Saturday, February 16, 2008

LYSBYG: Let your stomach be your guide, and lose weight

I've lost weight by enlisting my stomach to help me in my quest for thinness. Since last June, I've gone from 248 pounds to 194 pounds, and for the first time in my adult life I'm under 200 pounds. People keep asking me how I lost the weight, and I've been trying to boil it down to some simple steps. The basic idea that I had was that I needed to make a permanent life change. Since I was pretty happy with the food I ate, I figured the permanent life change I needed was to reduce the volume of food that I eat. This worked amazingly well. I found that my stomach shrank, and I became physically unable to eat as much as I worked before. It's like getting your stomach altered to reduce the amount of food you can eat, only much, much healthier and cheaper! Here's what I did:
  1. Set a modest goal for myself, about 0.5% of my weight every week. (about 1 lb for me)
  2. I weighed myself every week at the same time, at least 1-2 hours after eating. (Sunday evening after dinner)
  3. I stopped cleaning my plate. Plate cleaning really is a habit that leads to overeating.
  4. I reduced my portions by a very small amount across every meal, every week I missed my goal, and increased my portions when I overshot my goal by losing 2 pounds or more.
  5. I stopped snacking except for when I felt physical, stomach-growling hunger. When I felt hungry like this, I would eat a small snack.
That's it! I know it sounds like something that takes an awful lot of will power, but it really didn't. Half a percent of your body weight isn't really all that much, and if you stick to that amount, you'll find that you're really not starving yourself. Plus, if you're really consistent about it, you'll find that your stomach actually shrinks, which means you'll feel satisfied with less food, and you'll feel physically full much faster.

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