My family is trying to eat healthy and loose weight (isn’t every one?). Personally, I’m trying to shed the last few pounds of baby weight that are hanging on. I thought you might like to know what my family is doing to reach our personal weight loss goals.
No Gimics, Pills, or Elixirs
First, we aren’t on any certain “diet plan.” Not South Beach, Atkins, Paleo, Weight Watchers, Jenny Craig, etc. While I’m sure these have all helped someone along the way, I believe we can get fit and healthy by eating what the good Lord gave us. REAL foods, in their natural state, foods with few ingredients, and stuff your great grandmother would have recognized. Nothing is “off limits” if it is REAL food. Butter and good oils are even okay in moderation. In fact, your body needs a little fat to absorb certain vitamins and minerals.
We’re eating a lot of the same things we’ve always eaten – organic and whole foods. But we are making some changes: we’re trying to eat less sugar, little to no processed foods, and drink more water. We’re also trying to incorporate more fish and other lean meats and cook things in ways that require less oil and butter. We’ve been doing a lot of roasting and sauteeing in olive oil rather than frying. I’ve also found these methods to be the most healthful for my family because they impart great flavor with out adding extra butter or fat. Steaming and microwaving veggies in water doesn’t work for us (although they are healthy methods) because they don’t have much flavor and we tend to add a lot of butter and salt to make them taste “good.”
We’ve also been filling our plates with veggies. We’ve been cooking a lot of green vegetables and at least one other color per meal to go along with our lean protein and we’ve been limiting our starchy vegetables like potatoes, corn, lima beans, and peas. That’s not to say we don’t have these things, we just fill the majority of our plate with other “colors.” We still have rice and bread – just not very often and in moderation. When we do have bread, we buy good bread or make our own with olive oil so that we can REALLY enjoy it. (That is what it is all about for me – enjoying my food. Even if it something I shouldn’t have a lot of, it isn’t off limits. I just have a little and I SAVOR it).
We’ve been adventurous! Eating more colors has required us to try some new things and we’ve found several things we like that we hadn’t ever tried (or had previously tried prepared in other ways and didn’t like). Even my husband like beets and we’ve been eating butternut squash and roasted chickpeas like they are going out of style!
Not only has eating more veggies been good for the adults in our family, but it is teaching my two little ones about all the different types of foods that are available to us and what they taste like. (I recently met a teenage boy that scanned my groceries a few weeks back that didn’t know what avocados were! It is kind of sad that our children can’t even NAME fruits and vegetables!)
What we aren’t eating: diet foods. No protein bars, power shakes, fat free cookies, sugar free dessert, or artificial sweeteners. They aren’t REAL food. That is really all I need to say. But, if you aren’t convinced, check the labels for yourself. Manufacturers often add sugar to “fat free foods” to make them taste good and they add fats to “sugar free” foods to make them taste good! Don’t choose your foods by the clever captions on the boxes, read the nutrition label and the ingredients list to get your facts.
In addition to eating a well rounded diet, we are also incorporating exercise into our daily routine. My mom and I have been doing exercise videos together every night before dinner 5 to 6 nights a week for the past 6 weeks and we are really seeing a difference.
But, there are always things that get in the way. Here are a few of our weight loss sabotagers and what weve done to combat them:
#1 – Time: Time is always a factor. It is the number one reason people say they can’t exercise…cook a meal…etc. It is a REAL problem too. We never have enough of this precious commodity. So first, I made up my mind that my health and my family’s health was important. Important enough to forgo other things I like to do. I already made time to cook a healthy meal for my family – the hard part for me was finding time to excercise. So, my wonderful mom and I decided we both have trouble finding to time to cook AND exercise so we do these things together now to make them both faster and to hold each other accountable. We cook dinner together on week nights. My mom and dad live next door to us so it is very convenient. We share the groceries needed to prepare the meal and the left overs for lunches. Dinner makes it to the table even faster when you have two pairs of hands preparing it – or one pair of hands helping with the kiddos (when my husband has to work late this helps me tremendously). If you aren’t lucky enough to have a parent living next door to you, maybe you have a good friend who is willing to do this with you. Not only does it make meal time easy, it is also nice to have the motivation that comes with having someone else to workout/exercise with. If you have neither friends or family who are interested in teaming up (even a few nights a week) then try to plan a few meals each week that don’t require much prep and cook time – like crockpot meals, or stuff you can throw in the oven and cook WHILE you work out.
#2 – Kids: I love both of mine but they can be needy! It can get pretty interesting around here when I am trying to exercise. I often have a 3 year old jumping on my back while I’m trying to do planks or push ups and believe me, I don’t need the extra resistance! If it isn’t Judah trying to “saddle up,” it is Eliana crying for attention. I try to get Judah distracted by giving him some toys, preschool computer games, or putting on a movie in the other room. He often joins in too – which can be fun and good for him, but this doesn’t last the whole time, he gets bored. I feed Eliana before we work out so I now she isn’t hungry then I rotate her around from Bumbo chair to laying down on my exercise mat, to her swing, and so on to keep her moving and happy. She is normally happy as long as she can see me but sometimes she requires me to talk to her – which I do in between gasps of breath while jumping around! Sometimes it takes twice as long to get my workout done because I have to stop to fix a snack or a glass of juice or to rock a fussy baby – but don’t give up and try not to get frustrated! It is important for you to stay healthy so you can spend extra days with those little ones – they need you around for the long haul!
Your turn: What are your weight loss/health goals and what are you doing to reach them? What are your weight loss/health sabotagers and what are you doing to stop them?