14 Changes I Made to Lose 162 Pounds in Less Than Two Years

After I lost my weight, I never realized how many different questions I would be asked.  Of course there are the typical questions like:

  • How much weight have you lost?
  • How long did it take you?
  • How did you do it?

My response is always the same. I lost 162 pounds, which took 16 months, and the key factor to my weight loss success was (and still is) walking every day for 1.5 miles. It never fails that the person wants to know if I also made changes in my eating habits. Yes, I most definitely did since I knew that for 25 years I had not been making healthy food choices like I should have. If I had, I wouldn’t have become morbidly obese.

I knew that if I wanted to end my obesity, I had to make changes to my eating habits and that it was just as important as becoming physically active. These changes needed to be ones that were simple to make, yet very effective.

Here are some of the major changes I made to lose 162 pounds and keep it off for almost 10 years:

  • I cut my daily calorie intake to about 1,200 calories.
  • I never skip a meal no matter how busy I am.
  • I consume smaller portions and do not take second helpings.
  • I substitute turkey or chicken instead of beef.
  • I eat whole-grain bread and avoid products made with white flour.
  • I enjoy low-fat pretzels or light microwave popcorn instead of fatty snacks before bedtime.
  • I keep granola bars or soy nuts in my car for quick, healthy snacks.
  • If I consume fast food on occasion, I focus on keeping meals under 350 calories.
  • I remember that one bite tastes the same as 20! If I’m feeling tempted by something I know is full of calories and fat, I take one bite and walk away.
  • I drink skim milk instead of whole or 2% milk.
  • I keep fresh fruits and vegetables at home and keep high-fat and high-calorie items out.
  • I drink more water and unsweetened coffee or green tea instead of carbonated beverages.
  • I avoid mayo, dressings, creams and butter and use items like hot sauce and mustard instead.
  • If I shouldn’t eat it I don’t buy it.

I believe most people know how to eat healthy, it’s really common sense. It’s just that many people choose not to because, well, there are many reasons. I chose not to for those 25 years because I love to eat. But, in 2001 I finally realized that I love my life, my kids, my family and my friends way more than a bag of chips.

Have you made changes in your eating habits that you could share? What are some of the changes you made that helped you successfully shed some pounds too? Share with us in the comments.

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  1. I have done many of the behaviors above on my 111 pound loss. Still have 59 to go until I reach goal. Some of the additional changes I made are:

    I look for products that are high in fiber since they help one to feel full & slow down the digestion process.

    I also eat more fish. It is good, healthy protein.

    I also use a diet website to track my meals, exercise, water intake. Studies have shown that people who track have better, lasting success. The website also has all kinds of neat charts & graphs as well as planning tools. Very helpful!

    The community on my diet site is wonderful & very supportive. This is a big help to me as well. Absolutely priceless. I blog & read other people’s blogs. I post on the Message Board & read other’s posts. That is how I found your article!

    I don’t worry about going over on my protein & fat (healthy fats!) allotments for the day if I keep my calories in check. Protein & fat help you feel full.

    I have virtually eliminated sugar from my diet. I indulge once in awhile, but limit my intake usually to 2 bites. Instead of being the bulk of my diet, it is the exception in my diet. Ridding myself of sugar allowed me to get rid of the gnawing hunger that would eat at me.

    I weigh everyday and also track my measurements about every-other month. It is good to see the inches lost as well as just the numbers on the scale.

    Guess that sums-up some of my additional changes. Thanks for sharing your changes!

  2. Jill,
    Thank you for sharing YOUR CHANGES … and CONGRATS on the 111 pound weight loss, that is wonderful! It’s great that the community on your diet site is supportive – that surely brings a smile to your face daily!

    Please keep me updated on your progress – I think you are AWESOME!

  3. At work, we have gone through a biggest loser contest. As a very competitive person, this was the motivation I needed to get started. I am 52 and have watched my health deteriorate due to my weight. I am blessed in that I have a lot of people–especially at work–encouraging me. Previous to the contest, I had been concerned about making some changes, and read a book called “The World’s Oldest Health Plan” dealing in eating basic healthy food and keeping it as natural as possible. The first round of the contest was 12 weeks and I lost 34 pounds in that time. What am I doing?

    I am keeping my calories around 1200 and working at doing mostly fruits and veggies–and fresh as much as possible. Some things have been easy–I am not a beef lover but have already preferred chicken and turkey.

     I live a very busy life and quick meals and convenience is very important to me to be able to succeed, so when I do my grocery shopping, I will buy a lot of fruits and veggies and figure on cooking one item and eating left overs most of the week. The fresh veggies (usually broccoli and baby carrots) I will divide up into baggies of about 25 calorie portions and keep them in the fridge, When I get hungry, need a snack, or something to take along to nibble on–I just grab a baggie. I will also get the nut and berry trail mix and baggie up quarter cup portions for the same purpose when I have an extra 150 calories to work with. (salted cashews are my weakness –a trigger food–so I avoid them).

    I love spaghetti, but like to keep my meal calories around 200-300 and a serving of the spaghetti noodles are 200 calories by themselves, so I started doing some experimenting. Instead of spaghetti noodles, I cook up a spaghetti squash and flake it out with a fork, and divide it up into 1 cup portions. Then I discovered protein crumbles–soy crumbles that resemble ground beef (80 calories for like  two thirds of a cup). I mix the protein crumbles in with a heart healthy spaghetti sauce and allow myself a cup of sauce over a cup of spaghetti squash and can even add a little grated Parmesan cheese for about 238 calories.

    I do not want myself to think of this as a diet, so am allowing myself some indulgences. I love my diet Pepsi, so have not given that up, but am making it a point to make sure most of my fluid in a day is water with the occasional Crystal light for variety. I also love Arnie’s Riviera Salad and alternate dressing just will not do. I go ahead and buy the fat free variety which is 80 calories for 2 tbsp, keep the strawberries at about 2-3 sliced up, and leave the nuts off while using fresh spinach as my lettuce.

    I have a slight allergy to dairy, so eat a baggie of dry cereal with a grapefruit for breakfast each morning (I love the Kashi Cinnamon Harvest or the vanilla flavored one). This week I am adding a boiled egg to see if that can help keep me satisfied until lunch. Lunch, I make a sandwich with the whole wheat sandwich thins and Healthy choice lunch meat keeping the slices under the serving size, a baggie of veggies, and a baggie or container with 4 strawberries and a slice of fresh pineapple (the fruit I am currently craving).

    Exercise has been a challenge because I struggle with pain in my heel. I am working at stretching it out so I can walk more, but for now my exercise is moderate (hope to increase as weight goes down)

    My team won the first round of the biggest loser contest. We took a couple weeks off and have started round two–tomorrow is weigh in. Once the competition is over, it is my goal to continue in 12 week sessions and take a week off in between to have the occasional treat like pizza that I dare not do while trying to lose because it is a trigger food that I know I will overdo on. I will just make it a once in 12 week treat.

    1. Whitecapwendy,

      First I want to say “CONGRATULATIONS” on your team winning first round of “The Biggest Loser” contest … that is wonderful!  After reading all your comments, I surely  agree that you know what it takes to live a healthy lifestyle – good for you!

      I’m hoping that the exercise challenges lesson as time progresses ~ exercise (WALKING) was the key factor in my weight loss success and it has allowed me to keep my excess weight off. I’m wishing that the pain in your heel goes away soon; stretching it out should help….

      I am so very proud of you and I hope that you keep me updated on round #2 of “The Biggest Loser” contest – I already know that you will do a GREAT JOB!  


  4. On the three week break, I had put on 10 pounds. Today was the first weigh in since starting last Monday, and I am happy to say that, after getting back on track this week, I lost 10.6 pounds–the 10 I gained plus an extra .6. I am hoping to get back to averaging 3 pounds a week from here on out. I am excited about the 10.6 pounds (definitely helps our team), but in my mind I actually only lost .6 and am keeping that in mind as I proceed.

  5. oh, and I talked to a co-worker today, and we talked about my future plans after the competition is over. I plan to her or someone else to keep me accountable (and probably weigh me in weekly if they are willing)

    1. Whitecapwendy,

      I’m so happy to learn that you NOT ONLY lost the10 pounds, but also lost an additional .6 pounds!!!   I am sure that you are VERY EXCITED about this … and I just know that your team is also (does your team have a name?)  

      I like that you talked to a co-worker about keeping you accountable “even after the competition is over”  – what a wonderful idea!    Maybe you can both walk together ~ do you think she would agree to that?  Let me know, okay … I love what you are doing to stay focused on a HEALTHIER YOU!!!


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