“The only time to eat diet food is while you’re waiting for the steak to cook.”
― Julia Child
Every time I turn around there is some new “fad diet” or some commercial hyping a new piece of wonder-equipment. I hear friends talking about Herbalife, Weight Watchers, Atkins, The Paleo Diet, The South Beach Diet or whatever is the name of the anti-fat game this week. (All trademarked etc.) And I’m not bad-mouthing them though I’m sure it will seem this way. I know millions of folks have lost weight with them and I’m happy for them and I hope those people can keep it off. However, with some of these, I cannot see why I have to pay money to buy products to lose weight when God has given me natural, pure and healthy foods to eat. It’s the junk that kills.
I have fallen prey to more than a few fad diets in my 40+ years. (The worst of which I don’t want to discuss, but cost me my gallbladder.) But about a year and a half ago it got real. It took me hitting the 200 pound mark to suck it up and face reality. It took me hitting a size 22 to do so. Am I proud of those facts? No. It has taken me a year to admit it in a public forum. Am I where I want to be? Not yet. But I’m getting there. I’m down over 40 pounds and 4 dress sizes and counting. Yay! Call me a happy camper.
I’ve been keeping it simple and I’m just calling it the Common Sense Lifestyle Change.
First, let’s talk about FOOD! (Because we all like food.)
* Most of the foods I buy are organic or generally have ingredients I can pronounce. I take my additives very seriously and try not to buy anything with hormones or anything that would gross me out if I were to watch how it was made. Very rarely do I buy things that aren’t “simple.” I’m probably about 85% vegetarian about now. I just can’t seem to give up my steak and seafood. Yum. However, I have tried being a raw vegan for a bit and I actually am probably closer to vegan than vegetarian… but for the love of seafood, steak… oh, and Texas BBQ. Mmmmmm.
One of the main reasons for this is I have to be very careful of nitrates and preservatives in food because of the migraines they trigger. Makes me not so happy. There are a lot of things in food that affect a lot of people differently. If you have health issues, you might have a food allergy or intolerance. It’s something to at least consider.
* I generally measure out the foods I’m going to eat. – Portion control. – Once you are used to eating a pint of ice cream at a time (which I have done), you have to retrain your brain to understand what a “true” serving size really is. That’s one of the reasons people are obese. Learn what constitutes a portion and it gets much easier from there.
EXAMPLE: A chip-bender to the bottom of a 9-ounce bag is 1,260 calories sans the dip. So stick to 1 serving, about 15 chips—that’s 140 calories—or pick up some 100-calorie snack packs and save 1,120 calories
* Learn to slow down when eating and understand what “FULL” really feels like. There’s no need to finish everything on your plate. The first few times I left food on my plate at a restaurant, I felt really, horribly guilty. (Starving kids in China…?) But at the same time, most restaurant portion sizes are enough for two people. WHY would I want to do that to myself? The sad thing is that I did that to myself for a long time.
* DO NOT EAT IN FRONT OF THE TELEVISION. If you eat in front of the TV, studies show you consume almost 300 calories more than if you ate at the table.
* Last but not least, I don’t deprive myself. If I want some creme brûlée or dessert once in a blue moon, I will enjoy some. But I’m not going to go Banzai bat crap crazy and I’m not going to feel guilty. I will eat right the rest of the time and make up for it. No starvation. No binge/purge. Just pure, clean eating.
Now, I know that I’m going to turn off a lot of people when I say the next word, but bear with me. “Exercise.” But I’m going to add something to it… if you haven’t exercised in a long time, you don’t have to go to extremes starting out, join a gym, do DVD’s, workout on the Wii or anything like that. Ready? Cool secrets here:
* If all you can do is walk up and down a hallway of your house do it.
* From the hallway move to the driveway or the front sidewalk or maybe to the end of the block. (You get the picture.) I used to tell my dad at 90 years old when he was recovering from a fall, “Just take one more step dad. One more step will get you stronger. What will one more step get you?”
* From steps, move to a strength move of stairs or a curb. Step up and down. If you need to hold on to something, do it.
Something fun for cardio and to get the muscles engaged: Dance like there is no one watching. For Heaven’s Sake, put on some great tunes and get moving. It doesn’t matter if all you can do is sit in a chair and tap your feet and clap your hands or raise your arms. It’s SOMETHING.
Side note: It’s been said TAPPING YOUR FEET THROUGH OUT THE DAY BURNS ABOUT 350 CALORIES A DAY!!!!! Seriously… those who fidget have got to have an edge on the rest of us.
Some of my favorite tunes while cleaning house (WHICH ALSO BURNS CALORIES:)
* Aretha Franklin – Chain of Fools
* Michael Jackson – Beat It
* Beatles – Twist and Shout
* Cameo – Word Up
* Fall Out Boy – Dance, Dance
* Fun – Some Nights
* AC/DC – Back in Black
* Toby Mac – Burn For You
* 3 Doors Down – Kryptonite
Again, those are just a few of the tunes I’ll throw on and then dance around like a loon. It’s all about getting your body moving. When you have some upbeat music on, vacuuming and dusting or moping the floor (or what have you) is not only a little more enjoyable, but goes faster and becomes a better calorie burn.
Like I said… I’ve dropped over 40 pounds so far just using these little tips. You’ve probably heard it before, but I’m the proof that it works.
There’s no need for anything other than eating right and moving your bod.
“Diet food is for lazy people.”