Yesterday I talked about exercise. I can’t emphasize enough how important I think exercise is in terms of overall health and fitness. Early on in this journey, my goal was simply to do SOMETHING every day.
Having said that, WEIGHT LOSS OCCURS IN THE KITCHEN, NOT IN THE GYM. You can exercise like crazy and undo every single calorie you just burned with one brownie. That’s why I hate shows like The Biggest Loser. They like to show people working out until they puke. And then they don’t show what they have for dinner. It’s completely misleading. Not only that, but it’s not a sustainable way to lose weight. Who is going to be able to exercise 4-5 hours per day, 6 days a week, for the rest of their lives? Pretty much no one. On the other hand, exercising an hour a day and eating right? That’s the way to be fit and thin forever.
So I’m going to talk a little bit about what I ate early on. Some of this is the pattern I retain now, and some of it is different as I’ve learned more and found out what works for me. You have to find out what works for you. For example, I did, and still do, eat a fairly small breakfast and lunch and a large dinner. Other people like to divide their meals equally. Still other people need to eat 6 small meals a day.
I started out with small changes. I went from drinking 2-3 Mountain Dews per day to 2-3 per week. I drank my last soda in May 2010. I could not longer justify drinking those calories. Since then I RARELY drink any calories except skim milk. I have 1-2 glasses of skim milk per day and other then that, it’s WATER, WATER, WATER. I have water with me all the time and make sure to drink. Did you know that research has show that when people think they feel hungry they are actually mildly dehydrated? By drinking water all the time, you keep that false feeling of hunger away.
One thing that I am good at is research. So once I decided I wanted to eat healthy, I SCOURED the internet and found out what is healthy and made these changes. What were some of the rules I established for myself?
- No soda
- No fast food
- No crappy sugar laden snacks - like the packaged Little Debbie Snacks
I switched COMPLETELY over to whole grain bread products and cut WAY back on breads in general. At the beginning I didn’t calorie count. I instead focused on portion control. I would make my plate with less on it then I previously ate. I didn’t go back for seconds. I began looking for law fat, low calorie alternatives. Like "reduced fat" wheat thins rather then regular. I began buying broth based rather then cream based soups. I switched to low fat salad dressings. I eat a ton of salads. People think they are eating healthy when they eat salad, but then ruin it by putting 200 calories of fat laden ranch dressing on it. On the other hand, lite balsamic vinaigrette salad dressing has 25 calories for 2 tablespoons! I also used less or went without. For example, I no longer slather my corn on the cob with butter. Corn is delicious on it’s own. I don’t put any butter on it any more.
I also had to focus on eating SLOWLY. Most of my family inhales their food - even the thin ones. I had to then - and still have to now - FOCUS when I eat. I chew my food thoroughly. I used to have huge chunks of food in my mouth and would wash it down with my milk. I now don’t need to do that, because I don’t attempt to swallow until the food is completely chewed up. I don’t stuff another piece of food into my mouth until my mouth is empty. Not only is this healthier, but I find my meals more satisfying. Plus it takes your brain about 20 minutes to register what you just ate. So if you can make your meals last 20 minutes, you’ll know if you are full or not and can make decisions about whether you need to continue eating.
Your body instinctively knows how much to eat. It is our brains that fuck us up. My stomach tells me the truth, my brain is a big fat LIAR. I am getting better at knowing who is really talking. I listen to my stomach and ignore my brain when it comes to food!
So I was asked for specifics of what I eat. Here is today’s menu:
Breakfast: 2 organic farm fresh eggs, fried, coffee.
Lunch: Pre-packed deli chicken slices (1 serving = 5 slices), 1 slice of Sargento’s Colby Jack Ultra thin sliced cheese, on an Arnold Sandwich thin (whole wheat) with a leaf of Romaine lettuce, 12 baby carrots, 2 stalks of celery and a banana. Water with a packet of 0 calorie Propel flavoring.
If I am hungry, as a mid-afternoon snack I will have 10 Almonds
Dinner: ½ cup brown rice, ½ cup wild rice, large piece of boneless, skinless chicken breast, assortment of vegetables (squash, green beans, collard greens) steamed, glass of skim milk.
Evening snack: Dannon Lite N’ Fit Yogurt (Strawberry Banana flavor).