My quirky weight-loss strategies, part 3 of 3

Another of my strategies is that I’m not afraid to skip a meal. I never, ever miss breakfast. And at lunch, because I always work out in the morning, I’m ravenously hungry. I don’t skip that either. But I often skip dinner, probably once a week on average. If I’ve had a big, late lunch, or a big late afternoon snack. Or if I’ve got a couple pounds to lose. It’s so good for your body to give it a rest.

I make sure I have at least a quart of green smoothie made FIRST THING IN THE MORNING. Then it’s made, so I’ll be sure to drink it since I’m not going to let it go to waste. And about 1 or 2 days a week, I have nothing for dinner except a green smoothie.

I go to bed hungry occasionally. Your body gets used to it. Your digestive system needs intermittent rests. (Don’t do this night after night, though.) It works best on a night that I’m really busy. If you’re really that hungry that you can’t sleep, eat a apple or banana (the magnesium in a banana will help you sleep). Or eat a big spoonful of chia seeds and chase it with a big glass of water. (It fills you up, for 40 calories and outstanding protein and nutrition.)

So, my second tip:

2. Skip dinner one or two days a week as needed, or have nothing but a quart of green smoothie. Have a day or two a week where you drink TWO quarts of green smoothie instead of one.

I virtually never eat after dinner, and I really try to avoid eating dinner late. (Eating late is only necessary occasionally because of a social situation.)

I drink a ton of water, most of it in the first half of the day. It helps your metabolism in countless ways. I drink a pint of water first thing, when I wake up. I don’t drink water with meals, but when I begin to feel just the tiniest big hungry, I drink a glass of water. Then I wait 20 minutes to eat a meal. That way the water is purifying, rather than being mixed with food and diluting gastric juices.

3. Don’t eat late at night.

4. Drink a ton of water.

I also never snack on sugar or processed foods by themselves. If I DO eat those foods, I don’t do it more than once a day and I do it only after a really good, 80%+ raw meal.

5. Don’t eat sugar/dead foods alone, only after a high-raw meal, and not more than once a day.

Finally, and this is a weird one, wear form-fitting clothes. ALL the time, even when you’re at home. The fastest way to lose track of how much weight you’re gaining is to do the baggy-sweats thing. Big, elastic-waist pants is you saying to yourself, “I’ve given up. Now I’m going to hide!”

They don’t have to be uncomfortable. On a day I’m working at home, in front of my PC, nobody’s around, like right now? I wear bike shorts or low-rise spandex pants and a very fitted t-shirt. If I’m up a couple of pounds, I’m annoying myself and I get serious about changing that situation.

6. Dress a little bit sexy. Even when there’s no one to impress but yourself, wear things that won’t let you get away with anything.

(Notice I said A LITTLE BIT. Please take this in the spirit it is intended, which isn’t to be provocative; it’s to wear things that keep you aware of any gradual onset of weight.) I never count calories, and I rarely get on a scale. This Strategy #6 keeps me honest.

You already know that keys to maintain a healthy weight are to rarely (if ever) eat animal proteins (and never processed meat), exercise regularly, and eat abundantly of whole, raw plant foods.

But these are my quirky, “works for me” habits that I believe lead to stable weight on the low end of the weight chart. I will be on a quest to learn more of these secrets that have served healthy people well, over a lifetime. Share your own tips here!

My quirky weight-loss strategies, part 2 of 3

I yo-yo like everybody else. (Women can gain and lose 4 lbs. in a week, simply from hormone changes within a cycle and accompanying water retention.) But I yo-yo within a 5-lb. variation. A year ago I dropped 7 lbs., and quickly, because of some stresses in my life. That is highly unusual, though.

I will tell you the things that work for me. Not that I think they’re the ONLY things, nor even that they’ll work for YOU. But they might help some people.

Have you read Malcolm Gladwell’s The Tipping Point? Sometimes, I really believe, a very small shift in thinking, or a small shift in behavior, can put you over the tipping point. Perhaps a new little way of doing something could make a difference for you in managing your weight. Dropping whatever extra pounds you’re carrying, and staying there for life. That makes sense, since drinking one can of soda a day means a 15-lb. annual weight gain, or obesity within 2 years. On both the negative and positive ends, SMALL THINGS ARE BIG THINGS!

I’m going to record a free online event where I interview 30 Famous Skinny People and get their Healthy Weight Loss Tips. It will take a us a while to produce. If you know someone I should interview with a big name on the internet or anywhere else, who has great control over her weight and is rather verbal and articulate, write KRISTIN@GREENSMOOTHIEGIRL.COM.

My mom is my original inspiration when it comes to a woman who respects and values her body and limits weight fluctuations to a reasonable five pounds. (I know super-neurotic women who obsess, fret, tell everyone they know when they’re 2 lbs. over their “ideal” weight. This is, to me, not living a balanced life. Plus nobody likes you when you do that. Since almost everyone else is way more than 2 lbs. over their “ideal.”)

My mother isn’t a supermodel and has her flaws, was kind of your standard Mormon mom, except for one thing:   she was never overweight. As she was raising 8 kids, she did the basics: broke a sweat every day, and ate whole foods and very little processed food.  She did have her closet foods. With 8 kids, any “treat” food you buy is gonna be GONE.  She used to hide yogurt-covered almonds in her closet. (She wasn’t one of those super-human, uber-disciplined people none of us can relate to. Neither am I…I love chocolate!)

But, two really cool things. One, she never talked about not liking her body. Two, she didn’t change clothes endlessly and agonize over how she looked and denigrate herself with “I’m fat” comments.

Consequently, that stuff didn’t rub off on me. Until I was a teenager, I didn’t learn that part of what it means to be a girl, in this culture, is to put myself down and swing wildly from thin-to-fat, bingeing and dieting. (There was plenty of that to observe from my peers, in high school, college, and beyond.)

However, if my mom ate too much all day Sunday, on a fun family day, she ate strictly minimally and healthy the next day. If she ate too much for two days, she ate really well for 2 or more days until her weight was back to normal.

My mom didn’t “diet” and neither do I. So, here’s my first tip:

1. Get control before you’ve gained more than 5 lbs. If you keep thinking , “I’ll worry about this next spring,” or “I’ll go on a diet next month,” you are choosing to create a crisis rather than a mild, rather painless correction.

Five more tips, tomorrow.

My quirky weight loss strategies, part 1 of 3

So, I’ve never written about this because…..

First, weight loss is my least-favorite topic ever.   I think it’s boring and pointless because, to me, it happens permanently ONLY as a byproduct of focusing on eating the right foods for your health. There aren’t one set of foods for heart health, a different set of foods for cancer prevention, and another set entirely for weight loss. It’s all the same stuff.

It’s the low-calorie, high-micronutrient, high-fiber, perfect-little-packages-just-like-Nature-made-them plant foods, that all accomplish the same thing.

Second, there are just so many people out there yammering on about WEIGHT LOSS. Writing books, creating elaborate recipes and diet plans, manufacturing fake foods, selling you all kinds of stuff.  Pills in all their varieties. I don’t really like being in that space.

Third, when you FOCUS on weight loss, it turns some powerful psychological switch on. You know this if you’ve read books like Intuitive Eating. It’s much like telling a 2-year old, “Don’t touch that plant!” The toddler is going to do one of two things. Personality differences are the differentiator. She’ll either make a beeline for the plant and tear it to pieces, or she’ll wait, furtively, till you’re out of the room to sneak over and pull a couple leaves off.

But inevitably, that houseplant is goin’ down.

Since, like Freud, I don’t believe adults are much different than 2-year olds in some important areas regarding our basic motivations and needs and emotions, I **loathe** the word DIET. It’s like yelling, “NO!”

Tell me no, and I’ll do anything to find YES in it.

Have I ever told you about the epic battle I had with my publisher over putting the word DIET in my book The Green Smoothies Diet?  Obviously I lost. Turns out they were right. I assume the word DIET made that book a bestseller.   (Oh, what’s that you say? Maybe the fact that it’s actually a good book had something to do with it? Ha, I hope so!)

Anyway, I was right too.  As in, it’s not a diet and it’s stupid to call it a diet. It’s a component of a lifestyle change.   But I decided, rather than Die On That Hill, to just (cough, choke, SELL-OUT) and get the message out there.

My publisher assured me that I could explain in the book that it is a NOT A DIET.

So that’s my long preamble and disclaimer to my telling you….yes, I’m going to do this….my own personal top 6 tips for weight loss and weight maintenance.

Mother’s Day Blueberry Dessert

The more you eat raw food, the simpler it becomes. When I’m by myself, what I eat at home tends to be bare-bones, if I’m not in restaurants with friends. But when I have a Sunday dinner for my family, or a special occasion, I make it fancier. I’m not always the greatest at planning ahead, so sometimes I open the fridge and make something up, based on one ingredient I’d like to use.

Yesterday my two youngest kids made a lovely Mother’s Day dinner. I had a quick brainstorm about how to make the two pints of blueberries (currently in season) in the fridge into a dessert.

I put some young Thai coconut meat (1/2 cup?) and coconut liquid (1/2 cup?) into my BlendTec, with a little lemon juice (1 Tbsp?) and agave (2 Tbsp?), plus some cashews (1/3 cup?) and 6 frozen strawberries. I whizzed it up into a cream sauce and served it with ½ cup blueberries in each of five crystal glasses as a parfait. Yum, everyone gobbled it up.

(I put question marks after the measurements because I didn’t measure, so these are guesses—don’t hold me to them!)

Mother’s Day Blueberry Dessert

The more you eat raw food, the simpler it becomes. When I’m by myself, what I eat at home tends to be bare-bones, if I’m not in restaurants with friends. But when I have a Sunday dinner for my family, or a special occasion, I make it fancier. I’m not always the greatest at planning ahead, so sometimes I open the fridge and make something up, based on one ingredient I’d like to use.

Yesterday my two youngest kids made a lovely Mother’s Day dinner. I had a quick brainstorm about how to make the two pints of blueberries (currently in season) in the fridge into a dessert.

I put some young Thai coconut meat (1/2 cup?) and coconut liquid (1/2 cup?) into my BlendTec, with a little lemon juice (1 Tbsp?) and agave (2 Tbsp?), plus some cashews (1/3 cup?) and 6 frozen strawberries. I whizzed it up into a cream sauce and served it with ½ cup blueberries in each of five crystal glasses as a parfait. Yum, everyone gobbled it up.

(I put question marks after the measurements because I didn’t measure, so these are guesses—don’t hold me to them!)

Mother’s Day Blueberry Dessert

The more you eat raw food, the simpler it becomes. When I’m by myself, what I eat at home tends to be bare-bones, if I’m not in restaurants with friends. But when I have a Sunday dinner for my family, or a special occasion, I make it fancier. I’m not always the greatest at planning ahead, so sometimes I open the fridge and make something up, based on one ingredient I’d like to use.

Yesterday my two youngest kids made a lovely Mother’s Day dinner. I had a quick brainstorm about how to make the two pints of blueberries (currently in season) in the fridge into a dessert.

I put some young Thai coconut meat (1/2 cup?) and coconut liquid (1/2 cup?) into my BlendTec, with a little lemon juice (1 Tbsp?) and agave (2 Tbsp?), plus some cashews (1/3 cup?) and 6 frozen strawberries. I whizzed it up into a cream sauce and served it with ½ cup blueberries in each of five crystal glasses as a parfait. Yum, everyone gobbled it up.

(I put question marks after the measurements because I didn’t measure, so these are guesses–don’t hold me to them!)