“Family and friend support is so critical to staying accountable," says Delaney. "People may have a sincere interest to work out and eat healthy, but [it's hard if] their family is not on the same page. They buy junk food. They aren’t active. They sit in front of the TV instead of taking a walk.” But getting your family on board with your health goals is another one of those things that’s easier in theory than practice. Delaney offers up three strategies she uses in her own household:
“One of the keys to long-term and sustainable weight loss is to cut total calorie intake, and there’s no better way to do that than by eating just a little bit less of what you currently eat. Once you get into a habit of reducing portions—especially of sugary, fatty and other nutrient-poor foods—you can fine tune your diet to incorporate more nutrient-rich foods. But paring portions is still the best first step.” — Elisa Zied, MS, RDN, CDN, author of  Younger Next Week
“Stepping on the scale frequently makes you aware of small changes and helps you quickly react to those changes. The National Weight Control Registry, a large group of people who have successfully lost at least 30 pounds and kept it off for 5 years, found that successful ‘losers’ weigh themselves often and make adjustments accordingly. When you begin to understand that sodium, carb intake, hormones and alcohol intake can impact weight and that it isn’t possible to gain 2 pounds of fat overnight, you will begin to better understand your body. The key is to pay attention to overall trends; don’t obsess over day-to-day numbers! — Jennifer McDaniel, MS, RDN, CSSD, LD, food and nutrition expert
My commitment to not eating animals, however, was faltering. I’d wake up and declare, “I’m a vegetarian today!” but it was sort of hard to keep the resolution. I’d sit with a friend and she’d order a steak and I’d say, “Umm . . . are you going to finish that?” and take a bite. “But I thought you were a vegetarian!” she would remind me, and I’d counter with, “But you can’t eat all that. I don’t want it to go to waste!” I’d use any excuse.

And what about your health? Do you feel like your body is some mystery that only your doctor understands? Do you feel like getting older is just another way of saying “falling apart”? What if I told you that, by eating a varied, plant-based diet, you will strengthen your immune system, beautify your skin, increase your energy, and reduce your risk (signifi cantly) of cancer, heart disease, diabetes, arthritis, osteoporosis, allergies, asthma, and almost every other disease? What if I said that I feel myself getting younger, more powerful, and more beautiful as I age simply because of what I eat? Of course the food we choose is not the only factor in our health and well-being, but it’s definitely one of the most important—and, luckily, it’s one we have control over. How does that nondairy ice cream sound now?


Over the summer I weighed in at 123 at 5’6, now I think I’ve gained about 10 or so pounds. I’m trying everything to get the weight off but I to give into my cravings when they appear, and my husband certainly doesn’t make it easy when I get home from work and he’s prepared dinner as he gets home before me (full of guy foods and carbs) We also have a 1yr old so between work and being a new mom I give in once in awhile especially if my son decides to share his sandwiches with me. I do pilates for about 30min 5days a week and love to walk because I found that helped to drop my baby weight last yr but it’s too cold for that now. What would you suggest?
Hi! Great article. I know what you mean about how seeing fast results can get you so excited that it motivates you to do more – eat better, become more active, etc. I lost 5 pounds on a program and I didn’t exercise at all but I got so much energy and desire to have more results that it is changing the way I think and live. I look up great healthy recipes, exercise tips all kinds of healthy minded things. Also I totally agree about the cheat days. No matter what program we are on we need to feel ok when we have a cheat day. If we punish ourselves because we enjoyed a little extra one day then we end up in worse shape. (well that was my experience) Now I know it’s ok if I have a little extra every so often because I know the next day I’m excited to get back to following my plan.
‘Did you know that gluten makes some people emotionally unstable? There are reports of people having psychotic episodes when they’re exposed to gluten.’ Where is the reference? If this is anecdotal that should be made clear in the text. The article is littered with claims that appear to be anecdotal, yet is written as if these statements were fact. They may well be, but without robust randomised and controlled studies to back the author’s claims it’s really just a suspicion based on anecdotal evidence. If I’m going to risk developing disordered eating by following a ‘strict elimination diet’ I want to see facts not anecdotal evidence. Not impressed, ADDitude!
It’s possible that your training is getting in the way of weight loss. I’m a true believer that you should eat for your goals. It sounds like your goal right now is the Ragnar Relay. Getting your body ready for that AND losing weight might be a challenge. This is especially true with the amount of training you’re doing right now. Your body may not want to give up that stored energy source if you’ve been pushing it to its limits on a weekly basis.
Ladies, don't despair: Women have weight-related advantages, too. They tend to carry more body fat on their thighs and backsides (the so-called “pear” shape), which are much healthier places to hold weight than around the middle. Plus, while women are better at storing fat, they also tend to burn more body fat during exercise than men do. "The fat women find it hardest to lose is generally the least harmful to health," Katz says.

Evaluate the slip up: When the slip ups occur, having a check-in process in place can help identify why it happened and prevent it from happening again. Ask yourself: How did I slip up? (I ate a bunch of unhealthy snacks at the office.) How does that make me feel? (Frustrated; like I disappointed my kids.) What can I change moving forward so it doesn’t repeat itself? (Pack snacks ahead of time so that I’m not tempted by candy when I have a stressful day.) This process will help you “understand why you slipped up: maybe it’s because you were stressed out; if you find it to be a constant pattern that you’re always messing up on your diet because you’re stressed, then you need to take action on that,” says Delaney. “When you start to feel stressed out, you can go take a hot bath or read a book; whatever you need to do. And you won’t have as many slips ups because you’ve identified the source of the problem.”
Hi Adam. Your story is amazing & Ive been searching for a way to lose weight & look slim. I’m not obese or anything but I am overweight for my height. I’m 5’2″ & I way 137. I really want to be 125 or 120. Hopefully by the summer. But I’m also 16 & built. I’m active in sports & go to the gym regularly but my diet isn’t very healthy but I don’t know with my age if I should cut back on the foods you have suggested. What should I do?
Avoiding salt doesn’t mean your food has to be bland. Experiment with using different herbs and spices. Try adding fresh cilantro and cumin to grilled fish, lemon and rosemary to chicken, or ginger and Chinese five spice to tempeh or beef. Pick up some spice blends from your local market to help add more spice to your life… just read the ingredients and make sure there’s no salt added.
So as you read, keep in mind that these diff erent levels exist; that no matter where you’re coming from, there’s plenty of room for you on this path. Whether it takes you 2 weeks or 10 years  to make my delicious rice crispy treats matters not a jot. It’s your path, based on what you think and feel while reading this book. You will know what’s right for you.
"When going out for fast food, I used to get the large-size value meal. Now, I satisfy a craving by ordering just one item: a small order of fries or a six-piece box of chicken nuggets. So far, I've shaved off 16 pounds in seven weeks, and I'm on track to being thinner than my high school self for my 10-year reunion later this year." —Miranda Jarrell, Birmingham, AL
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