And no one ever dies by being hungry for a few hours.

If you need more help dealing with hunger, which you will, see the next step.

Step Two: Find your Zen place.

Your Zen place is the happy place you mentally transport to any time you feel like you’re going to lose your cool (see raving hungry beast above).

When you sit down to eat your (probably tiny) lunch, you may want to ravage it, like the Cookie Monster, madly pouring a plate of foam cookies into his chomping puppet mouth.

This is when you find your Zen place.

I like to repeat this phrase to help me transport there: “I am Zen Mommy. I am Zen Mommy” I don’t know where the mommy part comes in, but somehow it helps.

When I feel so hungry that my stomach is threatening to crawl out of my body and go make itself some Easy-Mac. I repeat my phrase.

I am Zen Mommy…I am Zen Mommy…I am Zen Mommy

Eventually, my stomach gets the message too.

Step Three: Eat Jello

You may want to go the healthy route, only eating natural foods with no sugars or artificial flavors.

This may be a bad idea.

Sugar-free Jello is only 10 calories, and loaded with artificial chemicals. It is also yummy, filling, and tricks you into thinking you’re eating dessert. Which makes you less likely to conduct a midnight raid on your son’s Oreo Cookies.

The same goes for diet soda.

It’s something to consider.

Step Four: Eat happy foods.

Eat cold foods on a hot day. Eat hot foods on a cold day.

Eat a lot of salads, but only salads that make you happy. Don’t eat foods that you hate.

Let yourself eat a real dessert, once a week.

And eat cake at birthday parties.

Then return to being Zen Mommy.

Do you like my tips?  Like I said, I lost eight pounds.  But then, I gained them all back, so maybe these aren’t the best tips after all.  Thanks for sticking around for my goofy series!  Tomorrow we’ll be back to more serious topics, or should I say, Sirius topics?  Is that too much of a hint?

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  • Trying to lose weight is the worst, at least for me. You are right about the feeling hungry, that’s how you know you are doing it right. That could be a demotivational poster in itself.
    I like to think of myself as the overweight crusader, who save cakes and cookies by not eating them. Giving your food a personality or name sometimes helps. Chuck the chocolate chip cookies has a wife and three kids to feed you can’t eat him. Then you are just a cookie monster.

  • I may not die if I am hungry for a few hours, but my family might fear for their lives because I get so incredibly crabby.

    I have found what helps me the most is to not get hungry. If I nip hunger in the bud by eating a few almonds or something, I am usually fine until my next meal. I just always try to have healthy snacks on hand, because otherwise, I will reach for the most empty-calorie snack food I can find because it is quick and easy.

    Congrats on your weight loss!!

    • Lindy

      Oh yeah, family members beware of the hungry mom! Having healthy snacks on hand is a great idea, and one I’m trying to adopt. Otherwise, I too shall end up in the break room raiding the candy jar.

  • I would gain so much weight on that system. Gotta love PCOS.

    I do best when I eat zero refined carbs or sugars. The weight just melts off without me getting hungry. Artificial sugars make me crave real sugars. Right now I’m munching on 85% dark chocolate and it tastes sweet because I mostly don’t eat any kind of real or artificial sugar. It didn’t used to be that way!

    I also need snacks or I overdo it. At 10:30 I have a piece of fruit. At 3:30 I have a piece of fruit. If I don’t eat breakfast and I don’t snack, I gain weight.

    • Lindy

      PCOS, I had to look that one up. No fun! Everyone says the no flour no sugar rule is a good way to go. Some have added no sodium to that list too. I once did a total sugar ban. I would religiously check labels on bread and peanut butter and spaghetti sauce. It did great things for lessening my desire to have any sugar at all, but unfortunately once you take one bite of birthday cake, you get sucked back in.

  • I know a lot of people that struggle with losing weight. And, they don’t seem to lose it. I wish I could offer some good tips. Stick with jello, working out, and watching those celeb infomercials I guess. :)

    • Lindy

      Well, I’ll take the comment anyways. Tips not required. :)

  • Love it! So “Cheeky True”!

    I kind of do all of the above, including comments. IOW, hunger from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. is GOOD. Hunger when I get home is BAD. So I eat at about 3:30 p.m. 75% of the time I don’t want supper then – but it’s BAD for my kids to skip meals. But I like cooking anyway even if I’m not eating (much) so that’s GOOD. But it also means we don’t eat together as a family which is BAD. But I don’t really care (which is BAD) because I’m losing weight (which is GOOD).

    • Lindy

      Oh man, the time between lunch and dinner has always been a challenge for me. Sometimes I’ve wished I could eat dinner at 3:30 too! My problem is that I would probably eat two dinners because I would feel left out when my kids were eating later on. I say who cares about BAD and GOOD, as long as it’s working for you.

  • it’s such a crock that what is lost ends up being found when it comes to weight and not our favorite lost objects!

    • Lindy

      I would agree with that statement wholeheartedly!

  • Love your tips, especially “Zen Mommy!” I am currently dieting, and I need to find my Zen sometimes :)

    • Lindy

      It is that time of year for dieting. Zen helps. Though I admit, it’s not so easy to get there sometimes.

  • Good tips, and I agree with the notion of hunger being a good thing…in that you’re on the way to doing something right. Great point how this part of the whole thing is glossed over. Losing weight isn’t meant to be super easy, otherwise nobody would have to lose weight! That hunger is a good sign and also something we have to watch out for lest we go back into giving in to the cravings.

    Does the term Zen Daddy work, too? :)

    Also, one thing I would avoid in all this is diet sodas. I have to say, not having any for the first 12 days of the new year makes a big difference. They can impact hunger and keep us up and down. Go without for a extended time, after being hooked (me), and you’ll see a marked difference.

    • Lindy

      Yes, the diet soda was the cheeky part of the post. I’ve become addicted lately as well, drinking it after my lunch in hopes of avoiding the candy jar. But lately I’m trying to chase my lunch with a cup of tea mixed with a little honey instead of soda. It helps curb the sweet tooth and doesn’t make me feel all fizzy inside.

  • I had to laugh because a few years ago I set about to loose 20lbs. I believe step 1 and step 3 were what got the weight off! I was into Sugar free Jello Pudding though. I can’t even look at the stuff any more!

    • Lindy

      I know what you mean about getting sick of those diet foods. It’s hard to find the motivation to have salad for lunch after doing it for several months straight. I think that’s what causes me to gain everything back – eating all of the foods I’ve deprived myself of for so long. I’m trying this go around to eat only the foods I really like, and find more of them so I’m not getting sick of them.

  • It’s interesting that if you ignore hunger for long enough it does eventually go away. I find this especially true after a big meal the next morning. You’re stomach is still all stretched out and ready to gorge itself and growling..then you think to yourself “you can’t be hungry, you just ate 8 million calories at that italian place last night”.

    I can’t lose weight unless I exercise. I need those extra few hundred calories to get burned on a regular basis to make any kind of impact.

    • Lindy

      It seems all the times I’ve had significant weight loss has been either a fluke (not eating from stress, or moving to a city that involves a ton of walking), or from consistent exercise for long periods of time.

  • While I agree with the idea of not eating food you hate (it does make it impossible to stick with a regimen if you cringe every time you sit down to eat) but I would add that that doesnt mean you shouldn’t be willing to try new foods. Sometimes a food you never ate before becomes a “happy food.” For my family that food was Kosheri – a mix of rice pasta and lentils topped with tomato sauce and sauteed onions.

    • Lindy

      Mmm. That sounds yummy! Thanks for the tip.

  • Being hungry is not good for you because your metabolism slows down to a minimum when you are hungry. Your body tries to hang on to whatever fat you have. Hunger won’t kill you but the next time you eat there is a chance that you end up overeating. I am the one who does not believe in diets… or hunger. Portion control, excercise and healthy food choices. That’s my diet. :-)

    • Lindy

      That is most likely why the weight returns so quickly after being lost too. I’m on the hunt for the perfect non-diet diet.

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