Since I graduated High School I have adopted seriously bad eating habits. Obviously, during college, I ate TONS of fast food, drank TONS of beer, and NEVER exercised (unless you count lifting the food and booze to my mouth). I also had horrible sleeping habits which is bad for weight loss as well.
That all changed 3 months ago.
I am not sure what got me so motivated. I think it was a combination of four things: 1) We started planning a trip to Cancun and I was TERRIFIED to be seen in a bathing suit by anyone...ever. 2) We want to start a family and I was scared of the idea that I would get even fatter and my skin get even more stretch marked. 3) I wanted to be able to be naked in front of my husband (with the lights on!) without being so completely mortified about it. (My husband, bless him, has never made me feel anything but beautiful, but unfortunately the mirror was singing a whole different tune.) 4) My brother Austin. Who has told me from day one that I could do it if I just "got off my fuckin ass and made it happen." He also gained a bunch of weight in college from drinking and fast fooding and lost it all, and then some, by eat better, running, lifting and training like a champ.
So, in March I started to eat 5 small and healthy meals a day. Here is the basic layout of my daily eating habits:
Breakfast - Between 6:00-8:00 am - 200 to 300 calories + Water
Morning Snack - Between 8:00-10:00 am - 200 calories + Green Tea or Coffee
Lunch - Between 12:00-2:00 pm - 300 to 400 calories + Water
Afternoon Snack - Between 2:00-4:00 pm - 200 calories + Green Tea or Coffee
Supper - Between 6:00-8:00 pm - 400 to 500 calories + Water
Workout - 5:00-6:00 pm - 30-75 minutes - Try to eat supper within an hour after your workout and don't eat anything for at least 1-2 hours before you workout.
Total daily calories - 1,300 to 1,800
Calories burned during workout - 300 to 700
This may not be for everyone, but it works great for me. The reason I have had such great success with this plan so far is because it is sustainable. If you try to only eat 900-1,000 calories a day, you probably won't succeed and if you do you will still be doing your body a diservice. Your body needs more than that to stay healthy. I would rather lose the weight more slowly and be able to keep it off by sustaining my eating and exercising habits, than to starve it or just lost all the weight to gain it right back.
Falling off the wagon: It happens! Some weekends I drink a few beers or eat crappy food at a cook out. Yes I gain a little weight when I do, but I also get back on the horse on Monday and lose it again. There are just two things you need to know about falling off the wagon: 1) Get right back on the horse. If you take forever or just stay off it will get discouraging and you will be in danger of quitting and reverting back to bad habits and fatness. 2) If you are too strict with yourself, you will never succeed because you will resent your healthy habits rather than enjoy them. You can do it! Just keep getting back on the damn horse and know that it's ok to fall off every once in a while as long as you get back on again.
Let me go ahead an say that I am not a trainer or dietician and am not licensed or qualified in any way to tell you what is right or healthy for you to do. This is just what I do and it has worked for me. You should definitely check with you physician or a dietician before you make any huge changes to your diet or fitness plans.
Here are a few examples of what on a basic day now:
Breakfast - Luna Lemon Zest Bar + Water
Snack - Banana + Green Tea
Lunch - Sandwich Thin Roll with 1/4 cup cottage cheese & 2 slices salami + 1 cup cantaloupe + Water
Snack - 1 slice Mrs. Bairds Honey 7 grain bread with 1 Tbsp Organic Peanut Butter + Water/Green Tea
Supper - 2 tacos w/corn tortillas, lettuce, cheese, tapatillos + 1/2 cup rice + 1/2 cup black beans + Water
Breakfast - Pear + Coffee
Snack - 1/4 cup Trail Mix + Green Tea
Lunch - 10 cherries + 1/2 cup cottage cheese + Salad with 2 Tbsp Ranch or Italian Dressing + Water
Snack - Special K Protein Meal Bar (Strawberry) + Green Tea
Supper - Baked Italian Chicken Breast + 2/4 cup Corn (No salt added) + 1/2 cup Tasty Rice
Those are just a couple of basic days of eating for me now. Used to, it would have been more like:
7:30 wake up and skip breakfast because you are running late
12:00 Heavily mayo-ed Chicken salad sandwich with potato chips and a diet coke
8:30 Chili Dog with cheese and relish followed by a second chili dog with extra chili, cheese and relish.
10:00 Ice cream
So, as you can see, there is a huge difference. With the new eating habits, coupled with exercise, I have lost weight, I feel better, and I look better. And it wasn't that hard! I thought it would be a pain to plan eating 5 times a day and make sure they were healthy meals, under a certain amount of calories. I was wrong. Now, it is easy to eat healthy because it gives me more energy throughout the day and it keeps my emotions in check because there are no post-binge-eating guilt trips involved when you are eating healthy.
I hoped this helped someone in some way, to get a good idea of how to make better food choices. Just trust me, eating healthy is easier than you think, it does wonders for your weight, and it will make you happier with yourself.