Losing weight is hard. And setting a specific number of pounds as a goal can be defeating and often backfires. A more realistic approach is to consider how your clothes are fitting. It can be a great feeling to zip up a favorite dress or button a pair of pants that have been too tight to wear comfortably.
That’s the inspiration for the “Drop a Dress Size" plan, which kicked off April 22. Translated into pounds, one dress size is about 5 – 9 pounds. For most people, this is a realistic goal that can be achieved with moderate and sustained effort — the optimal set up for success. The focus is feeling good in your clothes, and not a specific number on the scale.
The on-air participants, Luann Yost and Beverly Kelsey, recognized that they already had many positive lifestyle habits and were maintaining their weight but feeling "stuck." They both wanted to fit into a favorite dress. It was all about feeling good about themselves, and being healthy.
Together, we developed easy-to-follow strategies to break down their personal lifestyle barriers to promote slow and steady weight loss.
Both Luann and Beverly wanted to change long-term habits, and not just try a “quick” fix” to fit into a dress. While that was the desired short term goal, the long-term goal of keeping that weight off was equally important.
When it comes to losing weight, one size does NOT fit all. They didn’t follow a specific meal plan to eat certain foods, or exercise in a particular way. They adapted their current lifestyle and learned new habits to personalize their own plan. Here's what worked for them:
Beverly Kelsey (Weight loss: 16 lbs):
1. Skip the bread basket and dessert when eating at a restaurant.
Why it works: Bartering at a restaurant to swap out certain foods for more preferred items avoids deprivation.
2. Monitor physical activity.
Why it works: Wearing a monitor to track both the duration and intensity of activity is important to boost calorie burn. The constant reminder to move also increased “activity of daily living.”
3. Get out of sweat pants and put on some real clothes.
Why it works: It’s easy to fool yourself that your clothes “still fit” with an elastic waist. Seeing yourself in a fitted outfit in a real size can help support your effort.
4. Avoid eating the same things every day.
Why it works: A boring eating day can deter even the most dedicated person. A varied menu can keep you engaged.
Luann Yost (Weight loss: 11 lbs):
5. Use a smaller plate.
Why it works: Automatic portion control downsizes portions size without deprivation.
6. Pause before reaching for food to be more conscious of what I’m choosing.
Why it works: Staying connected and thinking while eating helps eliminate mindless eating.
7. Use a food diary.
Why it works: No one’s memory is good enough to track calories — if you bite it, write it to be accountable to yourself.
8. Drink more water.
Why it works: Thirst is often confused with hunger, so staying well hydrated is a big plus.
Two different strategies with the same outcome: both dropped a dress size. And the same habits learned for weight loss will help keep those pounds off for good.