In the past I have given advice on how to dine smarter when out at restaurants on a diet, provided some of my favorite healthy on-the-go snack options, and gave some insight as to why some of the most popular diets may not be working for you the way they work for so many other people. The most recent studies in science show that people have actually begun to develop rather effective means for weight loss and are successful with losing weight, but are ultimately unable to keep off the weight they lose. While the tips and tricks I provided can be helpful for weight loss, I have not yet given some of my methods that I use consistently on a day to day basis for not only losing weight when I want to cut off a few extra pounds for a shoot, but my every day eating habits that I have developed for maintaining that weight loss. Without further ado, here are some of my model diet hacks.
- First I determine if I am truly hungry, or just thirsty. This has also been proven by science, usually our bodies are often dehydrated, and it is easy to mistake this feeling for true hunger. Before I eat, I always drink a lot of water and wait a little while for that to absorb into my system so that I am sure the cravings I have are due to actual hunger or just thirst. If I am still hungry after ten minutes, I will then proceed to eat something healthy.
- If you know me it is no secret that I am addicted to peanut butter. Thankfully, companies like Better Body Foods have created a healthier, lower-calorie and extremely low-fat peanut butter alternative called PBFit. If you are unfamiliar with it, it’s a powdered form of peanut butter that mixes with water to create a creamy substance that tastes like peanut butter. While this doesn’t even come CLOSE to tasting anything like peanut butter…in fact, many find the powdered substance to be disgusting…I like to take the powder and mix it with things other than water. In fact, I have only used water once or twice, when trying it out for the very first time. I do this a lot: taking things the way they are intended and mixing my own versions of them like a mixologist. Instead, I use two tablespoons of chocolate milk, a flavored protein shake like the FinaFlex double-chocolate brownie (one of my favorites, use code kaycie15 for 15% off), or even my favorite coffee beverage to mix in. Right off the bat, this makes the texture thicker and creamier with a much better taste. Then I do a power move by throwing it in the refrigerator, and after ten minutes the mixture becomes that of a peanut butter chocolate mousse. It is such a refreshing treat that is so low in calories it’s laughable honestly. Not to mention the protein levels in both of them…just saying…do it for the gains (or losses 😉 )
- In addition to peanut butter, one of the fattiest and most delicious foods known to mankind, I am also a huge lover of putting excessive amounts of butter on breads and other foods in general. This is such a Golic thing; to add disgusting amounts of butter (and salt) to dishes. When I first started cutting I thought I would have to part ways with butter completely, and cried at the mini-funeral I had for it. Lol, just kidding. However, I discovered the wonderful I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter zero-calorie spray, and my life has never been the same. While it sounds absolutely disgusting, I shit you not this spray tastes exactly like butter and is absolutely delicious. I spray this on my eggs, noodles, vegetables, or anything else I would use butter with and I honestly cannot tell the damn difference between the two. By being zero calories per spray, it’s completely guilt free and I cannot imagine where I’d be without it. I think we can all agree, a butter-less world is the most depressing world. When I use this spray, it feels like I’m cheating even though I’m not.
- After and in addition to drinking a lot of water, I make sure my veggie intake is high. I know, I know…it’s not cookie dough and it never will be. But thanks to my dad and brothers, I am a HUGE snacker. Growing up my favorite thing to do was sit in front of the tv and play XBox with a giant tub of animal crackers, cinnamon toast crunch cereal or my favorite bag of kettle corn and mindlessly eat while working on homework or doing other things. Now that I’ve graduated from college (wait, holy shit, what?!) I still love to snack while doing other things, I just have chosen different things to munch on. My go to now is heads of lettuce dipped in a little bit of ranch, bbq sauce, or if I’m really cutting my calories low, any sugar free sauce option of choice. It’s a nice, refreshing crunch that tells my body I’m chewing and eating food, but I’m not intaking an insanely high amount of calories. Vegetables are also very filling, so that combined with the high fluid intake is usually my prime way of filling up my stomach without overeating on sugary snacks. Don’t worry, I always reward myself later with a giant bowl of Frosted Flakes when I reach my goal so you can too.
- One of my other addictions is coffee…and not black, either. I like my coffee like I like my men: super strong and super sweet. When it’s black, it’s extremely low in calorie and can be an extremely effective tool for curving hunger cravings, but if you’re like me, you’re addicted to the butter pecan and caramel iced coffees at Dunkin’ and it’s absolute HELL knowing just how many calories are consumed in coffee alone. What’s even worse is that the sugar free syrups taste like cough syrup and I’d rather stick pin needles in my eyes than try and cough down any beverage with those in it. However…there is one that I found recently that I absolutely LOVE…and it’s the Torani sugar-free vanilla syrup. This. stuff. is. frickin. AMAZING. I use a splash of this in coffee with some cashew milk and stevia, and it’s just as good if not better than any vanilla iced coffee I have tried at a coffee shop that’s full of sugar and guilt. Not only can you use this syrup in coffee, you can use the syrups for baking too. I have not tried the other flavors just yet, but rest assured I’ll be ordering one of every flavor I can get my hands on.
That cycle I mentioned earlier of losing and then gaining is rather evil. After we gain this weight back, (I say WE because I have been there too) oftentimes we lose confidence in ourselves because we feel as though we have failed, wasted our time, and are right back at square one. It is such an evil cycle because there is no worse feeling than looking at yourself in the mirror and thinking you are fat, unworthy, or anything less than what you are: beautiful. After we are disheartened for a little while, it is often followed by a sudden burst and rejuvenation of hope where we get right back on the weight loss train. Should we be unsuccessful, we are that much more likely to drop back into that negative frame of mind. Take it from the girl who turned around and dropped almost 70 pounds to achieve her dream body, it was not without failing dozens of times. What won in the end was realizing that minor setbacks were just those, minor, and knew that the end result was worth going through the trial and error. I knew that one day I would have my dream body, I just needed to be patient while I took the time to learn what my body responded well to and what it did not. I learned how to look at plateaus or weight-increases as nothing more than indicators to switch it up and try something else. It is shocking at just how easy it is to belittle ourselves and feel down, but as the saying goes: you can never step into the same river twice. Sure, your weight may be back up to where it was before or maybe even a little higher. But you are most definitely not the same person you were when you were at that weight previously. Not even close. You have gained such insight and knowledge as to what does and does not work for your body, and you will never make those same mistakes again. You are that much closer to finding the pathway to success and being your healthiest, happiest self.
I hope these diet hacks help you the way they have helped me. While there are thousands of ways to cut calories, these really truly are some of my favorites. While I advise you to stay strong and not give up on yourself, I also highly encourage you to get creative and try new things. Try mixing your own crazy drink or dig through the aisles in Walmart on a free afternoon for other low-calorie options that are out there, you never know what you will find. It’s important to enjoy the process and have fun! Happy goal hunting! 🤓