My diet hacks revealed: TOLT

I’ve maintained a 40 lb weight loss for 3 1/2 years, more or less. It’s not the first time I’ve lost that much weight, but this time I did things differently — and it seems to have worked (even when it feels like it’s not working). So today I’m Thinking Out Loud about the ways I lost that weight, and how I maintain that weight loss.

I’m not a nutritionist, doctor, nurse, and I firmly believe that every body is different, so what works for me may not work for you. I hope that you can take away something that helps you, though.

And then of course there’s always the furkids — they tend to be on the skinny side, but that’s because I can control what they eat (to some degree).

This one is thanks to Mr. Judy
He said it a long time ago, and he was right: just leave over a few bites of your meal.I don’t do that much at home, as I’ve usually planned out my meals (more on that below).

But eating out? Yes, I do it all the time. I know some of you are of the clean plate generation. Think of it this way: is the extra food you’re eating doing you any good? And is it actually going to do anyone any good if you eat every bite on your plate? It’s hard to change habits, I understand.

I definitely do this with desserts out. Usually Mr. Judy and I share if we do get dessert. Occasionally, like after a half, I’ll enjoy every single bite. That decadent chocolate PB dessert I ate at brunch? No, I didn’t finish it.

I’m happy if I can just get people to think in new ways.

Preplan your meals
If you don’t have  a weight problem, you probably just want to skip on down to the Bandit update. Or you might just want to read through it anyway — maybe you picked up a few pounds over the holidays?  Keep an open mind. Try the things that appeal to you.

Yes, I try to preplan most of my meals. Usually the day before, but sometimes the day of. I may change my mind a gazillion times, depending on how I feel, but it gives me a blueprint and a better idea of what I can swap in if I’m not feeling what I planned.

Not to mention it takes the angst out of what the heck am I going to eat for dinner tonight?

Carb cycle
There are lots of carb cycling plans out there. I’ve tried a few — and they’ve been too rigid for me. So here’s what works for me: eating more carbs on days I’m more active, less carbs on days I’m less active.

I don’t count carb grams, by the way.

Easy peasy.


No carbs at night
Except for one or two nights a week, I don’t have any carbs with dinner. Well, not the starchy kind (no rice, no potatoes, definitely no bread). I will usually have some fruit as dessert, so yes, there is carbs in that (actually, there’s carbs in just about everything).

The theory behind that one is that we are less active at night, and far less likely to burn the carbs off. I am actually all about balance over time, so while the truth is I think you can eat carbs at night and maintain your weight, I’ve just found that this works well for me.

Whole foods
I don’t think carbs are the devil. If you’re active, you really need those carbs. The less processed you eat, though, the more your body knows what to do with the carbs.

I try to concentrate on things like brown rice, potatoes, sweet potatoes, plaintains. Apples, bananas (so many things you can do with bananas that are yummy!).

Let the guilt go
This might be the most important diet hack of all.

Channeling his inner Chester

Bandit update
I thought by now, with Mr. Judy being around a bit more during the holidays, that Bandit would have almost complete freedom in the house. But last week he chased Gizmo — not in a playful way — when Gizmo was running around one morning. So we continue to take and slow and easy.

Not amused by dogs

Don’t get me wrong, both Chester & Lola also had to learn that chasing Giz is not acceptable. I’m pretty sure that Bandit will learn that too, but I would rather continue to keep a close eye on him than have someone lose an eye.

In the good news department, last week I started to walk them on the double leash I used for Chester and Lola. I truly though that that would never happen. I do have to really keep an eye on them, and sometimes hold Bandit’s leash so he doesn’t pull Lola along, but so far, so good.

On the other hand, one day they were both coming upstairs with me and Lola was directly in front of Bandit and he jumped over her. That could have ended really badly in so many ways, but thankfully no one was hurt.


Talk to me. Tell me in the comments:

What’s your favorite diet hack?

Exciting plans for New Years (nope, not at all here — and I don’t stay up to midnight, either)?

What was the last blog you read (besides mine)?

I’m linking up with Amanda at Running with Spoons for her:

Thursdays are for thinking out loud

20 thoughts on “My diet hacks revealed: TOLT

  1. I didn’t know that you lost 40 pounds! That’s a really big accomplishment to do that and keep it off. My mom lost 90 when I was a kid and by adopting a more whole food diet (like you), she has managed to keep it off for over 20 years. I’m always so amazed and impressed with weight loss stories. You have some great diet tips! 😀

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Sadly, it’s not the first time I’ve lost that much weight.

      Your mom is really impressive! I didn’t adopt a whole foods diet the first time I lost that much — which probably explains why I had so much trouble with it (that, and hormones, which are still wreaking havoc).

      Thanks, Kerry!


  2. Never lost weight and now I am at my highest weight.

    For me since I sit at work, my most active period is in the evening. I either walk the mall, run or play tennis. I never snack at home because I am not there and I don’t keep snacks in the house.

    I could lose some pounds if I ate out less (I never leave food on my plate – I hear my mother yelling at me). However, my friends are important and they like to eat. Lol.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Eating out is still hard for me. I know I couldn’t maintain my weight if I ate out as often as you (not to mention the expense).

      But no, I don’t at all feel obligated to clean my plate. Obviously.


  3. I definitely believe in “letting go of the guilt.” That’s just so important. We can really get trapped into that whole negative self-talk business with guilting ourselves over what we ate. Ugh. As for the clean plate club, my mom was pretty big on having us clean our plates. I just learned to put LESS on there (most of the time. sometimes, my eyes are WAY bigger than my stomach and demand more and the food is just sooooo gooooooddddd!) or more veggies. It actually works most of the time!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. My mom just didn’t make us clean our plates, so it was never ingrained in me.

      That being said, my eyes are often too big for my stomach. But truth be told, I have a big appetite for a little person!


  4. I’m running a 5K on NYE that I’m excited about. The town that puts it on hosts fireworks afterwards & they celebrate the New Year on German time, which means I can be home and in my sweatpants on the couch by like 730 PM, which is my kind of party. I’ll probably have a glass of wine or two & watch a movie before I TRY to stay up ’til midnight, but more staying up because that’s when MR. Sass will get home from work & I want my NYE kiss. 🙂

    Maintaining weight loss is HUGE, so congrats. It definitely is all about changing your mindset. Never easy to do.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I agree with the no counting carbs, and eating more carbs on days I am more active. But those Christmas cookies? yeah…they got me this year. Now, with my hubby’s return just a couple months away, I need to kick it up a notch.
    Great news on the bandit update. 🙂

    Happy New Year!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I like your idea of leaving a little on your plate, your right my mama always told me to clean my plate there are starving children that would love to have the food. Sigh, it’s hard to argue with mama but your right it’s not doing me nor those starving children any good.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I was lucky; my mom wasn’t like that (other faults that totally screwed up my relationship with food, tho).

      It’s not usually a lot of food. I might eat 3/4 of a sandwich (actually, 3/4 of a lot of stuff — chips, fries, desserts . . .).

      Liked by 1 person

  7. I’m the clean plate generation. I spent years — decades — overeating because I literally HAD to clean my plate. It took me years to get over it and now I feel so much better. Even if I overeat, I don’t feel sick to my stomach like I used to. Thankful for that!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Congrats on losing 40lb and keeping it off- and sharing what worked for you. Fewer carbs has worked for me, like you I eat occasional sweet potato, brown rice etc but have ditched old habits like toast with marmalade for breakfast, ready made sandwich for lunch and daily sweets/biscuits and cake which are ever present at work! Oh and sugar in coffee. It really makes a difference over time!

    Liked by 1 person

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