Most people think that losing weight means that you have to deprive yourself of not only yummy food, but food…period. But last week I learned that depriving oneself of good food is a myth. In fact, the key to losing weight is in what you eat, how frequently you eat it, and your water intake. I lost weight by eating!
I actively try to be a healthy eater, but after birthing my 3rd baby in 4 years I felt it was high time to call in the professionals. Not just for the sake of weight-loss, but for the sake of giving my family a strong healthy relationship with food. So this past week I decided to embark on a Clean Eating Challenge lead by a personal trainer and dietitian.
My coach defined clean eating for me (nothing out of a box, bag or can…besides tuna) and gave me the flexibility to take the lead on my own meal planning while offering suggestions along the way.
So what did I eliminate?
I eliminated breads, pastas and rice (even brown). I cooked and prepared my own food everyday and I ate frequently instead of waiting until I felt famished. My meals included all kinds of meats (YES…even BACON) and a host of yummy fruits and veggies. I drank 1/2 my body weight in fluid ounces of water, and I was rarely hungry. I ate a total of 5 complete small meals a day composed of protein, fat and carbohydrates.
Now I’m still working on portion control…but here’s a sampling of the meals that I prepared and enjoyed!.
I lost 5 pounds in 5 days by staying hydrated and EATING regularly. I didn’t have any major cravings until the hubby brought home my favorite treat TWIZZLERS! But instead of reaching for them I pulled out a bowl of sweet sweet watermelon. It wasn’t easy…but I stuck to it. And you can to. Below are the 5 principles that helped me surpass my goals:
1. Find a Coach or an Accountability Friend
Accountability is HUGE! The good thing about my Awesome Coach was that she encouraged me to eat frequently and educated me on why. She checked in with the group (via FB) and shared reminders and tips as needed. Sometimes it helps just to have someone go through the journey with you. If I didn’t have a coach or a group of determined women to hold me accountable, I certainly would have opted for Twizzlers over Watermelon!
2. Plan Ahead
The weekend before the big Clean Eating Challenge the group was instructed to purchase all groceries (for the week) over the weekend. This wasn’t a totally new concept for me, but it was a kick in the butt to make it a conscious priority over the weekend. I mapped out my meals for the week, crafted a grocery list and went to the store without the kids to minimize distraction. Everything was within reach when it came time to prep a meal.
3. Set your goals – Goals should be realistic and achievable
Honestly, I didn’t know what to expect from this challenge with regard to weight. So my goals were to learn how to eat healthier, actually eat healthier and resist artificial sweets. The weight loss was just an awesome by-product of my disciplined eating habits. In fact, I bought my first scale the weekend before the challenge…and I’ve quickly become obsessed. Uh Oh!
4. Share photos of your meals
Each of the participants in the Clean Eating Challenge would share photos of their meals. So each day there was an expectation of one another to share 5 new photos representing the 5 balanced meals each person consumed that day. Sharing photos of your meals is a great way to hold yourself accountable for what you are eating AND it’s a great way to share meal ideas! Lettuce wraps in our group were a big hit!
5. Don’t be afraid to acknowledge your weakness to the group…you’ll find help
It was Thursday evening when the Twizzlers appeared on the scene. The girls had gone to bed, Phil (the purchaser of said Twizzlers) was working late and I was alone…knowing that the Twizzlers were somewhere within reach. I had the notion to tip-toe downstairs and ransack the house looking for the bag, but decided to check-in with my on-line clean eating group first. I confessed my moment of weakness and they came to my aid. “You’re so close, Amina,” “You’ve been doing a great job so far, just eat fruit,” and my favorite piece of advice “Just go to bed!” As a result, I didn’t succumb to my craving, but instead reached for a bowl of cool, sweet watermelon! Yum!
I learned so much in just 5 days, and I’m slowly starting to see the ripple effect. I’ve lost weight, I’m energized and waking up earlier, I’m always satiated and hydrated, and lastly, my eating habits are encouraging my Hubby to eat better. It’s been a win…win…WIN!
So go ahead…challenge yourself for 5 days and see how it can change your life too!
Are you eating balanced meals…regularly?
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