Since January 1st my big goal has been to lose weight. I have lost around 30lbs so far, with about 15 left to go. About 99% of my success comes from watching what I eat. This is mainly because I was working out before I was trying to lose weight, my body is used to it. I do lots of different things (hot yoga once a week, personal trainer once a week, Body Attack or Body Combat at least once a week, weight lifting once a week, and a hot yoga stretch class once every week or two weeks, and a run at least once every two weeks) at the gym but really, it doesn’t matter what I do at the gym, what I eat is what really makes the difference (that being said I think that my recent love for hot yoga is making my body look better).
So in order to watch what I eat I have to plan. I can’t stand it when people say that they are trying to lose weight but they don’t have the time to eat well. Sorry, it’s not going to work out for you then. There are very few people for whom eating won’t be the key to weight loss. The reality is that if you are overweight the only way to lose the weight is to burn more calories than you intake. It would take a RADICAL change in your daily life to significantly increase your activity level (although, making some minor changes in this area can make a difference) but it doesn’t really require that much to eat less, you just have to actually do it.
However, in my quest to lose weight I also wanted to focus on living a healthy lifestyle more than just losing weight. I really wanted to make sure that I was eating from all food groups and that I was getting all the macro and micro nutrients I needed. That isn’t to say I haven’t had my moments of under-eating (only a couple of times) or over-eating (um, more than a few) since Jan ’11…but overall, I have done fairly well.
But it CONSUMES my Sundays. Sunday usually looks like this: wake up, have breakfast, go to church, come home, eat lunch, go do groceries for the week, pack up all the food, make meals ahead for the week, then go to hot yoga stretch class (today looked different – no church and no yoga – not good for the mind, I feel way less centred as a result).
I weigh pretty much everything that goes into me. I used to count macro nutrients (carbs, fat, protein) but I know I am getting enough of each so I don’t need to worry about that anymore. I only weigh stuff so that I can calculate my calorie intake. I don’t write it all down anymore, I do it in my head for the most part, I know how many calories I have for all my portions. A typical work day looks like this: breakfast at 6 am, coffee, morning snack at 9 am, lunch at 11 am, afternoon snack at 2pm, pre-workout food at 4pm (if working out), dinner at whenever we are home/dinner is ready.
So tomorrow looks like this: granola with milk, coffee with milk and stevia, blueberry greek yogurt, ginger-lime beef salad, fresh veggies and berries and a stick of cheese, and then halibut with brocollini and zucchini for dinner. That works out to about 1500 calories.
So what does it look like on any given Sunday around here…well…the kitchen counter often looks like this at the end of the night when food is cooling:
This is the Moroccan Chicken Stew I made for dinner tonight…seven of these will be frozen, two will be eaten later on this week.
This is what our fridge looks like on Sunday night:
This is what the front of the fridge looks like…it has a a list of what we are both doing (Iron Man and myself) and what is in the fridge for food and what we are eating for dinner for the week. (Clearly I blurred out our names but you get the idea).
And then, this is what the inside of the fridge looks like:
Now clearly you can see we like Greek yogurt but that isn’t actually all Greek yogurt right now. We save those containers and then use them to ‘house’ our food for the week. The left hand side of the top shelf is all my stuff (not the chocolate milk and certainly not the cream!) and then most of the second shelf is Iron Man’s food. Bottom shelf just has other stuff.
So yeah, that’s what it’s like on a Sunday. And that’s what it takes for me to lose 30lbs. Lots of effort and lots of planning and lots of organization. It isn’t easy but it is worth it.