That’s what it’s been about at my house this past couple weeks. Hubby and I finally purchased our dream exercise equipment, after watching eBay carefully for the perfect deals. I’ve wanted a Gazelle Supertrainer for years, and he’s wanted a Total Gym…you know, the kind Chuck Norris endorses? Well, I couldn’t get to town to utilize a gym membership, so we brought the gym to me! And I’m loving it, especially when dh works out with me!
And all this exercising is really making me aware of the foods I’m eating. After all, who wants to spend 45 minutes burning fat to put it back on again during a ten minute snack fest? So I’ve been cutting my meals in half, and the first week I lost a whopping 9 pounds! I’ve lost two more since then, and it’s blowing my mind how much food I used to eat. In trying to analyze it, I think “eating more” during my years of pregnancy and breastfeeding (I bf my girls more than a year when possible) became a habit that I never realized. I’m not a big snacker, but I do love real food. In becoming cognizant of eating only until I’m satisfied–not quite full, but not hungry, I’ve noticed that I’m losing the familiar “urge” to eat more. It’s great stuff!
I’ve also been reading helpful weight loss tips, some from magazines, some from the net, and have gleaned some from friends. Here are the ones I’ve found helpful:
Paul McKenna’s 4 Golden Rules
I knew nothing about this man before a friend began talking about some of his techniques and “golden rules” of weight loss. So I looked him up online and began reading his site, and the forum comments. Gleaned a bunch of goodies. I really liked his tip of squeezing the thumb and forefinger of your left hand together and thinking nasty thoughts about the foods you’re craving when those inevitable desires arise! It works! We ate at Pizza Hut after church this past week, and I opted for salad bar only…watching my family eat slice after slice was hard until I tried this and my stomach actually ceased growling at me! For motivation, and more on these ‘rules’, definitely visit www.mckenna.com.
The Maker’s Diet
My friend Deborah perked my interest in this one, and I immediately got my hands on a copy of the book. You can check Jordan S. Rubin’s book and testimony out at this link: The Maker’s Diet. It’s based on Biblical guidelines for eating, cleansing, etc. I just finished the book, and highly recommend it. Jordan Rubin was diagnosed with Crohn’s disease and after seeing over 70 doctors and health practitioners, he looked like a concentration camp survivor…definitely at death’s door. He regained his health 180% by in-depth study of the Bible and following God’s prescription for diet and health. Fascinating reading! And an especially informative Appendix at the book’s end contains simple and delicious sounding recipes, resources (books and websites) for places to purchase organic foods, essential oils (Biblical ones!!), sweeteners, grains and flours, popcorn…non-toxic household cleaners and odor removers…it’s unbelievable what’s available out there. Informative read!
Don’t Get Distracted
Savor each bite. We’re aiming for chewing this a few more times (25-30 or more) than your normal mom-in-a-hurry bite-and-gulp routine. Concentrate on your meal, and on stopping when you feel satisfied. This has really worked for me. That and drinking a ton of lemon-water if I don’t quite feel satisfied when I’m determined to stop!
Sometimes you just have to let a little time go by and your common sense will overtake those cravings. Get busy doing something else. I REALLY wanted one of the homemade biscuits I’d made to go with supper the other night. I reasoned that I’d skipped the mashed potatoes and gravy, and only had half a piece of the chicken fried steak, so one little biscuit wouldn’t hurt anything, right? Well, I put it off, thinking it would be a nice treat after we’d cleaned up the kitchen, but I kept eyeing the ziplock bag of leftovers, wondering if it was really worth it. By the time we finished clean-up, I was glad I hadn’t gone for it. There are still biscuits in the bag two days later, untouched by yours truly! (Can you tell I don’t feel at all deprived?)
Be Too Smart to Be Tricked
Foods with the appealing titles of “Home-style Fried Chicken” or “Grandma’s Sticky Buns” tempt us, saying that the food must “taste better”…nah, probably not. Think how long you’d have to work out to burn those calories that you’ll forget minutes after having consumed them!
Keep Track of What You Put in Your Mouth
I haven’t been doing this, but I think it’s a great idea to help us be more aware of how much mindless consumption we’re guilty of. One article I read advised to write down every food before you put it in your mouth.
I’ve never been a calorie counter either, but my Gazelle keeps track of how many calories I’ve burned and a 30 minute workout on there says I’ve burned 160-300 calories (depending on how fast and furious I’m going!) so I got online and started researching some of the foods I’d been eating at CalorieKing.com. Yikes! Go get educated…the bottom line is that most fruits and veggies have barely any calories, while the hamburgers hubby fixed for us the other night each contained 218 calories, plus the 70 calorie slice of cheese, the 1 calorie leaf of romaine lettuce, two slices of tomato at 3 calories each…equals an almost 300 calorie meal. I skipped the bun and ketchup, but had a little mustard at 0 cals. Think I’m obsessed? Well, it’s been interesting correlating the two, burning calories and consuming them. (Yeah, I’ve never seriously dieted before!)
Keep Healthy Snacks Around
I’m snacking more diligently to keep from “starving” between meals. Baby carrots, watermelon cubes, celery sticks, bell pepper, broccoli, two or three tablespoons of tuna fish with lime juice and garlic (as a veggie dip), 6 oz of V-8 Juice…things under 35 calories per serving. They’ve really taken the edge off.
Stay Away From Fat-free and Sugar-free Products
I just read a very informative book called Sweet Poison on the dangers of Aspartame. Really wanted to review it on the blog but ran out of time. If you or anyone you know likes diet pop, or diet/sugar-free/fat-free anything, you need to read this book. Really. It could save your/their life. Did you know that Aspartame is even in children’s Tylenol? It’s in most of the available yogurts, sugar-free gum (both things we consumed prior to reading this book), etc. The author’s compelling testimony of being diagnosed with a fatal thyroid disorder, Grave’s Disease; she was about to have her thyroid destroyed by doctors (irradiated) when she did her own research and found that her devastating health problems (hair loss, vision problems, migraines, weight gainall tracked back to her daily diet pops and overuse of Aspartame. Within 30 days of giving up Aspartame products (de-toxing, essentially) she was back on the road to good health, and her doctor eventually announced her cured of Grave’s disease, which is uncurable. Anyway, visit the link, it’s much more convincing than I am! (My girls are mourning the loss of sugar-free gum…b/c we don’t chew gum otherwise!)
Well, there’s a lot of “thought for food” to keep ya’ll busy! I do want to stress that it’s not about starving yourself, it’s about moderation! There are SO many ways to cut back, as I’m discovering. I’d love to hear your favorite tips in comments!!