My weight has yo-yo-ed quite a bit since I graduated high school about 12 years ago. I came from a family that ate relatively healthy, but once I was out on my own, I discovered the love and addiction that is fast food. Also, when you are broke, the easiest and cheapest things to pick up at the grocery store tend to be carb heavy, such as pasta. I undeniably love pasta and pizza…those two P words just kill me!
I’m sure a lot of you can relate. About 2 years ago, I tried out juicing as a means to get my weight under control. After watching Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead, I found the motivation to try it out. I did lose quite a bit of weight. The only problem, my mind didn’t really change after I finished my juice fast. If you complete a juice fast, but do not portion and eat healthy afterward, you are just going to gain the weight back. Here is everything I have done differently this time and it is helping me to keep the weight off and stay on track.
1. Portion Control
I know, I know…portioning your food pretty much sucks…in the beginning at least. I was not incredibly happy about portioning my food at first. The first week or so, I was pretty hungry. I would sneak a spoonful of peanut butter here and there throughout the day to curb my hunger. The funny thing is, after about a week or two…your body gets used to the new portion sizes and all of a sudden, they are satisfying. The other great thing I noticed, we began saving a huge amount on our grocery bill because we were not eating nearly as much food as before.
2. Find Recipes You Enjoy
Part of what started this weight loss journey is that my husband signed up with a personal trainer to get his health under control. He, unfortunately, suffers from multiple health issues and it was time that both of us stopped being lazy and started being healthy. His personal trainer gave him a list of recipes that were mostly enjoyable. Because the food tasted pretty good, It felt less like a diet and more like we were just portioning our meals, even though all of the recipes were healthy. I have included the recipes at the bottom of this post to give you some ideas. I have found that these recipes are similar to weight watchers recipes, so I would also recommend looking up recipes from weight watchers as well.
I hate exercise. In fact, prior to this, beyond going on walks and doing household chores, exercise was pretty much non-existent in my life. I decided I wasn’t going to sign up for personal training or even go to the gym. I needed to find something I could do at home, that wouldn’t take up too much of my time. I decided to purchase Zumba 2 for our Wii and it has been the best decision I have ever made. It is really fun and it makes me sweat like crazy. I am really impressed with the results I have gotten from using it too. My muscles are starting to come alive and both my legs and arms are no longer flabby and soft, but you can actually start to see muscle definition. I have been doing Zumba 20-40 minutes a day between 4-6 days a week. I have noticed the biggest change in my love handles. I used to be able to pinch more than an inch 😉 and now, they are almost completely gone! I can barely even pinch them anymore. Even if Zumba may not be your thing, try and find something that is enjoyable for you that keeps you active, although I do highly recommend Zumba.
4. Drink Lots of Water
Drink lots of water. This is probably an obvious tip, but sometimes it is hard to do. I find that having a water bottle that tracks how much water you drink, such as this one, helps keep you more on top of it. I also found that buying some sort of flavored powder with no calories helped keep me from being bored of water. I use Propel Powder mix, it also has electrolytes in it which is an added bonus.
5. Track Your Calories
Using an app like My Fitness Pal really helped me out. It kept me accountable for both working out and not over eating. I also really love the app Happy Scale. You put in your goal weight and your current weight and it breaks your weight loss into milestones. It is pretty motivating and it also gives you estimates on when you should expect to hit your goal weight based on your current weight loss progress. It really has helped me to work harder so I reach my goals.
It’s hard to not give into cravings. I admit I’m not perfect. There were one or two times over the last 2 months that we had a burger while we were out and about. As long as you stick to your healthy lifestyle most of the time, having a bad day here and there is part of life. Don’t beat yourself up about it. Just work harder the next week to stay on track. I did notice though after not eating bad for awhile, when you do, it makes you feel pretty sick, enough where I did not want to eat bad again. Something that has helped me with sugar cravings, is finding different teas that are pretty sweet. Some of my favorites are Republic of Tea Get Burning and Republic of Tea Peppermint Chocolate.
I know a lot of this advice is pretty common sense, but it turns out there is a reason for that. It works! If it can work for me, it can work for you. I am definitely a fast food junkie who hates exercising, but I have learned to do things in moderation and have tried to tailor my exercising to be enjoyable, but hard work at the same time. I have about another 15 lbs to go before I hit my goal weight, but I’m not stopping there. Once I lose all of the fat, I am going to keep working out and try working on sculpting my body as well. My goal is for my body to look better at 30 than it did at 18 🙂
Recipe Ideas ( I put a * next to the recipes we really enjoy)
* Breakfast Burrito & Side of Blueberries:
2 scrambled egg whites, 1 egg- 167 kcals, 21 gm protein
Whole wheat, high fiber low carb tortilla- 80 kcals, 8 gm pro
¼ c shredded cheddar cheese- 90 kcals, 7 gm pro
½ c fresh blueberries- 45 kcals, 1 gm pro
Spread two halves of a whole-grain English muffin or 2 mini waffles with 2 TBSP almond butter. Place slices from 4–5 strawberries between them.
Spritz with 1/2 tsp oil and grill in a preheated panini press on medium-high until toasted, or in a skillet over medium-high heat.
Mix 1/3 cup raw oats and 1 tsp each honey, cinnamon, and nutmeg with about 1 cup hot water; stir in 2 TBSP almond butter.
* Sprinkle 6 oz plain low-fat Greek yogurt with 1 tsp cinnamon, 1 TBSP dried tart cherries, and 10–15 slivered almonds. Eat with an apex 150 fit bar. Any kind.
Veggie Omelet with Side of Yogurt:
1 egg + 2 egg whites, scrambld-130 kcal, 19 gm pro
1 c diced bell peppers, spinach, onion-15 kcals
¼ c shredded low-fat mozzarella cheese- 70 kcals, 8 gm pro
6 oz fat free plain Greek yogurt- 100 kcals, 18 gm pro
½ c strawberries- 25 kcals
Drizzle of honey- 20 kcals
* Breakfast Cottage Cheese:
½ c fat-free cottage cheese- 80 kcals, 15 gm pro
1 c mixed berries- 40 kcals
2 Tbsp ground flax seed- 90 kcals, 4 gm pro
drizzle of honey- 20 kcals
* Spicy chicken sausage and potato
Half a baked potato and top with 1⁄4 cup shredded low-fat Monterey Jack or cheddar cheese.
Combine 4 oz diced rotisserie chicken breast, 1/4 cup low-fat plain Greek yogurt, 1 medium stalk of celery, chopped, 3 TBSP diced cucumbers, 5 red grapes sliced in half, 1 TBSP Dijon mustard, 1 tsp chopped dill, and a trace of honey.
Stuff into 1/2 whole-wheat pita with romaine or spinach leaves.
Spread 1 whole- wheat tortilla with low-sodium tomato sauce, fresh basil leaves, and 2 oz goat cheese. 3-4 oz turkey sausage.
Serve with a large green salad or a side of cooked vegetables (like a frozen stir-fry mix).
Salmon feta salad
Toss romaine, 1/4 cup diced onions, and 1 cup each chopped tomatoes and cucumber.
Top with 3 oz wild canned salmon (drained), 1 TBSP feta, 1 TBSP olive oil, and 2 TBSP balsamic vinegar.
(You can use lean meats)
Vegetarian Burrito Bowl at Chipotle with cilantro-lime rice, pinto or black beans, salsa, 1 TBSP cheese, hot sauce, grilled peppers, onions, and lettuce.
* Open Faced Turkey Burger:
Jenny O 90/10 patty
1/2 thin whole wheat bun
¼ avocado, sliced
4 oz serving plain Greek yogurt with no calorie sweeter (stevia)
Light Chicken Caprese Sandwich:
1 slice whole grain toast
½ chopped chicken breast
1 oz mozzarella cheese
1 sliced tomato
2 tsp olive oil
Salt, pepper, and dried basil
* Stuffed Soft Taco:
1 whole wheat high fiber tortilla
3 oz sliced beef fajita meat
4 oz sliced fresh bell pepper and onions
¼ c shredded low-fat cheese
½ c shredded lettuce
1 Tbsp sour cream
1 whole grain high fiber tortilla
½ c black beans
¼ c shredded low-fat cheddar cheese
¼ c shredded chicken breast
2 Tbsp salsa
Top a bed of sauteed onions and bell peppers with 4 oz cooked grass-fed beef cubes and 1/2 cup brown rice.
Drizzle with sauce made of 1 TBSP almond butter, 2 tsp chili oil, and 1 tsp diced ginger.
Quinoa tabbouleh salad
Mix 3/4 cup cooked quinoa with 1/4 cup each diced tomatoes and cucumbers, 2 TBSP diced parsley, mint, and scallions.
Add 1 TBSP olive oil and lemon juice, and a pinch of sea salt and pepper to taste.
Cook 3 oz tilapia, cod, or wild salmon in grill pan and serve with unlimited zucchini, asparagus, or tomatoes cooked in low-sodium vegetable broth; drizzle with 1 TBSP olive oil and serve with 1/2 cup brown rice or whole-grain barley, or with 10–15 organic rice chips, plus salsa.
* Bunless burger
Heat up a frozen turkey burger according to package; top with grilled onions and mushrooms.
Place on a bed of lettuce with chopped tomatoes and sliced jalapenos. Enjoy with 1 cup of baked sweet potato fries.
Stuff 1 hollowed-out cucumber with 1/3 cup hummus. Spread hummus on cucumbers.
Cut a medium-size pear into 4–6 slices; spread 1 tsp of Justin’s Chocolate Hazelnut Butter between each pair of slices.
* Apples with cheese
Slice a large apple and top pieces with 1 oz goat cheese or Swiss cheese.
Cottage cheese ‘n’ chips
Spread 1/2 cup low-fat cottage cheese on top of 15 whole-grain chips or crackers.
Combine 1/2 banana or 1/2 peach, 3/4 cup mixed berries (fresh or frozen), and 1 cup unsweetened vanilla soy milk, low-fat milk, or plain low-fat Greek yogurt.
Makes 2 servings (keep second one in fridge for up to three days).
Eat with 10 almonds.
* 8 Ounces Yogurt, 1 cup strawberries
* 1 Tablespoon peanut butter, 1 banana
1 Cup Cheerios or similar low sugar cereal, ¾ cup 1% milk
1 Slice whole wheat bread toasted, ¼ cup shredded mozzarella cheese. melt the mozzarella on top of the of the bread.
1 Serving pita chips, 1 full kiwi
½ Cup cottage cheese, 2 slices 3” diameter pineapple
½ Cup Quinoa (100 cals), ½ cup diced red grapes, 7 diced almonds
* 2 Scrambled eggs, ½ cup onion, 4 large mushrooms
½ Cup black beans (100), ¼ cup shredded cheese
1 Soft taco flour tortilla,½ Tablespoon butter, cinnamon; Swipe the butter across the tortilla, sprinkle it with a generous dose of cinnamon and cook or broil (only for a minute or two) in the oven until lightly toasted