When you ask someone about their health or fitness goals, a majority of people start with talking about wanting to lose weight. Whether it is 5 pounds or 65 pounds, a lot of people need to understand it is more than just eating vegetables and running on the treadmill. First thing to address is that a lot of people get their “health knowledge” from the internet, which is not necessarily a bad thing you just need to make sure that you are getting your information from a credible source. Anything that starts off with saying “Lose weight fast”, “Lose ten pounds in your first week”, or anything that sounds too good to be true, stay away from.
Secondly before we start talking about food is to set clear goals for yourself. A goal is not “I want to lose 12 pounds” that is actually the result. The goal would be “I am going to limit myself to having fast food only once a week” and in turn your goals with start getting you to your result. When making your goals it is better to be specific but also make sure they stay attainable. Making crazy hard goals for yourself that are very difficult to achieve could end up disappointing you when you struggle to achieve it and could deter you from staying on track.
Now we start talking about food to aid in weight loss. Many people think that in order to lose weight you need to start going to the gym and that it is exercise that makes you lose weight. However, while working out is part of it, 80% of the work comes from the food that you put in your body. Knowing what to eat and when to eat it could help immensely as well. I will give a general overview and then later on I will create more posts talking specifically about each topic if you are interested.
So starting with breakfast you should be eating healthy fats and protein to start your day. So 2 (whole) eggs give you protein and healthy fats and then add in some fruit (an apple, or fruit smoothie) to add fiber to keep you fuller longer as well. Having a small snack in between breakfast and lunch is okay if you make it healthy. If you are someone who enjoys snacking (like myself) have a piece of fruit (apple, orange, pear, etc.) or vegetables and hummus to snack on something and keep you satisfied until lunch. When you are thinking about lunch, most people either skip this meal or make it very small and overlooked. This should actually be your largest meal if its possible for you to do so. When working towards weight loss you will want to focus on lean protein and vegetables during this meal and avoid carbohydrates (we will add carbs into dinner). In between lunch you should have a snack staying similar to the morning snack, have a piece of fruit, some raw veggies, etc. Then for dinner we will stick with the theme of lean protein and veggies but also add one cup of a carb (brown rice, sweet potatoes, beans, etc.). Lastly, if you are someone who enjoys snacking after dinner or likes to have a desert you should do so (never deprive yourself) but make it healthy. I find that frozen grapes are a great snack when I want something sweet or making a thick fruit smoothie so it makes me think I am having ice cream.
It is very important to remember that a majority of people are not going to make a drastic change right away. If you cheat or slip up in the first week or even first two weeks, do not feel guilty about it. Give yourself time to adjust to the change and then gradually get yourself there. There are people who are going to be 100% all in and make the change right away and that is amazing, but it is not realistic for many people. So do not get discouraged or give up if you slip up or fall off track. Find yourself someone who can keep you on track whether it is just a friend you go walking with or you can even message me with questions or guidance. Accountability is a huge factor and that is why so many people try to get healthy in a group. Lastly, something that helps lots of people including myself is tracking. Track what you eat, how long you exercise, whatever you struggle with to keep motivated with…keep track of it. Personally I have an app on my phone that helps me keep track of what I eat in a day, that way I am conscious of what I am putting in my mouth because i think to myself “am I really going to want to admit to what I am about to eat?” Also, I hate cardio. Hate everything that has to do with cardio, but it is a part of keeping your heart healthy and maintaining weight. So I keep track of the time it takes me to do a mile, I just type it in the notes section of my phone that way I can see progress and keep myself motivated.
Whatever works for you to keep motivated, do it. Just because those are the things that I have found work for me does not mean that it will work for everyone (except recording what you eat, studies show that actually works 🙂 ) But other than that, do what works for you. Try different things and whatever you enjoy, stick with it.