A lot of people have been asking me how I lost all that chunk I've had for the last 3 years. Most ask me what the "secret" is- so I'll tell you.
Number one is: I'm not pregnant or nursing. That helps a whole lot.
However, after the baby weight (about forty pounds) and the nursing weight (about ten pounds) naturally melted away, I still found myself weighing about 132 pounds, which I felt was too much for my height of 5'2".
I made it my goal to lose 20 pounds, and I've lost about 18 of them.
Basically, I counted calories. I went to a website that helped me (google "calorie counting" if you want to find it) to figure out the number of calories necessary to maintain my weight (it was about 1969 calories for 132 pounds). I then tried to create a daily calorie deficit of around 500.
I wrote down everything I ate in a book and tried to keep my daily totals to around 1500 or less.
It really was only hard for the first week or so- eventually just the act of knowing I had to write down my calories kept me from eating because I couldn't just put anything into my mouth. For example, I tended stop taking mouthfuls of leftovers from Owen's plate because I didn't want to figure out what percentage of a serving I ate and calculate the calories.
According to the aforementioned website, each 2500 calorie deficit equals 1 pound. I figured that with a 500 calorie deficit per day I should be losing a pound every 5 days and that I would lose 20 pounds between May 10 and August 10 (approximately).
So I am almost there.
However, I only actually counted calories for the first month of my diet. Since the beginning of June, I have felt confident enough to estimate calories in my head. Plus, my appetite is much smaller. I am satisfied now with probably 1/4 of the serving sizes I used to eat.
So since about June I have been eating pretty much whatever I want- just a lot less of it than before.
I feel totally satisfied and there are no "forbidden" foods like bread or dessert or bacon. I can eat anything.
However, I do still have times when I feel like eating just because I'm bored, or because I'm watching a movie and feel the need to munch.
Here are some things I used to stop the needless snacking:
1: Diet Coke, iced tea, occasional beer or wine in the evening. Diet Coke and tea are calorie free- alcohol has calories, but there are still plenty less calories in a beer than in a box of Cheez-Its.
2: Lollipops. They taste sugary and take a long time to finish so I feel like I'm getting a real treat, but in reality there are hardly any calories.
3: Ditto popsicles.
4: Rice cakes. I know, everyone thinks they're gross. But if you get the salted kind and have it with a diet soda, it's quite a satisfying snack. For me, the salt really makes me feel like I'm getting a treat.
For meals, I ate a lot of yogurt, chicken breasts cooked in olive oil, graham crackers, string cheese, and salads (with as much dressing as I wanted).
The other thing which I think helped me is that I didn't force myself to eat things I don't like. I stuck with the fruits and vegetables I like, and with smaller serving sizes of the foods I eat anyway (like graham crackers and cereal). I've found that if I try to diet by forcing myself to eat things I hate, even if they are healthy, I will just not stick to it. Life is too short to eat garbage.
So that's it- not really much of a secret. I didn't really follow any of the popular fad diets. I think what I did is probably closest to the Weight Watchers points system (which is just a fancy way of counting calories).
I find it hilarious that everyone who has asked me about my diet is already totally slim and doesn't need any advice at all, but, here it is ladies :).