Why I can eat what I want and still lose weight

I frequently get asked “how can you eat that and still lose weight?”  Sometimes, the question boggles my mind.  The first few times I was asked that, I was honestly, flabbergasted and didn’t quite know what to say because I was taken back.
The word “diet” gets thrown around so much when someone is trying to better their health/lifestyle. I don’t like the word diet because diets are a temporary solution to a permanent problem.  You can change your habits, you can be as strict as you want – but in my case I have to ask myself “will I be willing do to this the rest of my life?” and when it comes to diets the answer is no.  I could not live off drinking a shake for 2 meals a day.  I could not live off eating canned beans and a boiled egg.  I could not deal with giving up foods that I enjoy simply because it’s what my diet says I need to do. And I would probably hurt somebody if I had to eat a plain piece of cooked chicken with broccoli for dinner day-in and day-out.  Actually, put me on a diet like that for a week and I think everyone who walked in front of me might get the evil eye.  I’d be miserable and at the first whiff of whatever “unhealthy” food I smelled, I’d dive in and eat until my stomach was about to explode … or I passed out.
I’ve never considered my weight loss journey with the help of Weight Watchers a diet because it’s not. It’s a lifestyle. It’s a plan I can follow for the rest of my life without feeling deprived. I love Weight Watchers because nothing is off limits.  I’ll be completely honest, if the day I walked into my Weight Watchers meeting to sign up and was told “you can never eat cake, chips, or bread again” I’d have froze, looked around the room – said screw this and walked back out.  I’m the type of person that if you tell me I can’t do something, the stubbornness in me is going to come out and I’ll do it JUST to show you I can.  I love Weight Watchers because it allows me to live in an every day world without feeling as though I don’t “fit in” because I’m not eating the way others are eating.
Everything boils down to moderation, not starvation, or deprivation.  I’m a big snacker.  Always have been, always will be – it’s a part of my lifestyle and it’s something I enjoy.  There are snacks I’ve enjoyed in the past that I simply choose not to have anymore because 1) I can’t control myself with them (known as a trigger food) and 2) they’re just not worth the points associated with them. It doesn’t mean they’re off limits the rest of my life – but they’re foods I don’t keep around, at least until I can feel comfortable with them in the house.
So, back to how do I eat what I eat and still lose weight?  Well, these days I know what a portion size is. I hold myself accountable by eating what is recommended as a serving.  If I want a little extra, I have a little extra, but I hold myself accountable to those extra points plus values associated with that “extra”.  Secondly, I don’t eat out every day. I for the most part cook (or have a pre-packaged meal I weigh-out a serving of) every single meal – breakfast, lunch and dinner.  I can have pizza, cupcakes, French fries, steak and cheese sandwiches, and chips when I want them (granted, not all at the same time!), but I track what I eat, I track what I want and I don’t feel guilty about it.  One thing to keep in mind is I’m not eating these foods day-in and day-out.  Lastly, I don’t even remotely eat like I used to.
I keep myself accountable for whatever I put in my mouth.  I eat my cravings – because I’ve quickly learned that if I try to not have something I want, I eat around it when all is said and done, I should have just eaten what I originally wanted. I enjoy my food. I’ve learned what is and what isn’t worth it. I enjoy preparing meals and shaking things up because the possibilities are endless.  I get in activity when I can.  And I’m not on a diet … this journey isn’t temporary, its a lifestyle.  That is why I can eat whatever I want and still lose weight.

It’s not a DIET it’s a LIFESTYLE!

I follow the Weight Watchers plan but no I am NOT on a diet.
Diets set people up for failure because it limits what you can and cannot have … and I do not like being told what to do. I can become the queen of self sabotage so by following a program that works for me in and molds to everyday life is the best thing.  Sure, I pay a monthly subscription but knowing I am spending money is only one reason I want to succeed.  It’s kind of like when I went to college – I knew at the end of it all, the loan was in MY name and I wanted to be happy with myself and not just “ride it out”.  I feel as though when you pay for something, with your own money, and you work for it, it’s far more rewarding.  Plus the great thing with Weight Watchers is once you hit goal and then lifetime, you no longer have to pay – as long as you maintain that status.
Following Weight Watchers, I have lost 185.6 pounds thus far – all that weight lost while eating real foods.  Some of my favorite foods and snacks like pizza, potato chips, French fries, onion rings, ice cream, cupcakes and my all-time favorite thing: bread! The difference is I have those things in moderation and I do not beat myself up for having them. I simply track the item and move on. There are some foods that I love that I’ve decided to make at home to bring down the calories/points – but cooking is therapeutic to me and I love that while cooking I know exactly what I put into a dish without having to guess.
This is a lifestyle change that I will maneuver through the rest of my life.  I’ll always be faced with having to make healthy choices; I’ll always have to be aware of what I am putting in my mouth.  For me, that’s not a lot of work, because this is something that I am passionate about.  I love myself and I want myself in the healthiest state possible. I know, that if I was to follow a diet that would limit things is not something I would follow the rest of my life.  I would end up back at square one, mad, angry and extremely broken hearted because I’d go overboard on the “no-go” foods.
Think about the fad diets that start: the grapefruit diet, the cookie diet and even Atkins. These diets do provide short term results not longstanding results. That’s a huge difference!
Over the course of 3 years, I’ve continuously lost weight eating some of my favorite foods. I’m living an everyday life in an everyday world. No limitations. No exclusions. A healthy lifestyle is about being aware, portion control and getting in activity.  If I can do it – anybody can!

Image courtesy of http://www.notonadiet.com/