In January 2009, I discovered nutrition and a healthier way of eating. I lost 20 pounds in three months (approximately 1-2 pounds per week). Here’s what I did to lose and maintain:
- Signed up for FREE Calorie Counting Software. Logged all food, drink and physical activity. The site calculated the data and guided better food choices and balanced nutrition. I aimed for a daily calorie deficit and A-grade foods high in nutrients and fiber, but low in saturated fat, trans fat, cholesterol and salt. After a month, I stopped recording.
- Read Skinny Bitch by Rory Freedman and Kim Barnouin. This book encouraged me to reduce dairy, meat and “fast food.” I quit drinking soda and switched to water. I bought a vegetable steamer and ate fresh fruit and almonds for breakfast and snacks. I switched to rice milk, raw sugar and honey.
- Read In Defense of Food by Michael Pollan. Adopted a “flexitarian diet” of mostly plants and grains with some lean meat and fish. Avoided processed foods, especially those with chemical ingredients, partially hydrogenated oils, high fructose corn syrup and nitrites.
Other Dietary Changes:
- Eat to become satisifed (80% full), not stuffed
- Eat slowly. Chew completely.
- Eat small every 3 hours instead of 3 big meals
- Enjoy treats in moderation
- Enjoy sensible restaurant meals in moderation
Tips on Calorie Counting & Weight Management
- To lose weight: eat & drink less, exercise more to create a daily deficit
- To gain weight: eat & drink more, exercise less to create a daily surplus
- To maintain weight: eat, drink and exercise at current levels
- There are 3500 calories in one pound
- Add 500 calories per day = Gain 1 pound per week
- Add 1000 calories per day = Gain 2 pounds per week
- Subtract 500 calories per day = Lose 1 pound per week
- Subtract 1000 calories per day = Lose 2 pounds per week
- Weight can fluctuate 3 – 5 pounds throughout the day. Try to weigh yourself at the same time each day if comparing.
- Attempting to lose or gain more than 2 pounds per week is not recommended
- SuperTracker – Personalized Nutrition and Physical Activity Plan
- Forks Over Knives – Nutritional Documentary
- What it Takes to Lose a Pound
- The New Dirty Dozen (12 Foods to Eat Organic)
- Guide to Plant Based Nutrition – by Julieanna Heaver, M.S., R.D., C.P.T.
- ChooseMyPlate.gov – Fitness & Nutrition guidelines by the US Dept. of Agriculture