I have found 3 key components to weight loss and if you scroll down, they are bolded for your quick reading. Of course I hope you'll read all of this but I'm a realist and I like quick blogs!
I have to start by saying I am not an expert in nutrition, fitness, or any other weight loss related field. I am however an expert at gaining a ton of baby weight and struggling to lose it. Twice. My 3rd time; however, I think I got it! I currently weigh less than I did the day I got married and I eat brownies or chocolate chip cookies at least once per week. You read that right.
So I was determined to figure out why I kept losing at least a pound every other week. Initially, it was 1-2 pounds every week. Sure, I chase around 3 kids, but so do most moms.
That leads me to the first key to weight loss. EXERCISE. I know, I know, you hate exercise. You don't have time. You don't belong to a gym....and so on. Yeah, that is my excuse too but it is so important in many ways. I am actually losing muscle now because I'm not exercising. You read that right, I'm telling you to do what I am not doing because I know I should! It gives you more energy and I've never heard anyone leave the gym and say "I wish I didn't do that exercise". So, I'm working on that one and you can too!
The second key to weight loss is DO NOT DIET. I know, now you think I'm crazy. Every single diet out there has one thing in common as a fault, they make you think about food. All day long. Your either counting points, reading labels or weighing portions. Personally, I don't want to spend that much time thinking about the one thing that can make me fat. Instead, follow some simple changes that will benefit your entire family. Increase your fruit and veggie consumption. Try to eat more whole foods. Do not buy processed foods, anything with high fructose corn syrup, red 40... etc. you get the point. It doesn't have to be organic to be better just make it a habit to avoid those sugar craving man made incredients. Make your brownies from scratch if you want brownies. Maybe add a little flax seed, they will still taste good, I promise.
My final and most important recommendation is AVOID DAIRY. Yes. That is what I found to be the key. Not necessarily because of the dairy itself but because it forces you to make better choices. You would not believe how many foods have butter, whey, casein, milk, etc. My beaner is lactose challenged so I avoid all dairy because I don't know what will bother her. That means I can't go through the McD drive thru without looking up the menu items to see what is in them. Chick fila has dairy in all of their chicken. I can't eat the desserts at parties, restaurants, family gatherings. In fact, I can only eat the produce and meats that are clearly dairy free. You would not believe how much this change dramatically changes your diet. You don't sample the snacks at the grocery store. You can't buy candy bars. It doesn't mean I don't eat sweets. I just make them myself using no additives, preservatives, etc. There are a ton of alternatives to dairy that you can experiment with. It is very hard to eliminate completely until you get used to it. Even so, I still crave a cheese pizza!
I know there is nothing in here that you probably haven't read before but I have tried just about every diet out there. I do not think about losing weight now. It just happens. I'm not sure I'll ever return to diary because of how much better I feel without it. Give it a try and be diligent about it. You will see a difference!
Here is a sample of my day:
Breakfast: Oatmeal with cinnamon, dried cherries, a little brown sugar and rice milk. Lots of coffee with soy creamer
Snack: muffin, Kashi breakfast bar or apple ( I eat lots of apples)
Lunch: turkey sandwich with avocado, left overs, PBJ (make sure your bread is dairy free), stir fry
Snack: I like snacks! Another apple or other fruit.
Dinner: Grilled meat, veggie, Quinoa or sweet potato
Snack: Yes, I'm guilty of late night snacks. Apple with PB, tortilla chips and salsa, or Kashi bar
So that's it!
Let me know what works for you!