So full disclosure here, I am no weight loss guru – actually, I’m starting over – again, after hitting middle age and having kids. I have gained and lost the collective weight of at least two Backstreet Boys and a small dog over the course of my life. I struggle – constantly – with my weight, but I have committed to helping Papa Bear and helping him has motivated me to do more for myself as well. Here are five tips I have used to lose 13 pounds in the last month by cutting calories – no pills, no fads, just watching what I eat. Not sexy, but it works.
I have started to realize that if I ever get hungry – really hungry, it’s over. Done. Finished. I have had to structure my day so that I am having meals that are around 350 calories and snacks that average 200 spaced through the day. I have breakfast, a mid morning snack (high protein), lunch, a mid afternoon snack, dinner, and if I have the calories left over, a little treat (I allow myself one mini ice cream sandwich at night if I stay under my calorie count enough to include it – 100 calories). My kids don’t realize that that tiny bar of cream pleasure is basically the only thing standing between them and psycho Mommy…seriously.
Starches and Cheat Meals
We are not cutting all carbs, but for now, we are limiting refined flours and sugars, as well as starchy veggies to just a couple of times a week. We have replaced baked fries with cauli flower tots, buns and wraps with lettuce, and honestly, I don’t really miss the bread. I’m pretty happy, overall, with the meals that we have prepared. Schedule a couple of cheat meals during the week, or ideally, on the weekend so that you can have what you want, don’t count the calories or carbs, and just enjoy…then get back on the band wagon and keep making progress.
I can’t emphasize this enough. I already talked about what happens when I get hungry. It isn’t pretty and all self control goes out the window. I know if I don’t plan what I am going to eat, it is going to be much more difficult to keep myself on track than if I do plan out my meals. It also helps me keep my grocery budget in check if I know what I am having and when, I can stock up when something is on sale. I try not to pay retail if I can help it. I don’t know if you realized this (sarcasm dripping here) but eating healthy is kind of expensive. No joke, right? Fail to plan and plan to fail. It is true for me. Check out my March meal plans here and let me know what recipes you want to see me lighten up!M
I know, you are going to see the heading and scoff. I have been serving way bigger portions of meat and starches than I should have. Make sure that your protein is lean and about the size of your palm (around 3.5 ozs – 100 grams) and that you fill the rest of your plate with no starchy vegies and lower sugar fruits. Be careful what you add to salads and dishes – cheese and dressings are LOADED with calories that are going to get in your way. Stick to small amounts of these items and reduce the fat in these versions.
While I am not an MD, I have realized that my husband can eat a TON more than I can and still lose weight. I can look at a cracker and gain a pound. Men just do. To lose weight women should be consuming between 1500 and 1600 calories a day (1800 is maintenance) and men should be consuming around 2000 (lucky dogs). Count your calories and make sure that you are getting most of them from veggies and lean proteins.
This isn’t an exhaustive list by any means, but I have been focusing on one step at a time. It can feel overwhelming to start a new project that you wish was a rapid fix, but isn’t. I didn’t put on the extra pounds overnight, and they are not coming off overnight. What do you do to stay motivated?
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