So as I’ve said, this is not a professional meal plan. You can read 100 articles and get 100 different opinions about how to lose weight, firm up and burn more calories. There are a couple of common denominators to each of the 100’s of articles; sugar, sodium and alcohol for starters. Let’s not panic. Yes you will probably need to make some changes, maybe even consider them sacrifices. Keep the goal in mind. You are working on a new life style not a diet, so we want to find a plan you can live with from now on.
Going forward let's concentrate on the amazing changes we are about to make to our bodies, our energy levels and our overall health, not on all we are going to miss out on. When that urge strikes to snack on not-so-healthy foods remind yourself of your goal. Do you want this snack more than a healthy and more fit you?
Food Prep is HUGE! Take time one day during the week (I use Sunday) to plan for the week ahead. Prepare as much as you can for quick snacks and some meals. It may take some time to learn to "eyeball" your portion sizes, so in the beginning use measuring cups or a food scale until you get a good feel for a portion size.
Here are some very basic guidelines we will be following:
Think portion control. Smaller portions of even your favorites can be a huge help. Remember, the palm of your hand is a great way to measure a serving. Here is a pin with a nice chart of serving sizes.
Learn to be a label reader. Check the labels for more than just calories. Note the serving size! Look at sodium, go for 750mg or less per day. Check the sugar, if it's listed on the label, it is added sugar, shoot for no more than 25g per day.
Just FYI: There are 9 calories per gram of fat, 4 calories per gram of protien and 4 calories per gram of carbohydrates.
Alcohol has 7 calories per gram. It adversely affects our bodies in so many ways. It is best to avoid alcohol as much as possible. Check out this article from American Council on Exercise on the effects of alcohol.
A basic rule of weight loss is to create a deficit of calories in / calories out. 3500 calories equates to 1 pound. A deficit of 500 calories per day will net you one pound loss per week. Make your goal realistic. 2 pounds per week is great and you will find it easier to keep off if you lose it slower. It’s okay to set you total weight loss goal, but be sure to set realistic short term goal as you head to your final destination.
I want to lose 50 pounds in the next 6 months. That is 8-9 pounds per month. Set your sites on the monthly goal. Once achieved, your accomplishment will be the driving force for month two, then month three etc. Six months from now (shorts & tank top season) you will look back and be so proud.
We burn calories all day long, a very general formula as to how many calories we burn during activities of daily living (ADL) follows:
This, plus your workout will give you an idea of your daily calorie burn. Keep these numbers in mind when planning your food consumption.
Track your food intake. Be honest, only you will see this. Be complete. You may be amazed at your calorie, fat, sugar & sodium intake once it’s written down in front of you. You can use your Fitbit(R) app or use a tracker like MyFitnessPal.
Strive to get your macronutrients (protein, carb, fat) at each meal. Add veggies to every meal. Save fruits for snacks, they are sweet and nutritious. Trying for 2 small fruits per day.
These are the very basics to get us started. Much more to come to help create menu’s and pick the foods you like. I am a very picky eater, so sometimes I struggle. I will do my best to forward a variety of good for you recipes to cover all of our tastes.