Never heard that one before!
- Forget crash diets. They don't work. For one thing, it simply isn't healthy to lose a lot of weight too quickly. You didn't put on all those extra pounds over night, and you shouldn't expect to be able to shed them over night. You can't fool Mother Nature. A crash diet signals your body that it is starving and triggers it to compensate by overeating. And then what happens if you should somehow be successfull with your "diet"? You've got no place else to go but up and then you begin going back to your old eating habits. No, my friends, you want your diet to be something that you will always stick with so that it is no longer a "diet", per se, but the manner in which you will henceforth eat.
- Don't deny yourself too much. If you set yourself up to where you are continuously hungry and you are running on sheer will power, you will not be able to stick with your diet for very long. A key to losing weight is to shrink your stomach. This will happen as you gradually cut down on your intake, so don't allow yourself to get too hungry. Remember, you are setting up a diet that will be the norm for the rest of your life. In fact, don't think of it as a diet at all, think of it as the way you now eat.
- Expect plateaus that can last, some times, for one or two weeks. When I began my diet I consistenly lost one pound each week for the first twelve weeks and then I got stuck on a certain weight for a couple of weeks. I found this annoying, of course, but I knew I was eating and exercising properly, so I just continued on. All of a sudden I began losing again and then I hit another plateau some time afterward. That passed and I continue on my downward journey. Personally, I think your body just wants to adjust and "acclimate" itself for a bit before continuing on. I've also found the plateaus to be less frequent and not lasting too long as my appetite decreases. I feel as though I am working with nature rather than trying to circumvent it.
I will be updating this page as time goes by
Here is my diet:
- First thing in the morning, I have a glass of orange juice mixed with a Chia gel (Indian Running Food) and a cup or two of coffee. Chia seeds can energize you and also serve as an appetite suppressant.
- After shaking off the morning cobwebs I go through my forty five minute workout and then I have my breakfast which consists of one hard boiled egg and a banana. I boil off five eggs on Monday, eat one and refrigerate the rest for the rest of the work week. On weekends I'll scrambe an egg or two. I don't have toast with my breakfast because bread can stimulate your appetite. It can also leave you feeling a bit sluggish. There's a clue on what to eat and what not to eat right there. If something makes you feel drowsy or sluggish afterwards, drop it. I eat a banana because it is an extremely healthy fruit, chock full of all kinds of vitamins. The egg, of course, provides protein.
- Snacks are an important feature of my diet. As stated above, don't allow yourself to get too hungry. If the munchies get too over powering in between meals, then grab a light snack. You want to have snacks that are both healthy and that stay with you. Don't snack on anything that stimulates your appetite. Sweets, cookies, candies, cakes, all that stuff is not only fattening, but leaves you craving more. How many times have you heard someone say that they're full, but they just can't stop eating? Sweets will do that to you. I keep a bowl of mixed nuts with raisins and a bowl of grapes on hand for the in between munchies. Nuts not only provide protein, but they also have great staying power. They will curb your appetite for a lengthy period of time. Whenever I have to go out to do some running around in the middle of the day, I will not eat lunch out. Before leaving the house I'll have some chia in a glass of juice and shove a big handful of mixed nuts and raisins in my mouth. The grapes, of course, are also very healthy and provide variety. I sometimes have other fruits on hand. I especially like peaches and plums, but I always have the grapes on hand. They're also easy to snack on. Another thing I might snack on when I want a different flavor is olives. I find myself snacking a lot less, sometimes not at all, in between meals these days than I did when I started this diet. This is because of the shrinking stomach. And, water, too. Water also contributes to weight loss. Drink water throughout the day. You don't have to overdo it. Just when you're feeling a bit thirsty, drink a glass or a half a glass of water.
- For lunch I have a salad - very healthy and low in calories, and salads also have great staying power. You really need your fresh greens for all those vitamins as well as for flushing out your system. In the past I've gone on a salad diet but was never able to keep it up for very long because I was putting too much stuff into it. I'd have a plethora of containers in the refrigerator and was always having to replace something. It took forever to make a salad! I could have had lunch by the time I was done making my salad. And then I found myself continuously running to the store to replenish stuff I'd run out of. When I started this diet I told myself that in order to successfully keep up the salads I'd have to keep it simple. I analyzed what it is that I really like in salads, what I just couldn't live without, and keep it down to that. I decided upon lettuce, of course, tomatoes (from our garden), olives, and tuna. I use only oil based dressings. I like sun dried tomatoes dressing and Caesar's - not the thick kind, but the kind with olive oil. I think Newman's is the best. I've also discovered an oily French dressing I found at a health food store called Drew's. As well as tuna, I'll switch around between sardines, smoked oysters, herring, crab, and shrimp. If you don't like fish, or canned fish, you can get some precooked chicken. You'll want protein in your salad. Fish, especially sardines, also contains essential Omega-3. I'll also often sprinkle some shredded cheese and a little bit of real bacon bits on my salad. With the Caesar's, I like Parmesan cheese. For lettuce, Romaine is the healthiest. But I recommend using fresh spinach leaves. Spinach is a super food and contains a lot more vitamins than lettuce does, and it is a lot easier to use. You don't have to cut or tear anything up. Get the fresh spinach leaves that come in containers. All you have to do is reach into the container and grab as much as you want. Fresh Spinach leaves also keep a lot longer than lettuce does.
A lot of times, when I'm rushed or just don't feel like sitting down to a lunch, I'll just fold over a slice of cheese and stick some spinach leaves and some kind of luncheon meat in it. I don't worry about it not being enough because I've got my snacks if I get too hungry later. Again, the key to this diet is to not allow yourself to get too hungry.
- For dinner we have the standard meat and potatoes affair with fresh veggies. A typical meal for us might be grilled pork chops with mashed potatoes and string beans. We don't use packaged mixes like hamburger helper. We also have spaghetti with whole grain pasta and meat marinara sauce with zuccini from our garden. Once in awhile we'll fix something exotic like chicken curry over rice. Grocery stores now have fresh veggies in steamer bags which makes things easier. During the summer months I barbeque steaks or chicken two or three times a week. If you conciously start cutting back on your intake at the dinner table, you'll find yourself, coupled with the day's diet, being satisfied with less and less. For late night snacks I like milk and a few graham crackers. Graham crackers are my concession towards cookies and the like. Sometimes I spread a bit of peanut butter on them. Occasionally I will have a small bowl of Cheerios or Special K with low fat milk.
This brings us to the second equally important ingredient in a weight loss program, exercise. Diet alone won't do it. You've got to build muscle to replace the fat you've lost. As well as reducing the amount of calories you've been consuming, you've also got to burn calories. You've got to make yourself healthier; better blood circulation, deeper breathing, stronger. Exercising also has the added attraction of building a trim, muscular, athletic body.
- A minimum of five days a week, a minimum of twenty minutes per day. I workout forty five minutes a day, five days a week. Occasionally I'll get the urge to do a modified workout on one or both days of the weekend, but for the most part I prefer to relax on weekends.
- Muscle building exercises from your neck down. You've got to replace that fat you've lost, and keep it off by building lean muscle mass throughout your entire body. If you don't have any equipment and don't want to invest in any, there are a myriad of bodyweight and calisthenic programs that can be found by searching the Internet.
- Jumping Jacks - Jumping jacks is the prime exercise I use for burning calories. I begin each workout by stepping outside and doing some deep breathing followed by a set of jumping jacks. Not only are jumping jacks the perfect warmup exercise, getting your heart racing, your blood circulating, and your lungs pumping, but they also build the muscles of your calves. I do as many as I can, and I continuously add to that number as I am able to. Before doing the jumping jacks, I do a set of calf raises on a 2 x 4 to strengthen and "fortify" my calves.
- If you now have no equipment and would like to get something for use at home, I highly recommend The Hook by Sierra Exercise. The Hook can provide you with an effective, efficient workout that will definitely build some serious muscle. This ingenious home gym that can fit into the bottom of a suitcase will generate virtually every exercise you'll find in an expensive gym, and it can provide unlimited resistance, all at a very affordable price. The Hook also comes with a fully illustrated training manual complete with a guide to setting up a routine.