I've been getting a lot of questions about what's my secret to my weight loss.... Well folks, it's really not a secret. While I was in college, the first couple years I didn't exercise other than walking from my car to my classes and I ate fast food often. When I got to almost 190 lbs in 2008 I knew something had to be done quick as I weighed as much as my mom for the first time ever in my life. I did start off with a strict diet for the first 6 months of this journey, but I've lost most of the weight doing the little things that everyone can do to make themselves healthier and in the end make themselves lighter.
Here are the basic things to remember, and that we hear from doctors and the news repeatedly:
1) drink WATER! Most people don't drink anywhere near enough and they consume beverages such as soda in abundance. Diet soda doesn't help as the sweet flavor triggers things in your brain to make you crave REAL sugar and many people who drink diet soda end up overeating. In addition, the carbonation in soda makes you bloated and the high sodium of all sodas make you retain water. Water helps curb cravings and usually when you feel hungry it's because you're actually dehydrated. Drink 8-16 oz of water and if after that you're still hungry, eat something light.
2) Don't eat meat at every meal! I know, it sounds bizarre. However, most people eat too much meat and it's usually heavily processed. If you substitute a vegan meat substitute for at least one meal a day, you will see immediate results, usually in how you overall feel. I recommend trying the Morning Star "Chik'n" Nuggets or using their "crumblers" as a substitute for ground meat in things like hamburger helpers or in tacos. You just season it like you would hamburger meat.
3) Eat your veggies & fruit! They're not only good for you, but they contain water and are usually low calorie. Just make sure you don't slather them in butter or cheese as that counteracts the nutritional value of the veggies. Broccoli with a vegan cheese substitute is actually a good option and tastes great too!
4) Move! Even if you don't have time to do an actual workout, move. I will do things like overhand claps, jumping jacks, crunches, or walking or running up and down the stairs at random times. If you take a few minutes periodically through out the day, you end up exercising more than if you wanted to make it to the gym and then don't show up cuz you're tired after a long day.
5) Take a moment to just breath! Take a moment to just stretch. Whether it's just trying to touch your toes or sitting down with legs extended and reaching in front of you, just stretch those muscles and you will feel much better & refreshed. Being stressed out can cause you to hold onto unwanted weight since it produces cortisol, a hormone, that can cause you to hold onto weight and not digest food properly. When we become overly stressed, our bodies divert blood away from our digestive system to allow us to deal with the situation at hand. This causes the body to not process nutrients properly and can cause weight gain.
So really, these aren't secrets. They've been said repeatedly on the news, by tv doctors, and on the internet. It's all about life style changes. I have had only 3 sodas in the last month and I haven't had a donut since like March if not February. I do have a weakness for ice cream, and it can be enjoyed, I just do so in smaller amounts. I'd be lying if I said I don't enjoy a cheeseburger at McDonald's on occasion and will eat some of my fave foods. The key is moderation and to know they are treats. I did totally pig out on pizza last weekend and felt bloated and yucky afterwards, but boy was it good! But did I return to my old eating habits I had in college? No, Monday I went back to my normal eating habits and will remember that pizza with great fondness and may order another one in a month or so. Our favorite guilty food pleasures should be enjoyed seldom. This way they can really be enjoyed and savored.... Mmmmm now I want some fried chicken, and not the vegan variety or the better for you Chick-fil-a stuff either, good ol' fashion greasy fried chicken LOL... I'll just day dream about it cuz I can't splurge for awhile :)