Ask Belle: Some Tips on Losing Weight
Dec 26, 2013
A few months ago, you mentioned you lost a lot of weight. I was just wondering if you could share what worked for you? Making time to eat healthy and work out were never a problem for me until I started working long hours at a high-pressure job.
Thank you so much, L
When I first started on the Hill, I gained around 30lbs. I’ve taken off most of that weight, but keeping it off is not easy. And since I know a lot of you will be thinking about working out, eating healthier and losing weight in the New Year, I thought I’d share a few things that work for me.
Use Smaller Plates and Bowls. People talk a lot about portion size, but one of the biggest culprits for overeating is the size of your dinnerware. I discovered this by accident while using a half-cup scoop instead of a ladle to pour chili into a bowl. I’d dumped almost a-cup-and-a-half of chili into one of my soup bowls and it was barely half-full. So just eating off of smaller plates and buying smaller bowls can help. This website explains it better.
Pre-Shower Mini-Workout. I hate to get out of bed in the morning. So working out at dawn is not for me. However, I do sneak in a mini-workout before my shower. I do 50 sit-ups, 30 jumping jacks, 20 leg lifts (each side), 20 squats and 10-15 push ups.
It’s not a lot, but it’s a workout that I can do in 10-minutes before I get ready for the day. If I get home in time for an evening workout, awesome. If not, I still did something.
Buy a Juicer. I don’t eat enough vegetables. So to squeeze as much nutrition into my day as I can, I bought a Breville juicer. My favorite juice is lots of spinach, some cucumber, some cilantro, some kale and some pineapple. The pineapple has such a strong flavor that you don’t taste any of the greens, except a bit of tang from the cilantro, making it very drinkable.
I find drinking juice a filling way to eat a late dinner or a light lunch. I also think it helps my mental clarity if I drink juice a few days per week.
Move Every Hour. Sitting is bad. And while I can’t fully eliminate it from my day, I can get up and move around more. I set an alarm on my computer so every hour it would beep to tell me to get up. I’d walk to the water cooler, stretch, run an errand, etc. Just something to get out of my chair and get the blood flowing.
Get a Pedometer. Last year, I bought a Fitbit Flex. It tracks the number of steps that I take each day. The goal is 10,000 (five miles), so if it’s 1:00PM, and I’m only at 3,000, I’ll try to add some steps with a bit of creativity.
When it’s not freezing outside, I will often ride the train one stop past my stop and walk the extra couple of blocks. Or I’ll schedule a long list of errands to run in the neighborhood on foot. Sometimes, if I have a meeting with a staffer that I know well, I’ll ask them if they want to ‘walk and talk’ and we’ll walk the halls of the House or Senate office buildings instead of sitting in a conference room.
It doesn’t seem like much, but just wearing the Fitbit and checking my progress keeps me in touch with how active I have been. And just being aware of how much your moving can do a lot for your motivation.
I’m sure that some other readers have thoughts they can share on losing weight, eating healthy or getting in shape, so leave them in the comments.