So many people have asked me what my diet plan is. They wonder if I am doing Jenny Craig or Weight-watchers or some other diet plan. I have even had people ask me if I use Sensa on my food to help curb cravings. The simple answer to all of those questions is NO!!! While I don’t knock what someone else is trying to do to get healthy, none of those options were cost-effective or time-effective for me. For years I have known that the key to health is diet and exercise, however, knowing what to do and actually doing it are two totally different things.
I say that to say this. I am not on a diet plan. I am way too much of a lover of good food and good times to stick to some carb free, nut free, dairy free eating plan that I know I would fail at within the first week. For example….I REFUSE to give up bread. I simply can’t do it. Lie to yourself all you want to, but there is NOTHING like a hot buttery yeast roll slathered in some butter. It’s almost as a good as sex….well….maybe not but you get the idea! I have seen too many people restrict themselves to certain plans and foods only to fail big time and then they feel this guilt about it. In my novice health mind, learning how to cook clean and wholesome foods at home is the best indicator of success.
Below you will find out some of what I have been doing specifically during the last 10 months to get healthy and lose some pounds along the way!
Steps to Health Success
- Download the www.myfitnesspal.com app or the www.loseit.com app to your phone so that you can track your caloric intake for one week. You can also access either via the web if you don’t have a smartphone. The most important part of this is to be honest about what you are eating. You want to get an honest and true visual of how many calories you are really eating during a normal week. Also track your water intake during this time period as well to see if you are anywhere close to being hydrated. Often times our bodies identify thirst as hunger causing us to overeat.
- On week two set your weight loss per week goal. Initially I started off at 2 pounds per week which calculated into a calorie intake of 1500 calories a day. I have always used My Fitness Pal and it tells me how many calories my body burns with no working out and it will do the same for you in the goals/settings area. My calculated calorie burn was around 2100 calories per day. Technically without working out I was creating a calorie deficit.
- On week two also start working out! This will be just as hard as the eating right part! In the beginning commit to working out 3 times per week getting your heart rate up. I promise you, you will most likely want to give up and eat a bag of chips the first 2 weeks you are working out but it will pay off in the end! PROMISE!!!!!
- Do not restrict yourself so strongly that you are craving foods! For example, I like chips and dip. I replaced that with pretzels and hummus! I can not exist without coffee with creamer. I replaced the full fat creamer to fat free and no sugar in my coffee. I can not stress this point enough —– incorporate fruits and vegetables into your eating daily!!! Make baby steps eating a banana, a bowl of strawberries, pineapple, whatever you like. Cook as much food as you can at home, calculating the calories per serving in either one of those apps. Once you begin to track your calories, you will begin to ask yourself is that donut or two or three really worth the work it takes for your body to burn it off.
- In the words of Antoine Dobson….if you are not drinking water all day, everyday then… Ok so maybe that’s harsh but its true! Your body is made up of mostly water and we consistently deprive it of what it needs the most. I hear this everyday in the lounge. “I’m thirsty let me get a coke.” REVERSE ma’am. That is nothing but sugar, at least 150 calories of emptiness, and all it is going to do is make you more thirsty! Purposefully take a big bottle of water to work with you and no change for the drink machine. That way you will only be able to drink what you have which is the best stuff on earth. Not Snapple folks…WATER!!!!
- How many calories do you need to eat? That is a loaded question as everyone’s body is different. Normal guidelines state that women should NET no less than 1200 calories per day and men no less than 1700 calories per day. Since increasing my weightlifting I have found that I have to eat more than 1500 calories per day or I will be one starving, raging person who is quite unlikable. The apps above will help you figure it out but remember that in order to lose you have to create a caloric deficit. More calories burned than calories in 🙂
- Lastly about working out. Many people think that cardio (running, treadmill, etc) is the key to health. Well…yes and no. Cardio will help you burn calories and help with creating a caloric deficit. It will also increase your cardiac stamina over time. In the beginning I could only use the elliptical machine for 5 minutes before my legs felt like jelly and my heart felt like it was going to beat right out of my chest. At this point in my journey I can do 45-60 minutes without a problem, BUT that took time. The best laid plans incorporate cardio AND weightlifting. Ladies…do not shy away from weight machines or free weights. Imagine this….You are losing weight but still looking the same or you see people who have lost a significant amount of weight only to still look “loose”. One of two things probably happened. 1) They lost weight and did zero toning exercises to firm it all up OR 2) They lost weight too fast for toning to even mater. You want to tone and sculpt the body that is emerging from the fat you’re losing.
Ok that’s alot for right now so I will come back and do the second part of this!