As many people have noticed both twyla and I have lost a significant amount of weight in the last year. As of last week I’ve lost a bit over 35 pound and feel fantastic. This has prompted people in our lives to ask many questions. I wanted to take some time to answer those and I hope to spark your own person journey.
1) Are you on a DIET? Both a yes and a no. On one hand it’s a yes because I’m actively counting calories, watching my portion size and trying to eat fresh foods. It’s also a no because those three things are the only restrictions. There is no plan, no don’t eat food groups, there are no bars, or special products. Just counting calories, watching portions size and when possible making or using fresh ingredients vs caned or frozen ingrediants (More on that in question #3)
2) How does it work? Using an Apple App I will talk about in question #6 I set a goal on wanting to weigh 220 pounds by the end of May. The app spit out a number based on my age, high, weight goal, and anticipated exercise (very minimal). The end result is that I can eat 1560 calories a day. How I eat those calories is up to me. Obviously if I go out and just pound back a burger and fries from Wendy’s (900+ calories) that I’m going to blow that number out of the water very fast. That’s where the portion control came into play for me especially with something like breakfast. In the past I would have had …
- 1 Cup frozen Hash browns
- 3 Eggs
- Graded cheese
- 1 or 2 slices of toast
The problem is that breakfast is over 700 cal. Now that may not be a bad thing but if you do that again at lunch, have a coffee or two during the day, and then have a larger dinner, plus a snack it gets out of control quick. Now typically my breakfast looks like this….
- 1 egg
- 1oz Chedder
- English Muffin
- Back bacon/Or Ham
- Total= About 400 cal
Basically both Twyla and I have started following the “Suggested Serving Size” that is on most of the products in your fridge. By doing that we are able to pretty much eat what ever we want, and stick within our calories guide.
3) What do you mean by “Fresh Food”? Over the last few years we have made a huge effort in our home to make things from scratch. One of the best example for us is our homemade salsa and soft tacos. Our salsa has maybe 4 ingredients; tomatoes, cilantro, onion, and pico de gallo seasoning. They typical store bought salsa has dozens of ingredients and most of them I cannot name. The same goes for our soft corn taco shells, ours only contains corn flour and water. In the past we have made pasta sauces or breaded our own chicken instead of buying pre-breaded stuff. I also want to be clear that sometimes time doesn’t allow for this option. It’s why we try to use fresh ingredients whenever we can.
4) What keeps you accountable? To be honest it was hard at first. I stepped into it because Twyla was doing it and it was to had to make two meal options all the time. However, as the weight fell off and I started to feel better. I really stepped into it and challenged myself to really stick with it. I have not always been perfect and have had my fair share of “just don’t count days”, but over time I found I just naturally wanted to eat better. I’ve also come to believe that fresh food tastes so much better then boxed food, or that fresh fast food like sushi is a much better option then a Baconator from Wendy’s.
5) Do you just eat veggies? I get this question al lot and the answer is most definitely NO. I certainly don’t eat as many vegetables as Twyla but when you consider they are often very low in calories they are a great option. Often I use veggies as a way to offset going out for dinner or eating a high calorie meal like curry and rice.
What tools do you use?
- My Fitness Pal: This is the app we use to track everything. It’s amazing and has a website you can log into as well if your not a smart phone user. http://www.myfitnesspal.com/iphone
- Good kitchen scale. Often times if you weigh out your portion to the suggested weight on the package you actually get more food then you think, and it’s much easier to figure out. We have a Salter Ultra Thin Glass Kitchen Scale and really love it.
- www.spud.ca is a grocery delivery company here on the coast. Twyla and I started to get vegetables delivered to the house a few months ago. Now before you think we’re being all “high and mighty” we did it for a number of reasons. First we just wanted a better quality of food. I was tired of buying vegetables only to throw them out after two days because they went bad. Second and most importantly it has forced us to meal plan because we need to order food. Meal plans have been a huge key to our success and spud.ca gives us the opportunity to do that. We many pay a bit more for somethings but over all it’s actually a good price and we have FAR less waste.
Can anyone do this? Yes, I believe anyone can because it’s not a diet. You have freedom to eat what ever you like. What it does do is challenge you to think about your portions, which if we were honest is probably the biggest factor in obesity in North America. Some of this may be harder for some people then it is for us. There is only Twyla and I so we are not cooking for a family of 5, we don’t do leftovers so there is no going for seconds in our home, and we have almost no food allergies to worry about. Some families may not have the time to cook fresh and if I was honest I wish we had the time to do it more often. My challenge would be to start somewhere, even if it’s just a commitment to eat only the recommended serving size, or to replace one boxed meal a week with a fresh one. Do something and see where it goes.
Wish you all the best