Thursday, August 18, 2011

Trimming the Fat...

Settle in... this is a long one...  skim it if you like!

OK so I eat pretty healthy and I TRY to work out 5-6 days a week for an hour to an 1hr and a half each time. I mean sometimes its 3 days a week, sometimes I can only sneak in 45 minutes... but I do it. I will say that this past year has been the BEST year... but it has been the hardest year for maintaining my weight. It probably has to do with the fact that i am so UNBELIEVABLY HAPPY!!No surprise why I am so happy... Matt and I will be celebrating our first anniversary next weekend. :) 
However with happiness comes this overwhelming feeling to celebrate... with celebration comes, wine, champagne, martinis, parties, dinners out, trips away, and on occasion a piece of cake or two. While I was continuing to watch what I ate... I did gain a few this year. I mean, lets get real- it was the best 9 pounds I have ever gained. Haha... and I would do it again. But about 6 weeks ago after a wedding in which i probably put on 4 pounds alone- I decided it was time to take it off... and I did, all but 2 pounds of it... which hopefully will be gone in the next 2 weeks.

Now trying to diet* in the summer is not as easy as you might think. Which is why I lost about a pound a week... I wanted to have a good summer and not completely deprive myself. I was in las vegas for a week while I was dieting, I have been to 5 baseball games, and am currently on my second weekend away in black butte. I have also decided to go the other way and lose another 10 so that I can have some wiggle room come christmas time. 
Doing some "light celebrating" in Las Vegas with my friend, Shanley a few weeks ago.

I try to keep my calories in the 1100-1300 calorie range... if I did a long workout I would sometimes go up to 1400 calories. When I knew I was going out of town or was going to have a social weekend... I would go down to 900-1000 calories for the few days leading up. Keep in mind that these were the GOOD days. I had my fair share of 1800 calorie days too... Just keep in mind that depending on your weight - 1600-1800 is the calorie range for maintaining! There are weight calculators online as well as in the weight loss phone apps that will help you determine the number of calories it takes to maintain your current weight. 

I am definitely someone who has to watch what I eat, I DO NOT have a fast metabolism. Likewise though out my post adolescent life I have picked up some great dieting tips to stay healthy and fit. Here are a few things that I have done-  recipes, tricks, and workouts that I think are great for managing you weight while also having a life. 
Megan's Tips 
(and no I am not as thin as this Jillian Michaels-esque cartoon... I just thought it was cute)

1. Be patient.It is proven that the slower you take it off the less likely you are to put it back on. If you want to go quick -loose 2 pounds a week... as that is still healthy, but think of it this way if you maintain a manageable diet for an entire year in which you average a loss of 1 pound a week - that adds up to 54 pounds. Thats a lot of weight!
2. Workout when you can for as long as you can manage, and do something you enjoy. I look at my schedule the night before and see when I can fit in a workout. It doesn't have to be at the same time every day... squeeze it in when you can! If you cant get in a full workout that day... go anyway! 20 minutes is better than nothing! I also schedule hikes with friends 2 times a week... When you make it an activity with friends, you are far less likely to get lazy and not go, its a girlfriend date rather than an obligation. Also picking a workout that you enjoy is key... I like the recumbent bike because the machine is stable enough for me to read, I also like the elliptical machine because I can go along time on it without loosing steam which means a better work out. Similar to loosing weight in general its better to go at a lower pace for a long time then hard for a short amount of time.
(thats more like it!)
 Also I know that bootcamps work for a lot of people- they call you and yell at you when they don't show up, there is a "support system" in place with other campers, and its all about accountability. Well- I have never been someone who has been keen on paying $100 a month to get yelled at when I am having a busy day... so that is not something that I participate in. :) However-I am someone who is immediatly repelled by anyone trying to forcefully get me to do anything... its a blessing and a curse.
3. Decipher the difference between hungry, thirsty, and bored. One of the biggest mistakes we make is not being able to tell the difference between hungry and thirsty. Try out this little experiment- if you have just eaten and for some reason you still feel hungry chug 16 ounces of water and then see how you feel before you dive in to the fridge. Also boredom... get out of the house and go do something if you start to notice that you are eating too much. 
4. Write down everything... I mean EVERYTHING!! Get yourself a weight loss AP for your phone and track everything you put in your mouth... even if its a raspberry- it all adds up. As far as fitness APS- I suggest My fitness pal, Lose it!, and Calorie Counter. Even if you are out to dinner and you don't know how many calories are in your meal- I break it down and look up the individual ingredients. I add it up and then I add 100-200 calories for cooking oil and butter used in the cooking process. This of course depends on what you are ordering... but clearly I am not ordering a giant burger and fries- I am on a diet! 
Don't forget: You absolutely have to count all alcohol calories!!!
Warning about the Iphone Apps- DO NOT count your workout towards your calorie totals. When I workout for an hour and a half it says that I burn 1000 calories... I guarantee if I add that to what I can eat for weight loss- aka 1000+ 1200-1400 = 2200-2400!! I would be a whale... so I would add maybe an extra 100 calories maybe 200 to your diet if you are working out a lot and only on the days that you are getting a workout in.
5. Chili is your friend- If you are out to lunch or dinner and what something hearty that will be satisfying and fill you up... order chili. Most restaurants that have it usually have some kind of a secret recipe and its features on the menu as a favorite or a house specialty. In MOST cases- a bowl of chili (this depends on the size of the bowl) is no more than 400-500 calories, which is great for a dining out situation. It is also full of protein, vegetables, and key nutrients. If its spicy its even better- spicy food actually fills you up faster than bland. 

6. The Bread Basket is NOT your friend- it has no protein and is served with butter... you can easily put down 300 calories before your meal has even arrived and still be starving. A good trick if you are out with others who are dieting is to friendly say when the waiter first comes to your table- don't worry about bringing a bread basket... we aren't that hungry. 
7. Buddy System Works- Have a friend that you diet with. Warning on this one... if its a girlfriend or a sister this can turn competitive really fast. I suggest your mom, boyfriend, husband, maybe a cousin you are close too, or a girlfriend who is not competitive. Things can turn sour fast when people are competing for weigh loss. Always remember its just about your success... It doesn't matter if they are loosing weight faster than you. As long as you are both loosing- you are BOTH winning. 
8. Don't grocery shop hungry- This is a pretty obvious one... you will bring home something you shouldn't eat... in fact you might even crack it open on the way home. 
9. Break up your meals- obviously you cant do this all the time, ergo- luncheons, family brunches, etc. But instead of eating 3 meals... eat 150 calorie snacks every 2 hours during the day and then have a decent size meal for dinner. Just make sure that the snacks have at least 10 grams of protein. That way you will stay full for the 2 hours. This increases your metabolism and also keeps you full all day long. (I have some awesome 150ish calorie meals listed below) Also - when its dinner time and you actually eat a whole meal its so much more satisfying. Just make sure you do not go over your calorie allotment for the day. 
10. Take your Vitamins! - When you start a diet your body will go into a bit of a shock and it may leave you with less energy because you aren't getting as many of the nutrients that you were getting before from the higher calorie diet you were on. This can be easily supplemented with vitamins. Weight Loss specific vitamins are great, but the standard multi-vitamins work fine too. I get the gummy bear ones- they have them for adults now at Trader Joes and I think Target. They are amazing... I can be a real baby about taking vitamins- sorry but they smell and are really hard to swallow! 
11. Give yourself a break once and a while. If you have been really good. There is nothing wrong with having a lemon drop martini once and a while at your favorite bar or grabbing some ice cream with your son/daughter! Just as long as its every once and a while and not all the time! You have to have a life otherwise this isn't going to work in the long term. 
12. Reward yourself for a job well done! Enjoy this process and make it fun. Go for spa treatments to reward yourself for every 5, 10, or 15 pounds you loose. Take care of yourself, get your hair done and freshen up your make-up case. Celebrate by buying yourself some new clothes... smaller clothes!!

Here are a few of my favorite diet foods and recipes that have helped me maintain and lose weight:

Breakfast grilled cheese 
and ham:

2 slices of bread (sarah lee 45 calories and delightful brand)
1 slice of fat free american cheese
1 egg white
1 slice of deli ham
Crisco Brand butter cooking oil spray (Pam Butter works too)

1. Cook the egg white in a pan as you would a fried egg
2. essemble the sandwich as you would for a grilled cheese. 
3. spray the outer sides of the bread on the sandwich with cooking spray
4. cook in a pan on Med-High heat. Flipping occasionally until both sides are golden Brown.

Bread- 90c, 4g protein
cheese- 30c, 5g protein
ham- 20c, 4g protein
egg white- 15c , 5g protein
spray- 0

total calories- 155, 19 grams protein. 

Rani's Blueberry Press Cocktail
(Developed by my friend Rani, who owns a bartending service that supplies bartenders for parties, events, sporting arenas, etc.
Aka- this girl knows what she is doing!)

1 shot of Blueberry Stoli
1/2 lime sliced
2 ounces diet 7 up
2 ounces soda water
a lot of ice

1. Muddle the lime in a 20 oz pint glass and then add ice
2. add shot of vodka, 7 up, and soda water. 
3. pour the mix into another pint glass and then back into original pint glass... if you shake this in a shaker it will explode!

Shot of blueberry Stoli- 60 calories
soda water, 7 up- 0 calories
1/2 lime- 7 calories

Total calories- 67, 0 protein - what??!! amazing. And it tastes like HEAVEN!

Kayla's Light Pasta Salad:
All of my friends watch there figure which makes getting recipes easy!

1 - box tri-colored rotini pasta (if you can find protein enriched its even better!)
1 - english cucumber diced into small pieces
1 - 3 roma tomatoes diced
1- orange bell pepper diced
1 - yellow bell pepper diced
1 carton- trader joes fat free feta
1- bottle/ 16 ounces of light italian dressing

1. Boil the pasta until its almost done- just to the point where its soft through the middle... if you cook it all the way it will be soggy. 
2. Drain the pasta into a strainer and rinse with cold water until the pasta is no longer steaming. Shake the strainer until there is no water coming from the bottom.
3. add veggies, cheese, and whole bottle of dressing. Mix all ingredients and let sit 2 hours in fridge. 
4. give one good mix and taste... add salt and pepper if desired.

Makes 18 servings 

Pasta- 66c, 3g protein/10g protein
dressing- 30c
veggies- 10c
cheese- 15c,4 g protein

total- 121 calories, 7g protein

Here is a list of some of the things I pick up at the store that can be made on the go that are awesome for a diet!

Regular grocery store:
-Fresh Express Salsa Insalada (90 calories a serving)
-Boathouse light yogurt dressings (70 calories for 2 tablespoons- but very thick... you only really need one)
-Lean cuisine turkey entree (160 calories!!)
- lean deli meat (varies)
- Sarah Lee 45 calories and delightful bread (45 cal a slice)
- carton of egg whites or a carton of eggs and I separate the yolks when I cook (15 calories per egg, 7 g protein!)
- turkey breakfast sausage (80 cal for 2 patties!)
- center cut bacon (20 calories a slice)
- best foods low fat mayonaise dressing (15 calories/tablespoon)
- mini drumstick brand ice cream cones (110 calories a piece)
- For the Bar- soda water, limes, lemons, fruit juices (TO BE USED SPARINGLY!! 2 ounces per drink MAX), diet tonic, diet sodas.
Trader Joes: This place is my BEST FRIEND!!!
- Spicy Hummus (25 calories per tablespoon)
- Frozen Potato wedge fries (120 calories for 16 wedges!)
- Frozen Breaded chicken tenders (110 calories per tender)
- fat free sour cream (15 calories for 2 tablespoons)
- light part skim shredded mozzarella (40 calories per serving)
- Frozen Shepherds Pie (160 calories per serving/ 2 servings total... and this guy is huge and delicious!)
- Frozen Chicken Shu mai pot stickers (6 pieces 150 cal, 9g protein)
- Frozen Chicken or Shrimp Fried Rice (150 calories per cup, 7 g protein)
- Frozen meatless corn dogs (150 calories, 9g protein- and you cant taste the difference!)
- Frozen spicy green beans (60 calories per serving)
- Frozen marinated mahi mahi (150 calories per serving, full of protein and YUMMY!!)
- Frozen mini crab cakes- (150 calories for 6, 8g protein)
- "trader jose's" low fat bean and rice burrito- (220 cal, 10g protein)

There is a lot more at trader joes! I would just spend 30 mins in there frozen food checking out there calories and protein on what looks appealing to you. 

 Liquor Store:
- Any and all flavored vodkas that look appealing to you- I prefer the stoli flavors for fruity,and Pinnacle for Whipped cream flavored!! 
- Regular vodka- I suggest grey goose :)
- Bacardi rum or any other white rum. 

All of the liquor listed above is 60 calories a shot... 

Produce- BUY LOCAL!! Its much more delish... head to your local farmers market, buy what is fresh and delicious!! For those of you in Eugene, there are some great produce stands outside town...check out Thistledown and Lone Pine Farms out by Shadow Hills Country Club. 
Thistledown Farms... great place to buy your produce!!

I will leave you with this...

If there is one thing that I would tell someone who wanted advice on losing weight it would be this...
Do not get down on yourself for the fact that you have to lose weight. Do you know a single person who hasn't been on a diet or who wanted to lose a few?? I don't! 68% of Americans over the age of 20 are overweight and 34% of those people are Obese... why not pat yourself of the back for choosing to be one of the 32% who are NOT? 

You absolutely should be celebrating this life choice... just don't celebrate with margaritas and cake... that might be counter productive. :) 

*Note: I use the term diet very loosely... this is not a "Diet" as in a set plan of instructions, published, and  guaranteeing anyone will lose weight such as Adkins, etc. I have found that those fad diets are not a great way of MAINTAINING a healthy lifestyle. I use the term diet meaning: what I eat. When I say "I went on a diet" I simply mean- I changed my eating habits to healthier ones.


Mandee said...

What great advice! Good for you on loosing weight. I'm glad you've found a plan that works for you, and your readers can take tid bits from it!!

I have adopted a healthy lifestyle since college---I've never been on a diet nor plan to be but I eat healthy and work-out, changing my lifestyle for the better. Running & Pilates are my favorite. It leaves me room to have ice cream once in a while and a glass or wine or the same blueberry stolli you drink! Love that. I've lost 8 pounds and many more inches which make more difference than pounds to me! I'm now at a great weight for my body!!

Great tips!!

Pearls and Pears said...

SO true!! I really should not be using the word "diet" because it isn't a "diet" its a permanent lifestyle change. The word "diet" indicates that there is an end to what you are doing and really there isn't. When the goal weight is reached, it isn't over... to maintain you still have to work out and watch what you eat... the difference is you just get to eat a little bit more. Thats why diets like adkins, south beach, and dukane, dont work- the change in your diet has to be a permanent one.

That is great that you found what works for you as well! thanks for the comment... love hearing what everyone else does as well!!

Mandee said...

awesome! I saw your comment on my post...and for fro-yo in Portland I love Skinny Dip on Burnside, Swirl on Hawthorne and Lucky Spoon by PSU!!

Mandee said...

awesome! I saw your comment on my post...and for fro-yo in Portland I love Skinny Dip on Burnside, Swirl on Hawthorne and Lucky Spoon by PSU!!

LillyBean said...

Eeeeee! This post makes me sooo happy. Thank you for the great (and realistic) tips! Love the recipes too.

My entire blog is about how I am trying to change my lifestyle. :) This goes along perfectly.

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