5 Diet Hacks . . .


. . . That Aren’t About Food

Maybe hacks is too strong a word, but I know that these five things are so important that you are very unlikely to lose and maintain your loss until you’ve addressed most of them.

Last year I shared some of the ways that I maintain my weight loss in the post here. Today I am joining the Friday Five 2.0 from Fairytales & Fitness and Rachel @ Running on Happy to share the hacks that will help you lose weight, but have nothing to do with food.


It’s not about what you’re eating
I say this often: it’s not about what you’re eating, it’s about what’s eating you. Just changing what you eat will never work long-run — you have to delve into why you’re eating that way.

Think about what you can add/Deprivation
Deprivation never works. It always back fires. Cutting out whole food groups rarely works long term, unless, of course, you have a health issue.

Instead of approaching your eating with the view of what you can’t eat, try to think about what you can add in:

  • More fruits & veggies
  • More protein
  • More vegetarian meals
  • More healthy fats (nuts, seeds, avocados)
  • More unprocessed carbs (sweet potatoes, potatoes, rice, starchy vegetables)
  • More hydration


Love yourself
Unhealthy eating habits often stem from not accepting yourself at any weight, low self esteem, and poor body image. Of course there can be many reasons, but how often have you thought “if I only weighed ______” or “looked like ________”, I’d be happy?

It’s not always easy to love yourself when you’re not where you want to be — I totally get it, because yes, of course, like most women, even at a healthy weight I can still struggle with it. Not all the time, but there are days, especially if my weight is up a little bit and I can see that in my face.

But just like running is almost 75% mental, so is a healthy lifestyle. Your thoughts control your actions. Working on self love is sometimes even more important than what you put into your body, because in the long run, loving yourself will help you to maintain a healthy weight.

Positive affirmations and meditation are both great tools to help you learn to love yourself no matter what. Self care is important, too. If you’re not taking care of yourself, what exactly are you saying to yourself? That you’re not worthy of being pampered? That you are the least important person in your world?

Make it a game
Eating healthy doesn’t always have to feel so hard. Sometimes having a little more fun with it makes it easier. That’s why I’m enjoying the Feel Great in 8 challenge so far — you get points for healthy habits, and each week during the challenge some categories (fruits, vegetable, protein, etc.), increases what you need to do to earn your points. Maybe that’s not your idea of fun, but it’s a challenge (hence the Feel Great in 8 Challenge) and I love a challenge.


What is your why?
I saved the most important one for last. Why do you want to lose weight? What’s your motivation? Looking good is a given; we all want to look good. That’s probably not the real reason why — for the real reason, you have to dig deep. The good news is that once you find your why, you are more likely to be successful — as long as you keep that why in mind.

My why? Well, there are many. Yes, to look good. I worked and do work damn hard to maintain a healthy weight. I have more energy when I maintain a healthy weight — more confidence and self esteem, too, and who doesn’t want more of that?

My real why? To age well. I want to live better, not longer (although better and longer are the real pot of gold at the end of the rainbow). I have watched many relatives age, and not particularly well, including my parents. I know what I don’t want. I am willing to work hard for what I do want.

To come up with your own why, consider using the five whys, which might look like this:

  1. Why do you want to lose weight? So I can fit into all my cute clothes without struggling.
  2. Why is it important to you to fit into your clothes without struggling? So that I feel happy when I get dressed.
  3. Why do you want to feel happy when you get dressed? It makes my day seem easier.
  4. Why does it make your day seem easier? Because it makes me happy when I can fit into any clothes in my closet.
  5. Why does it make you happy when you can fit into any clothes in your closet? Because it makes me feel like a success.

Feeling successful is a good why, although it may not be your real why. Still, you can see how using the five whys (keep asking why about the answer you come up with ) will help you dig deeper.

You might also be interested in:

Talk to me. Leave a comment or answer a question:

What is your why?

Are you looking to eat healthier?

What do you think is the most important thing when it comes to weight loss?

31 thoughts on “5 Diet Hacks . . .

  1. I’ve never had issues with food, but I think it’s because I don’t deprive myself. I just don’t overdo it. I think that’s what’s hard for people–they can’t just stop at one cookie or one piece of chocolate.

    Good food for thought! (pun intended)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ah yes, the old “just don’t eat so much”. If only it were that simple. People who don’t have food issues can’t really understand.

      It’s an addiction, much like drugs or alcohol. The main difference? You can’t quit food.

      We all struggle with something, but the thing a lot of people struggling with food don’t realize is that it’s not really so much about the food. That’s just the symptom.


  2. Great insight. I think it’s really hard to make progress with the underlying issues until you’re ready and you won’t achieve long term success with weight loss until you deal with the underlying issues! I mostly try not to keep junk in the house, and try to ignore the crap my husband brings in — like the giant tubs of cookies from Costco.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. The big thing is all the processed food. Even 100 calorie packs aren’t really healthy. I’d say to people don’t cut out foods, but make healthier choices. Instead of processed white bread, choose a whole grain option, for example. I won’t give up bread, but I can make smarter decisions.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Don’t even get me started on the garbage that is in most 100 calorie packs. And I definitely agree — trying to avoid most processed foods is really key — not always easy when you’re time crunched, though.


  4. You make excellent points!! I believe that we are not to value ourselves by a number on a machine, as long as we feel good, that number should not matter.

    I did exactly what you suggested on cutting out things. I wanted to give up coke a long time ago, but I love coke, and I could give it up for a few days, even a few weeks, but then I would justify to myself why I could drink it again, and I would keep justifying it until I was fully back on it. Then I made a rule for myself, before having coke, drink 16 oz of water, and if I still wanted coke, I could have it. But often, I didn’t need or want anything else after the water.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Good job on giving up Coke! Seriously, nobody needs that much sugar (or the chemicals that are diet coke). Year & years ago I used to drink some diet soda, but that was something that was easy for me to give up, since I actually like plain water. Weird, I know.

      The scale doesn’t reflect a lot of things, including whether or not we’re healthy, but it’s still important to maintain a healthy weight — now only is it good for our health, we feel better when we’re not lugging around extra pounds.

      Just think about a 40 lb bag of cat litter. I used to lug that around with me everywhere — that’s definitely heavy!


  5. I don’t believe in depriving myself…for me, if I’m allowed cheesecake, chocolate, brownies, etc., I don’t crave it and am (usually) satisfied with a small serving. I just need to be more mindful of getting healthy foods into the mix more often.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Like Wendy, you’re a healthy eater. You can tell just by what you wrote. I know many healthy eaters — but they can’t understand what it’s like to have an unhealthy relationship with food. No disrespect meant.

      I do eat everything, but I can’t eat everything
      I want whenever I want it. Height has its privileges; taller people definitely have more leeway with what they eat (which isn’t to say taller people are naturally healthy eaters, either).


  6. I know first hand that deprivation doesn’t work and isn’t healthy. I love the idea of going through the five why’s! THanks for sharing

    Liked by 1 person

  7. What is your why? To feel healthy & stay healthy.

    Are you looking to eat healthier? Always. I am always in search of foods that will keep me healthy.

    What do you think is the most important thing when it comes to weight loss? Being successful at it.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. The funny thing about weight loss is that lasting weight loss tends to come from working on those emotional/mental aspects, rather than what you eat (although of course you have to work on that, too).


  8. great post Judy. I think my main struggle is that I’m still not over what I went through as a child with food and body image. It’s really warped me. My why is rather healthy to be honest – ultimately I want to age well and be healthy. I want to run a race without the added pressure of the 20lbs over goal weight that I’m currently at. Sure I want to look good but I actually think I look pretty ok for my age, so that’s not really it anymore. My husband thinks I’m the bomb and that’s really all I need to know 🙂

    There are those of us who just never had an unhealthy relationship with food and those of us who have had or currently have. Seems to me (maybe it’s not true), there is hardly anything / anyone in between.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I have the same issues, too. I’m not sure we ever really totally overcome it, but we can definitely make progress.

      It’s true, there are people who don’t have weight/eating problems, never have, and they’ll really just never understand (no disrespect intended) — we all have our issues.


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