Sunday, January 30, 2011

Dieting, but My Way

It’s January, aka the Dietmonth! Commercials and advertisments try to reach us with their light products, gyms advertise with low prices to sign up and the scales are for sale everywhere. Yes, January is the month in which we’re willing to try to reach the goals we set for ourselves when the new year started.
Three months ago, an anonymous reader asked me on my Formspring to share tips on dieting (sorry it took so long!). I decided to write a big post instead of a short answer, so I could explain myself better and, even more important, longer! Before I start, I want to write a little disclaimer to tell you my intentions and goal.

With this post, I am not trying to stimulate extreme weightloss. I just want to share my healthy way of dieting with other people. In this way, I hope I can prevent them from taking the wrong way. I’ve seen people taking that road and I am certainly not trying to stimulate it. My way of dieting is my own, based on what I want and what I'm capable of. You may or may not agree with the way I diet, you may even think it’s stupid. But this is my way and this is how I do it.

There, I’ve said it. ^^ Let’s get on. I’ll first give you tips on weightloss in general, then I will tell you something about my diet itself.

Keep up your weight every week. When you’ve officially started, weigh yourself without clothes on. You have to do this in the morning, after you’ve been to the toilet and before you’ve eaten breakfast. That’s the moment when you’re ‘empty’ and on your official weight, so to say. If you’re afraid to weigh yourself, first tell yourself that whatever the scale tells you, you’re going to change it! I know some people are frightened to see an actual number, but remember: it won’t stay at that digit. ^^ When you’ve done this, write down the date and your weight in a special little book. Continue to do this every week, on the same day, in the same routine. This way, you can keep track of your improvement! If anything special happened, like a five day wedding (or something less extreme of course), write that down too.

Numbers on the scale. Having a scale with a round numberplate is easier than using a scale with digital numbers when it comes to weight alone. Well, this isn’t really a requirement, but I myself prefer this, because you can see with your own eyes what number the needle stops on. A digital scale only shows you a number, you can’t really change its data.

There are no magical spells that make you skinny. Ok, maybe you aren’t looking for a magical spell. But there aren’t any tricks that quickly make you skinny either. Believe me, I’ve read tons of diet sites and they all tell the same. When advertisers claim to have a great product that will make you lose weight quickly, it often contains laxatives.

Set a goal for yourself. Dieting is hard. Giving up on the food you love is a very difficult thing to do, especially when you’re surrounded by people who can eat those things you love so much. Setting a goal for yourself can help you to stay away from the things you aren’t allowed to eat. Whenever you have cravings for that chocolatebar, you picture your goal in front of you. This might help you (but it doesn’t always have to work). Of course, there are differences in how strong a goal is. ‘I want to be skinny!’ can work for some people, but it generally isn’t a really good goal. ‘I want to wear Angelic Pretty’s *insert name here* JSK!’ can be better for us Lolitas, because it’s easier to picture the dress hanging in your closet. You may even be able to picture yourself in the dress!

Drink water. Oh no! The cliché water-tip! If you’ve read tips about diets, there’s a 99.9% chance you’ve seen the water-tip floating by. Drinking 2 litres of water a day is a very good thing to do, even when you’re not on a diet. But 2 litres is quite a lot, especially if you’re the kind of person who doesn’t always appreciate water (like me, ahem). First, set yourself the goal to drink 1 litre per day. That’s about four big glasses or two bottles (do check the content of the bottle, not all bottles are 0.5 litre)! When that’s easy, switch to 1.5 litres a day. I myself make sure I drink at least one bottle at school, one in the afternoon and one after dinner.
But why is water so important for dieting? Many people asked me why I drink so much water. And many of them answered their own question with: ‘Water fills, right? It makes you less hungry!’ Well, I don’t completely agree with this. Water doesn’t replace food, but I do agree that it makes me a bit less hungry. A bit. But more importantly: drinking water stimulates your body to burn calories! Water does that! How awesome is that?

Find replacementsnacks. So you’re not allowed to eat your favorite snack every day anymore. End of the world? No. Find other snacks! You don’t immediately have to switch to cucumberslices and selerysticks, but fruit and vegetables can be delicious! Go out and discover your favourite, healthy snacks! Strawberries, raspberries, bananas or carrots, tomatoes, cucumbers can be delicious, especially used in salads!

Tell your loved ones about it. The word ‘diet’ can be misinterpreted by people. Many people immediately cringe or give their opinion when hearing this word, because of the bad side that is often in the media. Tell your loved ones about your plans, that you have researched and how you want to reach your goal. In this way, your loved ones are aware of what you’re doing. Maybe they can even help and support you! If you don’t tell them, they’ll probably notice you’ve changed your eating habits and they might think you’re doing it secretly.

Ask for help. Dieting on your own is very difficult, especially when you’re living together with your family or boy-/girlfriend. Beside telling them about your diet, ask for their help too! Maybe the person who cooks can try to make healthier food. Or maybe they can support you by saying you shouldn’t eat that pack of cookies. Maybe you even inspire someone to start living a healthier lifestyle too! But you also have to realize that you’re the one on a diet, not them. Especially living together with a family is difficult, because the other ones can still eat what they want, where they want (like, in front of you).

Ladies only. A couple of days before and during that certain time of the month, you’re heavier. Take this into account when you weigh yourself: next week it’s gone again!

The little things that count. When you don’t have time to go to the gym, like me (sigh), try to add little things to your life that involve movement. Cycle to school instead of taking the bus (taking in account you don’t live an hour away of course). Or go out for a walk in the park. And there are the little things, like walking the stairs twice instead of once, or taking detours to your destination.

Holidays. What do Christmas and Thanksgiving have in common? Food! Apart from being thankful for what you have, these holidays are all about food. And great food, if I may say (although I’ve never experienced Thanksgiving). Unless you’re really strong, I suggest you forget about your diet during these days. Skip the weighing for that week and continue the next week, it’s not the end of the world.

Well, these are all the tips I can give on dieting. My own diet is based on these rules: I weigh myself every week, I have a scale with a numberplate, I drink water, I have replacementsnacks and my family and friends know about my diet and support me. However, there’s one thing that makes my diet a bit… curious: I have a snackday. Every Saturday I can eat whatever I want. Chocolate, pizza and chips aren’t forbidden once a week. Call me crazy, but it works for me. Of course this slows the weightloss process, I am aware of that. But I’m just a normal girl, surrounded by schoolmates that eat whatever they want and a family that doesn’t join in my diet. By having a snackday, it’s easier for me to hold back during the week. Now you might think that on Saturdays I eat everything I lost back, but that’s absolutely not the case. This way of dieting has worked for me since I’ve started and I’m happy. That’s what counts for me.

I hope the anonymous reader that’s asked me for these tips is satisfied. ^^ I’ve been meaning to write this post for a long time, but I always postponed it, because I wasn’t sure if I should do it. Weight is a touchy subject for me and I don’t really like talking about it, but I really hope that I helped or supported people with this post. I can only say: good luck! ♥


  1. I've been excersizing and trying to eat healthier for a while now, I'm mostly doing it for my health but secretly what keeps me going is the mass- or weightloss ^^;

    But so far I've actually been gaining weight, which I think is due to the muscle weighs more than fat part but I really hope it'll change. Good luck to both of us? ;)

    I find that if I do eat something 'bad' like chips, it helps to never eat it when you're hungry, first eat a sandwhich or a cracker, thén have some chips ^_^

  2. I am trying to be healthier too! I prefer a digital scale over an analog one because it is more accurate I think, but other than that I use the same tips as you :) I had a calorie spike day where I deliberately eat a bit more than usual to prevent metabolism slowdown and so I don't get cravings :)

    Good luck to you!

  3. Wow, go girls! ^^ Thanks and good luck to you too!

  4. I especially appreciate that you mentioned for the ladies that time of month. I always notice my friends on diets freaking out about gaining 2-3 lbs about once a month. I am never sure its their totm, but it could well be. I go up a full size and can't fit my pants and bra. I cry and say, I am so fat. And my dear sweet husband just cuddles me and kindly teases me until I feel better.

  5. I had to laugh about your comment on cycling to school. I cycled to school for 6 years, and I did live an hour away. 2 hours of cycling a day! Who needs gym? XD
    Funny thing is, I was a little chubbier then, than I am now. But I changed my eating habits so I lost weight ^^

  6. @ Sara Star: I'm glad I could help! ^^

    @ Amoris: Haha, go you! XD I was really doutbing wether to add the 'hour-away' part or not, but in the end I did add it'.

  7. Ooh, I actually love to drink water, I find it the only thing to quench my thirst! I thought I'd add that it can really help clear you skin, at least for me. Because when you drink soda and the like, you find yourself sweating fluids from the soda that you might not like on your skin. In a way water "cleans" your sweat. And of course, even sitting around all day will cause us to sweat a bit, that's just how the body is. People wonder why my skin is so clear, and this was the only real difference I had compared to others, so I studied up and figured out why.
    I also thought I'd add that a great way to get water in your diet is to drink some tea; 0 calories and nothing but good stuff for you. Of course, I'm speaking without sugar, milk, cream, and the like added. :D

  8. I'm in eight grade and this year i have chrism, i have a little less than 5 months to lose 10-15 kilos. Can this diet help me achieve that in 5 months? Thank you, btw!