Everybody these days seems to have their own “diet song” they jive to. Since I’m not on a diet, but “changing my lifestyle for good”, I thought I would have a page dedicated to the ten rules I have chosen to stick to, and has helped me so far with my pounds and inches lost.
These are not from another website, but most probably are on other people’s rules. These rules are just key changes I’ve made that have helped me since June 2013.
1) Don’t Drink Your Calories. Just help yourself now, and switch to water, herbal or green tea, and black coffee if you can. First of all, calories from food are so much more filling than calories from a drink, unless it’s a smoothie, and I think we can all agree there. Whenever I read the term “black coffee” from health nuts before, my mind thought “oh, so the thing that makes my morning wonderful, you want me to make it taste like death now?”. I switched to drinking water, but was still taking stuff in my ONE coffee a day. Now taking a couple creamers in ONE coffee a day doesn’t sound so bad does it? Let me put this in perspective: I now use MyFitnessPal for tracking calories, and now input my coffee creamers. International Delight Southern Butter Pecan is my favorite, and 2 tbsp a day of that is 70 calories…now times that by 7 days. Yes, there you have it, 500 calories for that entire week. That is 1/7 of a pound if you cut that out completely. So that is what I did. Black coffee is not for everyone, but I urge you to shop around and try different coffees. I have switched to Americano, which is two shots of espresso diluted in water, and it does not have that nasty aftertaste other coffees do when taken black. Before I end this bullet….alcohol. I think we all know that this is high in calorie. Try to cut it out all together, but if I really want to have a drink, a shot of vodka is 64 calories and I pair it with club soda or sparkling water and squeeze lime in it. No beer, no coolers…no shooters.
2) Give Up the Cow. Or most of it anyways. I personally have given up milk almost completely. Obvious I still have ice cream once in a blue moon, but for all other purposes I have switched to almond milk, and hemp milk if I can find it. Almond milk clocks in at 40 calories per cup for the Blue Diamond brand. Skim milk is still 110 calories per cup. Also, there is research showing it is not as good as the media (got milk?) has advertised. Visit notmilk.com if you would like to know why. I also rarely use cheese in anything, and if I do, it’s shredded and lightly sprinkled. The only dairy products I consume are organic full-fat plain or vanilla greek yogurt, cottage cheese, and aged hard cheese.
3) Limit Bread. I’m not all for low-carb diets anymore, despite my love of the South Beach Diet that helped me many times, but I am in favor of good carb choices. If I’m going to have carbs with my food, it is rice, potatoes or quinoa. I will have thin-style whole wheat or whole grain pitas with breakfast, or sometimes an english muffin. We do buy bread, sprouted grain only, but that is for sandwiches for Cory’s lunch (let’s face it, he’s a calorie consuming machine) and it is sometimes for a snack with organic almond butter. I treat bread as a dessert almost, for only once in a while. Restaurants are notorious for the basket such as the Keg’s table bread (140 calories per quarter loaf) or the Olive Garden’s bread sticks (160 calories per stick).
4) Half Your Plate Should Be Green. When I eat at the oilfield camp, I actually go and take all my vegetables first before I even go up for the main course. I pile up spinach or raw veggies on half. In my mind, once that space is full, there’s no going back. Then my carbs and protein have to share the other half of the plate.
5) Use Measuring Cups/Spoons. I know this one seems tedious, but it helps me so much. No more “eyeballing” amounts, because usually you are wrong and the calories you are consuming are higher than you expect. Having one cup or 3/4 cup of rice is actually more than I expect sometimes. Obviously this also helps count exact calories. I also recommend a kitchen scale for measuring oz. and grams.
6) Drink Water. How many times have you read THAT statement? I did not realize how important water was for getting rid of fat until I researched it online. When you are working out, and eating right, fat is burned. How does the breakdown and waste of that fat get removed from the body though? That’s right…by water flushing it out. Water is the vehicle for fat to leave the body. So after realizing that…I drink minimum 4-5L per day.
7) Good Fats Instead of Bad Fats. Ditch the Becel, and use real, full-fat butter, because it’s not processed and fake. Don’t use vegetable oil or canola oil, and switch to either olive oil, or even better, extra-virgin, cold-pressed coconut oil. I use coconut oil for ALL my cooking. Eggs, veggies, chicken…you name it. Organic nut butters instead of processed ones.
8) Make Fruit the Dessert. This rule saves my life sometimes. If I am seriously in a snacking mood, want a little extra something after supper, or doing the “bored-eating” in front of the TV gig, I go for fruit and something special. We always keep a berry in the fridge, so usually we will have a small bowl (half cup or 3/4 cup) of blueberries/raspberries/strawberries with a few tablespoons of vanilla greek yogurt on it. Or pan fry a sliced apple in coconut oil, sprinkle cinnamon and nutmeg on it, serve with a 1/4 cup of plain or vanilla greek yogurt and drizzle a teaspoon of honey on it. Honestly…your craving is killed for 180 calories or less, you will be full, and you ate “dessert” for a 1/4 of the calories ice cream or cake would have cost you.
9) Track Your Calories. Just do it, even if it’s only for a week or two. It will open your eyes and you’ll be amazed at actually how much you are eating (or over-eating..). I use MyFitnessPal and I once used LoseIt. I like MyFitnessPal better for tracking calories in and calories out (let’s not forget the calories burned from exercise let you eat more!). MFP has a large food database, so you don’t usually have the excuse to say you don’t know what calories are in what. It even has calories for foods in restaurants like Boston Pizza, Tim Hortons, The Keg…etc.
10) Exercise with a Goal. Don’t just exercise pointlessly…at least I don’t anyways. Make a goal small and attainable such as running a 5km race. That way you aren’t just mindlessly exercising, becoming discouraged, working toward just finishing the workout. It’s all too easy to just quit if the only purpose of the workout is to burn calories. Pick a weight you want to lift, a distance you want to run, or a time length you want to do sprinting intervals. Register for races, mud runs, or obstacle course competitions. That’ll give you something to work for.