To read Part 1 of “Getting Healthy” click here.
What to eat and When.
Here’s what I did. This wasn’t super specific. It’s not an expert opinion. It’s simply what worked for me. The hard thing about weight loss and general health is that it is very specific to each persons body. So what works for one person may not work for another. But there are definite general guidelines we can all go by.
Burn more calories than you consume.
Eat wisely (not all calories are equal).
Eat small amounts more often.
Drink boatloads of water.
Eat breakfast every day to get your metabolism going.
5 meals smaller meals throughout the day.
This helps your metabolism keep going throughout the day.
The best analogy I’ve heard to explain this is comparing your metabolism to a fire. You have to get the fire going in the morning by eating breakfast. And then you have to keep the fire going throughout the day by feeding it small amounts of wood often. If you don’t put wood (breakfast) on in the morning, the fire doesn’t get going. If you put on large amounts of wood and then have long breaks, the fire dies down. But if you consistently put smaller amounts of wood on the fire all day long, the fire stays consistent and continues to burn throughout the day.
Small amounts, more often. I’ll repeat that over and over and over because I think it’s so important!
Here are some ideas of things I would eat.
*A protein bar. This is what I ate almost every morning. I found a kind I liked and stuck with it. This will be very personal as some protein bars are horrific and chalky. Shop around. Right now I like the Zone Perfect protein bars. I’ve tried the Chocolate Mint, Peanut Butter, and Cinnamon Roll. I like Cinnamon Roll the best. They have 15g of protein and are 210 calories. I also like ClifBars with protein (usually around 10 to 12g). My favorites are White Chocolate Macadamia Nut and Coconut Chocolate Chip.
*Eggs and Wheat Toast
*Occasionally I’d eat some sort of cereal high in protein (Kashi Go Lean cereals have protein)
*Breakfast burrito. Scrambled eggs and a little cheese in a warmed up wheat tortilla
*Omelete with spinach, mushrooms and cheese
*Protein shake. I used the Chocolate Whey protein from Costco. 1 scoop of that blended with half of a banana and a scoop of peanut butter. Ends up being about 300 calories and 30g of protein.
*Or for the BEST spinach protein shake ever (that I am now having almost every day), click here.
I exercised around 10am on most days (6 days a week), so as soon as I finished exercising, I would drink my protein shake. If you exercise at a different time, adjust eating so you have a high volume of protein within about an hour of working out.
A hand blender became my new best friend.
*Almost every day, I ate a Turkey burger (frozen ones from Costco that I would grill on a stove top pan), carrots, and watermelon. If you don’t have a pan like the one picture below, they’re worth buying. My kids will even eat Turkey burgers. And that’s saying a lot. Picky little buggers they are.
*Ham and Turkey sandwich on thin wheat bread. You can get thinner sliced bread shaped like a bun at any grocery store.
*Chicken tacos on corn tortillas. If I didn’t eat a turkey burger, I ate chicken tacos. Just grill up the chicken on a stove top pan griller thingie (like the one I used for turkey burgers). Or you could use a George Foreman grill. Or if you’re really motivated, you can use a BBQ. Then just grade a little cheese and some lettuce and put them on a warmed up corn tortilla (I put two in a pan on the stove and heat them up).
*cottage cheese and crackers and an apple. Cottage cheese is a great source of protein without many calories in one serving. It’s not one of my favorite things to eat, but I grew to like it. I like the Walmart brand. It’s less thick.
*string cheese, triscuits and a banana
*handful of nuts (cashews or almonds) and carrots sticks or fruit
*different proteins on different nights. Chicken, Turkey, Pork Tenderloin, Shredded Pork. And one side. Salad, vegetables, long-grain and wild rice.
For me, protein means meat (or cottage cheese). I think yogurt is disgusting. And Tofu, don’t get me started. I know there are other sources of protein and you obviously don’t have to eat meat to get your protein. But I like meat. So that’s what I ate.
The biggest keys for me was eating TONS of protein (way more than I ever use to eat on a daily basis). I tried to eat around 100g of protein a day.
And, drink TONS of water. I bought a Camelback water bottle and left it out on the counter throughout the day. Every time I walked by, I’d take a big drink. I tried to drink at least 5 of those a day.