Cut The Junk From Your Diet

One of the "cut the junk" meals I ate. Pork with peach chutney.
One of the “cut the junk” meals I ate. Pork with peach chutney.

After the holidays, we all want to “get back to healthy”. I wanted to put my money where my mouth is and do my version of the challenge I am offering to all my beginners and exercise “start overs”.

I did seven days of cutting the junk from my diet.  I lost 3.8 pounds.  Here’s what I cut:

  1. No dairy
  2. No gluten
  3. No alcohol
  4. As little sugar as possible (it’s in everything)

Here’s what I DID eat:

  • Lean protein (pork, beef, chicken, fish,)
  • Brown rice, quinoa, beans, potatoes, sweet potatoes
  • fresh or home cooked vegetables
  • fresh fruits
  • avocado

Here are links to two of the dinners I ate during the 7 days:

Spinach and Mushroom Quinoa

Shrimp with Tomatoes

Here’s what I did for exercise:

At least 2 days of strength training  I did either PiYo or a power weight workout.  That’s when you use lighter weights, and lift as many reps as you can for 30 seconds, then rest for 30 seconds.

At least 2 days of cardio I did HIIT (high intensity interval training) or steady state cardio (mostly walking or stationary bike)

I did at least 30 minutes each day.

Now, tell me what YOU did and how things went for you!

I explain the first seven days on this Periscope.  Check it out!

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Simple Portion Control

Happy 2015! A brand new year is a chance to wipe the slate clean and start again.  A chance to make new goals and a plan to reach them. Do you want to lose weight, become healthier and more fit, challenge yourself with something you need to prepare for? January is a great time to start.

21 day fix

This year my goal is to lose the holiday weight that crept on.  It’s much harder to do now that I am older.  I need a definite portion control plan. For the next three weeks, I’m using Portion Fix to help me cut the junk and eat the right amount of nutrients without overeating. Portion fix is a system to help you cut back on the calories without actually counting calories (which I hate). It used to be part of an exercise program called 21 Day Fix, but you can buy the containers seperately now (Yay!) The concept is simple, it’s just a series of containers that are colored according to the types of food you eat.  Green is for veggies, purple for fruit, red for protein, yellow for carbs, blue for healthy fats like milk and cheese. orange for salad dressings, seeds etc. and teaspoons for oils and nut butters.  You get to eat certain amounts (containers) of each type of food depending on your weight and if you want to lose or maintain your weight.

The very cool and helpful thing I discovered is that Pinterest is filled with recipes using this concept.  If you just search Pinterest with the phrase “21 day fix”  you will find tons of information and recipes.  You can make your own board and pin the recipes that appeal to you.  It makes cooking dinner pretty easy.  I have tried to keep lunch simple by buying some lean meats and canned veggies.  Then I just filled the containers, mixed the meat and veggies so I can microwave them at work and take another container of my favorite fruits. Breakfast is usually a protein shake for me, but you can find a lot of breakfast and lunch recipes, as well as snack ideas on Pinterest too. Here’s a link to follow my board if you’d like to.  I may even try to create a few of my own recipes or change the ones I try.  I’ll keep you posted.

Do you have any 21 Day Fix recipes to share?  Put a link in the comments!
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Weight Loss; Slow is the Way to Go

 

Who hasn’t settled in to watch at least one episode of “The Biggest Loser”? We are impressed at weigh-in by the huge weight loss numbers earned by the leading contestants. We feel sorry for the poor guy or girl who only lost a pound or two and stands crying on the scales.

healthyweightloss

 

 

 

 

 

 

As much as the networks would like us to believe it, this is far from reality.  In real life, slow and steady weight loss will bring you health and success in the end.  Here’s why.

  1. Extreme weight loss actually lowers your metabolism.  Severely restricting your calories makes your body think it is starving and it slows all your metabolic processes down.  When you increase your calories (and you have to eventually), you gain the weight back.  Sometimes you even gain MORE than what you lost originally.
  2. Extreme weight loss tends to burn muscle instead of fat.  Muscle is what burns calories, so refer to number one for what will happen.
  3. Severely restricting your calories can leave you dehydrated, and fatigued. It’s hard to get all the nutrients you need when you cut calories to the bone so you may be left malnourished as well.
  4. EWL can be detrimental to a host of your organs.  It puts stress on your heart, can cause gallstones and affect your brain processes.  The lack of nutrients can mess with your neurotransmitters, which can lead to depression.
  5. If you are not giving your body the nutrients it needs (like calcium) it will take them where it can get them (like from your bones) leaving you at risk for things like bone density problems.

So what is healthy weight loss? The American Council on Exercise recommends one to two pounds per week. No one should restrict their calories to less than 1200 per day. In order to lose those one or two pounds per week, you need to combine calorie reduction and burning extra calories through exercise to make a 500 to 1000 calorie deficit per day.  3500 calories equals one pound.  If you lose weight slowly, you will be doing it by changing your lifestyle (doing something you can sustain over time). You will be much more likely to be able to keep it off.  Here’s a calorie calculator to help you figure out how  many calories you should eat to lose weight the healthy way. Here’s a link  to some videos to give you ideas to easily eliminate a few hundred calories per day.

Have you ever lost a lot of weight only to gain it back?  Have you lost weight and been able to keep it off?  Leave a comment and tell your story!
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Weight Loss Without the Weirdness

Counting calories annoys me.  It’s time consuming. It’s a lot of guesswork. It’s tedious. If  I stop for any length of time the weight starts creeping, creeping up. Who’s with me? I’m not into deprivation diets. I’m not going to eat cabbage soup for a month. South Beach, Atkins, Weight Watchers…. they are all hard to stick to for any length of time.  So what’ s the answer?

The more I research and read, the more I am convinced that portion control is the way to go. You can eat the healthiest food on the planet, but if you eat too much of it, you are STILL going to gain weight, slowly but surely. We eat about 100 to 300 calories more or less than we need everyday. If on most days we are going over, we can gain 10 to 30 pounds each year. That’s a lot. Our obesity rate in the US tells us we are usually overeating. We do this without realizing it.

What if we could change some of our habits so that we could usually eat 100 to 300 calories less than we need on most days? By year’s end we would have lost 10 to 30 pounds! The really good news is..you can do this and not really notice that you are eating less.  It just takes some practice. Click here to get four free videos I made that will teach you how to “trick yourself thin” using some pretty common sense behavior changes. Don’t worry, they’re short, easy to understand and easy to put into practice.

mindless eating

To really dive into the subject, the book Mindless Eating by Brian Wansink, PH.D. is a great resource. I found it on amazon.com.