Thursday, February 21, 2008

Since I Made Lifetime

I thought I'd share some things that have worked for me, helped me with weight loss, etc.
If for no one else's benefit, then my own; Having it in print makes for a quick, easy reference. :)

Food Changes:
I couldn't do this over-night. I didn't walk into Weight Watchers, then immediately come home and throw out all the junk food, high-point food, whatever. I slowly targeted areas I needed to work on most.
I started with white bread. I said I would stop buying white sandwich bread. This was mostly for the health benefits of wheat and multi-grain breads, since many wheat breads are the same in terms of points value. (You usually do find more fiber in wheat bread, however.) My preferred sandwich bread became Aunt Millie's Multi-Grain or Fiber for Life Wheat. Did you know Aunt Millie's products list WW points on the back? :) Added bonus. I also found I prefer this brand because most of their sandwich bread is made without high-fructose corn syrup. (You can read about why that is bad for you here).

Another target area (most recent one) has been cookies. I would always have cookies in the house, ya know, for my husband and son. Uh, yea right. Cookies are one item I run out of will-power on quickly. Oatmeal cookies? I love to dunk them in my coffee. Chocolate chip? I can't stop at just one. Since they're not the best for my family, either, I've been trying to buy better alternatives, or at least buy cookies less frequently. We've found graham crackers are a nice alternative, though they're not much healthier.
My personal favorite is the Kashi cookies-Oatmeal Dark Chocolate Chip. I love these things. One is very satisfying, and curbs my sweet craving. Not to mention, too, that they sure keep you pooping! ;)

Other simple food changes: I substitute brown rice for white when possible. Unless you're eating the rice plain & by itself, there's not too much of a noticeable difference. Same with eggs. I substitute egg-beaters for regular eggs. They're not only lower in points, but cholesterol-free, too! Oh, and I drink Diet now if I'm going to have soda/pop. I was a huge regular Coke drinker, but I have adjusted. I still love Coke, but I don't like to drink my calories if I can help it.

The obvious, with any diet plan, is to drink more water. Some days that's easier than others for me. My skin is so much better when I'm downing water.

Planning:
It may seem like a no-brainer, but it doesn't come naturally to everyone. Meal-planning has been a huge part in me reaching my goal weight. Days I don't plan in advance what we're eating (at least the main meals), those are the days I binge eat, or we grab something on the go. (which usually means a Hot & Ready from Little Caesar's). I participate in Menu Plan Monday. I also make a point to try at least a few new recipes each month. I don't need to get bored with what I am eating. If I get bored, then I turn to eating more junk, I start craving things that later make me feel crappy, etc. So I need to keep it interesting, and that means trying several new recipes (when I can). I've found many great sites, too, with Weight Watchers recipes. Most of them list the Points Value-be sure to check for yourself, though.

Sites I've found beneficial:
Aimee's Adventures (Aimee also has a great link page here)
3 Fat Chicks On A Diet
Half My Size
Weight Watchers
Weight Watchers Blog
Cooking Light
Eat Better America
That's My Home
RecipeZaar
All Recipes

Snacking:
Snacking is a must. Don't let yourself believe that you should eat less to lose weight. When we deprive ourselves of something we truly want, we're more likely to wind up binging on that item later, consequently over-eating. We wind up causing more harm than good. So snack! Snack! :)
Snack smarter. Portion-control, lower-fat versions...give yourself some time trying these things, and they may become your new favorites. :)

Some things I like to snack on:
raw baby carrots
Kashi cookies
fruit
apple slices with peanut butter
Sunchips
Baked Lays w/ salsa
Guacamole (mu husband makes the best!)
Chickpeas
94% fat-free butter popcorn
Popsicles
slow-churned ice cream (especially Edy's!)
soup
baked potatoes

And to conclude, I share my confession: Since joining Weight Watchers in May, I have yet to establish a true exercise routine. I go for a walk here or there, but I do not go to any gym or fitness center, I don't do any specific exercise every day or anything like that. Aside form chasing my boys around, I lack in this department. I'm lucky I've lost the weight I've lost, but for health aspects, specifically metabolic reasons, I need to get moving.
Despite that, though, it just goes to show how effective dietary changes can be!

If you're still reading by this point, thank you for letting me share. :) I know that reaching lifetime is not an end, but only another step along the way to being healthy. The support is great!

4 comments:

Andrea said...

Congrats again and great tips. We need to eat healthier. We are bad at that. =(

Jennifer said...

Great post! You know this is so "my thing"! BUT, it's "my thing" b/c I noticed how great it is, too! You're right about the snacking thing--You eat less at meals and pack a greater nutritional punch when you eat snacks throughout the day. I eat like a pre-schooler--I try to eat when Landon does and since I give him healthy snacks, that's what I'm eating, too :o) (And might I add, it is so good to see someone losing weight the "right" way!!!)

Oh, I was also wanting to mention that the cookie discussion cracked me up since I was encouraging you to shovel them in over Christmas vacation---ha ha ha! I even tried to send you home with a big box of them--Either they weren't as good as I hoped or you have some will-power, woman!

Way to go skinny girl!! You need to be parading around in some kind of celebratory t-shirt right now! POST BEFORE & AFTER PICS!!

Greg said...

Great post!

I am a HUGE advocate of planning meals at least a week in advance. I try to plan two weeks out (minus the weekends, of course). In addition to helping with weight-loss, it also helps financially. I find it is MUCH easier to save money and stick to your food budget when you plan ahead.

Crystal said...

Thanks for sharing this! I have also started making some of these changes, but after reading this, I'm encouraged to keep trying.