Eating and Exercising and Water, OH MY!
I swear I’ve done so many diets and so much research that I have the knowledge of what works best for me. The challenge is staying motivated. I’ve done Weight Watchers, I’ve done Nutrisystem, I’ve even done Atkins over 10 years ago. (Contrary to “popular” belief, it’s not “don’t eat any carbs, but have all the fatty meats and cheeses you want”–done right it can be healthy. Just boring.) I’m a member at SparkPeople.com, and have even created my own calorie intake spreadsheets.
I know what my pitfalls are, I know what works best for me, and I know that the main stumbling point is motivation.
After Blizzcon last year, a bunch of guildies and I started The Game On! Diet which…wasn’t so much a diet, as it was a program that created friendly competition to meet healthy lifestyle goals.
What I plan to do this time is take all that knowledge and experience and channel them into a system that works:
Eat 4-5 small meals per day: One bad habit of mine is just not eating. Then when I realize how hungry I am, I eat way too much. This causes drops and spikes in blood sugar (affecting my energy and mood), it ruins my metabolism (body goes into “starvation mode”), and I just don’t feel well. Several small meals will keep my energy levels balanced and my metabolism burning.
Make sure those meals are healthy: The Game On! plan required each meal to have 1 protein, 1 carb, and 1 healthy fat per meal. In addition, 2 meals were required to have servings of vegetables. It also had guidelines for what counted as serving sizes. I’m going to use this as a base plan, but also use the meal planner and food tracker at SparkPeople to plan my meals. So for example, if I have hit my daily fat requirement and still have one meal to go, I would limit the amount of fat I have with my final meal instead of adding in some nuts or other fats just to reach the Game On meal requirement. I also plan to have “meals off” to make sure my body doesn’t go into starvation mode, and to allow myself some freedom to go out as well. This is a lifestyle change, not a punishment.
The “Diet” Itself: I am doing what I call a “clean carb” method of eating. I’m NOT going low/no carb, although I am using some of the principles involved in a low-carb diet. I have cut out ALL breaded/battered/fried foods (this does not include making an egg or turkey bacon in a skillet using some PAM cooking spray…I mean fast foods, french fries, fish sticks, chicken strips, etc. are out), as well as white/refined sugars and flours. This means sugar, bread, pasta, rice, starchy veggies like potatoes and corn are virtually out of my diet. I allow some whole grain-based starches (like brown rice, quinoa, or a slice of whole grain bread) as part of a post-workout meal, but that’s it. My other meals allow carbs in the forms of fruits and vegetables (like carrots and tomatoes, which are higher in carbs), and preferably as whole fruits and vegetables (not juice). This allows me to not feel deprived, and my body doesn’t go into major cravings (risking a binge). I still try to keep fruit/veggie carbs low, especially at the end of the day. I’m eating a lot more salads, and instead of salad dressings I usually put some fruit or a little bit of shredded cheese on them. I try to use actual cuts of meat (chicken breasts, fish fillets, etc.) rather than ground meat, though I’m experimenting with lean ground turkey since many of the meals I can make with just a pound of ground turkey can be spread over several meals. Finally, on my treat meals off, I’m allowed carbs and the other things I’ve eliminated from the rest of the week with the ONE requirement that I MUST do a good workout that day. I still have to watch what I eat (such as portion sizes) during those meals and make healthy choices.
Track my foods: I am using the SparkPeople tracker (especially since they have apps for my Android phone and iPod/iPad) and will write out my meals here.
Exercise: I am starting off with the 100 Push-ups/200 Sit-ups/200 Squats program, doing them Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. This is a 6-week program and can be started over once complete. Mind you, the “Sit-ups” are actually crunches and I’m doing the “girly bent-knee” push-ups. But I’ve done this program before and got to week 5 before something came up (I think it was the holidays) and I got off track. I want to see it all the way through this time, because it feels REALLY GOOD to add it up and say “I did 130 push-ups today!” I also want to add in 30 minutes of cardio on Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday. I have a mini-stair stepper and a stationary bike, plus my area has great walking trails.
Water: 3 liters of water per day. That’s about 100 oz. or 12 8 oz. glasses. Paced throughout the day (not shotgunning before bed) I stay hydrated and feel better. It’s also cheaper than juice or other drinks, helps reduce bloating (especially during “that time of the month”), and helps clear the skin.
Sleep: Getting enough sleep helps energy levels. That much is obvious. So I’m going to aim for 7-8 hours of sleep per night.
Post!: Write about everything you might possibly want to know (and stuff you don’t) here! I want to do a daily post of what I did per day, including emotions, successes, failures, stumbling blocks. I want to write about the good and the bad. I will also write down my meals for each day. I would also like to write down recipes, links, articles, thoughts, and other information that maybe other people would find useful.