An Intro to my Diet Plan

On my birthday, at 4am, my boyfriend brought up my favorite ice cream cake and sang happy birthday to me! After serving me a slice, he pulled out a ring and proposed! I am so excited to begin my life with him and I want to begin our new life with a renewed self image. So, here I am, one of those brides, getting in shape for her wedding!
This page is as much to keep myself accountable as it is to help other brides on their journey (or those who just want some down to earth, friendly dieting tips) I am not an expert (although, sometimes I feel like one), these are just lessons learned from my experiences.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

New goal reached!!

Whoo hoo! so after last post, I was pretty down about my progress.  I took a week off of exercising to rest my muscles and guess what?  It bolted me out of that slump pronto!!  I dropped the last 3 pounds to reach my 150 goal!!

Yay!  So, what have I been doing this week you ask?  Staying active!  Even though I'm not working out, I'm up and moving around, less time on the couch and more time playing with the dogs and goats in the yard!  For food?  I'm averaging under 1200 calories a day and staying VERY full with veggies and fruit!  High fiber breakfasts get my day started off right and my fave snack of the week is caramel rice cakes!  Great for my current sweet tooth!  So, if you hit a slump, change up your routine and don't get down on yourself.  If you need a chocolate bar, have it! (but just one!)

Monday, September 13, 2010

Halfway there!

So, I've reached a slump :(  I've lost 22 pounds, but have been stuck here for a couple of weeks.... Ugh, I haven't changed my habits; I'm eating healthy, walking/exercising regularly (well, I took the weekend off to help my sore muscles) and nada!  I'm now 4 pounds behind my goal line and I need to catch up or get back on track!  I'm proud that I've made it this far, but I've got a ways to go!  I'd be happy with 10 more, but I'd like to lose 20-30 more.  Sigh, keep on workin...

Monday, August 9, 2010

New Recipe of the Day!

I love frozen drinks in the heat of summer!  However, budgeting for a wedding doesn't exactly leave frappuccino and smoothie money left over! Here's the good news, it's really easy to make these at home!  World market has available Torano flavor syrups, they are available in sugar free which is very diet friendly!  I just picked up white chocolate (they were out of my fave sugar free caramel) and it is so delicious in my morning frozen coffee!  Just be sure to brew your coffee extra strong and chill it first!  Add some ice, milk (skim!) and a tablespoon of syrup and blend!  They're so yummy!  An extra bonus, for every "grande" size you make, put 3 bux in your wedding fund and see how quickly it adds up! See the recipe page for my strawberry smoothie!

Friday, August 6, 2010

How much is 3 ounces?

A big issue for diets is the portion size, so how much is 3 ounces or 1 cup really?  Get acquainted with portion sizes by taking out your measuring cups and spoons and filling them with your favorite foods!  Then, take the food out and place it on your plate, voila!  You are now aware of how much space that portion takes up on your plate!  See how much mixed greens you can get out of 1 cup! 1 Tbsp of olive oil is not as much as you may think!  3 ounces of a steak is about half of a standard filet mignon when you go out to dinner!

Thursday, July 22, 2010

My First Week

So, since my birthday on July 13th, I have started a 10 lbs in 10 days quick jump into my diet!  I created a meal plan the day before starting, and made a concise shopping list and prepped my next few dinners and lunches.  Today is day seven and I'm 6 lbs down!  Exercising isn't really my thing, but I've managed to go walking 3 days so far (and can't go out today because of the heat)
Here's a summary of a few days meal plans:

Day Meal Food
Friday Breakfast 1/2 toasted english muffin, poached egg, steamed spin with light hollindaise
  Snack 1 string cheese, 1/2c pineapple
  Lunch Light tuna salad over greens with cucumber slices
  Snack 1/2c grapes 
  Dinner Lemon Chicken with 1c steamed spin

Saturday Breakfast High fiber oatmeal
  Snack 1c sliced strawberries, 1/2c yogurt
  Lunch 3 oz Turkey, 1/4 Avocado and 1c Arugula Salad topped with 1 tsp dijon 2tsp olive oil, and vinegar
  Snack Celery sticks with 2 tbsp hummus
  Dinner Chicken with 1c Broccoli and 1/2c brown rice

Sunday Breakfast Egg White and Mushroom Scramble with fat free cheddar
  Snack 3/4 c pineapple and 1/2c yogurt
  Lunch Tuna Salad over greens with cucumber slices
  Snack celery sticks/broccoli with 2 tbsp hummus
  Dinner Rotisserie Chicken and 1 cup sauteed spin with garlic and lemon Side salad with 1/4 avocado, 1 tsp olive oil, lemon and balsamic vinegar

The English Muffins I like are Thomas's Better Start Light Whole Grain (with 8 grams of fiber and only 45 calories a muffin, it's the best choice I've found).  I use Smart Balance Light instead of butter, I found Kraft makes a fat free mayo that tastes great in my tuna salad!  For high fiber oatmeal, I like Quaker high fiber maple and brown sugar, or you could have a high fiber cereal with skim milk.
To make things easier, I buy the prewashed greens and presliced fruit.  On the Saturday lunch, I combined the dijon, balsamic and oil in a bowl and whipped up till smooth (with a fork worked just fine) I added some pepper and it was one of the best dressings I've ever had!  Scale this up and make a batch at the beginning of the week for your salads or mix up the flavors with lemon, garlic or any herbs you like!

Tuna Salad Recipe:
4 oz. Canned White Tuna in Water (it is important to make sure it is not in OIL!!)
1 tsp Kraft fat free mayo
dash lemon, salt and pepper to taste
Added to texture (and tastes great) chopped celery

Eat over greens with some sliced cucumber for lunch!
To prep these meals, I made the tuna salad ahead of time.  I bought portion sized tupperware and filled with the greens and cucumber.  On the day of, just plop your portion of tuna salad over the salad and go!  To prep the chicken dinners, I bought fresh cut lean chicken breast from the grocery store (I like Perdue lean cuts), place in the tupperware with some of the seasonings from the meal (lemon and pepper for lemon chicken day, a tsp of low-sodium soy for an asian flare on day 2, for a simple chicken, just sprinkle with a bit of salt and pepper)  On the day of, just place in ovenware and bake!  The night before I will sometimes bag my smacks for the following day and put them with the tupperware for lunch so that I can grab everything on my way out the door for work!
I allow about  1 1/2 hours between meals/snacks.

So Amber (my sister) gave me a great idea for walking motivation.  Put a good audio book on your audio player and only listen to it when you walk!  Since I started doing that, I look forward to my walks!  I make sure to push myself, but not too hard!  I don't want to burn out by taking on too much at the start!

An Intro to my Dieting Insight

So, based on some quick diet plans I've read and tried, I put together some meals for my diet plan.  The big idea behind these meals is breaking down what you eat to the most basic ingredients.  Fresh poultry, fish, vegetables, fruit is always the best way to go!  To avoid too much interruption in my daily routine, I try to get most of my meals prepped a few days at a time.

I don't drink soda, so cutting that out of my diet was easy.  Remember, water, water, water!!!  If you don't like the taste of it, add some Crystal Light!  A lot of the time when you think you're hungry, your body is actually trying to tell you it's dehydrated!  So before you go for a snack, have a glass of water!  If you're still hungry after that, then go for the snack!  If you're a coffee every morning person, don't try to stop it all at once.  Use splenda or stevia instead of sugar, skim milk instead of 2% and if you like creamer, there are so many sugar free, fat free, low calorie options available!  After eating healthy for a while, your coffee cravings (and need for energy) will decrease!

Sometimes, I come across a diet meal and think, uh I'd rather go hungry than eat that!  In which case, I substitute one of the other day's meals for that one!  But remember to plan ahead and write in what you are going to eat instead so that you have a clear plan and can prep easily and seamlessly integrate your new eating habits into your daily routine.

mmmmm..... fried chicken, mashed potatoes, tacos, mac 'n' cheese, ramen, chocolate, ice cream, cookies..... the list could go on!!!   With most of these, there is a healthy substitute that will satisfy the cravings, a corn flake fresh baked chicken breast makes a good substitute for my favorite, fried chicken.  Mashed cauliflower has the same texture as potatoes, add some salt pepper and light butter substitute can cure that mashed potato craving.  Non fat frozen yogurt when you absolutely need ice cream and an ounce of dark chocolate instead of chowing down on a hershey bar are also good substitutes.

The trick to self control:  give in to the small cravings!
That's right! If you absolutely HAVE to have your favorite "bad" food, go for it!  Just remember to eat a smaller portion and eat a healthy complementary food first, to help fill you up and feel that satisfaction.  The more you try to keep yourself from what you are truly craving, the weaker your self control becomes!  This, for me, has lead to weight bounce back, shopping sprees, and depression (which is something I am at a constant battle with).  I heard this study on NPR a while back.  You only have so much self control, when you use it all up, everything falls apart!  Need to buy this one thing and can't resist?  Adjust your budget and go for it!  Just like everything, moderation is the key.  Keep your splurges (whether food or shopping) to a tiny one a day (like 5 M&Ms :) ) or one small one a week (like that new top you just fell in love with) or one big one a month (for me, a cool new gadget! or a purse at TJ Maxx).

Motivation is one of the hardest things for me!  Trying to stay motivated eat healthy and work out regularly requires a lot of  mental energy!  Luckily, there are a few things to make it easier.

Make dieting easy!  Prepped meals and snacks on hand, and a water bottle always at your side make your diet an easier decision over fast food!

Don't Go it Alone!  Encouragement from friends, a diet buddy, online communities. There are so many ways to reach out to people outside of your immediate circle these days!  Use them!  One of my favorite online communities is (it is brought to you by the people behind P90X and similar exercise videos).  You can track your progress, talk to other people, there is also a workout room to see who is working out at the same time as you, and what they're currently working on!  You can also schedule when you are going to work out and check off when you do (which enters you into a daily drawing!).  I also suggest your facebook friends or twitter (whichever is your thing).  Instead of telling them your specific weight information, just tell them you're trying to get healthy and post regular updates on your status.  You'll be surprised who comments their support!  There's also the old fashioned method... chances are you have a friend or family member trying to lose weight too!  Get together and hold each other accountable!  Share ideas and go on walks together!

The Light at the End of the Tunnel!  Setting goals and achieving them is one of the best self esteem boosters you can find!  Set small goals and reward yourself for achieving them!  Every 10 lbs, buy an outfit (or give in to one of your cravings!)  Keep in mind the ultimate goal!  Feeling and looking better (oh yeah, and being healthier too).  Start saving money for your final reward, whether its a wardrobe or a beach vacation (in a new bikini).  Or in my case, my wedding day and walking down the isle to the love of my life looking beautiful in my dream gown!

Negative Motivation to Avoid:  Don't post pictures of beautiful models everywhere you look!  This creates an unrealistic goal that you will surely fail to accomplish.  Don't try to starve yourself!  Eat healthy meals that fill you up! (high fiber vegetables and healthy carbs like brown rice are very filling)  This serves a double purpose, it gives your body healthy food to boost your metabolism and keep your systems running smoothly, it also leaves less room for those bad foods you might otherwise give in to.  Don't set unrealistic goals!  Healthy weight loss is 2-3 pounds per 2 weeks... it may not sound like a lot, but following that guideline for your goal will lead to longer lasting results.

Most importantly, find a routine that works for you and your schedule.  Don't be afraid to modify plans!  Make a list of your favorite things and incorporate them into your weight loss plan! This will provide long lasting results and keep you motivated!

Time to begin!

So, a week ago, on my 26th birthday, my boyfriend, Russ, proposed!  I have been quite uncomfortable with my weight for a couple of years now and there is no more time to waste! 
The plan: 
I've started off with a 10 day 10 lb diet starter!  Now, I don't know about you, but exercising is not my idea of fun!  So, I do food based weight loss with minimal exercise.  I'll keep the blog updated on my progress to keep myself accountable as much as to share the info. 
My goals:
Well, prior to this, I had already lost just over 10 lbs over the past 3 months.  Starting at 175 (the most I have ever weighed and way to big for my 5'1" frame), my ideal weight is 120, but I would be happy at 125 or 130.  On the morning of my engagement, I weighed 164.  After the first 6 days of my 10 day 10 lbs diet, I have lost 6 lbs and currently weigh in at 158.  So.... 17 lbs down and 38 to go!