OPERATION BE LESS FAT - 11 Tips For 11 Years

The before picture was from when I was 40. The after was taken just the other day on my 51st birthday. It has been one hell of a ride. I have learned a lot from my journey. Here are some highlights.

1. LOSING WEIGHT IS DIFFICULT - If anyone tells you it's easy, they are lying. It gets easier, but it's never easy. This is especially true if you were very overweight like I was. We don't get that way from moderation. Plus, we can't just quit our addiction, we must eat to stay alive.

2. KEEPING WEIGHT OFF IS DIFFICULT - I have kept off over 100 lbs for a long time now and it is still a challenge. There are arguments over the statistics, but around 90% of people who lose weight, gain it back. The journey is far from over when you hit your goal weight.

3. THERE IS NO PERFECT DIET - I have done keto, intermittent fasting, carb backloading, a traditional bodybuilding diet (super clean eating), and flexible eating/iifym. I lost weight on all of them. They all work. Anyone who tells you anything different has an agenda.

4. TEMPORARY DIETS DON'T MAKE SENSE - It's been said you shouldn't start a diet you couldn't imagine being on for at least a year. Meaning, eating something like a whole 30 diet or keto is great, but do you plan on eating that way for life? If so, awesome, if not, what is going to happen when you stop?

5. YOU ARE NOT GOING TO OUT EXERCISE A BAD DIET - I have tried this. Unless you are a professional athlete who is training HARD, all day, every day for an extended period of time, you aren't going to exercise off a bad diet. Go kill it on a treadmill for half an hour and tell me how many calories you burn? Yeah, you'll be lucky if you burn off one candy bar, let alone an entire day of bad eating.

6. TAKE YOUR TIME AND YOUR SKIN WILL THANK YOU - I get asked about this one a lot. I have lost 120 lbs and do not have a lot of sagging skin. That is because there is a correlation between how quickly one loses weight and the amount of loose skin they end up with. Another very good reason among many for taking your time in losing weight.

7. CHEAT MEALS - When I first started dieting I thought I was "entitled" to a cheat meal every week. I quickly learned what a crap idea that was. I'd work all week creating a calorie deficit just to blow it up on one meal. If you are dieting, you are probably fat. You don't need a cheat meal. Your hormones are fine. I often go months without cheat meals.

8. SUBSTITUTE CHEAT MEALS WITH REFEEDS - Instead of cheat meals, I will have planned higher calorie days when needed. They are always low fat and high carb. That works for me. I can carefully plan to satiate some cravings and replenish glycogen. It's a win-win. Plus I don't feel physically awful and mentally guilty for stuffing myself with garbage foods.

9. FIND SOME HEALTHIER ALTERNATIVE REWARDS - I love steak. I eat it at least once a week at home. However, once in a while it's fun to go out for a good steak. Mentally, it's a nice reward to get out while not eating something bad. I'll also run out and get a coffee as kind of a reward. We have good coffee at home, but getting out makes it kind of an event. Plus it's a distraction, less time at home thinking about eating. Just make sure you are not drinking hundreds of calories.

10. FOLLOW YOUR OWN PATH - Don't let people or social media distract you from your plan. I use artificial sweeteners, fake butter spray, sugar-free syrup, baked low-fat chips, etc. These are not staples of my diet, but I use them. They work for me. There are gurus and zealots out there that will tell me how bad all of those things are for me. Interestingly, using them has helped me lose 120 lbs. I feel infinitely better and my blood work has improved. Are they all the best choices? I don't know. What I do know is, I'm a hell of a lot better off not being 330 lbs.

11. RELAPSE IS PART OF RECOVERY - I have really good discipline, but I fall off the wagon every now and again. I have gotten much better about it over the years where it happens less frequently and I catch myself earlier. The one thing I have always been good about is not allowing it to last. I don't wait until the next Monday, or even the next day to get back on the wagon. I pull it together the next meal. Sometimes you even get lucky and the slip won't even cost you on the scale. However, stringing bad meals and bad days together can set you back weeks.

So there are some of the high points that have helped me over the years. I hope they help you. Also, for my new readers who are trying to lose weight, go back and check out my old blogs. The ones on my weight loss journey are all titled Operation Be Less Fat so they are easy to find. Thanks for reading.

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