A point system is awesome, and it works great for some of my nearest and dearest, but I would fill my points eating Lucky Charms and Doritos. Not the healthy way to lose weight and keep it off. So this is what works for me. It's a work in progress, and mostly a hodge podge of stuff I've read, but it seems to be working.
Please remember I am in not a health expert. Half of this stuff I've read online, and we all know how accurate that is! So if what I'm posting is total B.S., it's not my fault, my five year Bella told me to do it...
#1 Myfitnesspal.com: This is an awesome website. You create a free account and can then track food, exercise, progress... You can join up with your friends as well. This is great for a military wife with friends and family spread out across the country. They can stop by your page and leave encouragement for you! It's very customizable. You can track calories, sugar, fat, carbs, sodium.... what ever you want to track. It also keeps track of the vitamins and minerals you are getting. A food and exercise diary at it's best. It also has a handy app for my iPhone.
This week I have been especially thankful for it. My weight has plateaued. It is sooo discouraging to be working so hard, to get up and go for a jog, to say no to the pancakes I'm making for my girls, and see the scale stay the same. I might be tempted to, in the best Janet Evanovich tradition, hold up a Cheetos truck. But for one thing. I get to track my measurements. And while the scale isn't moving, the measuring tape is. I've lost a half inch around my belly this week! You're safe for now Cheetos man.
#2 Processed Foods = Boo!: Your liver has many jobs, and one of it is to clear the blood of waste and poisons. It acts as a filter to all that you eat and drink. To your body preservatives and processed ingredients, or in the more technical term "crap", that is found in most foods now days are considered waste that your liver needs to process. For most people this is a big job for their livers.
Your liver also metabolizes proteins, fats and carbs. These are just two of the many jobs of your liver. So the way I think of it is, if your liver is so busy cleaning your body of the artificial crap you put into it, it wont have has much time to do it's other jobs. Like, metabolizing all you eat. Forcing your body to store it. So if I eat less crap, the liver has less to filter, giving it more time to metabolize the good stuff. It makes sense in a twisted kinda way, right?
So I LIMIT the processed and refined foods I eat. I'm sorry I don't want to live in a world without brownies, or chips or cereal. But it has worked. For the first week I cut them out completely. Along with working out four days that week, I lost six pounds!
I found this awesome blog, through Pinterest, that really made it click for me. 100 Days of Real Food.
She explained how she thought she was buying her family a healthy whole wheat bread, but when she actually turned it over and looked at the ingredients, she didn't know what half the stuff was. I scratched my head, walked over to the bread box and looked at ours. Same reaction. This is BREAD for Gods sake! Does it really need all of this stuff? So I followed her recommendation and went to the local Great Harvest and got their Honey Wheat Bread. Five ingredients, non-processed, all natural. And it tastes really good. This is from a die hard white bread eater. If you don't live near a Great Harvest, talk to your local baker, or even turn to your trusted bread machine.
I applied this "test" to the rest of my kitchen and pantry. Those low calorie snack bars? Refined wheat, and hydroganated corn syrup, aka sugar. I was eating a low cal sugar bar. Awesome. This seemed to be the trend.
So I made a change. If I'm going to eat sugar, I damn well want to taste it. So I save it for the good stuff.
#3 Good Bye Pop (soda for the rest of the country): I gave up pop at home. I sometimes get it in a restaurant, but try to stick to water, or even lemonade if they make it fresh. Yes, I know lemonade has sugar in it, but it's the real stuff, and I'll explain why that's better for me.
I also gave up my very good, very delicious friend Crystal Light. It was a big help getting me to drink my water, but it stabbed me in the back in the end. Here's how. Pops, Crystal Light and other drinks are filled with artificial sweeteners, even the diet kind. It is true that these are much lower in calories. The real problem is they are often 10,000 times sweeter then normal white sugar.
Before I had my kids, this wasn't a problem. I was a salty junkie. Give me those chips and corn nuts. I was a happy girl. After I had them, I developed an almost debilitating sweet tooth. And I found out these artificial sweeteners were like crack to my sweet cravings. It was okay if I would have been able to stick to just the Crystal Light, but it wasn't enough. I wanted the donuts, and Coco Puffs and Reese's. For me artificial sweeteners are a gateway to other sugar and fat filled yummy's.
The first week was hell. I made shark week seem tame, but I did. And my children are young enough to forget that dark time. Eventually. And it is crazy how much my cravings have gone down.
#4 Water: When I'm pregnant I like to really branch out and experience every possible discomfort, hemorrhoids, heart burn, bloating.... and whenever I talked to my OBGYN/Midwife/Corpsmen (in military hospitals it's rare to see the same face every appointment) they always said, without fail, drink more water.
I'm going pee every 20 minutes, am so bloated I almost float, and my heart burn is so bad I could breath fire and you want me to drink MORE WATER!?!?!
But the f***ers were right. We are made up of mostly water, so it makes sense that we need a lot of it. It also does a jimdandy job of filling you up, and if you drink it ice cold like I do, your body burns a few calories warming it up to digest it. So get a cute water bottle or ten, and drink up. Along with your cell phone, oh and probably your kids, this should go everywhere with you. I'm talking room to room everywhere.
#5 Exercise, duh: This is a dirty word for me. Drop f bombs, disparage my mother, and I won't blink, but say "lets go exercise" and I will give you such a dirty look a puritan in a whore house would be proud. I hate it. I loath it. I have yet to get to the point where it's like a "meditative experience".
With all the motivation methods I've seen; pictures of the fridge, moving speeches, your bikini on the counter, none have work so well as a stupid meme I saw on Pinterest.
It's true. As I'm laying in bed dreading the jog (really a walk with some jogging thrown in), I think of this stupid saying. If I just get up and do it, it will be over and I'll be proud of myself for the rest of the day. If I don't, I'll be kicking my own ass for the rest of the week. Which is worse?
#6 Don't eat after 7PM: The great Oprah taught me this. Your digestions slows WAY down while you're sleeping, so don't eat for a few hours before you go to bed. This is a golden rule only to be broken on very special occasions.
This obviously isn't all I've done to lose weight, but they are a few of the biggies. I hope they have helped you, and you don't walk away thinking I'm a complete idiot. Again, Bella told me to do it...