I’ve lost a lot of weight in my life. I’ve worked in the diet industry and I know how to lose weight and how to keep it off. Unfortunately, I don’t always follow my best advice. These photos are ideas for delicious, healthy dinners that are compatible with most diet plans. I’ve fed them to family and to guests. No one has complained about being fed “diet” food.
These menus remind me of what works well and hopefully help anyone who happens to stumble across this site.
You can do it!
Update: As of 12/19/2011 I have been on the diet for 50 weeks and have lost 56 lbs. During this year, I have been on numerous vacations including 7 weeks traveling across country and back and 3 weeks in Italy.
Update: As of 4/9/2012 I have been on the diet for 67 weeks and have lost 62 lbs. As you can see my weight loss has slowed down. Christmas, New Year’s, 7 weeks with my sister in Florida, and a week in Indian Wells have made it more difficult. But the trend is downward and even if my weight loss is slowing down, I am still happy with the results.
Update: As of 1/5/2015 I have gained back about 75% of the weight I lost. I injured my knee and had surgery. This effected my exercise tremendously. The surgery was not successful and I have a hard time just going up and down stairs. I cannot run. Needless to say I have been rather depressed about this. So bad attitude and physical problems led to my weight gain. Life, though, is a series of do-overs. I forgive myself for my lapses. There is always today and the chance to re-adopt a healthy lifestyle.
Update: As of 2/17/2016 my weight has held steady for a while. I am down around 25 lbs. from my original weight. My knee while not perfect allows me to take walks and move in a limited way around the tennis court. I am encouraged by this. In order to achieve my goal of a healthy, active lifestyle, I have joined a sports club, started working with a personal trainer, and bought a Fitbit. I am motivated. However, I still plan on taking many vacations and eating at fine restaurants occasionally. Most of my meals, though, I eat at home cooking with my husband, John.
Update: As of 7/27/18 I have continued to hold my weight steady at about 25 lbs. less than my original weight. Since my exercise is still limited by my knee and I am getting older I consider this somewhat of a victory. I am trying to avoid knee replacement surgery and am having some success with cortisone injections. I have really cut down on red meats and am trying to include more vegetarian and vegan meals. John and I are still loving cooking together almost every day and spend much of our leisure time traveling. Life is good!
Update: As of 2/12/19 I have continued to hold my weight between 25-30 lbs. less than my original weight. I am being more pro-active in regards to my knee. On 9/23/18 I had an injection of amniotic stem cells. These take time to grow but almost 5 months out my knee is responding and does not hurt while walking. I even tried to play some tennis but that was a bad idea. I am encouraged however. I am trying to eat smaller portions while not depriving myself. I have slowly lost a few more pounds. John and I plan our menu for the week every Sunday. We love the planning, shopping, and cooking so rarely dine out except on vacation. I am finally beginning to accept myself as I am.
Update: As of 12/18/19 both John and I have been on the WW weight loss plan for four months and have each lost about 20 lbs. I am encouraged by this and hope to lose at least 20 lbs. more. It has been a fairly easy plan to follow since our usual diet of vegetarian, seafood, and poultry fits easily into the WW structure. Granted we did have to give up “cocktail hour” and replace it with “soft drink and popcorn” hour. During the time we have been on the plan we also took a 2 week cruise in Southeast Asia and, by eating somewhat mindfully, did not gain weight. We took cooking classes in Vietnam and Cambodia and look forward to adding some new items to our usually fare. Since my last update I tripped and fell tearing the rotator cuff in my right shoulder. Between my shoulder and my knee my exercise has become severely limited.
Update: 5/16/20 What started as a “diet” now seems merely as the way we eat. Both John and I have lost about 40 lbs. But if I figure my weight loss from my maximum weight, I have lost over 65 lbs. I am quite pleased at the changes we have made. At least half our meals are plant-based and the rest consist of mostly seafood or chicken. We snack on popcorn, apples, and vegetables. I am truly thankful that I do not like sweets and have what my grandkids call a salt-tooth. I still carefully plan a menu each week because I am well aware that I could easily slide down the slippery slope of over-eating.
Update: 8/1/20 I have now lost 50 lbs. and am going to have to consider stopping the weight loss portion of my diet and think about maintaining my weight. This is pretty scary. I always have been very good at losing weight and very good at gaining weight, maintaining is harder. I am hopeful that all the positive changes I have made will stick.
Update: 11/2/20 Success!!! I have reached my goal and have lost just slightly over 60 lbs. during this weight loss effort. My total weight loss from my maximum weight at the start of this blog is 86 lbs. John finished up a few weeks ahead of me losing about 55 lbs. What a great team effort! By taking the time to make delicious meals, we have made losing the weight easier than I would have imagined. In order to maintain our weights we plan on adding a little more healthy fat and an occasional glass of wine (danger!) I shall continue to track all my meals, write my blog, and not let my weight get more than three pounds over before re-instituting a stricter food plan. Yay!
Update: 6/20/21 I have been successfully maintaining my weight loss for over 6 months now. I keep a graph of my daily weigh-ins and I can really see that maintaining is not a flat line. My graph looks very jagged with my weight fluctuating-between 3 lbs. over goal and 3 lbs. under goal. We took a road trip in May and it was tough going trying to find reasonable things to eat. I gained 4 lbs. and have been fighting to lose it. Finally this week I am back to just under my goal. We are planning more adventures now that the pandemic has eased so I imagine more challenges await. I feel confidant that if John and I continue to plan, shop, and cook our own meals that this time I will keep the extra weight off.
Update: 5/9/22 After two cruises and a generally lax attitude toward strict attention to my diet, I am up 15 pounds. It’s been fun but being healthy and looking and feeling good are more important so it is back to adherence to our diet plan. It should take about 3 months to lose the extra weight. No doubt if I had continued on my overeating path it would have led to bad physical outcomes. I know what to do and will just do it. I enjoyed my eating spree and now I will enjoy eating cleanly.
Update: 1/5/23 If only I had just done what I said I was going to do in May! I did go back on the plan but got majorly sidetracked when we took our three week anniversary trip in July/August. I had really good intentions but I found dining on the road and sitting in the car for hours each day in Canada very difficult. Fast food and fried food seemed to be what was available and so that is what I ate. Then I went on a trip with our daughter followed by Thanksgiving, my birthday, and Christmas. So Instead of 15 lbs. to lose, I have 25 lbs. On top of this my knee has made it impossible to play tennis or even do a lot of walking. No doubt gaining this weight is not helping. So, what to do? On January 2 I started again with tracking what I eat, making better choices, and trying to get some exercise in. This is a journey and sometimes you go down the wrong road and get lost but you can always turn around and find your way back. At least I hope so.