Ditch the Diet

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It’s finally here! My long promised weight-loss post!!

Important facts about me. I am 31, and I have two kids. I struggled with losing my last 15 or so pounds for 4 years after having Paisley, and I tried EVERYTHING to get that weight off! My twin sister pretty much ate just like this and lost all her weight with each pregnancy no problem but I refused to believe you could have your cake and eat it too…… lesson learned self always listen to Lindsay. she may be 3 min. younger but it appears at least when it comes to weight-loss she may be wiser.

The Story:

There is about a 20lb weight difference between these two photos. Did I think I needed to lose a ton of weight in the photo on the left? No! But I did want to lose the extra pounds I had managed to keep after having my last baby ( she was born in 2012) and be able to fit into my clothes without having to stuff myself into everything ( high waisted jeans do not actually in fact hide a multitude of sins… or babies for that matter). I had my daughters really close together ( they are 16 months apart) and that, combined with bad elasticity in my skin, meant my stomach no longer looked anything close to resembling what it looked like prior to having children. I also started noticing that the scale would slowly but surely move up instead of staying the same or like I was hoping go down a bit, when I would weigh myself every few months, so I knew something needed to change. The problem was I had tried EVERY diet there was and nothing seemed to work! The diets were either so strict and I couldn’t maintain them for very long or I would be able to stay on track for a week and then find myself binge eating everything in site because I was feeling so deprived of good food!

I managed to lose about 5 pounds at the beginning of last year by eating very clean and tracking my macro’s etc. and to be honest I am the type of person who loves finding healthy alternatives to feed my family and gets a kick out of using coconut sugar in my baking and making trips to the health food store. However I am also the type of person who loves donuts, cookies,cake, and Mcdonalds so those two sides of my personality meant I only managed to lose 5 lbs with my clean eating lifestyle and got stuck again.

A few months into the new year I went through a very stressful time. I found myself eating only at allotted meal times; breakfast, lunch and supper and those meals were ( without intending to be) much smaller then my previous “stuff yourself” meals. I ate what I knew I had to in order to function, but hardly any of those meals would be considered healthy. I would have a smoothie packed with greens and nutrients for breakfast but then I would have half a cheeseburger and small fries for lunch etc. The difference was my portions were smaller and there was no snacking going on. A few weeks later my clothes were feeling pretty loose so I stepped on the scale. I had lost a whopping 12 pounds in 3 weeks! I couldn’t believe it. Trust me when I say I wasn’t starving myself by any means. I was eating at every meal but because of the high stress I was under my mind wasn’t consumed by what I would eat next ( as it usually was), but just with knowing I had to eat something and those three meals a day were a good reminder of ” Hey it’s time to eat something” and so I would.

As the stress died down I was curious to see how I would maintain this type of weight-loss assuming that it would be packed back on in no time, but really hoping I could keep at least most of it off. Through a little trial and error it’s now been 7 months and I have managed to not gain any of the weight back ( but I have gained muscle, more on that later). Here are my simple steps to losing and maintaining your weight in a HEALTHY and non-depriving way!

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Step 1: Portion Control

No I am not talking about getting a special plate and using a whole bunch of methods to figure out what size or portion your carbs should be or fats etc. I mean good old fashioned knowing when you are satisfied and content with the meal you just ate and not STUFFED to the brim by the meal you just ate. Do you want that cheeseburger and fries? Well maybe have half the burger and a small fries. Is it healthy for your body? Nope. But the beauty here is you won’t feel deprived or like you can never eat garbage food again but you will also start noticing you get a lot hungrier faster when eating junk food for meals, and you don’t feel super awesome, so you make the healthier choice more often. Just remember what they serve you at the restaurant is enough to feed at least 2 people most of the time. Eat slowly enjoy your food whatever it is and then be done because you know you can eat something thats equally as delicious at the next meal. Which brings me to

Step 2: No Snacking

This is my food schedule  in a nutshell. Breakfast, Lunch, Scheduled snack and Dinner. I do not eat a handful of chips here or a cookie there. I eat every 3-4 hours and I eat well. Most importantly I do not eat after dinner. The has been the BIGGEST game changer in losing and maintaining my weight-loss. Also I do not deprive myself. If I know there are some extra pumpkin cookies or a piece of cake I want, I wait until snack time, then I eat it! I don’t beat myself up about it and I don’t feel the need to eat the entire cake either because I am never deprived. Everyday has something yummy to look forward to and I don’t feel the desire to binge eat anymore, which I would say now looking back was what hindered me always from maintaining any type of weight-loss.

Things to remember

Don’t graze all day on chips, crackers and cookies.

Do not eat after dinner.

Do not deprive yourself and set time aside to eat something you love everyday ( but remember portion control)

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Step 3: Drink water

I rarely if ever drink sugary pop or fruit juice. We also do not drink any alcohol. I do however love coffee with a little vanilla syrup and a good splash of cream. I find having 2 of these coffee’s a day hasn’t hindered me, but that is most likely because the only other thing I drink is water. Sugary beverages will not fill you up and are wasted calories when you should eat those calories instead ha. Side note I do sometimes treat myself to a flavoured latte from Starbucks but have really tried to keep these trips down to two a week MAX!

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Step 4: Make as many healthier choices as you can

I can eat really healthy for breakfast and lunch. It’s the afternoon or dinner where I find myself wanting a treat or to eat some garlic bread. So when I can I make the healthier choice because I know I am also going to eat something extra decadent mostly likely in that day.

Here is a day in my life (the food version):

Breakfast:

Breakfast Scramble ( SO GOOD, and feels so wrong but it isn’t)

Recipe:

1/2 white onion and 1/2 pepper sautéed in a tsp ( or two) of butter until they are very soft and golden.

Add into the skillet 1/2 cup of diced hash browns (you know the plain old kind from the grocery store that are tiny little cubes). Cook until golden brown.

Crack an egg over the top and cook through

optional but totally worth it ( and fats are good for our brains ladies)

slice up some cooked breakfast sausage, 2-3 ( I like the maple syrup kind) and add into the scramble

I squeeze ketchup on mine and have an iced coffee with cream and syrup

Lunch:

Green Smoothie

Recipe:

2 huge handfuls of spinach

1 ripe banana

1 heaping tbsp of natural peanut butter

1 tsp salt

1 1.4 cup of almond milk ( i like the 40 cal vanilla kind)

2 tsp of honey

ice

Mix in a blender and die of happiness

Snack:

Maybe I will have a slice of cake or a donut. Or maybe if I am feeling extra virtuous I will eat some grapefruit ( in sweetened water because honestly you guys lets not be crazy here) and a pepperoni stick and cheese. I stress that there really is no “method” to what I am choosing other then portion control, no snacking through-out the day or grazing after supper, and being conscious of how much crap I am eating in those meals.

Dinner:

I am a mom guys, I eat what I make everyone else but just watch those portions. Lasagna? No problem just have a normal size ( read not extra large) and a side salad to fill up that plate and get some greens in yo body!

It’s after supper and I get it. All those chips and that tub of ice cream are calling your name. And you feel like if anyone even looks at you let alone asks you to bathe your children you might smack them because you are what we now call HANGRY. But trust me, this will get you those results you are wanting! This will get easier as your stomach gets used to your new and improved way of life. And there is always tea to be drunk and if you need to I won’t judge you for hiding in the pantry and smelling the bag of cheetos….. just don’t eat them ( remind yourself, I can eat those for breakfast if I want… although I will probably be hungry 15 min after eating them & Brittany’s Breakfast scramble is so much better but IT DOESN”T MATTER, I am a grown up and I make my own choices)

I do think it’s important to note that I  choose to be mindful of my carbs everyday. I do not exclude them AT ALL but lets say I want peanut butter on toast, well I will pick ” little big bread” from costco because two slices of that is equivalent to one slice of normal bread, plus its sprouted so it’s easier for your body to digest. Like I said, make healthier choices as often as you can BUT they shouldn’t lack in flavour or be dull and boring! I hate salads so I do not eat them but a smoothie, YES PLEASE! So it’s basically a blended up salad but I like it better and it’s a healthier choice, then say ALWAYS eating McDonalds.

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Step 5: Stop counting calories and go live your life

the end of step 5

I also want to note that in July I started doing crossfit classes with my husband 3-4 times a week, but none of my weight-loss came from adding in exercise. It did however narrow my waist and give me some much needed muscle definition ( I now have some biceps guys) and is helping that sad saggy tummy skin resemble something of its former nature ( although I am 31 and when I bend over….. it doesn’t stay attached to my abdominal wall, which I think is just rude). Exercise also gives me more energy and is so good for me mentally! Whats better then setting goals like doing a wall walkup and achieving them for your confidence? I also love crossfit because don’t tell my trainers but compared to other classes I have taken you don’t feel like your realllllly doing a lot of exercising lol but the added weight training has given me results that I have never ever had before!

So to recap:

Portion Control

No More Snacking ESPECIALLY after supper

Drink Water

Make Healthier choices as often as you can

Don’t worry about counting calories, or weighing your food… if your portion sizes are healthy and you aren’t stuffing yourself all day you will be fine

TRUST IN THE PROCESS

Do not deprive yourself

The best thing about eating this way is you can maintain it! So weight-loss will happen as long as you stick with it. It also means your mind won’t explode when you have date night or your friends invite you out for pasta. Just eat it, but stop when your content and if dessert gets ordered share it and remember there is always tomorrow and tomorrow means more delicious food!

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Did I answer your questions? Did I make you have more questions? Find the above photo on Instagram and share your thoughts and ask away! Also please remember I am NOT a physician ( gasp I know. With my awesome grammar skills and amazing spelling it might even shock you to find out I didn’t even go to college, so trust me at your own risk)  and this is just what I did to lose weight but as always you should always talk to your doctor if you have major health concerns etc.