Now that I've been eating healthy for three weeks now, I consider myself to be somewhat of an expert. Of course. And because I'm such a wonderful person, I want to pass my knowledge (and super wise-ness) onto all of you who don't know where to start. After seeing results and losing 7lbs, my methods are obviously fool proof and successful. Totally tongue in cheek if you cannot tell.
I call this "The Lazy, Sugar-loving Girl's Guide to Losing Weight." A little long, but completely accurate.
To say that I love sugar is an understatement. People joke that I like a little coffee with my sugar. It's true. I cannot lie. I have a few sweet teeth. This always seems to be my downfall when I try to diet. So the very first thing I did was eliminate ALL unnatural sugars. I tend to be a cold-turkey kinda gal. It's all or nothing with me. A bit of chocolate is just a tease. I can never have just one. It was the same with smoking. I'm not gonna lie. It was effing hard. I went through a week of withdrawal, but totally worth it. How do I get through a sugar craving?
1. Fruit. Lots and lots of fruit. For the first few days the only thing that got me through were yummy, yummy fruit smoothies. Berries are very sweet, but also very low in carbs and so they fit in perfectly. I'd put in some coconut water (aids in weight loss and adds a yummy taste), some spinach (verrrrry high in vitamin K, vitamin A, magnesium folate, iron, calcium, vitamin C, B2, B6 E, and potassium....just to name a few). Like shut the front door, right? Throw in a little non fat yogurt and bananas as fillers and it's a super satisfying
treat. Or a meal. Less than 200 calories. Calories from fruit, I decided, were good fuel and so I'm okay with going over my 1200 calories a day if it's because I am eating more fruits and veggies.
2. Water. I hate water. Hate it. It makes me gag. I usually get my liquids from coffee, coffee, and Pepsi. If I was feeling overly healthy, I would have a glass of juice or some tea (also with a fair amount of sugar). This is probably why I have started developing kidney stones recently. So consuming 8 glasses of water a day was probably the most daunting part of this whole thing. My brother made it explicit that vitamin waters or crystal lite were completely out of the question. Years ago, my girlfriends husband started this bottled water company that was infused with vitamins and flavour (although, no high sugars or salts like most of the vitamin waters out there now) and my favourite one was the cucumber lime. So, I thought it would be super easy to make my own. Cucumber makes the water sweet, naturally, and I can easily down at least 8 glasses of water a day, sometimes more. In a crazy twist of fate, I find myself craving it. To shake things up, I'll use a lemon or lime instead, but cucumber is, by far, my favourite.
3. No sugar substitutes. No aspartame (which I have read actually fools your body into craving more sugar), no stevia, nothing. If I am really craving something sweet, honey is a great natural option. Maple syrup is also.
4. One meal with carbs per day: Usually breakfast because it gives me energy for the day, and because I eat it in the morning, I have all day to burn them off. A piece of Squirrelly bread (organic, whole grains, organic) with some natural (read: no added sugar, no added salt) peanut butter. Or steel cut oats, with almond milk and fresh berries. Oh, try this super yummy recipe. It feels like I'm cheating, but it's totally healthy...this morning, I tried it with some fat free vanilla yogurt and it was paradise!!!
5. Plan ahead. I'm lazy. If I don't have healthy food around, I'm going to start eating the crappy food. I know that. And if I'm home, I'm definitely not putting a bra on to go back out and get some fruit. So I make sure I have it all in stock. And I've purged the cupboards of unhealthy, processed foods. If I'm really adventurous, I'll wash and prepare all the fruit ahead of time so all I have to do is eat it. Just as easy as opening a pack of chips.
6. Count your calories. I know this sounds really daunting. Math never has been my strong suit, and how do you know how many calories are in each thing you eat without intensive research and calculations? You get this super amazing app that does it all for you. It's called MyFitnessPal, or if you've been living under a rock and don't have a smart phone, you can go to www.myfitnesspal.com, and it's free. It calculates all your calories, carbs, sugars, fat and has millions of foods already entered into it. Even for restaurants, so if I have any questions about what to eat, I just plug it in there and it tells me everything I ever needed (or never really cared) to know.
7. Eat often. Don't let yourself get too hungry that you feel the need to binge. I try to eat 6 small meals a day
8. Take vitamins. Because I don't eat red meat, I started taking Iron and B12 supplements to help my energy. Turns out B12 actually helps your body metabolize fat. Woot woot, I'm losing weight without even trying there! Ha ha!
9. Eat natural. Canned fruits and apple sauces can be loaded with added sugar and salts. Eat a real peach instead of a can of peaches. Sauces on chicken breasts add unnecessary calories. Nutella is not actually healthy for you, even though it's made with skim milk. Popcorn is okay as a snack, without butter and salt. Deli meats contain fillers to make them taste better. I was fooling myself by eating things like rice cakes and 100 calorie snack packs, thinking this was healthy. But really I was eating processed food, and gaining weight. Moral of the story - eat healthy. I walk around the perimeter of the grocery store and rarely go down the middle anymore.
10. Give yourself a cheat day. I get one per week, where I can eat what ever I want all day long. My first cheat day I totally over ate and woke up the next day with a horrible sugar hangover, so I now cheat in moderation. Of course, chocolate is my weakness so cheat day always includes some chocolate!
Wow. That's pretty impressive, isn't it? It takes 3 weeks to create a habit, so I'm hoping (as tomorrow is day 21!!!!) that I'll succeed. Well, my fingers are crossed, anyways. And if I can quit smoking, I can do anything. So. Can. You!
Any helpful suggestions or tips that you use to eat healthy and lose weight???