Waistline Expansion? OH MY!
Now that those pounds are on, how can you remove them? First, don’t continue the behavior that put them there. No more raiding the refrigerator or cupboards every hour. Meal-planning is the key to success for weight loss and for overall weight maintenance and health. This means coming up with a daily game plan, or better yet, a weekly one. For many of us who are busy moms and dads, setting time every week to chop, weigh, and make those planned meals for dinner and lunches just makes the week go so much smoother and stress free. Set a plan and stick to it. When you have everything ready to go, it's much easier to grab healthy snacks instead of unhealthy ones.
So lets start this together. The rules:
- Get a food scale and weigh your food. Don’t rely on eye-balling serving sizes. You will be wrong and way off on your serving sizes, so don’t try. On average, we eat about 40% more calories than most of us think we do.
- For most women, weight loss success comes with some sacrifice of calories (sad but true). Macronutrient proportions do count. You should plan to consume 1000-1200 calories per day. About 40% should be protein, 30% complex carbohydrates, and 30% should be fat calories. This can vary slightly, but this can be used as a guide.
- You must drink at least 72 oz. of water daily.
- You should strive for 1 hour of exercise daily. You do not get to add extra calories to your day if you do this exercise. This is part of your goal already. Plan to try to incorporate 3-5 days of weight lifting/muscle strengthening every week as part of your exercise. The remainder should be whatever you like and can be muscle strengthening or HIIT, aerobic, walking, or other cardio-types of workouts, but should be in at least 20 minute intervals.
- You should weigh yourself at least weekly, but not daily. I prefer twice weekly, such as Mondays and Thursdays, even when not dieting, to keep yourself from slipping up too much.
- Eat 3 meals daily with 3 snacks. This prevents you from feeling hungry and grabbing the wrong foods. Plan these.
- You should plan for 2 small fruits daily only.
- If you are struggling with cravings for sugar, then you must completely go without sugar or anything except leafy or extremely low carb veggies for 2-4 weeks to get rid of that craving. That craving will dissipate, but know that it takes about that much time to go away. You are a carb addict. You will feel a ton better once it's over and feel lousy if you eat junk after it and wonder why you ate them before.
- No junk food. If you cannot resist it, then discard it from your home and do not buy it. If your family likes it, don’t buy it for them either. It isn’t healthy. Buy only healthy snacks. Start this early. If it's a problem for you, then it will likely be a problem for them later too. You are there to protect them, teach them, and keep them healthy. Healthy snacks are good too.
- Don’t eat carbohydrates alone. Always pair these with a protein-rich food.
- Do not eat highly processed foods. A good way to think about your diet is, if you can’t pick, gather, or forage it, then do not put it in your body. The best places to shop are in the perimeter of the grocery store. Think about what foods are located there→ produce, meats, dairy, eggs, frozen foods (not the junk stuff). Most of your diet should consist of these things.
- Protein sources can be your choice, but make sure they are lean, with minimal fat, so cut off the majority of visible fats, or drain it off ground meats after cooking. Do not add additional fat to your food. Be resourceful and use parchment, cooking spray, or spray oil to minimize the amount needed to be non-stick. Use your grill for added flavor.
- Eat a wide variety of colors in produce. Eat the rainbow to get a wide variety of nutrients.
- Don’t forget to flavor your food. We forget that nature provides wonderful flavors for us. Spices, vinegars, fruits, seasonings, mustards, etc. Use these things to marinate foods, meats, fish, and vegetables. Food does not have to be bland when dieting. We often get into a culinary rut and forget that many flavor combinations and profiles can be an amazing experience without added fats and heavy calories.
- Incorporate your family and don’t cook separate food for them. These foods should be shared with them. This is a healthy lifestyle with perhaps adding in additional complex carbohydrates or more protein for them, but in all ways, a healthier meal. As Americans, we often eat a nutrient-poor diet, so this is often why we are finding ourselves hungry more often. If we don’t “feed” our bodies nutrient-dense foods, we are literally starving our cells of vital nutrients.
- Lastly, if you still find yourself struggling to lose weight, you may be one who needs to come in for some help. I am someone who will do that for you. I can guide you in your weight loss goals through a fully customized weight loss program that may include medications or other means to aid your weight loss.
I hope you enjoyed this blog article. I enjoyed writing it and sharing one of my passions. If you have questions or would like help with weight loss, I’d love to help.
Dr. Shari J. Twigg