Last week I started sharing about my weight loss journey and how I have lost 50 pounds over a 6 month period. If you didn’t read the first post, I encourage you to head over and start there first. If you are ready to read about the second part of my weight loss, keep reading.
I know, I know. If you watch The Biggest Loser or any of those other TV shows, you’ll find that people are working out 8 hours a day and dropping weight like crazy. Well, here’s the thing – I have never liked exercise or considered myself to be athletic. I’ve tried to exercise on and off over the years, but I always get burnt out and NEVER had any fun. So the idea of starting to work out to lose weight did not motivate me, but after the initial cleanse helped me lose some weight, I was motivated to change the way I eat to lose weight. In my experience, I found that changing my eating habits helped me lose weight more than just exercising.
Now as a mom of 3 going back to graduate school and working part time, I knew that I needed to be able to healthy but it also needed to be EASY. Planning was essential for meals because I knew that if I got tired and hungry it would be so easy to continue to snack or grab non-nutritious filler foods. I also knew that I couldn’t completely stop from eating all the foods I loved. I needed to find healthier versions of those foods to make smarter choices when I was eating. I think one of the main reasons people fail at “diets” is that they are limiting themselves so much and they finally give in to whatever their desire is. Then they feel guilty and give up.
So here is my food plan:
- Breakfast: Protein shake (I use Orgain or Balance Complete) mixed with unsweetened almond milk
- Lunch: Salad (pre-made on Sunday so they are easy to grab each morning) and Fruit for dessert (I have a sweet tooth!)
- Snack: Almonds, fruit, veggies and hummus or greek yogurt, Slique tea (anytime!)
- Dinner: Anything as long as was healthy, had plenty of fruits and vegetables, was made without processed ingredients, and was the right portion size.
Some of my favorite dinners include: spaghetti squash with tomato sauce and roasted vegetables, chicken and vegetable soup, lettuce wrap tacos, brown rice and lentil bowl, turkey, avocado, lettuce wrap, baked sweet potatoes and grilled chicken, butternut squash and turkey chili. These are just a few. I found that when you are cooking with fresh ingredients, there are many wonderful dishes to try.
Key to Healthy Eating
The real key to eating healthy is to plan and that means setting aside time on the weekend to get weekday meals ready. So each Sunday, I head to the store to grab fresh fruit, vegetables, nuts, meats, etc for the week. Pre-making salads is the absolute best way to make sure you are going to eat right throughout the week. It will stop you from going out to lunch (and save money), grab something from the vending machine, or not eat, which just causes you to binge later once you get home.
If you want to do this, you’ll want to grab some portable dishes. I use bowls from Ziploc since they are the perfect size for a lunch box. Lay them out and then start cutting! I put all kinds of fruits and veggies in my salads, but I’ll share my new favorite here:
Cranberry Feta Spinach Salad
- 2 handfuls of spinach, chopped
- ½ cucumber, diced
- ¼ pear, diced
- onion, diced (depends on how much you like onion)
- ½ celery stalk, diced
- 4-5 grapes, sliced
- dried cranberries (handful)
- pepitas (handful)
- feta cheese, just a few crumples
- protein of choice: 1 hard boiled egg, diced chicken, turkey or ham
- Vinaigrette dressing (look for one that is less than 50 calories a serving or make one yourself)
- Directions: If you are making this ahead of time, place all ingredients except for dressing in container. These last for 4-5 days so you can get a week's worth made ahead of time. Put your dressing in a dressing container so it is ready to go.
This is just my favorite now, but really my tastes change as different fruits and veggies come into season. I’m looking forward to strawberries – they are so yummy on a fresh salad! What are some of your favorite salad toppings?
Ultimately, here are some changes I made to my eating habits:
- Eat out less or not at all. If I do eat out at a restaurant, I research the menu ahead of time to find the healthiest option
- Eliminate drinking soda and sweetened drinks
- Eliminate processed foods
- Eliminate unhealthy temptations (e.g. Potato chips, cookies, candy, ice cream, etc)
- Eat fruits and vegetables at every meal
- Replace unhealthier foods with healthier alternatives (e.g. plain greek yogurt instead of sour cream or lettuce caps for taco shells)
- Drink more water (not crazy about plain water? Add fresh cut lemon, orange, or cucumber slices)
- Replacing coffee with Slique tea to help support my weight loss goals
- Stick to my calorie goals (1200-1500 a day) There are plenty of free calorie trackers out there, too. Some that I have used include Sparkpeople.com, Myfitnesspal.com, and Fitbit.
Like I said earlier, I’m not super worried about everything always being exact. If I want to make an omelet on the weekend and do a protein shake for lunch, I do it. If I’m craving chocolate, I have a piece. I just make sure I limit my portions and don’t over do it. Plus, I found that once I started
exercising becoming more active, I wasn’t as worried about my calorie intake. Read my next post to learn how I have finally learned to appreciate (and yearn for) staying active: Stay Active to Lose Weight.
If you are interested in purchasing the Young Living Balance Complete Shake or Slique Tea, you can buy it at the retail price, or save 24% and get it at the whole sale price. I have information on this Young Living post about how to become a whole sale member. Otherwise, visit the direct links in the post above for the retail option. Young Living also has a line of products for weight management, as well as vitamins to help you stay healthy. Please contact me if you have more questions about any of their products.
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