My department at work started the biggest loser challenge last week and I totally want to win! The person who loses the most body fat wins the pot of money. Just to be clear, I am no expert on this topic, but my experience may help you if you decide to lose weight or eat healthier!
Around this time last year, I ordered my wedding dress from a bridal store in Los Angeles. Since I was in between two sizes, I decided to size up to be on the safe side. The bridal store accidentally ordered the smaller size and on my first fitting it barely fit. The bridal consultant told me I needed to diet if I wanted to fit in my dress. I didn’t know whether to cry, yell or walk away.
When I ordered the dress, I was a size 6. The dress that I had to now fit into was a size 2. I hadn’t thought about losing weight for my wedding because I thought I was fine, but now I see it as a blessing in disguise.
For four months, I ate clean without cheat days and worked out 6-7 times a week. I felt incredible and had so much energy. It was also the first time I saw any muscle definition in my body.
Now that I don’t have a wedding dress to fit into, I am still trying to find my routine of eating healthy and exercising. Hopefully these 10 tips below will help you the way the help me!
1. Meal Plan
This is the best tip I could ever give you. Meal planning helps you stay on track and keeps you looking forward to meals. I’m the kind of person who looks forward to my next meal. The websites I follow for delicious yet healthy recipes are skinnytaste.com, eat-yourself-skinny.com and thefitcook.net.
2. Eat 5 times a day
Not bad, right? Eating 5 times a day keeps your metabolism going and you don’t have to feel like you are on a diet. This is how my day usually looks like:
8 a.m. Breakfast
11 a.m. Morning snack
1 p.m. Lunch
3 p.m. Afternoon snack
7 p.m. Dinner
Veggies and nuts are great to eat if you get hungry in between meal times.
Not feeling like you are on a diet is key. When I started eating healthier, I thought I would hate it and quit. I was that girl who ate fast food multiple times a week and would make myself fries at home just to eat ketchup. I love food and especially junk food. I can’t completely give it up because I know I will break and over indulge, but as long as I have everything in moderation I’m fine.
4. Cut Soda
This was the biggest change I made last year. I stopped drinking soda because of all the sugar and high fructose corn syrup in one can. I may drink soda occasionally, but no longer order it at restaurants.
5. Replace White Rice
Peruvians are big time rice eaters. I grew up eating rice with every single meal. It wasn’t easy, but I transitioned from white rice to brown rice and now to quinoa. I use quinoa as a rice substitute and eat it with almost every meal. It contains nearly twice as much fiber as grains, as well as 4 grams of protein in a half cup serving.
6. Eat Fruit and Dairy in the A.M
This one was a complete surprise to me, but eating fruit later in the day may not be digested because it sits on top of your other meals and ferments. This can lead to weight gain and prohibit your body from receiving the nutrients found in fruit. Eating or drinking dairy is also better in the morning because it takes time for your body to process it.
7. Drink Apple Cider Vinegar
I noticed a big difference in my digestion when I start drinking organic apple cider vinegar. You can have a tablespoon with water or with pineapple juice, honey and a lime wedge (recipe via Tone It Up). Apple cider vinegar also helps regulate your blood sugar levels that aids in weight loss.
8. Drink Water
I know this is a no brainer, but water really does help with weight loss. It can help curb your appetite and reduce water weight (ironic, I know). Carrying a water bottle may help you drink more throughout the day. I drink more water now that I have a 32 oz water bottle at work. You can also try infused water if you aren’t a huge fan of the taste. I’ve put mint and lemons in my water, strawberries and cucumbers.
9. Don’t Use Artificial Sugars
Artificial sugar, usually found in diet soda, contains aspartame which is not only bad for you, but could contribute to weight gain.
10. Use Less Salt
This is where I need to work harder. I cook with salt and probably more than I should. I do use sea salt, which is better, but still. Ms. Dash is a great salt substitute and I need to make more of an effort to use it when I cook!