A weight update after three-plus years of eating real food and cutting portions - real life results to a way we were meant to eat.
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Since writing the series about my life-long issues with weight a few years ago and then sharing with you how the extra weight finally came off when I started eating real foods and practicing portion control, I've gotten a number of requests for a weight update. Which is basically just asking for an answer to this question:
"Have you maintained the weight loss?"
Which I totally get. Especially since I came out with a couple of eBooks around the topic. I mean, here I'm telling you that something worked for me, so it's only natural to want to know if it really worked for the long haul.
We've all read or heard of the stories of weight loss where the person gains back the weight (and sometimes more, ugh) - sheesh, what am I saying? I've been that person.
So I've been meaning to share with you for awhile that I'm not that person anymore. Eating real food (with an occasional splurge) and practicing portion control is not a diet, it's the way we were meant to eat.
So I find it a lot easier to keep on track - or to get back on track if the pounds start to creep back.
The result is that I have stayed within 5 pounds of my original weight loss for more than three years now! It's seriously the easiest maintenance I've ever experienced because I don't feel like I'm dieting, eating differently from others, or depriving myself.
Have I ever gained weight?
Yes (the 5 pound fluctuation mentioned above), and I think it's directly related to the amount of my food - I'm not gonna lie, it's just plain hard sometimes to keep the portions in check when they are so out-of-whack in our culture.
Especially the idea that "it's good for me, so I can have a lot of it."
I've found that too much food is too much, period.
And when I'm eating reasonable portions that are right for my body (NOT what the USDA or a label tells me is a portion) all the time, my stomach doesn't get used to larger portions at all. There's no feast-and-famine to make me want more food.
Another reason I've found it easy to stay within a target range is because, well, it is easy. I don't have to write down everything I eat, record calories, log into an app 3-5 times a day, or eat special foods.
And while these things may work for some people, they have never worked for me long term because, seriously, who has time for that? There's a ton of things I'd rather be doing with my time.
Not to mention that doing all that writing, thinking, recording, and planning just causes me to obsess about food - what I can have, what I can't have, what I did have and what I will have.
It's like food, food, food, all.the.time. And I don't want to think about it all the time - it's taken up way too much of my life as it is!
But if I don't think about it, isn't that like giving up?
Well, my body got used to eating smaller portions, so it lets me know if I've eaten too much - it keeps track of that for me.
The tips and tricks I used to help get me on track to healthy eating have also become second nature - I thought about them a lot in the beginning, but they're just a part of life now (you won't find me without a bag of nuts in my purse, and I use a measuring cup to add granola to my bowl).
And of course I think about food during meals or menu planning - that's when you should after all, ha! I have to consciously keep my food portions small and that comes into play almost every meal. So I'm not giving up diligence or eating healthy - I'm giving up obsessing about it.
And it's freeing.
To eat real, whole foods that taste good and maintain a healthy weight - even as I age? (cough, cough) Yes - that's a pretty good place to be, and if I can get to that place then I know you can, too, if you feel like you should.
Making smart food choices and eating less - that's something everyone can do. Even for the long haul.
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Hi Jami. I came across your website looking for a healthier version of spiced nuts (thanks - I made them and they were delish!) and then happened upon your series about weight loss. I am also trying to lose weight and having some progress (I'm 5'3" and down to 132 from 140 lbs) but it's taken a long time since I am not too far off from my setpoint and have never gone under 130 as an adult. Ideally I'd like to be 127 and I know it's going to take more work to get there. A lot of what you're saying is really resounding with me since I am losing weight in the same way you did, for the most part. However, I'm finding it really hard to control portions of healthy foods (like vegetables) and actually find "volume eating" one of the ways that I can stay on track without feeling hungry all the time. Some of what you're saying just doesn't work for me (i.e., eating 6 pecans and a cup of tea doesn't fill me up - haha). So I'm wondering if you would do a "What I Eat in a Day" series including the portions that you are actually eating on a day-to-day basis. I'd love to see that! Thanks for a great blog and congrats on your sustained weight loss.
I'm glad this has been helpful, Katherine! Yes, we seem to be similar, body-weight wise - the struggle is real to lose (and keep off) those extra 5-10 pounds! We're all different, and there's nothing wrong in eating more vegetables to feel full while keeping other higher-dense foods in control.
That's a good idea about the series - I've actually been thinking about that since a large food blog I follow is doing that monthly and seems to be popular. Stay tuned - hopefully you'll see that soon!
This is such an encouraging post! Thank you so much for providing an update for us. I, too, have been bouncing between the THM diet and just eating real food, and whenever I see some of your recipes lately, I find myself thinking, 'does she really eat THIS and stay slim (e.g. the scalloped potatoes!), or has she given up on her weight?' I'm so relieved to see that it's possible to eat yummy food without gaining weight (given healthy portions). This settles it, I'm ditching the THM and rereading your tips and tricks. 🙂
I'm glad you're encouraged, Dawn! But I should say that I make those scalloped potatoes maybe 2-3 times a year, and then it's always for guests. Granted, I usually don't want to take the time to slice potatoes for regular meals, but probably another of my 'tricks' is that special food is just that - special. I don't make my cinnamon rolls on any given weekend, they are a special treat. All our cookies and breads go right in the freezer, which is definitely an 'outta sight outta mind' kind of thing. I guess what I'm trying to say is that it's easiest to eat in moderation when there are limited choices, which is why I eat the same thing for breakfast and snacks.
The thing I'd want to emphasize with eating real foods in moderation vs. THM is that it truly is sustainable for the long haul since you're not cutting out any type of sweetener except fake ones. This is just a way to live and eat forever, no matter if you're traveling, it's a holiday, or you're celebrating. 🙂
I love all your meal ideas. I am going to try your seasonal menu. After working all week, just thinking about a food menu brings me to tears LOL. Thank you so much for taking the time to do this for us. You're amazing!! And you are looking awesome!! I have a 20 lb weight loss goal that I hope to reach by the end of the school year. I work in a high school cafeteria and I started taking my lunch. School food is soooooo unhealthy now. And my plan is to not eat out so much anymore also. Knowing what I will make for dinner will help me stick to that. You really are inspiring.
Oh, thank you, Fran - you've blessed me with your words. 🙂 Choosing good food to eat is the major part of the battle - there are SO many cheap, easy to eat foods out there now that are SO not really food, don't you think? I'll be cheering you on to meet your goal!
Leslie A says
I happened upon your e-book and from there, your blog after buying the Healthy Living bundle through another website. What you are saying makes complete sense and I had been thinking about it before even happening upon your blog. Thanks for confirming it. Now to get it from my head to actually becoming a daily habit! Do you have any thoughts on that?
Well, Leslie, I did think about it a lot in the beginning and developed little tricks to help it become habit (and so, something I didn't have to think about as much). Have you read the posts about the tips I used? You might find those helpful. 🙂
You look great! I had noticed in your videos that you were still looking fit and very slim. You are such an inspiration to me. Doing something that is sustainable for the long term is so important and what you have done is the "true lifestyle way of eating". I have to keep referring back to your series over and over when I read blogs that say" grains make you fat" or " dairy makes you fat" or "fat makes you fat". It really is eating too much and eating the wrong foods (processed) that hurts us. Why do we forget so soon and get caught up in these "diets"? Lately, it's THM! Have you heard of this?
I would love for you to do some sort of videos on this subject, I love your videos ( the funny ones crack me & my husband up) you really do have a gift to teach and you keeping the weight off is such testimony to us. Thank you!
Oh, Teresa, you completely made my day!! You are so very right and the popularity of THM is a bit disheartening to me, actually, since there is not much 'common sense' about all the hoops you have to jump through or the fake foods they suggest you eat. 🙁 I do know many who use it and like it, but I don't believe it's something that will last for them, unfortunately.
So glad you enjoy the videos - I'll pass that along to Brian, since they are his little babies, ha! Hmmm, we'll have to put our heads together as to what kind of video we could make around this subject - one doesn't just jump to mind! We'll see what we can do. 🙂
You look just beautiful, Jami! I am so inspired by your blog...and your weight loss progress! I'm working on my weight while getting in shape for ski season 🙂
Oh, you're the sweetest, Michele! Thank you so much - and good for you for getting in shape!!
Linda Thomson says
Well, it certainly works. You look healthy, happy and beautiful!
Thank you so much, Linda!
What an inspiration you are! Thanks for the update!
Thank you, Jennifer!