Christine - posted on 08/24/2011 ( 1 mom has responded )
If you're thinking about losing a few pounds, there are a few ingredients you need to ensure your success. Of course you need to have an exercise program scheduled in your week, complete with resistance, stretching, and cardio training. BUT, I'd like to focus mostly on how to organize and plan what you should be eating throughout the day to make those strides towards your goals in weight loss.
If you are like me on the days you haven't planned what you will eat, you may be likely to either skip eating or grab a bunch of empty calorie foods or a boat load of pretzels. Planning and being prepared is key.
One of my tricks is to stay as consistent in what I eat from each day. Now if you are a person that likes creativity and variety, then I suggest you plan out a couple of days and then just rotate around them until you get in the habit of knowing how to pair up the foods you eat and the portion sizes. But for me, creature of habit. I'm pretty much good with the same thing everyday.
General rule of thumb is to choose foods you actually like to eat, and yes, healthy foods. Additionally, my suggestions below may not fit exactly in your dietary guidelines, and always suggest checking with your doctor.
But in general, you need to eat carbs, protein, and fats. Your life is not living a lifestyle if you omit a food group so you can quickly lose weight. I am not a fan of the no carb diets. Your body needs carbs as well as good fats. I'm a mom of 2 toddlers, married, running my own home business, as well as working professionally in the fitness world. I don't have a lot of time to "think" about what I want to eat. These are my general guidelines:
Find out how many calories you should be eating for your body type, weight, and goals (maintenance & weight loss) On average- decrease by 500 calories from maintenance to lose 1 lb per week.
Once you know what your caloric goal for the entire day should be, divide up those calories into 5-6 meals. Then just choose serving sizes and foods each time you eat to fit that caloric range.
If I'm on a 1800 calorie diet and eat 6 meals a day, then each time I eat- I'll eat about 300 calories each meal.
Always choose protein, carbs, and sometimes fats.
Suggest eating 1-2 times a day of good fat. (Avocado, Olive Oil, Peanut Butter, Almonds.)
Eat your starchy whole grain carbs in your first meals and switch to the fibrous carbs in the afternoon for the later meals.
Starchy Whole Grain- Oatmeal, Whole Grain breads (be sure it doesn't say enriched wheat)
Fibrous Carbs- Vegetables are best choices (green) limit too many fruits.
Be sure to always eat every 2 1/2 – 3 hours. Fuel your metabolism!
The quality of the food you choose will be your focus as well. When selecting your protein sources, be sure to choose lean meats prepared broiled, baked, or grilled. The more processing to the meat, the higher chance it's not a good food choice. Also, you want to stay clear of deli meats. Those have a lot of preservatives and are not the best choice of meats to choose from. Only select that option if you are in need of something quick.
I personally supplement my meals as well so I'm not always "preparing". I personally use meal replacement bars like Kashi but additionally everyday, I at least have 1 or 2 Shakeology shakes.
I know I'm getting the delivery of all my fruits and vegetables, probiotics, prebiotics, daily vitamins, and many rare ingredients I just couldn't possible eat or fit in my day. It's easier sometimes to just have a quick shake as well so your body is processing food. I personally chose to be a rep with this company because of this product, but I would suggest it no matter. If you want to know more about it or try a sample for taste, let me know.
Your main goal is to have your body run like a fire. Keep throwing small pieces of wood on it to keep the fire burning! Rather than 1 big load, which will extinguish your fire (metabolism) If you feed your body small mini meals, the fire of your metabolism starts working for you and increases caloric burn.
Also, don't be so hard on yourself! Allow for moments of sweet tooth fulfillment!. Just jump back on your schedule. The more strict you are in your diet for too long of a time, the higher the chance you will go off on a binge and throw it out the window. So schedule in those days of indulgence. Maybe exercise a bit more that day or cut back the calories in the day leading and following. Be flexible, and know this is a lifestyle. We're human, and as long as you keep working to see what works best for your lifestyle and to see that improvement, you will get there.