Kelly at Kelly's Korner is asking for her readers to share some ideas for diets, excercise and weight loss ideas in her Show Us Your Life episode this week. I have decided to participate as this is something that is relevant for me.
I am not going to claim to be an expert, because I am not. But I have had years of practice losing (and gaining) weight and I finally know what doesn't work AND how to do it right. I began eating differently in September and have lost close to 25 pounds. Its working and I know that the reason is because this is a change in the way I think and view food. Here is what I know.
First. Stop calling it a diet. Stop thinking that you can go back to eating all the junk that got you this way in the first place.
Change the way you eat. Forever. Eat healthful delicious food!
I believe in balance in the way you eat. I am not a proponent of "gimmicks".
Eat whole, fresh foods as much as you can. Stay away from processed foods. If it comes in a box or a can, try to avoid it. I know that it is tough when you are working full time but if you can do it most of the time...it's not a big deal.
Eat whole grains and pastas. They really do taste good and are so much better for you!
Eat your veggies and fruits. Your mother was right. They are GOOD for you! Include them with every meal and use them for your snacks!
Drink plenty of plain water. Personally I try to drink 3 1 liter bottles in a day...from the time I wake up until I go to bed (but you may want to lay off drinking a lot of water a couple of hours before your bedtime, for obvious reasons).
Portion control. Too much of any food is not a good idea. So you do have to eat smaller portions than you were. It will be tough at first, but pretty soon, you will wonder how you ate all that in one sitting.
If you eat this way, you can include that sweet or indulge in a glass of wine and not have to feel deprived. Real life happens. Enjoy it.
Now....all that being said. You must excercise. Your body was made to move, not to just sit on the couch watching reality TV. Calories in, calories out.
Strive for 30 to 60 minutes of excercise a day. You don't need fancy equipment--it helps, but its not necessary. And for Pete's sake, have fun with it. Challenge yourself. This is about YOU! Again, balance. Spending your entire day inside of a gym is not healthy either--make the most of your time while you are there. More is not always better.
And mix it up, take a hike, swim when the weather is good, run with your kids, walk your dog, train for a half-marathon. Do what works for you!
The internet is a an excellent source of information and support. Educate yourself on calories, excercise, cardio, resistance training. Its all out there. Find a network and connect and learn and get moving!
If you can follow this prescription 80% of the time...you have made great strides. No one is perfect. When you fall down, get back up and keep moving forward. That is what I am doing. It works.
Here is one of our favorite "go to" healthy meals.
Brown rice and Black Beans (or your favorite beans)
Cook rice, add drained, rinsed beans, sprinkle with chili powder (to your liking) and salsa (again to your liking).
Top with fresh chopped tomatos, chopped red onion, a dollop of sour cream and salsa. You can also add a sprinkling of shredded cheese on top, but this dish is so flavorful, that you won't need to!