Dieting can be super tough. Two weeks ago, I embarked on my “self-care” journey and teamed up with Dr. Allana Polo to help me lose weight on the HCG diet. The diet itself is very simple and very restrictive, but thanks to the HCG hormone that’s taken daily, I am not hungry. I eat my meals throughout the day, starting with a small snack mid-morning, and as long as I’m eating every few hours, I’m never hungry. Keep in mind, our calories are restricted to 500 calories per day! Shocking right?
How does it work? The HCG hormone is what they call the ‘pregnancy hormone’, and it causes your body to eat away at the fat stores on your body, so although I’m only ingesting 500 calories per day, my body is actively eating away at the fat on my body, up to an extra 4,000 calories daily. Insane, right?
I’m currently on day 17 of the diet, and am really pleased with my results so far. But what’s really put my head in a spin is how connected my emotional wellbeing is to food. When I’m feeling amazing, I don’t have cravings, I’m excited and full of energy. But if something doesn’t go right, or I have a really horrible, no good day, I immediately turn to food for comfort.
I’ve been practicing trying to allow myself to just sit there and feel these emotions. Allow myself to feel bad or sad, or upset with myself, instead of just turning to some type of sugary goodness to shove in my mouth and make me feel better. This diet has turned into a huge learning experience for me, about myself, and what I’m capable of.
Here are my five tips to making your diet a success:
// Tell Your Family + Friends
Let’s face it, you need to tell the most important people in your life about your plans. Why? Isn’t talking about dieting boring as hell? Of course it is! However having your mom shove cake in your face or having your friend guilt you into happy hour can doom your diet! Tell your friends about your planned life changes, and make hangouts more fun by not basing activities around food or alcohol! Instead, take a bike ride, go for a walk or a hike, or have some herbal tea and a chat. Your family and friends should understand your reasonings behind the diet, and if not, tell them why it’s important to you. Family and friends should have your back during this time, not try to steer you wrong!
// Get Support
Support can come in many forms – a diet group meeting or an online forum can definitely help keep you motivated – but you also need that one person you can call to be your cheerleader when you’re down. I’m grateful that my best friend is also my husband, as cheesy as that sounds, and he’s on this dieting journey with me! It works great because I have the support at home to stick to my diet, and if either one of us is feeling down or has a craving to cheat, I’ll make a quick phone call to him and he’ll quickly set me straight, and vice versa.
// Keep Track of Everything
I hate this one. I hate starting a diet and keeping track of what I’m eating and how much I weight everyday. Once I get into the groove though, writing down my food consumption, my calories, my water intake, and my daily weight stops being a chore and becomes a habit. Why do it? It helps you visually monitor your weight according to what you eat or your exercise. Sometimes we think we’re doing great and we’re not, other times I feel like I may have overdone it, but really I hadn’t. Stepping on the scale daily can be annoying as well – seeing your weight drop only .2 lbs might depress you, but on a larger scale, you’ve dropped 2.2 lbs this week and that should make you smile!
// Flex Your Willpower
Every diet I’ve ever started reminded me that social outings and late night dinner dates shouldn’t happen anymore. You just don’t want to put yourself into that kind of temptation! You tell yourself you’ll just order a salad, but then something might catch your eye, a delicious cocktail might beckon, and you’ll end the night feeling guilty! Don’t do that. BUT, start flexing your willpower – think of it as a muscle that every day gets stronger. Some days I want carbs, and that fluffy white bread my kids eat beckons to me – but I shut it down! I tell it to go ‘eff itself and I carry on. Keep your thoughts focused on what you want, and get those carbs and sweets off your shoulder.
// Plan, Prep, Plan, Prep!
I can’t stress this one enough. Plan your meals as much as you can, and PREP them! Sometimes those can be huge lifesavers when I’m running around like a crazy person trying to get all my shit done, I look at the clock and it’s 2 pm and I’m suddenly famished. I run upstairs and realize that there’s a lovely salad, pre-made by moi the other night, and I feel lucky to have that meal, ready to go. Otherwise I’d be up there chopping veggies and cursing at my chicken to hurry up and cook. And then I get hangry like no other. So prepping your veggies, planning your meals, and batch cooking for lunches is a huge help to keeping your diet on track!
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