I apologize in advance for the length of this post but while I'm being honest I should just put it all out there right? I was exercising at least twice a week and though I would sweat up a storm I wasn't seeing the inches drop like I did when I was high school. Back then, if I wanted to drop five pounds I'd have banana chips and soda for lunch and that was that. Yes, I know uber un-healthy. And yes, my digestive system is still paying for that. What I'm saying though is that it was easy. Now, its H A R D!!!
Admitting that it wasn't going to be easy and gearing myself up for it was the first step. The next step was deciding to eat healthier. Now I LOVVVVE food. I grew up watching my mother make food that would make people moan in ecstasy as they ate it and I made sure to pick up a few of her tricks in the kitchen so I knew that any diet that would require me to eat tasteless food and cardboard would not work AT ALL. (Am I over-using caps here? Nah...). So after doing extensive research on the web (read: an hour or two of reading weight-loss stories), I came up with something that thankfully made me lose seven pounds in a month with very little exercise. So here it is:
- Always eat breakfast - I wake up super late so this is always a struggle so I shop for really quick things. What I've been having lately is - a smoothie (yes i know, blender work but if i blend it the night before and put plastic wrap over it its easy to grab and go in the morning. I blend it same time I'm making dinner so I'm already in the kitchen.) I use the fruit smoothie frozen mix they sell at Pricesmart becaue you just add water); OR special K cereal and 1% milk; OR two hard boiled eggs with a fruit and a piece of toast; OR a loaded granola bar with a fruit and some tea. Basically you need to get protein (like oats, eggs, fish, other meat, peas or grains) and some fruit/fibre in your system.
- For lunch, skip one of the sides. For example, if something comes with rice & veg. Skip the rice and eat the veg, if it comes with fries, skip the fries. Leave off cheese and other additions like mayonnaise. Every now and then have just a salad. I don't recommend eating just a salad for lunch because if you are going to the gym after work you will have zero energy unless you carry a power-up snack to have before your work out. What really works well is if you have a soup and a salad or a soup and half a sandwich or a half sandwich and a salad or any combo thereof.
- For dinner, pick a small plate like a breakfast plate to eat on (not a teacup saucer guys lol). Don't let the big plate get you! You'll have the urge to fill it up. Sometimes I will actually measure the portions - no more than one cup carbs like rice or potato, then protein the size of my hand and veggies to fill up the rest of the plate. I try to skip the carb every other day. But on the weekends me likey carbs. On especially tempting days I will put the veggies on first (no croutons) then the remaining space gets filled so that I'm not bad.
- Snacks - I will snack in between each meal. My snack of choice is some peanuts I put in a ziplock bag and shake up with some raisins, dried cranberries, sunflower seeds and something else I cant remember. Or, I will have a low calorie granola bar or a fruit. This month I am trying a sunflower seed spread with some zero fat crackers. (It's a cross between solomon gundy and hummus).
- Redemption - every now and then I will over eat. The other day when I had four slices of pizza and four wings in the space of two hours, I felt really bad. SO the next day I did some exercise and had a slimfast shake and a fruit for dinner.
- Treats - I treat myself every weekend but with lower calorie options - dark chocolate in the small packaging, or the super tiny one scoop haagen daz ice cream...yeh or those zero calorie fruit chews that are addicting. IN the SMALL package.
- Liquids - I drink green tea that I stir with honey or just plain water at night before I go to sleep. Otherwise it's me and my big bottle of water. Occasionally, I will tip some lemon juice into it to change the flavour. But, water is the way to go.
- Vitamins - take the ones geared for women but not anything that says 'active' because it will make you hungry and ravenous like a whoa. Evening primrose oil is a great supplement that seems to suppress my appetite so I take it along with my multi vitamin.
Here are some more general tips
- Download 'Fat Secret Calorie Counter" from BB App World and use it. It tells you how much calories you are consuming, how much you are burning even from things like sitting down and shows you a chart of how much calories you need to burn at the gym doing exercise to make sure you drop lbs that week
- If you're hungry - wait. Ask yourself, when was the last time you ate. If it was less than four hours ago then wait for 20 minutes and do something else. If your tummy is still telling you that you're hungry then decide if its time for a meal or for a snack and go ahead and eat but do it slowly.
- When eating, when you've finished half of your food stop and ask your tummy if i'ts full. Drink some water and if you still feel empty then continue. The idea isn't to feel full. The idea is to feel like something is in your stomach. You can't trust your body, it's out to trick you!
- When you go out to eat ask for an extra plate. They will give you one of those small plates more than likely. Share your food and eat from that. Have them box up the rest of your food and carry it home to have it for your next meal
- If you are going to drink, go for low calorie options. Apparently the more transparent the liquid the less the calories. I don't know how true this is but I hear you cant go wrong with a glass of wine or a vodka tonic.
- print a picture of yourself when you liked your body and tape it to your fridge. Serious. It will stop you from going back for seconds when you should just hold your corner and drink water.
- Do a mini challenge - this month I am going to try to get to 100 pushups. I currently can only do two lol. It may be situps for you or crunches or lunges.
- Pick a part of your body you like or you like working out and exercise it as often as you can
- If your partners are health conscious then that's great if they aren't then you need to not fall into their habits. My husband in not health conscious so my rule is don't have what he's having. EVER lol
- Eat and listen to music rather than eat and watch tv. You will see yourself eating the food and your brain will register that your body is being fed and it will shut off its 'feed me' signal quicker.
- Buy 100 calorie popcorn and eat the whole bag when you feel like binge-ing. It will satisfy the craving and fill you up
- Don't keep things you know you can't stay away from in your fridge.
I hope this helps someone out there who is struggling with their weight and what to do without going all extremist. If you guys have questions or any other tricks, leave a comment and let me know.