Before I lose you, this is not your typical “eat this, not that” post – this is a realistic, manageable way to eat what you want and lose weight (or maintain). I know because this is exactly how I lost 30 pounds.
Eat what you want.
“Nothing tastes as good as skinny feels.” Cute. If that quote is floating around your mind, lure it out with peanut butter, catch it and set it on fire. Twice. I hate when people say “you shouldn’t be eating that”. Says who? Why limit yourself to five bland, monotonous meals to repeat for the rest of your life. Eat what satisfies (notice I didn’t say what fills you to bursting) you, not what someone else tells you is good for you.
Now pull it back a bit.
Didn’t I just say you could eat what you want? Yes, I did and yes, you can. In moderation. Unless you have an incredible metabolism, don’t expect to eat gobs of doughnuts every morning, massive burgers for lunch, mountains of pasta for dinner and polish it all off with dessert every single night. You have to exercise some sort of control. That being said, I have had days where my meals went: doughnut, burger, pizza, ice cream and I still came in at my calorie limit. You can have it all, but be mindful of how much.
Krispy Kreme Original Doughnut & Coffee= 310 cal
McDouble = 390 cal
Domino’s Large Pepperoni Slice = 300 cal
1/2 cup Chocolate Ice Cream w/ Cone = 130 cal
That’s only 1130 calories. You’d have 70 calories left for a snack if you’re on a 1200 calorie diet – 370 calories left if you’re on a 1500 calorie diet.
The easiest tip to follow that cuts loads of calories is stop eating when you’re no longer hungry or you feel satisfied. Notice I didn’t say, “stop eating when you’re full”. It takes your body 15 to 20 minutes to send fullness signals to your brain, so if you’re still eating when you start to feel full you’ll actually end up feeling uncomfortably stuffed.
Didn’t do so hot for a meal? Swap out a later meal for a super healthy option or (here comes the backlash, but hear me out) skip your next meal. I recently went out to a later breakfast on Father’s Day and overdid it. I ate so much I was not hungry when lunch time came, instead I had an afternoon snack and ate a regular dinner. Another option is to add in some additional exercise. Compensation is not ordering a large Triple Whopper Meal and opting for a Diet Coke. Jus’ sayin.
Eat cupcakes for breakfast.
Growing up my dad always got on us about eating leftover pizza for breakfast saying, “that’s not breakfast food”. So what determines what you can eat for what meal? You do. You want that cupcake for breakfast? Have it. Want a fudge sundae instead of dinner? Fudge it up. In my opinion, it is far better to eat what you’re craving than to eat a well rounded meal and then go back and eat it anyway.
Add fruits and veggies.
I’ll be honest. No, my diet isn’t every nutritionists’ dream diet. I’d go as far to say I’ve probably horrified some of them off this site. “She’s destroying her body!” Tell that to the 30 pounds. In all seriousness, because my main food choices aren’t always low calorie I add in loads of fruits and veggies to help bulk out my meals and stay full.
Aim for healthier choices.
Just because you can eat pizza and burgers all the time and still lose or maintain, doesn’t mean you should. Lean protein, healthy fats, fruits and veggies are good for you and they don’t have to taste boring. My not so healthy days tend to be my busiest days – sometimes I don’t even have ten minutes to prep and eat a meal and I don’t beat myself up for it. Start small and build up your smart food choices until your diet is about 80% “clean”.
Have a busy week coming up? Whittle out an hour or so to prep some healthy meals and snacks. My husband and I like to cook up bulk chicken on the grill so we have some all week for lunches and dinners when we’re too busy or tired to cook. I currently own these divided containers. Unlike other bento style boxes, all the compartments can be removed from the main container if you need to microwave one section without microwaving the whole box. They also sell two different snack boxes in the same style – a two compartment and a four compartment, which are perfect for items like carrots and hummus or apples and peanut butter!
Cut yourself some slack.
I do this in two ways. One: I allow myself to have treat items on a daily basis so long as they fit into my calories. Two: Cheat day. One day a week I don’t watch what I eat at all and allow myself whatever I want. My entire family knows I do this and my mom often asks me when she sees me loading my plate up, “cheat day?”.
Did I miss something? What are your tips?