I love weight-loss goals because they give you that drive to keep going- to say no to that piece of fudge or ice cream cone. And knowing you've reached your goal is seriously one of the best feelings in the world for me!
My goal, as of several months ago: lose 20 pounds by Christmas.
Goal reached : Christmas morning!
I would like to share my tricks and strategies that made the whole process really work. I know that everyone (including me!) likes to hear what worked for someone else.
First off, my basic eating plan has been low-carb. I lost the first ten pounds or so doing that, and the next ten by doing Trim Healthy Mama, which for me is like low-carb with a twist. I am a firm believer in low-carb eating, because it's fat-shedding and satisfying at the same time. Also, it's surprisingly easy to find foods at restaurants and church potlucks that you actually can eat.
The Trim Healthy Mama eating plan came into my life when I reached a plateau in my weight loss and wanted to try something a little different. I won't get into the details and science about THM, but I'll give you a very basic overview.
The main rule is- don't mix fats and carbohydrates.
And when I saw carbohydrates, I don't mean white bread. I mean oatmeal, quinoa, or sprouted wheat bread. For me, pasta, white bread, potatoes, and white rice are out forever. Carbohydrates have their place (they provide energy) but only in the most nutritious forms that don't raise your blood sugar too much. The idea is that if you keep the carbs separate from the fat, your body will burn the carbs up quickly without the fat to interfere, thus keeping your blood sugar even. I'm no scientist, so I can't say whether science totally backs this up or not. But it does work well for weight loss.
So if you eat a meal that is high in fat, you must wait three hours before eating a meal or snack high in carbohydrates (still under 45 grams though) but low in fat.
Example of a high fat meal: Meatballs w/cheese, salad with ranch dressing.
Example of a high carb meal: Brown rice, baked salmon, salad with fat-free Italian dressing.
Naturally, I enjoy high fat meals more than high carb meals, because I enjoy gooey cheese and pork as much as anyone. But I do try to eat a carb meals too, especially oatmeal. LOVE oatmeal!
Okay, onto my tips.
1) Find a "free" food.
In THM this is called a "fuel pull" food. It's a food that is low in fat AND carbs and can be eaten in large amounts at any time. But, the trick is, it's got to be something you really like. For me, my free food is a protein shake. I start out with a cup of soy or almond milk, then add a scoop of protein powder, cocoa, truvia sweetener, lots of spinach, and some frozen strawberries. It is seriously delicious and I could drink it morning, noon, and night.
And when you find your free food, always keep the ingredients on hand. Whip some up whenever you get that snacky feeling. Of course, this only applies for snacks and other times when you don't legitimately need a lot of fuel. It's great for those days when you know you've been a couch potato but still feel ravenous. But don't use your free food as a meal replacement.
2) Don't ignore your sweet tooth.
Don't think that you can go through life without tasting anything sweet. You'll give up after a few days if you're like me. I need a dessert practically every day. The trick is to find that dessert that won't hinder your weight loss efforts. My personal favorite dessert? Equal amounts of peanut butter and cream cheese blended by hand in a small bowl. It's easy and really satisfies that sweet tooth. You can add a bit of stevia or truvia if you like it even sweeter.
3) If you're always too busy to prepare healthy meals, find shortcuts.
I love frozen fully-cooked meatballs. They're delicious and take just seconds to microwave. Just don't pair them with spaghetti! I also like pre-packaged salads. They take the hassle out of a meal. Do use your judgment, though, and if you don't feel comfortable using any processed foods, that's fine. I try not to eat those pre-packaged foods too often, but keep them handy in case things get too crazy!
4) Stock up on salmon
This is a great super-food that fills you up while giving amazing health benefits. I just tried some pre-seasoned salmon from Walmart that was really outstanding.
5) If you get discouraged easily, then don't think about weight loss at all. Think about nourishing your body with healthy foods. Make sure to exercise regularly and drink lots and lots of water.
All of these tips have been so helpful to me. I'm setting another goal now and I'm sure that I'll make it. My New Year's Resolution won't be to start eating right, but to keep up the good work!
If you know you need to lose a few pounds, start right now. Don't wait another day. You'll feel more and more awesome with each pound you lose!
I'm there with ya!!