The last time I wrote about my weight loss, I was closing in on 30 pounds lost (last year). I kept it off for many months until recently when my weight started to climb again. My pesky metabolic disorder has reared it’s ugly head again! My body doesn’t metabolize carbohydrates of any kind. It stores it directly as fat! So, I’m making some changes in my food (I don’t call it a diet, it’s a meal plan).

One, I’ve finally switched from cow’s milk to unsweetened vanilla almond milk. I love it! For those of you who haven’t tried it, you don’t know what you’re missing. I use it in my tea and with my high fiber cereal. At 30 calories a cup with no sugar, it’s a healthier alternative for me than cow’s milk. I could lose a pound a week with this dietary change alone.

I’ve also given up my Splenda. I’ve used it for years in my tea only. I’ve been reading about different studies that point to a correlation between artificial sweeteners and weight gain. Some point to a craving for sweets, others have noted that people in studies who use them eat approximately 200 calories or more daily than people who don’t use artificial sweeteners. So, it’s time for me to give up my last processed food.

Whole food (no pun intended) is better than processed. Real food is more nutritious than fake food. Forget “sugar free” and “fat free” – they just load up with chemicals, fat and sugar, which doesn’t work for a nutritious meal plan. At this time of year, the farmstand is your friend. The produce has been amazing this year. I go to Ferjulian’s in Hudson – the best produce and plants around. The plums from their own trees have been wonderful this year. I can’t get enough of them!

Like a lot of people, my food is fine during the day. The danger zone for me is at night in front of the TV. My husband and I like to watch an hour of TV most nights before we go to bed. He is naturally skinny and eats everything in sight without gaining weight. I try really hard not to hold any resentment! It’s up to me to manage my food, not my husband. I can’t eat with him, as our food choices are very different. So it’s back to sipping herbal tea at night while he eats ice cream!

I don’t like it when my weight creeps up. My clothes don’t fit and I feel heavy. It’s not a good example for my clients and I feel bad about myself. So, the 10 pounds (and maybe more) needs to come off. There’s no quick way to lose weight (especially post-menopause). I know what I need to do and it’s time to do it.

I actually eat more often when I’m losing weight – three meals and two snacks daily. Starving myself doesn’t work. I need a certain number of calories to maintain my highly active lifestyle. I run the risk of hypoglycemia if I don’t eat enough. Protein and fiber, with low carbohydrate, is the ticket to weight loss for me. Exercise is not an issue. In fact, I have to cut back on my exercise so I’m not too hungry!

Remember, what works for one person might not work as well for another. Weight loss programs need to be customized for each person. Only you know what works for you. Experiment but know that what goes in your body needs to be burned off.

So eat healthy 80 percent of the time so you can eat something else 20 percent of the time. And don’t forget to move your body! Walk, run, bike, dance, play a sport – whatever works for you. Make it fun and enjoy the process of improving your health and fitness. You’ll be glad you did!