Keep The Weight Off

About six years ago, I lost more than forty-five pounds after menopause. For the first time in my adult life, I have maintained a healthy weight for more than a few months. I had gone on diets and lost some weight only to gain it back plus more in the past. Below are my best tips for breaking bad eating habits that may be sabotaging not only your looks but your health as well.

No Junk

If junk food is never purchased or brought into your home, you won’t be tempted to snack on it during a weak moment. Sugar and sweeteners directly contribute to many health problems. Sugar, fat, and salt are highly addictive. It may take a couple of weeks to break your addiction, so you may get a headache or a cold as your body adjusts to the withdrawals.

Eat Breakfast

I have breakfast a couple of hours after getting up. That is the most important meal of the day. If you skip it, that donut in the office will seem like the most crucial thing in the world to you at about ten ‘o clock. Eating breakfast helps me be much more disciplined about all the food I eat during the rest of the day. Breakfast also boosts your metabolism.

Smaller Plates

Place your food on a small plate and sit down to enjoy it only at regular meal times. Don’t read the paper, watch TV or look at your phone while you scarf something down. I don’t count calories or measure my food, but I do use a small plate (about the size of my outstretched hand) and never go back for seconds. I often don’t even finish what is on my plate because I take small bites, put my fork down often, and thoroughly chew my food, which allows me to realize I am getting full. Make mealtimes a relaxing few minutes where you calmly enjoy your food. Never stand over the sink or at the open door of the fridge to graze. You will eat much more than you think, and you won’t even remember what you ate. I do not snack.

Food Is Fuel

Don’t think of food as entertainment or a reward. It is fuel for your body and mind. Always eat a small amount of the healthiest foods available to you. When we eat out or in someone’s home, the options are not always beneficial. I will have a taste (not a whole serving) of something decadent such as dessert or a croissant on occasion, but about ninety percent of the time, I eat natural, clean and healthy foods. Don’t think of this as a diet. It is the way I wish I had been eating all of my life. My health problems went away after about four weeks of changing my food choices. What we eat and how much we eat directly affect all aspects of a healthy body and brain. This is the most important tip I will ever share with you.

You Do Not Have To Clean Your Plate

These photos were taken before I joined Mr. Mickey for a family get together at a nice restaurant. I ordered an appetizer instead of an entree, and I drank lots of water before, during, and after dinner. Never feel that you have to eat everything on your plate. Eating late in the day is the worst choice for me. When I eat an evening meal consistently, I always gain weight. Know what your downfall is so that you can control that situation when it arrives. Don’t feel that your plate has to match your husband’s or anyone else’s.

On this date night, I wore a black tank and straight-leg pants with my Ming Wang jacket from a few years ago and J. Renee pumps from Dillard’s.

  1. Your jacket is stunning. Absolutely love it.
    You’re probably aware that Parisian women are considered very chic and slim, and you eat as a Parisian does.

  2. Your plan for keeping the weight off is the “weigh” to go. I lost 38 pounds about 7 years ago and have kept most of it off. That 5 – 8 pounds keeps creeping back on if I am not careful. When I feel it creeping back on, I use an old diet trick that I believe is called the Jackie-O diet. I eat half of everything on my plate and take the rest home if at a restaurant or if at home save for lunch the next day. Sometimes even half is a lot of calories depending on what one orders. But this keeps my portions in check in an easy way.

  3. Susan could you e-mail your daily diet that you eat if you aren’t going out,
    I had it at one time & cannot find it! Thank You Cynthia!

  4. I have really enjoyed your blog. I bought the book Fit for Life that you had said you read. I had a question about your Power Porridge. I thought that fruit was to be eaten alone and in this porridge you eat fruit with it. I was wondering if after that book you read other things and developed your own working system. The author also seemed to allow meat but you rarely eat meat so I thought you must have done your homework and made your own plan.

      1. Thank you so much, I got the wrong book. I will look into this book. You are truly an inspiration and your discipline is something I strive to emulate.

  5. I’ve watched your video “Create Different Looks with the Same Clothing” video many times, it’s my favorite! The look you showed today could be another variation of the theme. Could you do another video like that with different jackets and accessories?

  6. Susan, thank you again for being so open and encouraging about your health journey. I’m at my good weight for the longest I’ve been since becoming a mom in ’92. You are such an inspiration and a lovely role model in all ways.

  7. I think a lot of mid-life weight gain comes from an overload of stress at a time when hormone levels are in flux. I’ve said it before: add more heat and pressure to he sandwich generation and what do you get? The Panini Press Generation. Something’s got to give. Apparently it’s me.

  8. I really enjoy your blog and looking at your outfits. I dress similar to you–lots of jacket–and have a similar body type with a larger top than bottom. Love your shoes!

  9. Thanks Susan I ve in Perth Australia and love your blog read it every time i get an email to keep me motivated. i want to loose 10 more kelos and finding. It so hard. I do eat breakfast and i do walk every day. So heres hoping i get to my goal weight soon will let you know when i do. Want to start loosing some before we travel to Europe in a month, to give myself a insentive to keep going whilst we are away.

  10. Great tips Susan…thank you. I know you lost your weight pretty quickly if I’m not mistaken? I am trying to focus on food choices rather than the pounds. I have been slowly changing my eating habits now for almost 3 months. I’m not nearly as good as you are regarding the foods you eat…but I have definitely made a big improvement. The weight isn’t just dropping off by the pounds (it would probably be faster if I refined my foods even more)….but it is slow and steady. I have lost 13 pounds…and now starting to see changes in my clothes and how I look. I have 25 pounds yet I would like to loose but I am OK with the slow steady pace. I am eating so much better and feel better. Thank you for your inspiration, encouragement to us all and your helpful information and tips.

  11. The BEST advice, but most people will ignore “Don’t feel that your plate has to match your husband’s or anyone else’s.”

  12. Really good advice! As I’ve aged (62) I’ve found that I really needed to reduce my intake of food along with increasing my activity. We have become so sedentary in our lives now – sitting more and more – regardless of age. Also, my husband and I switched to eating salads in the evening since we tend to eat later. This small change has allowed me to eat occasioal “cheat” foods for lunch – like fries occasioally. I weigh myself every Friday AM which sets the tone for what I will or won’t be eating over the weekend. It’s a life style change that brings healthy changes beyond the scale number.

  13. Susan, I made your porridge every day this week. It was very filling and tasty. It helped me greatly to avoid snacks and junk food. You are right, it set the tone for my whole day. I am down 5 pounds thanks to you. You are a blessing!!

  14. My history of weight loss efforts is similar and at 61 my weight is causing knee pain. I would like to make clean eating my lifestyle. Your food always look delicious, how did you learn what to make, how to eat, how to find healthy restaurants, etc. I could use some guidelines and delicious meal ideas. I won’t stick with it if my husband and I don’t like the food.

    1. I always try to shop for and order the vegetables and fruit that are in season, fresh and organic. When the foods are already at their best, you don’t need to do much to them. My favorite recipe is wash, slice, arrange, enjoy.

  15. Hi Susan! Love your blog. You mention eating late is not good. What do you consider late? With my job I often work late by the time I get home to cook sometimes it’s 8pm. Amy suggestions? Thank you!

    1. Eating late for me is never good. I fare better when I eat my last meal at around 3 PM. Everyone has to work within their schedule. Make sure you are getting some nutritious foods earlier in the day and then maybe have something light and fresh at your evening meal.

  16. Congratulations on your weight loss and more importantly, keeping it off. Not an easy task but sure worth it. Health is the most important thing and you also look great in your clothes. Love the outfit.

  17. Susan, thanks so much for your blog. Can you share some of the strategies you used to lose those 45 lbs! Thanks again

    1. I stopped eating any processed foods, pork, beef, and most condiments. I eat smaller portions than I did when I was younger. I eat mostly fresh fruits, vegetables, seeds, nuts, whole, unprocessed ancient grains, and I drink lots of water. I walk a lot every day, but I do not go to a gym or take classes. I work about fifteen hours a day on average, starting my days by 4 AM or earlier.

  18. Hi Susan– I so admire you for keeping your weight off. I am just turning 57 and I am 50 lbs overweight, almost all of my excess weight is due to a sugar addiction. I binge on ice cream and chocolate. I completely agree with you about sugar withdrawals, unfortunately I run to the store and give in to them so I haven’t been successful in losing. I do a brisk 45 minute walk every day. Other than the sugar binges my 3 meals a day are healthy. Lean meats and veggies. Can you offer me any advice how to get through 2 weeks of sugar withdrawals without caving in? I would really appreciate your help. Thank-you!

  19. I would like to order some pants from you but am worried about the sizing . Can they be returned if they don’ t fit.

  20. I enjoyed reading your article. I have had weight issues my entire life and have been on many diets such as Weight Watchers, other programs as well as low carb, low fat only to lose weight but regain it plus more.
    At my present age of 72, and having knee replacements on my left (23 yrs on left) and right (16 right) and back issues, I am desperate again to lose weight to eas my symptoms. It is so difficult….the weight just doesn’t want to come off.
    Any words of encouragement would be of great help so I can find the strength to take it one day at a time. I do walk daily for 20-25 minutes, weather permitting but somehow it’s not working. I have tried to eat healthy, veggies, fish, whole grains, and nuts which I love) but I must admit that I do cheat and have difficulty with will power. I pray for help from the Lord. I also have short stature (4’11” and shrinking)!! Thank you Susan.

    1. I have to remind myself; we don’t need as much volume of food as we age. I skip dinner most nights and have small servings of vegetables and grains. When I have a dessert on the weekend with my date, we share, and I leave most of it for him.

  21. Bless you, Susan, for your statement that you do not snack. Seems all the latest ‘gurus’ tell you to have 3 meals and a healthy snack, or 6 tiny meals a day…don’t they realize our digestive system needs a rest? Since I changed my eating habits to only 3 meals a day, I feel so much better. I am alert during the day and sleep so well at night. Thank you for being an inspiration!!

  22. Susan is very disciplined which is a good thing. If her regimen seems daunting, you might look into the Greek Mediterranean diet, which my doctor recommended to me. It is more of a lifestyle change than a diet. I have been following this pattern of healthy eating for a year now. My intent was to eat healthy food and lower my blood pressure, but I have lost 26 pounds almost painlessly. No junk, no sugar, etc, just like Susan’s plan, only I can eat more food.

    *A sensitive subject of interest to us senior women*. I am still considerably over weight, but loosing 26 pounds has almost completely eliminated my stress incontinence. What a gift!

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I share tips and inspiration for using what you already have in contemporary ways. Defining words include effortless, classic, refined, discreet, and elegant. My style is chic, minimal, and timeless with a bit of edge.