My Eat to Lose Plan 2015

Foodie Friday: My Eat to Lose Plan 2015

Hello People!

This is the one you have been waiting for!  Or at least it’s the one I’m most interested in when I’m looking closely at what one eats to lose weight. In the video I made for you I mentioned that I don’t measure things out; now I do. Some stuff has changed since then so here is the gist:

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I did a lot of searching on the internet at what different people eat to look a certain way.  Mostly I viewed the strategies of James Bond girls, and was led to many of the conclusions that I present here. Also, I got a lot of good nutritional information in the book Six Weeks to Sleeveless and Sexy by J.J. Virgin.Unknown-1  For the record, I am not on a crash diet or any type of boxed food ordered meal program that I pay to eat (other than my vegetables that I will explain later).  This is a diet designed by me, for me, and works with my metabolism which thrives on the macronutrient ratios of: 50% Complex Carbohydrates, 40% Protein & 10% Fat.  This information I gathered doing lots of experiments through eating meals and by reading the book How to Eat, Move and Be Healthy by Paul Chek.Unknown-5

I eat 3 meals a day and sometimes an afternoon snack, but not always.  It depends on my hunger level and when I eat my meals in regards to spacing; also how much I ate at the last meal. Meals are generally spaced about 4 hours apart. I try to eat meals that will fill me up with lots of fiber so I am not constantly thinking about food which tends to happen to me when calories are restricted and I’m eating too many carbs, of any kind. I drink coffee with whole milk and 2 tsp of Manuka honey and one more cup with 1 tsp coconut oil and whole milk every day.  I am not omitting dairy, caffeine, fruit, carbs, saturated fat or chocolate from my diet.  This works for me, but may not work for everyone especially if you have an intolerance (like to dairy) or cannot eat one square of chocolate and be satisfied. The diet is varied and I cook all my meals myself.  I eat as close to “clean” as possible.  There are some exceptions due to the fact that I am not trying to be a body builder or become weird about food.  I love to cook and that will never change.  I love flavor andUnknown am not afraid to use marinades, sauces, dressings or seasonings/salts to make my food taste good. If you don’t know how to cook or what to cook I suggest the cookbook Cook This, Not That! by David Zinczenko and Matt Goulding. Let’s talk details:

Protein

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I eat a lot of protein because it tastes good to me and fills me up. I love animals and wish that I could be a vegetarian, but I feel like crap when I omit animal meat from my diet.  Sorry. Therefore, I buy the least offensive meat possible when I can in the form of organic and/or free range.  Most of the meat I eat is in the form of: Chicken (all parts, not just breast, but no skin due to calories), Skirt Steak, Lean Ground Beef, Eye of Round Steaks, Lean Pork Chops, Pork Tenderloin, Canadian Bacon, Whole Eggs, Salmon, Mahi Mahi, Talapia, Sole, Scallops, Shrimp, Ground Turkey, Turkey Breast on the Bone and Turkey Cutlets. I eat about 150 to 200 calories worth at every main meal which is roughly (depends on the protein source) 3 oz weighed after cooking.

Carbohydrates

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I’ve gotta have these or I won’t be able to stand up.  These have probably been the most limited in variety in my diet as compared to everything else I eat. The carbs I mix and match are: Sweet Potatoes, Brown Rice, Basmati Rice, Squash, Carrots, Sprouted Grain Bread, Beans/Legumes, Fruits and Oatmeal.  These I try to keep low glycemic due to my body processing them like fire and leaving me starving in an hour if they are too high on the glycemic index.  Beans in the form of black, pinto, white, pinquito, lentils and black-eyed peas leave me feeling the most satisfied.  I put them in a crock pot with water or broth, a can of chopped tomatoes and a can of enchilada sauce and let them party in there for 6 to 8 hours on low heat.  I use a rice cooker to make rice and steam vegetables and fish.  I bake my sweet potatoes with no oil but eat them with butter. Squash, Carrots and whatever other veggie is laying around gets roasted in a hot oven with a splash of olive oil. I eat about 1/2 cup or 1 serving of Carbs at my meals. My carbs usually total about 80 to 100 grams a day.

Fats

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I am not afraid of fat and nor should you be.  Fat makes you feel full and gives your brain something to fuel itself with.  We can live without carbs and protein for a while, but not fat.  I cook with fat and eat fat on my salads and in the form of sauces.  I love Butter and Coconut Oil in organic form.  I sauté a lot of vegetables with garlic in Olive Oil and dress my salads in Extra Virgin Olive Oil or Flavored Oils.  I eat Avocados and Nuts a lot too.  Cheese (1 oz daily) is also a fat source for me as well as Whole Milk in my coffee and black tea.  These are of course all measured out using spoons or scales because a little goes a long way.

Vegetables/Produce

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I don’t love vegetables, but force myself to cook them or eat them raw or find recipes to make them taste good.  Sometimes I make soups with them or chop them up raw and eat them mixed with romaine lettuce.  I recently went back to my twice monthly order of a box of mixed organic vegetables delivered to my front door.  This helps me eat them and use them in recipes.  Otherwise, I may not buy them or eat them in the quantities that I should.  I aim to have 5 to 7 servings of fruits (no more than two of these) and veggies a day. Lately I have been planning my meals around the fresh Vegetables I have and not the protein.  My favorite salad dressing recipe is: Extra Virgin Olive Oil of the highest quality, fresh Meyer Lemon Juice, Crushed Garlic, Salt and Pepper.

Calories

Bean Chips

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I messed around with the number for this for a few weeks because I need to lose weight, but I need to not feel constantly hungry too.  Hunger can be tamed by the types of food you eat and the ratios, but know that when you are on a diet to lose weight, there will be a bit of hunger; you are eating less food and creating a caloric deficit – so one must get used to it!  Maintenance will add a few more calories back in, but not MANY more. I initially started with 1,400 but was not losing weight.  Then I dropped it to 1,000 to 1,200 but felt I needed a snack at the mid-day point sometimes.  So, I have settled on 1,300 for now. This seems to be a good set point for me and works with my BMR.  This number may be fiddled with again later on, but for now it is working like a charm.  I do add in 3 cheat meals a month.  These are chosen carefully in advance and I enjoy them without guilt.  It is 3 cheat MEALS though and not DAYS. Also, on Sundays I am allowing myself to eat 1,500 calories and take it easy on exercise. Variety will keep my body guessing.  I also have alcohol occasionally, but it is rare.

Is that what you wanted to know?  Hope so…I am tired of writing now and need a snack 🙂

 

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Sugar Anyone?

Inspirational Sunday: Meditation for Sugar Avoidance

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Hello People!

Yes, yet another post about sugar being bad.  Are you catching a theme here?  Not that I have ANY PROBLEM with the white stuff! And by that I mean, hell’s yeah I do.

If you haven’t seen the video for Sugar the Bitter Truth, well get yourself a viewing ASAP!  It really tells all the ins and outs of what sugar truly does in the body.  Long story short, it purely gets stored as fat, well in most cases it does, by 100%.  If you are trying to lose any kind of weight, sugar can be your greatest burden on that journey especially if you are past the age of 40. Remember too that “sugar” has other forms in addition to glucose or sucrose (white sugar) such as white flour, white rice, refined grain products, and alcohol.

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We could take a few more liberties when we were young, right?  Remember how you could eat a binge meal on the weekend and it really didn’t effect your weight too much?  After you reach mid-life, the metabolism changes, especially in us women…and I don’t care what the research says on the matter (it says we lose muscle which slows it down, but most of it says the slowing of the metabolism is a myth!); it does change. Until you get to my age and are a woman, no one gets this!  I hear a lot of younger women touting advice, but they have no idea what they are talking about.  They are still young!  This metabolism issue has been my problem since I started this blog.  After age 38 I gained 10 pounds in a month and have been struggling for 4.5 years to take it off.  Every meal, morsel and sugar crystal counts these days. It was never this hard before. Do you have the same issue?

I’ve been reading a book called Think Yourself Thin – Change Your Brain for Permanent Weight Loss by Darcy D. Buehler Ph.D.  It is an interesting book on using mediations for focusing on your trouble areas of weight loss.  There is nothing new in the book about how weight loss works, but she is a psychologist who understands that the brain needs a little coaxing in the area of the subconscious to change its old ways.  This is a fascinating area of study for me.  We consciously know what to do, but because of old habits and old ways of thinking, we repeat bad eating choices and continue to have eating issues despite what we know is right.  Why?  The subconscious is playing that old record of sabotaging good eating habits over and over and we won’t change the subconscious until it learns to think differently.  Somehow, someway, the subconscious has learned to think along one path and it will take a bit of work to make it ditch it’s former beliefs.  And actually, she tells in the book how you can literally change the shape of the neural pathways in the brain with new thinking patterns. As she puts it:

 “The mental process you are about to embark upon will, over time, imbed the new thoughts into the brain.  Once this is done, the new thoughts and urges will outweigh the old – and you will stay thin.  Your brain circuitry will now support – and sometimes even initiate – the urges fundamental to your new healthy lifestyle.”

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I leave you now with one of her meditation verses.  It is written for you to do while laying down and relaxed.  Focus on the phrases that speak to you and repeat them over and over until you really feel their solidity in your thinking.  Mumbo jumbo?  Try it…what have you got to lose?

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Meditation: Sugar Avoidance (part 1)

  • In a nice, relaxed position, begin to breathe slowly and rhythmically, inhaling and exhaling, as you relax your shoulders and soften your belly.
  • Allow your body to breathe rhythmically and naturally.
  • Notice the support of the cushions beneath you as you begin to relax.  Notice a heaviness throughout your body as you become more and more relaxed.
  • Over the next several days you will find yourself in many situations, many situations in which various forms of refined sugar will be available to you.
  • You know the situations, so begin to see yourself.
  • See yourself at home, out at your favorite restaurant, at work, at the grocery store, at the convenience store when you go in to pay for your gas -many situations- and the growing image you have of yourself is one of strength and confidence, feeling almost no desire for sugar.
  • Your head is held high, your shoulders are thrown back, and in your eye is a glimmer of hope.
  • You are feeling so good about yourself and your desire to limit refined sugar from your lifestyle.
  • That’s right, you are going to limit refined sugar in your lifestyle because you know that sugar may be the number one culprit in lowering the quality of your life.
  • You will go as far as beginning to see sugar as almost lethal when ingested in your body.
  • You are becoming convinced that regardless of the situation, you will not allow yourself to overindulge in sweets.
  • Continue to develop this image of yourself feeling strong and having no desire for sugar.
  • With this image of yourself in your mind take two or three nice deep breaths.
  • With the first breath just feel the confidence welling up in your chest
  • With that next deep breath feel the psychological strength centering in your body.
  • One more deep breath as the excitement courses through your veins — the excitement of knowing you will dramatically decrease your intake of sugar.
  • You are feeling so good about your decision to limit that old-fashioned and embarrassing habit of eating sugar.
  • You feel sure that you very often will be able to avoid refined sugar.
  • You are becoming more and more confident that you have the strength to AVOID REFINED SUGAR on a regular basis.
  • To assist you in developing an aversion to sugar, you will be doing a rather difficult visualization.  This visualization will help you to gain the strength to almost completely eliminate refined sugar.

To be continued……HA!

To continue to part 2, click here.

Accountability

Think It Through Thursday: Accountability

Hello People!

I wanted to talk about being accountable to your weight loss goals (or any goals for that matter).  When one sets out to accomplish a big goal like losing a ton of weight, it becomes necessary to get a little help when the going gets tough.  One of the ways of avoiding the inevitable quick-sand of getting off track is to have an arsenal of folks around you, from the very beginning of the goal, cheering and coaching you to keep going or even to pull you out of mire when it may be needed.  Now I know some of you think you can do this all by yourself (I am one of them!).  You don’t need anyone’s help or even want anyone to know what you are up to.  That’s none of their business! But statistics say, time and again, that getting the assistance of others to help you achieve your weight loss goals will get them accomplished a lot better than if you went solo. Here’s a short video I made this week talking about this subject:

How to Lose Weight 101

Think It Through Thursday: How to Lose Weight 101

Hello People!

Sorry I missed a few posting opportunities and my weekly food log update.  Was not able to get to the computer for various reasons.  But….I did not go off my diet or exercise regime.  I did lose 1/2 pound last week, and am knee deep into this week.  Can’t say this week will be good as far as weight loss success, but I’m doing my best, especially on this LOVE day – Valentines…chocolate anyone?

Anywhom, I wanted to put up a video I made ages ago about losing weight; specifically 2 pounds per week as the title suggests.  Now, my current plan is to not lose 2 pounds per week (I like eating), but 1.  Therefore, I am only cutting out 500 calories off of my BMR number.  Do you know what BMR is? I’ll have to dig up that video too so you can use the proper numbers to find what your losing weight number should be. That sounds confusing…just watch the videos.

The French Paradox cont.

Foodie Friday: The French Paradox (Part Two)

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And the answer to yesterday’s tease is….

I will eat structured meals with more of an emphasis on flavor rather than lower calories.

Unknown-2“What does that mean?” you may ask.  Well, first of all, in the book, Losing It in France by Sally Asher, there are detailed menus for a full week showing the structure of a typical French “diet.”  She demonstrates that even though the French eat full fat butter, cheese, cream etc., etc., their diets are balanced and portions are small but satisfying. Following her observation, I’m coordinating my menus to match, in a sense, her outline of a daily eating plan. Now, mind you, I’m still counting calories because I am in the phase of losing weight and I don’t want to just free-style, yet.  Now let me tell you a story about something I experienced recently that correlates to all of this French eating style.

A few months ago, right before I began this blog I went off of dieting for the first time in 20 years.  My usual plan of attack for a diet was to count calories and that was pretty much it.  No real rules or strict food concepts.  I did eat mostly balanced meals, but as I’ve stated before, it wasn’t the days I was following the plan that kept me fat, it was the days off – which were far, far, far too many in a week.  Back to me going off the “diet,” I wanted to clear out some food in refrigerator and freezer because it was overflowing with too much stuff.  So, I found recipes that used the ingredients I had on hand and measured out portions that seemed reasonable based on the recipe’s recommendations.  Lo and behold! Would you believe it? I stepped on the scale right before Thanksgiving and saw to my amazement that I had dropped 7 pounds since starting this non-diet!  My strategy was just to eat normal looking portions, cook meals that weren’t too fattening, exercise, and stop eating when I felt full (I think that this was key). This is essentially the way Sally describes how the French eat.  They eat what they like, in reasonable non-typical American sized portions, and quit when they are satisfied.

Now, I know that some will think that this is funny because they believe that their hunger is NEVER satisfied.  That’s yourimages-4 leptin hormone not responding. (This is a topic for another day, but it probably has mostly to do with what you are eating.)  I believe that when one really sits down to eat a decent meal, focuses on what they are eating WITH NO DISTRACTIONS, they will become more in tune with their body’s needs. Stuffing food down one’s face on the run will never give you satisfaction because you aren’t tasting the food, not to mention chewing it sufficiently for proper digestion.  Sure, it may fill you up for a while, but the experience is not the same as sitting quietly at a table and eating a balanced meal with your full attention.  I don’t know why this works, but I can tell you friends, IT DOES.

For me, eating meals that focus on lower calories usually lack flavor.  This isn’t always true ( Cook This, Not That!), but for the images-1most part, it can be.  When I cook meals that seem reasonably balanced with all types of ingredients, the flavor and taste satisfaction do a lot to fill me up.  Granted, I’m still trying to not eat a lot of flour or sugar, but I’m also one who doesn’t really believe in eliminating foods, including treats.  It’s about balance and paying attention to your body’s fulfillment.  I went through all of my cookbooks and grabbed the one’s that were penned by French chef’s or cooks.  I’m planning and cookingUnknown meals based off of these recipes.  The food is great, full of vegetables, and keeps me full until the next meal.  I really can’t go back to eating low calorie things like Laughing Cow cheese or lite breads.  Why?  Your satisfaction will be better fulfilled eating the real thing. Cravings don’t pop up as often because you’re eating real food all the time; then you don’t spend all of your time dreaming about your “next real meal!”

images-2One more thing, I mentioned in the last post that now I drink wine, eat a cheese course and have dessert.  However, I don’t do this every day or even all at the same time.  It depends on if I can afford the calories that day.  Usually I can and I choose which one’s I want to enjoy.  Sometimes, crazy enough, I don’t want it because I don’t crave it.  It’s like pure magic: once you allow yourself to eat what you want, everything isn’t taboo and you aren’t climbing the walls to eat more, more, more.

I could go on and on.  Really this is just a scratch on the surface.  But I think it’s important, especially for Americans who have gotten spoiled and lazy in their ways of eating. It’s worth thinking about…