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Step-by-Step…

March 3, 2011

Last Friday I met my goal, 19.75 pounds shed and it feels wonderful. I have really appreciated all the positive feedback about the A Healthier Me series and I love reading the feedback/comments/emails/tweets etc. It has been suggested by a few readers that I give  a little example of what I consume during a “day on the diet”. So, here it is. First, however, just let me say that this is about learning to eat and think healthier and it doesn’t happen over night. Take the time to read the previous posts, message me if you have questions, see a nutritionist if you feel its necessary, and most importantly, be realistic with yourself and your goals.

One thing to point out is that you can eat unlimited amounts of raw green vegetables, so if you find yourself hungry at any point throughout the day, grab some snap peas, celery, green peppers etc. The body burns a lot of fat when it is digesting these, so if you want to burn fat, eat the greens!

6:30 am, Rise and Shine!

– Try to drink 8-12 oz of water right when you get out of bed. Difficult, I know. I find it easiest if it isn’t super cold, and sometimes 6 ounces is easier than 8. Just try to get some water in right away. It energizes you and also boosts your metabolism for the next few hours. I take 3 1000 mg fish oil pills per day, so I take my first 1000 mg pill now. However, I save my multivitamin until I have food (because as some of you learned the hard way, multivitamins can cause nausea if taken alone).

8:00 am, Smoothie Time!

-I like to start my day off with a smoothie. I typically mix it up, toss it in a to-go cup and take it with me to work. Here’s my recipe:

Smoothie:

  • 3 oz plain fat-free Greek Yogurt (I keep a container in the freezer to use for this)
  • 1 Cup frozen fruit (assorted strawberries, mangos, pineapple)
  • 4-6 oz Water
  • 3-4 ice cubes

-While consuming this, take your multivitamin.

Somewhere between 8:30 and 9:30, Arrival at work & Snack Break:

-When I get to work I fill up a 16 oz glass with water.

-Eat a Small Clementine Orange.

-Finish that glass of water by 10, your water count is now at 24-28 ounces, not bad for 10:00 am.

-Refill and sip until lunch.

12:00, Lunch time!

Hopefully that water glass is empty, which puts your h2o count at 40 ounces! So refill it when you go get your lunch out of the fridge.

Salad:

  • 2 cups fresh greens (remember that the darker the lettuce, the more nutrients it has), I like to mix 1/2 romaine lettuce and 1/2 spinach leaves.
  • 3 oz of chicken breast (made the night before in the oven, seasoned with Mrs. Dash salt-free seasoning).
  • 4 slices of cucumber
  • 3 slices fresh green pepper
  • 2 tbsp Dorothy Lynch Fat Free Salad Dressing

– Take another fish oil  (1000 mg) and drink another 16 ounce glass of water during and after your lunch, this will put you at 56 ounces and its barely even the afternoon!

12:30-1:00, post lunch and I’m craving chocolate:

I crave something sweet shortly after I eat. Therefore I bust out a protein bar. Remember the guidelines for these (170 calories, have at least 10-15 grams of protein and less than 4.5 grams of fat), find my favorites here.  If you’re feeling full from lunch, eat half and save the other half for tomorrow. If you feel like you need it, enjoy it all.

-How’s that water coming? Hopefully you are above 50 ounces, if not, try to focus on drinking 8+ ounces after the protein bar. Hopefully this puts you in the 60-70 ounce range, not many left to go!

2:30-3:00, afternoon slump:

I keep an apple slicer at work and green apples in the fridge. I have one around this time every day. Oddly I eat mine sprinkled with a bit of Morton’s Lite Salt. Eat it however you prefer. Have water with it.

4:30, heading home:

I don’t eat in the car, but I do listen to good music. Why am I mentioning that? No reason in particular, just wanted to share.

4:45, home! (if traffic was good):

I immediately start making dinner when I get home, that way it is cooked, eaten and cleaned up by 6:00 and I have a few hours to invest in one of the millions of projects I am currently working on, possibly even some light exercise or situps. Whatever your regular exercise routine is, you should stick to. Try not to increase your activity level while you’re on the diet, but maintain it and aim to increase it after you reduce your weight.

What’s for dinner tonight? MMmmm, shrimp.

Shrimp:

  • 10-12 small shrimp (per person), should be about 6 ounces, weigh it out if you have a scale.
  • Preheat oven to 350, spread shrimp on cookie sheet.
  • Bake shrimp plain or try one of these options: coat shrimp with sriracha sauce if you like spice, or with a combination of  1 tbsp melted Lite butter and  Mrs. Dash Seasoning (such as the garlic).
  • Bake shrimp for 10 minutes per side.

There’s a lot of ways you could serve the shrimp. Of course you could serve it by itself with a side of veggies. You could put it on top of a pile of romaine lettuce and eat it as a salad. One of my favorite dishes is to make it into a small shrimp sandwich:

Open-Faced Sandwich:

  • 1/2 of an Arnold’s Thin Bun
  • 1/8 cup bean sprouts
  • 1 slice tomato
  • 3-4 cucumber slices
  • Add the baked shrimp

And I eat it with a very tasty sauce that I mix up myself:

Dipping Sauce:

  • 2 tbsp Plain fat-free Greek Yogurt.
  • 1 tsp spicy mustard
  • 1 tbsp chopped fresh cilantro

Enjoy your sandwich with a small side salad or vegetables (either raw or lightly steamed). Remember to use Lite Salt and Lite butter if you season your veggies, and if you used Lite Butter on the shrimp it would be best to avoid it on your vegetables.

-While you have the oven on think about what you are going to have for lunch tomorrow. Should you make an extra serving of shrimp for a Caesar salad? A small chicken breast to eat with steamed vegetables? Perhaps some ground turkey to have in a (healthy) tortilla? Dealing with it now will save you from eating something unhealthy.

-Water and another 1000 mg of fish oil! Hopefully you have now gotten your 80 ounces of h20 in without an issue. If not, don’t fret. It’s hard when you first get started but before long you’ll find yourself at 60 ounces before noon.

8:00, Shake break:

Usually in the evening I enjoy one more small snack, either a smoothie or malt. Since you already know the details on the smoothie, I’ll go with the malt. We’re usually sleeping before 10:30. If you stay up later, you might want to postpone this snack a bit, but try to make sure you have it at least 2 hours before bed. I usually make mine between 8 and 8:30.

Malt:

  • Blend 1 cup h2o with 3-4 ice cubes and 1 serving of lean protein powder (I use chocolate!). You can find more info about the powder here.  You could also do a soy protein pudding instead (but making these is more labor intensive so you want to make it in advance).

9:30, Relaxing:

I try to sip water while we’re relaxing on the couch, a few nights a week I also enjoy an herbal tea either hot or iced. If you like tea, go for it, if not, don’t.

The goal here is clearly to make healthier choices, but you’ll also notice that meals are smaller and that food is spaced out throughout the day. This keeps you from having sporadic cravings that put you in front of the vending machine. Eating healthy food throughout the day keeps your body burning fat at a higher level so that you are able to reduce your weight. The changes, however, don’t happen over night and your body has to flush out all of that fat it is burning. I really recommend weighing yourself pre-diet, but then hiding the scale and not weighing yourself again until you’ve stuck it out for a week or two. The scale can be deceiving and discouraging, especially when the change is gradual.

Other Suggestions:

If the water intake is killing you, mix a Crystal Light packet into one of your 16 ounce glasses, doing this won’t hurt you, but limit yourself to one per day. If I do this at home I sometimes mix one CL packet with 12 oz h2o and 3-4 ice cubes and blend it into an Icee type treat.

Hope this helped! Feel free to comment here or send an email to dani@lifes-a-journal.com


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One Comment leave one →
  1. Mikayla Finley permalink
    March 8, 2011 18:09

    Thank you!! Much appreciated!! :) Great information!

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