Winter Weight Loss: Slow Carb Dieting for the Long Haul

By on December 1, 2011

By Sharon Hurley Hall –

Gaining weight in the winter seems almost a given. We tend to exercise less, and with Thanksgiving, Christmas and a more relaxed attitude to our diets, we tend to eat more.

Most of us give ourselves permission to do this during November and December, but as January rolls around we start thinking ahead and that means finding a way to shed those excess pounds well before the summer.

My personal solution to this has been to maintain my slow carb diet during the holidays. Back in August, when I last wrote about it, I’d lost 17 pounds on the diet. Now I’ve lost more than 30 and am at my lowest weight in nearly two decades. I still have a way to go, but I’d like to share my tips on maintaining a slow-carb diet long term to help you with any post-holiday weight issues.

A Change of Mindset

The first thing I had to do was stop seeing slow-carb as just a diet. For most of us, a diet is something that we do for a short time. We then abandon it when we have either reached our goal or given up in despair. To achieve real success, we need to get rid of the short term mentality and see our new eating plan as a long term lifestyle change. Truth to tell, if anyone had said that seven months after starting the slow carb diet I would still be eating the same meals happily every day, I’d have been doubtful. Yet, there’s no doubt that I’m still on it – and it’s still working.

Eat What You Love

The key to it for me has been to pick the foods I like best from the allowed foods list. I’ve been eating broccoli and spinach all my life, so it was no hardship to eat those. I love lentils and I love fish, so there was no difficulty there either. I always drink lots of water, so that wasn’t an issue. The only small issue I’ve found is that I am eating more eggs than at any other time in my life, but that, at least, is only till I achieve my weight loss goal.

Ride Out the Plateaus

You never lose weight at the same rate all the time and you will hit a plateau. That’s a given. The trick is not to panic, stick to the plan and ride it out. Invariably, after a week or two, those numbers on the scale will start going down again. Since I’ve been on this eating plan, I’ve plateaued three times and survived all three. Keeping focused on the eating plan has helped me keep going and keep dropping those pounds.

Avoid Self-Sabotage

Most diets fail because we fall off the wagon and eat something that’s not allowed. Then we castigate ourselves for doing so and abandon the plan. Luckily, the slow carb eating plan has a weekly cheat day built in, which means you can eat what you like. Use this – and then stick to the plan for the rest of the week.

I know from personal experience that if you deviate from the plan too much, you will pay the price in terms of reduced weight loss. That said, you can still eat out during the week – all you have to do is substitute items on the allowed foods list for those that aren’t. That means no fat-filled dressing and having vegetables instead of potatoes or rice – and no dessert either. Remember: nothing looks as good as thin feels, so keep that mantra in mind and you will stay on track.

Be Kind to Yourself

If you do fall off the wagon, get back on. Sometimes we give ourselves such a hard time that we never complete the plan. That’s a mistake. Sure there will be times when you have a piece of cake when it’s not cheat day (like at your child’s birthday party) but that’s OK as long as you go back to the plan.

Exercise

OK, so the slow carb promise is to lose a certain amount of weight in a month without exercise. But we both know that if you have a lot of weight to lose, you need to keep toned so your skin doesn’t hang off you like the jowls on a bulldog. You don’t have to train for a marathon, but it wouldn’t kill you to pick up some weights for 20 minutes twice a week to target those arms, and to walk a bit so your legs stay firm. Trust me, you’ll feel even better about yourself.

Don’t Give Up

Finally, don’t give up on the new lifestyle. When I started the slow carb eating plan, I averaged weight loss of about 2 pounds a week for the first couple of months. Five months on, my weekly average is creeping down towards the one pound mark. The important thing, though, is that I’m still losing weight, and so will you, if you stick to the plan.

Sharon Hurley Hall has been writing professionally for almost 25 years, and she does it because she loves it. She is a word nerd, a Scrabble fiend, fanatical about grammar, and is fascinated by learning new things. Since 2005, Sharon has mentored other writers at Get Paid To Write Online to help them improve and build sustainable and successful writing careers. Sharon subscribes to the ‘fine wine’ theory of aging – getting older also means getting better! Find Sharon on her website http://www.sharonhh.com/Twitter and Facebook .

About Sharon Hurley Hall

Sharon Hurley Hall has been writing professionally for almost 25 years, and she does it because she loves it. She is a word nerd, a Scrabble fiend, fanatical about grammar, and is fascinated by learning new things. Since 2005, Sharon has mentored other writers at “Get Paid To Write Online” to help them improve and build sustainable and successful writing careers. Sharon subscribes to the 'fine wine' theory of aging - getting older also means getting better! Connect with Sharon on her website.

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Winter Weight Loss: Slow Carb Dieting for the Long Haul