A few years ago, I stopped eating in front of the TV or while reading, when I am in the house. Whenever I eat in my home I go to the table and do it. If I want a snack while watching TV, for example, we pause the program, I go sit at the table, and I have the snack. That way I’m not depriving myself of anything, just preventing the kind of mindless (and endless!) eating in front of the tube.
I live on the fourth floor of my apartment building, so whenever I want to go for a bike ride, I have to carry my bicycle down four flights of stairs, then up four flights after my workout. Although this could be solved by parking my bike outside, this is a good warm up and a good wind-down, PLUS I get the benefit of combining weight lifting with cardio work so I maximize my calorie burn.
I drink a “green” smoothie—clinical nutritionist Kim Snyder gave me the recipe. Here's what's inside: spinach, romaine, celery, apple, banana, lemon and lots of ice and water. If I drink that first thing, no matter what else I eat that day, I know I’ve done something good for my body.
A lot of overweight people have an actual fear of being hungry, so they (we) eat something at the first faint stirring of not-fullness. I have lost the most weight when I faced the first feelings of hunger and told myself, “Good! You’re hungry. Now, you’re not going to eat for another half hour" (or 45 minutes, or hour, or whatever). If you do that, you find out that the hunger pangs won’t kill you; in fact you get used to them and can actually forget about eating for a while.
If you live in a house, go upstairs right after dinner. You can’t spontaneously raid the refrigerator if you have to clump down a flight of stairs to do so. Midway down your brain will literally turn you around and send you back up. Plus, if you’re embarrassed to have a relapse in front of your spouse, having to go downstairs will make it all too obvious what you’re up to.
I discovered that breakfast is, in fact, for me, NOT the most important meal of the day. I used to be a giant breakfast eater because I bought into this propaganda, which, by the way, has never been proven. Once I disabused myself of that theory, I was able to drop my excess weight very quickly. The best part? I no longer have a mid-day slump. My first meal is lunch and I feel great all day long.
I learned that the things I used to call cravings are just thoughts. I no longer act on such thoughts as, “It’s only a little taste,” or “I’ve been so good I can cheat,” or “I just have to have it.” Once I learned that behavioral technique, the thoughts almost became entertaining. Like a little child saying, “I want it!” Sorry, but I want thinness more.
A few years ago I worked on a book called Dr. Gundry’s Diet Evolution: Turn off the genes that are killing you and your waistline, by Steven Gundry, MD, and it totally changed the way I felt about food. Ever since then, I’ve been attracted to leafy greens, actually all green veggies, and turned off white foods like pasta, rice, potatoes and bread. I started to lose weight unintentionally—which was fine by me. I also acquired a puppy at that time, and got into the habit of walking 1-2 miles a day. I don’t know how much weight I’ve lost since then, but I have dropped a few clothes sizes. I still eat white foods if they’re put in front of me, and I still want my chocolate fix every now and then.
It’s easier to make a 5:15 am workout when other people are depending on you to be there. Plus, knowing that there’s always another race around the corner makes me want to train hard—and consistently—to help my team achieve our goals.
I never had to have any weight-loss strategies until recently (see: Never Say Diet). Eating healthy and with no salt at all and giving up all Asian food was hard but has changed everything. Also drinking nothing but water, coffee and red wine really helped me cut extra calories. For a 3-day detox plan from my diet guru, click here.
This year, Weight Watchers decided that fruit has no points—you can eat as much as you want. So every afternoon at my “crazy time” (around 4) I eat a container of fresh fruit. Expensive but tasty. And I never want a Butterfinger bar afterwards.