Bloggers who have lost up to 150 pounds share the secrets to their success.
March 20, 2013
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You know how it goes: Each day you carefully plan out your diet-friendly fare, only to find yourself face-to-face with cookies on the conference table or a friend's nachos order.
"Being on the go takes you out of your normal routine, which makes food mistakes more likely," says Diane Carbonell, who blogs at fittothefinish.com. But, she adds, you can make a battle plan so you’re armed to resist temptation. It's a strategy that has helped these diet bloggers shed up to 150 pounds each—and stay on track. Their tricks are tested often in their everyday lives, so you know they work.
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"I come in [to the office] with yogurt or a granola bar. If I don't take the time to bring a snack, I'll be tempted to fill the craving in another way, like running to the bakery for a cupcake."
"If your co-worker breaks out a bag of mini candy bars, ask yourself, 'Am I going to feel better if I have one?' This makes you get into the habit of saying no (and then saying yes only if you really want it). If you ask yourself that question, you realize that you can say no and move on."
"I make my house a 'safe zone.' I don’t bring home any food that will be tempting. I also make it easy on myself: As soon as I bring groceries home, I immediately cut up fruit so it is readily available."
"After dinner, I always clean up the kitchen and turn off the lights. I was a huge nighttime snacker before I lost the weightcookies, ice cream, you name it! Seeing that light off is a stop sign signaling that I'm done for the eveningthe kitchen is closed."
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Dress up your pantry
"I bought 40 big glass pickling jars with gaskets for all of my dry goods. So when I go to make meals, I can see my lentils, my black-eyed peas, my wasabi peas, my nuts. Having those good ingredients right there, ready to go, really does keep you from preparing something bad for you."
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"I start in the produce section; shopping the perimeter of the store first gives me a nice
layer of healthful food in my cart. Then, I'm so inspired by what’s already there, I'm less likely to add something that’s junky. It's a mental game."
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Choose one dessert
"I used to sample all the desserts at parties and social events, but now I practice the 'rule of one'if I want a small-size cake or cookie, I let myself have one so I'm not deprived. You're forcing yourself to make a conscious choice."
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Fill up before parties
"If I'm going to a party, I always eat something at homea salad, or a 'skinny' crostini made with Wasa bread, tomatoes, feta cheese and olivesbecause you never know when they're going to serve the food. It could be 10 o'clock at night!"
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Don't 'cheat' at parties
"I look at every social event like it's just another mealnot a treat meal. I think to myself, 'If I wouldn't eat it in my own house, I don't eat it outside the home.'"
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Pick restaurants wisely
"It's all in choosing the right spot. All my girlfriends know that I have a list of my favorite restaurants in my area with nutritious options. Even if it's a new place, though, there's really no excuse anymore, because you have access to resources at all times. You can search online, check out the menu and figure out what you're going to order before you even walk in the door."
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Order veggie apps
"The first thing I do is scan what the à la carte vegetables are and order some for the table. People often forget to look at vegetable sides and consider them as appetizer options. I'll choose roasted Brussels sprouts or grilled asparagus, so we have something healthy to nibble on while we decide what we’re going to order for dinner."
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Make your own trail mix
"At night, I often want something to nosh on, so I make trail mix: I spray air-popped popcorn with cooking spray and add low-sodium sea salt, dried cranberries, wasabi peas, a couple of baby pretzels and a few M&M's. It's only 120 calories! If I can have M&M's each day, I won't lose my mind."
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Sip almond milk
"If I really want something before I go to sleep, I pour myself a cup of chocolate-flavored almond milk from Trader Joe's. It tastes fantastic, and it's a smart snack because it has a protein kick to make you feel full."
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Try a yogurt sundae
"For an evening snack, I make a sundae out of Greek yogurt, walnuts, a chopped banana and maybe a few dark-chocolate chips. It feels indulgent."
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Work out early
"I make sure I'm up by 6 a.m., when everyone else is still asleep. If the kids are awake, they want to talk to you and hang on your leg. So if I don't get up early, it's not going to happen for me."
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Follow the 5-minute rule
"I always tell myself, 'I've never regretted a workout.' Also, I give myself the five-minute rule: If you're not feeling better after doing it for five minutes, then don't do it. Every single time, it ends up being at least 20 minutes. And I have never felt anything but 10 times better after I work out.'
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Make tortilla pizza
"If I crave pizza, I make one out of a whole-wheat tortilla, tomato sauce, low-fat cheese, black olives and chopped peppers."