When you tell people you’ve lost -115lbs, their initial reaction is always “You had gastric bypass, right?” No offense to anyone who has had bariatric surgery, but my answer is “No, I used Weight Watchers, a Fitbit and lots of gym time!”
So the immediate followup question is “What do you EAT?”
My short answer is “Everything!”
Nothing is off-limits for me, but I do have to practice moderation and plan my days to incorporate the nutrition I need with the foods I love!
I want to take you through my day so you can see the fresh choices, big portions and indulgences I get to enjoy because I practice moderation! Check it out:
Wake Up: 5:30am
I usually work out 2 mornings a week and get up at 4:30am, but when I do afternoon/evening workouts I can get up a little later!
The first thing I do each morning is drink a liter of water while I shower and get ready. This water gets my system off and running for the day, and gives me a leg up because I usually try to drink 5-7 liters of water a day on days I workout (and that takes a lot of time!). Rest days are more like 4 liters.
If I remember I will add lemon juice to my water, which gets my metabolism moving, too!
I love espresso, and my days always begin with a double espresso and an egg white omelette.
I make the “veggie guts” for my omelettes on Sunday’s when I meal prep and they usually include sautéed kale, mushrooms, onions and fresh herbs like basil, thyme or oregano.
You can check out these meal prep omelette jars by Tammy for some inspiration.
I saute half a cup of raw zucchini and one chopped Al Fresco Chicken Breakfast Sausage Patty until brown, then add 1 cup of the “veggie guts” and mix. Then I add 1 cup of liquid egg whites.
This is a BIG portion but it keeps me full for four hours, which is a remarkable feat given how high my metabolism is!
Snack 1: 10:30am
I like to keep my snacks fresh and “whole” as much as possible, so my go-to choices are fruits, veggies and high-protein items like almonds, hardboiled eggs, shrimp cocktail or cheese or yogurt.
This fruit salad plate was a perfect choice when I was out for a coffee date, and way better for me than the scones and muffins! I also usually add an iced tea or an iced coffee for a little caffeine boost.
I find that I stay fuller longer if I eat bigger portions of protein, so I aim for 5-7 ounces of protein and some veggies at lunchtime. This Is 5 ounces of boneless pork chops and a broccoli slaw that I bulked up with some shredded zucchini. I make the dressing for the slaw with olive oil, champagne vinegar, fresh herbs, lime juice, garlic, salt & pepper, but you can use your regular low-fat salad dressing if you prefer!
Also try these high protein mason jar salads.
Snack 2: 3:00
I have found that the healthier I get, the more I like spicy foods, and this black bean hummus is spicy and balances perfectly with the sweet of the sugar snap peas. The hummus also has lots of protein, which helps keep me satisfied longer. I add another iced tea or iced coffee here to get me through the ho-hum of the afternoon.
Snack 3: 5:30pm
I’m a commuter, so often I do not get home until 6:30pm and need to fit my workout in after that. So another protein-packed snack on my ride home helps fuel me for that workout. These Siggi yogurts are super thick, super tart and I really like the blueberry, raspberry and rhubarb varieties!
Gym Time: 7:00pm
I like to work out 4-5 days per week, and at least one of those workouts is a 10-mile bike ride with my boyfriend. No headphones, no distractions, just a great opportunity for us to decompress and discuss our days.
In the beginning when I was working out by myself I would find myself feeling bad or guilty that I was taking time away from being home, and the easiest way to fix that was to find an activity we enjoy together and do that!
Yes, we eat pretty late when we work out but to balance that, we usually skip carbs in the evenings.
It’s just too much starch turning into sugar for me (especially if I want a late night snack), so we do big portions of lean protein and two veggies, or one veggie and a salad. We also add 2-3tsp of olive oil to our dinner, which is important for your hair, nails, joint health and even your digestive system!
Snack 4/Dessert/Cocktail: 9:30pm
A few times a week we will have a late night snack like fresh cherries, watermelon or maybe bell peppers and tzatziki, or maybe one dark chocolate square. Or if we’re feeling fancy we might indulge in a cocktail like my beloved cosmopolitans. A big part of learning moderation has been learning to enjoy one cocktail, one piece of chocolate or a sensible snack, and also learning that these sweet treats are not everyday occurrences but rather things to be enjoyed occasionally.
Getting a good night’s sleep is so important to me because it gives me the rest and energy I need to tackle the next day. It’s also important because I tend to make impulsive decisions when I’m tired, and those almost always involve eating something I did not need!
I aim for 7 hours a night during the week, and at least 8 hours of sleep (and sometimes a nap!) on the weekends.
That’s what my days look like! I hope you find this inspiring and helpful as you begin your weight loss journey.