Hi everyone! This post is from Carrie, one of Dustin’s contributors.

If you read my first blog you know I had felt deprived during my other weight loss attempts. Because of this it became easy for me to justify not beginning another program. I just didn’t want to feel that way for months. Well, I’m here to say you do not have to feel deprived while you are losing weight. I AM losing weight and I’m NOT hungry. I eat butter, 2% greek yogurt, 2% milk, chocolate, pizza, and restaurant food (all in moderation mind you, but that is another blog post!). As I’m learning more about nutrition, I am beginning to understand why those other programs were so hard for me to stick with. So what happened on those previous programs that didn’t work for me and why?

1. I always felt hungry.

Every program I have tried previously was a low-fat diet. Fat is responsible for satiety. It has 9 calories per gram, twice as much as carbs or protein, and helps make us feel full. Elimiate fat in your diet and you don’t feel full. When you don’t feel full, you keep eating. More eating=more calories=weight gain (or at the very least no weight loss).

2. Checking off little boxes on a diary sheet didn’t make sense to me. 

Keeping a food journal IS a very good habit to develop during weight loss. However, rather than check off food group servings, a more effective way to journal is to track calories and how your food choices make you feel. Tracking these two things will help you learn serving sizes and associated calorie counts and what foods work for you (you might be surprised at what makes you feel bloated or tired).

3. I couldn’t “go off-plan” even the slightest or I wouldn’t lose weight.  For me this meant if I wanted to have a good week, there would be no desserts, drinks, or dinner out.

Are you going to avoid your favorite foods for months or learn how to eat them in moderation? If you want this weight loss to be permanent learn how to incorporate the treats. You may lose the weight a bit slower, but you’ll be eating from the start how you plan to live for the long haul.

4. I consumed all kinds of “diet” food.  Fat free dressing, fat-free sour cream, butter-like spreads or sprays, lite yogurt, microwaveable meals in a tray.

If you’ve read the labels for the various foods I’ve listed, you will find there are a lot of chemicals in them.  Chemicals aren’t good for your body and all those fat-free products taste funky anyway. I don’t eat that stuff anymore. Eat less of the good (aka real) stuff or find an alternative. For example, use plain yogurt instead of sour cream or use flavored vinegar and oil instead of chemical filled, pre-made salad dressings.

5. There was no way to count (check  boxes on a diary sheet) most restaurant meals or big event meals like family holidays, weddings, or parties.

 I always felt if I didn’t know how to”count” it, I couldn’t have it. I understood I needed to make better choices, but to not have cranberry pudding once a year at Christmas because I had no idea what food group to check on my journal did not seem realistic either. Just as I said in #3…learn how to incorporate some of your favorites and you’ll be changing habits for the long-term.

As I’ve been writing this post, it occurs to me that in my previous weight loss attempts I got very good at following a program, I just never learned to eat. So if you are struggling like I did, maybe try changing what you are eating and take some time to learn about nutrition. You might be surprised what you CAN eat and still lose weight.