Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Healthy tips

I have lost over 50 pounds now and have made some lifestyle changes to get to that point. I thought it might be good to share some of those changes with you guys.

Here's my top 10:

1. Limit my Starbucks addiction: This had financial and waistline benefits. I was good about getting nonfat or skinny lattes. I even got the tall (or small in Starbucks lingo), but it was things like a pumpkin scone that would drag me down nutritionally from time to time.

2. Make working out a priority: Wake up, eat, change clothes and then work out. That is how my mornings typically go. If I don't workout shortly after breakfast than there is a good chance it won't happen. The same thing happened when I worked a "normal" schedule. I packed a gym bag and went directly to the gym from work.

My food so far today.
3. Keep track of my food intake: It first started with just typing up my food diary for a personal trainer that I had for a couple months. Then my resolve to do it waned after I stopped paying for the trainer. Then I wanted to ramp up my weight loss and I knew I needed to fine tune my diet. So, I found a free app My Fitness Pal which also syncs with a website (click here). You can track your food, exercise and weight loss. It helps a lot... I still use it. It helps you figure out a calorie goal and I use it to plan my meals for the day.

4. Splurge: I know this sounds counter-intuitive, but it is true. Having a piece of cake every now and then won't hurt you, but the key is going back to eating healthy. Don't just say screw it and continue to eat badly because you have "screwed up" your diet for the day/week. I also say make sure your splurges are for a good reason or at least good quality. If you are craving a hamburger don't blow those calories at a fast food joint... make it worth it by getting a really good burger. Or I chose to eat a tasty mandarin orange cupcake with cream cheese frosting and eclair cake for my birthday (thanks Janet and mom!) made from scratch. I am not going to splurge on store bought sheet cake. I think splurging makes eating healthy feasible for a lifetime.

5. Healthy swaps: I eat brown rice, wheat pasta, light soy milk, ground lean turkey and use plain greek yogurt in lieu of mayo. Simple swaps in recipes make things healthier.
Overnight oatmeal!

6. Measure, measure, measure: Portion control is key - especially with calorie dense items like nuts. Almonds for instance can be a healthy snack option. I can eat several portions easily in one sitting and that is approaching 500 calories instead of the better 150 calories for a snack. Now, I break out the measuring cup every time.

7. Trying new things: My husband and I are somewhat picky eaters but we are trying our best!! I have seen recipes for overnight oats on several websites and have tried it out. I am a fan! We bought a box of Quinoa (pronounced keen-wah) from Trader Joe's it is on our list to make soon.

8. Food quality not quantity: Go for whole, unprocessed foods when you can. Making it from scratch may take a little longer sometimes but it is so much better for you. And you can always make ahead and freeze to make it easier on work days.

My food for one evening at work.
9. Eat more often: I eat all of the time. I am sure my family and co-workers may think I am    
ridiculous. When I leave for work I pack one meal and 1-3 snacks. It is not unusual for me to eat at least two snacks (in addition to my three meals) a day. Sometimes three if I am hungry.

10. Drink water: I don't drink enough, actually. But I always have it with me in my re-usable water bottle. Water is also calorie free!! You can definitely torpedo an otherwise good diet with sugary drinks and soda. My next food goal is cut out my one diet soda a day.

I hope this tips hope those of you out there who are trying to eat healthier and just live a healthier lifestyle in general!!

Beth :o)

1 comment:

  1. Hey Beth!
    This is a great list! I would add that avoiding reduced fat/low fat dairy is important. It sounds counter-intuitive but check this out:
    There is a lot of good info about this topic out there, but I find this article more readable :)
    Definitely cut out that diet soda! Artificial sweeteners are appetite stimulants. You are probably better off drinking regular soda (not that I think you should do that). And quinoa is awesome. You can add it to muffins, or even eat it like oatmeal with a little bit of cinnamon and brown sugar. It's great with some veggies mixed in and whatever your favorite seasonings are. I used to grind it into powder and cook it for my son as baby cereal. That and millet were his favorites. Millet is a bit trickier to cook without over cooking and turning it to mush...but it's pretty tasty mushy, too. Give it a try!