I want to lose weight but I don’t know where to start… I hear this a lot. I talk to many people about their health goals as a natural extension of chatting about our amazing wraps. The first thing that most people mention is losing weight followed by similar questions and challenges. We get bombarded and overwhelmed with weight loss information, misinformation, the latest diet craze and everything else in the media and online. This results in people not knowing where to start with some putting it off completely while others buy every product under the sun looking for that magic pill. You can buy all the latest greatest weight loss products and try all the crash diets you want but at the end of the day if you don’t create new healthy eating and living habits nothings going to last. No matter what else you do it’s always going to come down to nutrition.
You have to figure out what works for you. Do you need to count calories, portion food, join a group or whatever steps to help you get and stay on track based on your self-restraint and lifestyle. For instance Kevin and I are at the opposite ends of the spectrum. He’s very strict, eats for nutrients not for pleasure but also has no off button (once he’s opened a bag of something its gone). On the other hand I love food but can have a handful of something and put the rest back. He thinks its hilarious that I’ll eat just 2 crackers with cheese or peanut butter, but that’s all I need to satisfy my craving. Unless it’s chips, (lol) we all have our vice. Although I have tips and recipes on here I decided to make an outline to help people get started and going in the right direction. So I’m going to walk you through a logical progression to getting yourself on a healthier path that will last.
Having a good understanding of nutrition is key in helping you make healthy decisions and so that you don’t fall for things like, you can eat cake at long as you eat it for breakfast. You need to educate yourself and read labels on what you’re buying to know what you are actually putting in your body because many labels can be misleading. Once my Dad was so proud he bought ‘Pure’ jam thinking it was natural with no added sugar, until I told him that’s the brand not the ingredients and that it wasn’t actually pure at all. I also remember talking to a 5 year old and explaining that what she was watching in the commercial isn’t necessarily true. She responded with”that’s not nice that they lie to kids”. She’s right, it’s not nice that they lie to kids or adults for that matter so knowledge is power. I’ve broken down the basics of nutrition here so you can make informed choices on your journey to better health and weight loss.
Being Realistic About Where You’re At
It’s very easy to lie to yourself about what you’re actually eating. I’ve found that keeping a food log can be a real eye opener. Keep a food log for one week writing down everything you eat and drink and calculate the calories, carbohydrates, etc. that you are consuming. If there’s no label on something you can easily find an online calorie counter to give you a rough idea. Then look and see where you are getting excess or empty calories, carbs and bad fats and how you can switch out those things for healthier choices. Keep another log the following week and compare it to the previous one and see how your progress is going and where you can continue to adjust. Do this for a few weeks until you get to where you want to be. I’ll be honest, the first couple of weeks can be rough and you’ll probably think “I can’t eat anything”, “I’m hungry”, “this sucks”, but stick with it. By week 3 and 4 you’ll start to feel better, get the hang of making healthier choices, start to see changes on the scale and even feel shitty when you eat shitty because your body is getting used to healthier habits. You may make progress for a while and then plateau, so do the same thing, log where you’re at and see where you can improve.
Make Changes and Form New Habits
It takes time to form a new habit so give yourself time and have patients on your weight loss journey. Once you know where you’re at and what your trouble meals/food are then you can look for healthier options to help you lose weight. Switch out simple carbs for complex, white for whole wheat, bad fat for good fat, processed food with whole food. There is a very simple and effective system that I’ve shared with people and it comes with this healthy eating tips for 2-4 days a week to get you started.
A big part of a healthier diet is cutting out the refined carbs and sugar from your diet. It can be hard I get it, give me a fresh loaf of bread and some whipped butter and I’ll polish off the whole thing. Your body can actually crave carbs, I tried cutting them out or stopping fast food and I craved it so bad, so instead I cut down on carbs. At the most basic level the more whole food and less processed and refined food you put in your body the better. You can even make the same thing at home that you would order at a fast food restaurant and it would be an improvement because it wont have all the added salt, preservatives and chemicals. However, a homemade cake vs a store cake is still cake, so don’t fool yourself into thinking you’re being really good with something that you know should be in moderation.
For example, my cousin thought she was eating healthy with a granola bar in the morning, but really it was filled with sugar. So she read the label and compared bars until she found a much healthier option. Small changes in the right area can have a big impact. She was actually eating pretty well for breakfast and lunch but dinner is where it all fell a part. She was a young student at home on a budget so she had to make small, easy, cost-effective adjustments but it paid off and after 3 months she was down 30lbs and counting and looks great. Eventually, she started doing the cooking to take some control over dinner and introduce healthy low-carb dinners to her family.
Every Little Bit Counts
Now that you’ve got your nutrition on the right track how else can you maximize your weight loss results? Going for walks, taking the stairs, joining a fitness class the gym or just working out in your living room, every little bit helps. The idea of joining a gym and what to do can be scary so I’ve posted a beginners routine here to get you going. It’s not all about the scale. Muscle weighs more than fat and you can transform your body composition by getting into exercise. Remember at the end of the day what you put in your body and how you treat it now is going to have a huge impact on your health and longevity down the road. There are also supplements that can help boost metabolism and block carbs and they can help maximize your results as well but they’re not a magic fix without the above steps. If you are trying to lose more than 10lbs and looking for something natural to help jump-start and maximize your results from the above step then I highly recommend this System.
So What Do I Do?
I started my journey to a healthier me about 4 years ago. I cut down on carbs and started weight training and it completely changed my body! I get asked all the time what I do to stay healthy so I’ll share an example of what my week looks like below. Here is a sample meal plan I’ve put together for my 3-day-slimdown program. A few days a week depending on how I’ve eaten and exercised I take Thermofit to boost my calories burned and I always have a bottle of Fat Fighter in my purse for those unplanned cheat meals with a wrap thrown in to target any tricky areas every few months (or after easter/christmas). Now none of those things are necessary, but I personally like the idea of maximizing my results with plant-based products and wrote a post about it here.
Weekday: 3-5 Days at the gym
Breakfast- a light breakfast to get me going and not slow me down including a little complex carbs and protein.
A healthy granola bar, big glass of Greens and I’m off to the gym.
After the gym I drink a protein shake and that tides me over until lunch.
Lunch- This is where I get most of my carbs (from whole wheat and veggies) along with Protein (from meat)
A salad, open-faced sandwich, small pita, wrap, soup, breakfast sandwich
Snack- nuts, fruit, snapea crisps, crackers + cheese, cereal, rice cake
Dinner- We keep it simple and low carb. Our dinners consist of meat for protein and veggies with healthy fats and no heavy carbs.
Grilled steak or chicken with veggies and salad, I like to work in avocado for healthy fat
Taco Salad, Chicken Burgers and Thai Lettus Wraps are some of my favorites in the summer.
In the winter I switch gears and enjoy Chicken Meatballs and Easy one-pan dinners.
Breakfast- I love breakfast so I enjoy a classic breaky or brunch with meat, eggs and whole wheat bread.
Usually an omelette, breakfast wrap, breakfast sandwich or bacon and eggs, with the occasional eggs benedict or pancakes.
Lunch- Because we eat a bigger breakfast later in the morning lunch is usually a pretty light snack.
Protein shake, weekday dinner left overs, greek yogurt with granola, small pita
Snack- chips (not great but all in moderation!), fruit, granola bar
Dinner – Our dinners on the weekend is where we get in our ‘cheats’ .
If I don’t feel like cooking we grab pitas/wraps from somewhere
Sometimes its thin crust pizza, lasagna, beef pattys, small serving of spaghetti and every once in a blue moon we’ll grab fast food.