Now, you guys know I'm a fan of fitness and health, not skinny and gaunt. I would rather weigh more and be able to run a 5K than skinny and malnourished. But let's be real - I want to look good too. I KIND OF like the look of being slimmer...but with definition. YOUKNOW what I mean.
That moment at the Four Seasons kicked my ass into April fitness month and more recently, April health-eating month. It's only been a month of hittin' the gym and only a few weeks of eating right, but I'm working on losing weight and getting in shape. I decided to write down what I've been doing as I hope to encourage girls not to go on a 'diet' per se, but more of a lifestyle change that you can stick with.
(And also, by writing about it, I kind of commit myself to it too).
First and foremost is diet. Diet is a heavy majority of weight-loss. You can exercise and run and do all the Zumba you want, but if you don't watch what you eat, that needle won't move. Here is a quick glance at what I am trying to eat on a somewhat normal basis:
- Early morning: one glass of water with a squeeze of lemon
- Breakfast: fruit/vegetable smoothie and a small coffee with half-and-half.
- Morning snack: Greek yogurt with granola (added: flax seeds)
- Lunch: Lean protein (usually chicken) and at least 1 vegetable and a piece of fruit (usually a grapefruit)
- Afternoon snack: Almonds
- Dinner: Lean protein, some sort of carb (rice/pasta) and at least 2 different types of vegetables. Fruit for dessert.
Lately I've been big on making fruit and vegetable smoothies for breakfast and snacks. I want to ensure that I'm still getting the appropriate nutrients so that body needs to burn fat (and not muscle) and replenish where needed. My typical smoothie includes:
- 2-3 handfuls of fresh spinach (high in Vitamin K, A, C, and iron)
- 5-6 frozen strawberries (high in Vitamin C and fiber)
- 1 banana (high in Vitamin B, fiber, and potassium)
- 1/2 cup of frozen blueberries (high in Vitamin K and full of antioxidants)
- 1/2 - 1 cup of carrot juice (high in Vitamin A and beta-carotene)
- 2-3 spoonfuls of fat-free vanilla or plain yogurt (calcium and protein)
No, it's not pretty. But I like it. If you don't like carrot juice, substitute for a different juice to take away the spinach flavor. I actually like the taste of it because it tastes super earthy and you KNOW when something just tastes good for you? I use the Magic Bullet (don't laugh!) and it totally works!
Yesterday I juiced my first drink and it was exhilarating. And I had no idea why I was so excited to juice something. I felt the POWER of the juicer. GET IN THERE AND GRIND YOU UP. I don't particularly enjoy eating salads, which is why I'm trying to get my greens in a different manner.
I loved juicing kale (high in Vitamin K, A, C, and fiber), graperuit (Vitamin C), apples (fiber), and carrots. I then use this juice mixture instead of my typical carrot juice for my morning smoothies. A great way to get a few extra vegetables in the morning without even trying. I have the Breville juicer, it's pretty great except the main hassle is clean up. I try to juice my stuff the night before so I have more time.
In regards to my regular meals, portion control + the actual food is the key. You can eat a bunch of "healthy" stuff but if you're caloric intake is still greater than your caloric expenditure, you're not going to lose any weight.
My goal right now is to switch out one bad food for one good food. I'm a sucker for sweets and salty. So instead of my go-to Sour Patch Kids, I'm now eating a piece of grapefruit. Instead of Corn Nuts, I'm now eating plain almonds. It helps me get my mind off of eating and I'm choosing healthier options.
I also try to eat at least 2 vegetables and 1 piece of fruit throughout my main meals. This helps me get my sweet tooth out of the way for dessert but it also lets me get fuller off of fiber and not carbs. I recommend switching out 1/2 of your rice/pasta for a vegetable and see if you end up getting fuller for longer.
Next is exercise.
I enjoy exercising and it's something I look forward to, but I don't always have time nor do I want to bypass going out to dinner with Ryan or friends so I can work out. Because of this, my goal is to run several times a week in the morning (3-4x a week), and then go to the gym 2-3x a week straight after work or Pilates at least once a week. Think about that right there - you'll probably have at least one day where you run in the morning and go to the gym at night (2-a-days), those days are exhausting, but you never feel bad for doing it. I also would rather run in the morning because if things come up in the middle of the day, I've done BTN (better than nothing), and that's always a good feeling. I prefer to take group classes (boot camp, bar method, yoga, etc.) but if I'm on my own, I have a pretty solid workout routine:
- Sprint Intervals for 15-20 minutes (jog speed = 3.7 / run speed = 7.2 on a 2.0 incline)
- Row weight machine (3 sets of 15 at 30lbs)
- Free weights for arms (3 different exercises, 3 sets of 15 at 5lbs weights each type of exercise)
- Squats/lunges (3 sets of 10 with 2.5lb weights)
- Inner/outer thigh weight machine (3 sets of 15 at 30lbs)
That's easily a 45-50 minute work out. That's all I want to do - I don't want to be at the gym for 2 1/2 hours, I don't have time for that! Who does?! After a few weeks, it's time to switch up the routine so that my body doesn't become accustomed to it. That's why I enjoy taking classes too, it keeps the gym exciting and it allows me to work out muscles I wouldn't with the above.
So that's my routine for right now - I've been able to stick to it for over 3 weeks and hope to continue it throughout the summer. Have I seen AMAZING results yet? No, because I understand that this is a process not an overnight illusion. Am I getting my summer body? Sure. Is it for the wedding? Of course. But more importantly, it's about getting into the habit of wanting to do good things for my body. I don't want to wait until I'm overweight to have to do something about it. Getting healthy and getting out there is a choice, so lots of luck and if you have any healthy tips/advice, I'd love your feedback.