I have a slight obsession with food. Nay, an enormous obsession. I have what most would call an unhealthy obsession.
Once upon a time, I weighed almost 25 pounds more than what I weigh right now. I lost most of it for my wedding, gained 15 back after the wedding, and have been back down below wedding weight for about six months now.
And with all of the yummy food I talk, post, Instagram, and rave about, I’ve often been asked how I lost weight and how I keep it off. (I get it…I talk about pizza and pancakes a lot.)
Here are some little tricks that I’ve learned to get me in shape without starving and without being at the gym 7 days a week.
1. Smaller treats.
I usually allow myself a treat per day, as long as it’s under 120 calories. (Quick side note – if you are trying to lose a lot of weight, go low-carb and no sweets first for a few weeks, and after you’ve gotten down to a weight you like, then try low-calorie and give your body time to adjust.) My favorite treat as of late is a Blue Bell fudgsicle – 110 calories straight from Heaven. My other favorites are mini 3 Musketeers (70 calories), mini Hershey’s bars (67 calories), and smarties (25 calories). They may not seem like treats to you, but when most of your meals consist of protein and veggies, sometimes you need something a little sweet to keep you going. ;) I try to stick to one little treat a day, sometimes two, and so far that’s seemed to still allow me to lose weight gradually.
2. The Balancing Rewards Act.
I am a huge believer in rewards. If you work hard all week eating veggies and snacking on oyster crackers, you better believe you deserve that weekend pizza. The key is to only allow yourself one cheat meal. The biggest issue with rewards is being unable to just have one reward. I try to eat well during the week and get down a few pounds, allowing myself a little bit of wiggle room for my victory pizza or ice cream. ;) The problem is, you can eat healthy all day and lose a pound if you’re lucky, but if you eat veggies all day and then splurge on three pieces of pizza for dinner, you can gain 2 pounds just like that. (Seriously…it isn’t fair.) Giving yourself a reward goal can be a great way to get down to a certain weight, but make sure you can balance it out. I try to stay in a fluctuation of 3-5 pounds. It’s easy to bounce back quickly after a reward if you go straight back to veggies and protein.
3. Run it off.
I’m just not good at workouts that last over an hour. Blame it on my attention span, but I like to get the most amount of work done in the least amount of time. Running is the easiest way for me to burn fat quickly. I’m not a long-distance runner, and I didn’t enjoy it overnight, but now I feel uncomfortable if I miss more than two days of my running. It’s a great way to burn fat and tone up, and it doesn’t have to take too long. You can run 3 miles in half an hour and burn off two or more fudgsicles. ;) Be sure to add some weight training or ab workouts in as well – they are quick and easy ways to stay slim. I have a small chocolate-chip pancake almost every morning for breakfast, but I run anywhere from 1 to 3 miles afterwards to work it off. ;)
4. Low-calorie snacks.
I know. It’s ridiculously hard to NOT be hungry when you’re dieting…especially if you’re exercising too, burning off calories in hopes you’re making room for more to consume. I try to keep the snacking to a minimum, but I go for snacks that are low-calorie and keep me full. My staples are oyster crackers, saltines, pretzel sticks, and carrots. Read your nutrition labels and keep track – it makes a difference. Drink lots of water to keep you full too.
5. Low or no carbs after lunch.
This one is hard because I love bread. We’ve recently started nixing rolls and biscuits and other delicious carbs from our dinners. We will eat bread if we go out to eat and they have it (please, I’m not Superwoman), but when I cook, I focus on protein and veggies. Most of our dinner meals during the week are some kind of chicken or beef and one or two vegetable sides. It’s helped me stay down at a reasonable weight. (I can’t speak for Andrew. He could eat five cinnamon rolls a day and not gain anything, because life isn’t fair. Lol.) If you must have carbs, have them for breakfast or lunch, so you’re still moving around to burn them off.
Happy Healthy Tuesday. I’m going to go eat a fudgsicle now. ;) :)