First of all I need to make sure you know I don’t have this huge weight loss testimony and I am not saying I know everything about loosing weight. I can say I have lost hundreds of pounds …….. the same 10 to 20 pounds over and over again! Dieting wasn’t foreign to me as my family was always talking about loosing weight and then trying another diet. But once I turned 50 and entered menopause years, it was different. The kind of dieting I had done in the past didn’t seem to be very affective anymore. And, not only that, all the weight I did gain seemed to go straight to my midsection…..my stomach!!
The challenge was real and I knew I had to approach weight control in a new way.
It has taken me the last 15 years of reading and searching into the science behind weight gain and loss after menopause to begin to figure out how my body responds to food in this new season. For the last six years I have been able to maintain my weight and feel better too.
So, I wanted to share a couple of things that have helped me tremendously.
FIRST: I had to limit my sugar and carbohydrate consumption. Sugar is addictive so I actually took it totally out of my diet for some time. It was hard to do! (My favorite way to take a break during the day (which is often:) was a with cup of tea or coffee and a cookie… or two… or three.) Yes, I got headaches and cravings but I was determined and eventually I found I could easily pass up desserts. Now I eat some sweets but I don’t reach for them first. I control my sugar, it doesn’t control me!
SECOND: When I do eat carbohydrates I make sure they are whole grains and fresh fruits and vegetables. No more white rice or mashed or baked potatoes and a roll with every dinner. Now those are ‘once in a while’ foods. Instead I have added lots and lots of vegetables to my diet along with sprouted grain bread (I love Ezekiel Bread).
THIRD: When I dieted in the past I always cut out fats and this time I have kept eating fats. I love sausage for breakfast along with full fat cottage cheese and I enjoy lots of avocados! Fats, science is now telling us, are something we need, especially as we age. I did full on Keto for about three months and lost the weight I had carried for 10 years. I felt great and the experience changed my whole perspective on dieting and what my body needs to feel it’s best.
FOURTH: This one is the most important! I pay attention to hunger and portions. Hunger is a good thing. I had to learn to ask myself “Are you hungry ?” before I put something in my mouth. In fact it took me some time to recognize hunger pains because I hadn’t felt them in a long time! Also, I learned I didn’t need to eat until I was full. In fact, that full feeling usually meant I had eaten too much! Now I usually eat from a smaller plate and take small portions and stop eating when I am satisfied. I have found that I need much less food now than when I was in my 30’s and 40’s.
These changes in my approach to diet didn’t happen overnight. It’s been a gradual process. After starting and stopping many times, I finally have made it a priority in my life. I read books and listen to You Tube videos on the subject which has helped keep me on track. The books I’ve learned the most from are the Trim Healthy Mama cookbooks. They explain the science of food so I can understand the why’s and how’s, and their recipes are great! My favorite You Tuber is AllyMcWowie. She is very ‘real’ and has lost a ton of weight on KETO. She is all about keeping it simple and that anyone can change their way of eating.