How to Lose Weight: Simple Strategies for Success
Learn how to lose weight and keep it off from Carol Scheible, who lost over 100 pounds.
Interview with Carol Scheible
Carol is one of the dieters who not only managed to lose weight—she lost over 100 pounds,—but she keeps the weight off. We asked Carol to share her success strategies. She revealed some of her weight loss secrets and even told her favorite recipe of Tomato Basil Whitefish.
What helps you succeed in weight loss?
Being committed to lifelong good eating habits. If you think of a diet as a temporary thing, then the success will also be temporary. You must plan on sticking with it for the rest of your life. Many people think of diet as a bad word, i.e., "die-it". The word diet is defined as "a prescribed selection of foods". You must choose a diet that is healthy and that you can live with the rest of your life.
What can you recommend to help people stay motivated and not to give up after a few failures?
One thing is to buy an item of clothing that is just slightly too small for me. By making it just slightly too small makes the goal within reach. That has helped motivated me to stay on track and to get back on track when I fail.
Another thing I do is to weigh myself every day and write it down in a diet journal. That way, I immediately see the result of a days worth of bad eating.
Most everyone who has tried dieting in the past has gone through a period of successful weight loss and thought: "Gee, this isn’t so bad, and I feel a lot better". I say grab onto that feeling you’ve had in the past and don’t let it go. If it does slip away from you, then focus on grabbing hold of that feeling again. Keep doing that, and eventually it will become the norm.
Finally, I try to keep in mind that any week that I don’t gain weight is a successful week in my book.
Do you have any favorite motivational quotes?
Yes. I saw this on another diet blog: "Nothing tastes as good as being in control feels."
Do you think counting calories is useful? If so, what is the best way to do this? Do you keep a food diary?
Absolutely. I still count every calorie that goes into my mouth and write it down, even though I am maintaining my weight now. My food diary is a chunky little spiral notebook I bought for 99 cents at Wal-Mart, and it’s called "The Fat Lil’ Notebook". I find that humorous! Here are the ways I count calories:
- Look at the nutrition label on packages.
- Look up the food in the book The Complete Book of Food Counts by Corinne T. Netzer.
- Look up the food at the Calorie Counter site
- Sometimes I just estimate the best that I can.
What exercises do you find the most effective for weight loss?
Can you give some advice or tips regarding portion control?
- Read labels carefully! Often times a food (particularly snack foods) will be packaged 2 servings per container, even though the container seems like it’s just a single serving size. So, be sure to check how many "Servings per container" there are!
- For carbohydrate foods such as rice or pasta, I limit those portions to the size of a tennis ball.
- Most packaged bread is one slice per serving, so I buy low carb or lite bread, which has half the calories of regular bread. That way I can enjoy two slices for one serving.
- Meat is generally pretty easy to size. One chicken breast, one turkey burger (or lean hamburger), one fish filet, etc. If it’s ground meat, the size of a tennis ball works well here, too.
Could you share your favorite recipe?
This recipe came from a recipe card at the fish counter of my local supermarket.
Tomato Basil Whitefish
- 16 oz Whitefish or Tilapia fillets
- 2 1/2 cups tomatoes, diced
- 1/2 cup fresh basil leaves, chopped or 1 Tbs dried basil
- 1/4 cup onion, diced
- 1/4 cup garlic, chopped (approx. 5 cloves)
- 2/3 cup chicken stock
- 1 small (4 oz.) can Hunts Tomato Sauce
- 1 Tbs. vinegar or lemon juice
- 1 Tbs. sugar or Splenda
Coat pan with palm cooking oil and pan-fry the fish fillets until golden brown. Remove from pan and set aside. Peel off skin if desired.
To prepare sauce, stew garlic and onions in pan. Add tomato sauce, vinegar or lemon juice and sugar. Stir in basil and chicken stock and boil. Add fish and simmer until sauce thickens.
What helps you cope with emotional eating?
Could you give some tips on dining out?
If you are dining out for a special occasion that only occurs once per year, such as birthday or anniversary, I say go ahead and get what you want. A once per year splurge is okay.
Otherwise, here’s my advice:
- Avoid pasta dishes such as Lasagna, Fettucini Alfredo, etc. Those dishes are loaded with fat, carbs and not much protein.
- Choose an entree that has a chicken, fish, or steak, with vegetables and a salad.
- If the meal comes with a baked potato, ask if it can be replaced with vegetables. Baked potatoes are just too tempting with all the butter and sour cream; that it’s best to avoid that food altogether!
- If the dish comes with a side or rice or pasta, just eat a tennis ball sized amount of it and leave the rest.
- Never order an appetizer.
- Here’s what to do if bread and butter or tortilla chips is included with your meal… If you can’t control yourself to eat just once slice or a few chips, then ask the wait staff not to bring it to your table at all (or, if other people at your table want it, ask someone close to you not to let you have any!). Often it’s easier to resist the first bite than to resist the second, third, fourth, and beyond!