I Lost 90 Pounds and You Can Too
My apologies if this sounds like a gimmicky sales pitch, but I lost 90 pounds and you can too. A year ago, I never could have anticipated writing those words, just like many other adults. I saw my weight steadily creep up after my son was born until about a year ago when I was tipping the scale at 252 pounds. That’s when I made the mental shift and decided to change my life. I was constantly tired and struggled to keep up with my son, so I started to evaluate my diet and become serious about what I needed to change foodwise.
Rather than turning to the latest fad diet, I decided to take a logical and holistic-based approach. I tried to think about the subject in an objective way. Why has my weight increased? What have I truly been eating? And most importantly, how can I change?
I wanted to develop a way of thinking that resulted in sensible lifestyle changes, not just temporary “quick fixes.” That being said, these are the things I focused on the most.
Calories In, Calories Out
A well-balanced and health-conscious diet requires a lot of consideration, but the simple science behind weight loss is that you simply need to burn more calories than you consume, absent a medical condition that causes weight gain or obstructs weight loss. If you consume more food than you need (calories in), the excess calories turn into extra weight. But if you burn more calories than you consume (calories out), you burn stored body fat for energy and you will lose weight. Here are a few steps you can take to increase the number of calories you burn and decrease the number of calories you eat.
Increase your daily step count — Make it a point to walk more every day. Just make small adjustments to your routine. When my son takes a nap, I carve out time to walk around the house and find odd things to clean or take note of things we need to repair.
Downsize Portions — The first thing to do is go into your cabinet and take a look at your dinner plates; How large are they? Decide if you really need to fill all of the space on that plate with food.
Buy a few new plates that are much smaller and you will subconsciously eat a lot less. When I didn’t want to weigh out all of my portions, I used my toddler’s plates. They’re much smaller and you can fill the plate relatively full while not going over on calories.
Swap high-calorie drinks — If you are like many other Americans, you consume several high-calorie drinks each day. Sugary sodas, juice drinks, and coffee drinks full of cream and sugar are common issues for many. If you make it a point to drink water instead, you can cut 100-400 calories or more from your daily intake. Try Slender Sticks. They have been a lifesaver for me.
Skip condiments and sauces — You can reduce the calories in your meal by avoiding that high-calorie gravy on those mashed potatoes or mayonnaise on that turkey sub. Those sauces and condiments are full of extra fat and calories. And if you can avoid creamy sauces on any of your main dishes, you’ll cut fat and calories even more.
Start an easy exercise program — If you want to burn more calories, you don’t necessarily have to go to the gym every day if you’re busy like me and you just simply don’t have the time. Instead, start an easy exercise program at home and commit to a 20-minute session in the comfort of your home or surrounding property.
Each day after work, I take my toddler on a walk to a trail near our home. It affords us a chance for some bonding time and is a great way to teach children. You’ll be surprised at how many times you hear the phrases “What’s that” and “Why.” Even the smallest amount of deliberate exercise can make a difference, so make it a priority. It will get easier.
Eat whole grains and food in their most natural form whenever possible. Substitute white flour with whole wheat flour and strawberry toaster pastries with fresh organic strawberries for breakfast instead. (Working at Nature’s Warehouse helped so much with this!) Remember heavily processed foods have little to NO nutrients. Here are some suggestions of how to add more whole foods into your diet.
Wash and chop fresh organic vegetables when you get home from the grocery store. Place them in reusable to-go containers, or snack baggies in the refrigerator. Eat them with a natural nut butter or hummus. This is great for the kids too.
Boil a bunch of organic eggs ahead of the week so they are ready to grab at a moment’s notice during the week. Buy all your nuts or seeds in bulk, and place appropriate portions in to-go containers or snack baggies. This will save money too.
Add fresh fruit to organic Greek yogurt for a great and nutritious breakfast. Make a fruit salad with fresh organic fruit at the beginning of the week. This saved me so much time on breakfast prep and it makes a great desert as well. Cut out the starches! Roll natural deli slices over a mozzarella cheese stick, and top it with fresh tomato slices for a quick lunch that’s hard to beat for great taste.
Before embarking on your journey, consider your ways of thinking and habits. That is always the first step in making real, permanent changes. Some things you may find helpful along the way are a food scale and a good water bottle so you can measure your food and track your water intake. If you decide to take some of these steps, I wish you success.
I Lost 90 Pounds