A guest post by Amy Sherman
It’s easy to gain weight, as a food writer and recipe developer. I often dine at restaurants, enjoying multi-course meals, sometimes several days in a row. I always try to taste as many dishes as I can. When I’m developing recipes for clients, it seems like I’m tasting all day long.
At the end of last year, I knew my consumption was up. I also had a sneaking suspicion that the more I ate, the more I wanted to eat. Science is proving this to be true.
On December 30th, 2015 I stepped on a scale for the first time in months. I had gained a lot. I weighed 25 pounds more than on my wedding day, about 15 years earlier.
It was time for a change. The solution had to be a new way of eating. I’m happy to say that, as of this month, I have lost 17 pounds. I have more to go, but I’m satisfied with my steady progress.
How did I lose the weight?
1. I chose a diet I can live with for the rest of my life. I know that sounds extreme, but I had to change the way I was eating if I wanted to lose weight. I’m not really sure that the diet you choose is important—I know people who have had success with Weight Watchers, South Beach, Paleo, Whole 30 and various other diets. What’s important is to choose a way of eating that will work for you in the long term.
2. I fill my refrigerator and pantry with things I want to eat. If the foods I want to eat aren’t convenient, I can’t possibly eat them. It’s fun to find things that fit on my diet and that are delicious. My latest obsession? Grilled and marinated artichokes, piquillo peppers, black truffle almonds, Kalamata olives with orange zest, sardines, and roasted cauliflower with tahini.
3. I got rid of all the foods I don’t want to eat anymore. If I didn’t get rid of cheese, crackers and cookies, I would eventually eat them. I cannot be tempted by what isn’t there. I left some of these items for my skinny husband, who actually needs to gain some weight.
4. I allow myself to eat or drink what I want, within reason. By that I mean that I bend the rules from time to time. I’m in it for the long run, not three days or 30 days. So if I want a glass of wine or a square of dark chocolate, I have it.
5. I don’t starve. One of the keys to success is eating enough to feel full or satisfied. I’m pretty sure it’s the two servings a day of monounsaturated fats and complex carbohydrates that stave off hunger for me.
The diet I chose is the Day Off Diet from Dr. Oz. True to its name, I get a day off to eat whatever I want. This works out well since I am often eating at restaurants where I have fewer choices. I used to eat a lot of pasta, potatoes, cheese and fruit. Those things are limited or forbidden on this diet, but I’ve found ways to still enjoy them without breaking the rules.
For the specifics on what I eat now, read more on my blog, Cooking with Amy.
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Amy Sherman is a San Francisco–based freelance writer, editor, blogger and cookbook author. She is the publisher of the food blog Cooking with Amy, which she launched in 2003. The author of Williams Sonoma New Flavors for Appetizers, Wine Passport: Portugal and A Microwave, A Mug, A Meal, Amy is a frequent contributor to various publications including FoodNetwork, the OpenTable blog, Fodors.com and Marin magazine.
(Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links.)