Thursday, July 21, 2011

30 Days of Blogging: Diet Rules that Don't Suck!

If weight loss came in a pill (which I know would make some of our lives so much easier!) the fine print on the box might read, "may cause drop in bank account" and "may cause loss in friendships." Isn't that what happens when you spend half a paycheck on healthy food and pass up those Happy Hour invites to avoid those empty calories and tempting bar snacks?? These excuses aren't just miserable, they are self-defeating too.

76 Percent of people (who turned these pitfalls into excuses) that are less likely to lose weight than those who figured out ways around them, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Here are some rules that hopefully will help you fight the fat without fighting yourself.

Lose Weight, Not Friends

Do your friends go AWOL when you decide to start a new diet? Well, cutting calories causes your level of serotonin (a "feel-good" brain chemical) to take a nose dive, which could leave you cranky and unpleasant to be around. To keep your levels on "high" you should figure out how many calories are needed for YOU based on your activity level. Make sure they are split evenly among whole grains, protein and produce at every meal. (Fact: Eating unbalanced meals causes blood sugar to fluctuate which can cause irritability.)

Adding omega-3 fatty acids to your diet can fight depression and slow digestion, which can help you stay full longer. (Try adding salmon once a week, or adding olive oil/canola oil/flaxseeds into your daily meals.)

Lose Weight, Not Money

Those normal diet fads make you think that your stomach is going to be on the empty side-not your wallet. Researchers have found, however, that the cost of healthy, nutrient-dense food has increased nearly 30% in the past four years while the prices of candy and soft drinks have only gone up 15%.

One money saving tactic? Eat less meat. It is probably one of the priciest items on your grocery receipt and most people eat more than they should be anyway. Meat is a source of excess calories and saturated fat anyway.

Fill the void with fiber rich foods like beans, oatmeal, and brown rice and hearty veggies like portobello mushrooms and eggplant.

Lose Weight, Not Time

41 Percentage of women who listed "not enough time" as the reason they don't eat better

Spending just an hour or two on the weekend shopping for a week's worth of healthy meals and getting a jump start in the prepping process (cutting veggies, making marinades, etc.) will save you time and pounds.

40 Percentage of people who lost a significant amount of weight and kept it off because they planned their weekly meals

Without planning your meals and snacks, you are more tempted to grab unhealthy snacks!

Lose Weight, Not Muscle

If you lose that weight without lifting, you risk shedding muscle tissue instead of fat. Muscle takes more than twice as many calories to maintain, but it keeps your metabolism revving at peak calorie-burning speed. You need to hang onto it!

Eating lots of protein is your best bet. Completing a strength training routine for 20-30 minutes two or three times a week is ideal. Protein will fuel those sessions and help maintain muscle. Eat at least three or four servings of protein-rich beans, soy, fish, lean meat, poultry, or low-fat dairy daily.

Lose Weight, Not Your Lifestyle

Don't spend every waking minute on the treadmill! It's actually counterproductive! Don't make changes you won't be able to stick with! Make small changes and build from there once your body and lifestyle has adapted. Changes such as eating breakfast, watching TV for only the amount of time you exercised that day, or having as many veggies you would like with each meal 

When you combine a bunch of little strategies, the effect can be huge and you won't feel like you've given up your entire life to be slim!

Want some more waist-trimming tips?

  • Eat Early- Skipping breakfast deprives you of the energy you could have that day! You should be eating 30-35% of your daily calories in the morning! 
  • Sip Smart- Did you know that the average American drinks more than 450 calories A DAY?! Cutting that in half can save you about 25 pounds each year! Some of my favorites? Water with fresh berries, mint, and a dash of Splenda or other no-calorie sweetener or water with cucumbers! 
  • If it Grows Out of the Ground, It's Good- Fruits and veggies can leave you with a feeling of satisfaction and filled with nutrients. Leafy greens, especially, are high in folate (which can help you lose eight times as much weight!)

So what was for dinner tonight? For me it was this:

Honey Dijon Chicken with Steamed Garlic-Parmesan Veggies (349 calories, 41g protein)

Four 6 oz. chicken breast halves
1/3 cup Dijon mustard
3 Tbl. honey
1 Tbl. parsley flakes
Salt, to taste

1 Tbl. olive oil
2 tsp. garlic salt
4 Tbl. Parmesan cheese

Mix Dijon mustard with honey, then add parsley flakes and salt. Coat a 6 oz. chicken breast half in the mixture. Cook on a grill for about 7 minutes on each side (or until the chicken is fully cooked).
Steam 4 cups of frozen or fresh veggies and top with Parmesan cheese, olive oil, and garlic salt.

My veggies included squash, zucchini, onions, and tomatoes!

Also, since I mentioned that breakfast is so important and to add low-fat dairy to your diet daily, guess what came in the mail today?? Well, remember that $150 Chobani giveaway I won?? You can only imagine the look on my face when the UPS guy dropped off 10 cases of Chobani at my door. My first thought, "Holy crap, where am I going to put all this??" My second thought? "I am stocked for months with my favorite yogurt!!"

$150 worth of Chobani in my kitchen!

Yogurt anyone? There are 2 in each stack!

I got a case of each flavor!
The flavors I received? Plain, Vanilla, Pineapple, Lemon, Strawberry, Blueberry, Black Cherry, Mango, Peach, and Strawberry Banana! Yummy!

Since I am doing 30 straight days of blogging (Many of which are from the amazing Women's Health Ultimate Shape-Up Guide- hoping to save you guys some moo-la!), I figured what better way to end the streak with an amazing giveaway! On Days 10, 20, and 30, there will be a secret phrase at the bottom of my posts. When a new post comes up, the secret codes will be taken away. When I post the giveaway, if you can give me all 3 secret codes, you will get 5 extra entries! So tell your followers/friends to start reading and keep up because this will be a giveaway you DON'T want to miss!

What did you have for dinner tonight?? What are some ways you incorporate healthy living into your everyday routine??

Start your healthy life TODAY!!...on your own two feet!

Until the next step bloggers...


  1. I love this. My dinner last night was chicken and rice. Always easier to eat healthy when hubby cooks for me. I so often fall back on frozen/ packaged/ fast food because it is so cheap and easy. I try to have shakeology once a day to gaurs tee at least one healthy quick meal in there somewhere. Thanks for this!

  2. Love this! Great post! :)

    Umm I would be in heaven with all that yogurt!! You should incorporate it into some recipes!