Last week I talked about my workout regimen and fitness routines. And while I didn’t win the fitness challenge at work (bummer 😦 ), I DID however, lose 13.5 lbs! So that’s still a win!
This week I’m going to talk about the dreaded, the abominable, the bane-to-fitness existence, the seemingly incomparable obstacle that we ALL love……
If you know anything about me you know I’m not an emotional eater. But there are few things closer to my heart than a good bowl of Pad Thai or some Pineapple Fried Rice (insert praise dance here). And food in and of itself is not bad–obviously we need it to survive. However, food has been bamboozling folks since Adam bit the apple, and it’s been all down-hill ever since.
But don’t be discouraged. There’s hope!
Just like any other substance, food can be a habit. And those habits create lifestyle patterns, and if it’s a bad habit, those patterns create rolls.
Of fat I mean.
But I’m here to tell you it can be conquered. And if I can do it, you most definitely can too.
Once again, I am not a dietitian, fitness expert, or nutritionist. I’m simply sharing what has worked for me. 🙂
So here it goes.
I didn’t eat a lot. I probably should have been eating more. But what I did realize is that it often wasn’t so much what I was eating as it was the amount and time I was eating. So based off of my beginning lifestyle and end results, I determined there were 3 things that affected my weight loss:
1. THE TYPE OF FOOD I ATE.
Unhealthy foods. I think this often goes without saying, but just to reiterate, you cannot prosper fit-wise on a carb-filled diet if you are trying to lose weight. If you are a marathon runner, a body-builder, or a sumo-wrestler, then yes, this is for you. But items like pasta (my personal favorite), rice, and potatoes must be extremely limited if not cut from your diet. Before my weight-loss journey I ate them at limited times; but, when I did eat them it was combined with a number of other “unhealthy” options, like cheese (another personal favorite! #HELP lol), which enhanced the probability of weight gain despite the number of times I ate them.
2. THE TIME OF DAY I ATE THAT TYPE OF FOOD.
Boundaries. They are important in all areas of life, and meals are not an exception. I realized that if you have to eat late at night because you’re in school, work long hours, or are even coming from the gym, you need to eat things that are low-carb and nutrient rich. Fruits and vegetables are a good choice. Even brown rice, a considerably healthy alternative to white, is a heavy option that should not be eaten late into the evening. These foods will reside in your abdomen long after you’ve gone to sleep, and not only will you feel icky in the morning, your mirror will testify to your meal choice as well.
3. THE AMOUNT OF WRONG TYPES OF FOOD I ATE AT THE WRONG TIME OF DAY.
Portion size. If I could sum up my weight loss in two words besides THE GYM, it would be portion size. I can almost guarantee you that if you kept the SAME diet you have right now, and changed your portion sizes to be a quarter smaller, you would already see some changes in your body. Many people want to jump straight into eating carrots and celery sticks, but effective weight loss is a gradual life change. Start with eating smaller amounts of the food you already eat. Eating a Quarter-Pounder every day for lunch with a large soda? Try eating half of the sandwich and drinking a quarter of the soda, and you will see some changes. Here in America we always want bigger, bigger, bigger. Everything around us encourages a gluttonous lifestyle and we have to personally take the reigns on how much we allow ourselves to indulge in. Out a restaurant and you are served a large serving of Pad Thai? Immediately ask for a to-go box and pack up half; now you have lunch for the next day and have killed to birds with one stone. These practices get our self-control muscle working, so that when you finally make the deep-dive into eating a salad for lunch, and brown rice and beans for dinner, you neighbor’s pizza will be a little less appealing.
In a nutshell, that’s pretty much it. I started with limiting my portion sizes, and eventually changed my diet altogether, eating salads for lunch and brown rice and beans with a vegetable option for dinner. I am also vegetarian, so if you normally eat meat, your meal plan might look a little different. But eating healthy on either side doesn’t have to be boring or limiting. I am starting a Pinterest board on Healthy Eats featuring healthy meal choices and ideas. Go follow Urbanbeauty for ideas!
Finally, it is important to recognize that there will be times you fall off the wagon. And that is fine. No one gets it right the first time. I’ve been working out consistently since the beginning of College, and I’m just now understanding my body. But it’s never too late to start. And from time to time when I relapse I will do a juice fast, especially if I have had unhealthy weekend, or a Thai food rebound (did I mention I love Thai food? 😀 ).
Conquering our food habits is one of the hardest things to do. I worked at Jack in the Box for two years in high school, and I can tell you that next to money, there are few things that people take more seriously. But just like everything else, it can be tamed with self-discipline. Remember, what you eat is 80% of the battle…working out is only about 20%! Challenge yourself this year and bring a friend with you! Here’s to being better, healthier people in 2015!
P.S. Thank you all so much for the love and support! The emails, texts and comments motivate me even more! Let me know if you have a question regarding a topic I haven’t touched or would like my input on something you are struggling with! Much love and success on your journey! 😀
Into the August Red is a lifestyle and fashion blog by AB. Copyright 2014. All Rights Reserved.