Today show nutrition expert, Joy Bauer, has come out with a new book, The Joy Fit Club: Cookbook, Diet Plan & Inspiration, where she profiles 30 formerly obese people who have each lost over 100 pounds and transformed their lives. In the book, these “biggest losers” share some of their best and most clever tricks that they used to shed so many pounds–and we gotta say, some of them are quite ingenious. Here are a few that may help you, too:
Trick #1: Pull out a bag of tricks (Our favorite)
Kim, who lost 110 pounds, fights off cravings for junk food with a bag that is filled with cards listing fun, motivational activities. This includes everything “read a book” and “treat myself to a manicure” to “call a friend” and “exercise for 10 minutes.” The deal is, when an urge for cookies or candy strikes, Kim has to finish the activity she randomly selected. By the time she’s done, her desire to eat has usually passed.
At first glance, this “bag of tricks” may sound corny, but it’s actually a great idea. Most cravings for junk food are emotional (you’re bored, tired, angry, etc.) and will pass if you divert your attention to something more positive. The key here is to hold yourself accountable for actually doing the activity you select.
Trick #2: Exercise during commercials
Simply getting off the couch during every commercial break helped Sheri drop 141 pounds and become half of her former self. When watching TV, she made a deal with herself to get up during each commercial break and squeeze in some crunches, squats, lunges or even some time just walking in place. This could add up to burning 100 calories during an hour-long program–and if you watch an average of two hours of TV a day, that could mean an extra 1,400 calories a week.
This two-minute break also works well for push-ups and jump roping. Who cares what the neighbors think! Leave your blinds open and maybe you can motivate them too.
Trick #3: Create slim-downed versions of your favorite foods.
Who says that pizza is a no-no when you’re trying to lose weight? One woman who lost a whopping 300 pounds says she created a healthier version simply by using a whole-grain tortilla or flatbread for the base and then topping it with low-fat cheese and tons of fresh veggies.
Another woman who lost 109 pounds jazzed up her salads with a healthy, homemade dressing that was low in fat and calories. She uses flavored vinegar (like raspberry) and goes light on the oil to trim even more calories. She also adds nonfat plain Greek yogurt to the vinaigrette for a creamier version that helps to keep her satisfied longer.
These examples just go to show that weight loss is still all about diet and exercise–and some fun, creative tricks to keep things interesting.