Thursday, May 13, 2010

Have Your Cake and Eat it Too!!

The past couple of days, I've had several discussions with different people about the definition of dieting.  It's amazing how different people view diets.  My favs from the past couple of days:

"Dieting is how you lose weight.  You only eat healthy stuff until you lose the weight you want to lose."
"Dieting means watching how many calories you eat and cutting out the junk until you lose weight"
"Dieting means living off rabbit food [salad], and that just doesn't work for me"

Before I poke fun at those views of dieting, I have to poke at myself.  I was a person that has "been there, done that" with all three of those dieting views.  I ate really healthy food until I lost some weight, and then ate "regular" food again - and all the weight magically reappeared (and then some).  I watched calories and stayed away from junk food, and I lived off "rabbit food" until I couldn't take it anymore. 

I'm not going to give you a definition of dieting - I'm going to ask you to remove it from your vocabulary all together.  Dieting is from now on a bad word!!  I know I've used it - so sue me - but from this point on, the D word is no longer allowed to be used to refer to my weight loss.

So, the one thing that I have learned the past four months has been the key to my success.  It's enabled me to stick with my weight loss, and it's the key component that I was missing all along.  What is it you ask??  Exactly what the title says - I can have my cake AND eat it.

So, what the hell does that mean?? The one thing that I did this time around that I've never done before is get rid of the D word, and focus on completely changing my whole lifestyle.  That means what I eat, my whole family eats.  What do I eat?? Anything I bloody well want.  The key to that, though, cooking healthy!! I eat pizzas, hamburgers, steaks, carbs, desserts - and even chocolate!! You have all seen those commercials that claim you can eat anything you want and still lose weight if you take their pills?? Well, they got half of it right.  You can eat what you want - it's how your prepare it that will make the difference.

I've had a few people ask me to post recipes of the food I eat.  Well, the simpliest way to do that is give my resources for the foods I prepare.  I use Guilt Free Cooking, Better Homes & Garden Eat Well, Lose Weight, $7 Healthy Cookbook, and  Every Sunday, I make a meal plan for the week for the dinners we're going to eat and then I make a shopping list and go grocery shopping.  My hubby and I divide the cooking responsibilities - so that makes it a lot easier.  The secret's not in what I eat, but how it's prepared.  I can make pretty much anything I want - I just use healthy ingrediants.  I use lean meats, whole wheat pastas, and fat free dairy products.  Instead of frying in oil, I sautee in cooking spray.  Rather than having mashed potatoes, I have boiled or I make mashed potatoes with fat free sour cream instead of milk and butter.  The second key is portion size.  I make sure I stick to 3-4ozs of meat, 1/2 cup of carbs, and then load on the veggies.  I have dessert recipes that are fabulous too.  I make sure that I stay within my 1200-1400 calorie range each day by mentally noting how many calories I'm eating at each meal. 

Losing weight is my key goal, but I want to make sure the weight stays off after it's gone.  The only way to really ensure that happens is to eat healthy FOREVER!! That's such a scary word, I know, but it's the truth.  I'll let you in on a secret, though, it's not bad at all.  The things I eat now are so much more tasty and enjoyable than any of the crap I used to eat.  They aren't hard to prepare, and our grocery bill has actually DECREASED since this change.  I know a lot of people whine about how expensive it is to eat healthy - but it's not really.  Cut out the chips, soda, and other crap from your grocery bill and you'll be surprised of the difference.

Lastly, I want to quickly touch on "cheating".  Now that's a word that should also join the D word - but I'm going to let it stay.  Changing your lifestyle to a healthy one doesn't mean that every once in a while you can't enjoy the sweet satisfaction of junk food.  My family occasionally likes to go out and eat dinner at a place that lacks the "healthy option" menu - but I don't let it stress me out.  I savor every bite of it, and then work out harder the next day.  I enjoy a slice of Domino's or a McDonald's hamburger once in a blue moon - but I enjoy it, and move on.  Enjoying these little things as luxury items isn't so bad - just don't make a habit of it.  So, you eat something you shouldn't one night - big whoop - it's not the end of the world!! So, once again I will say HAVE YOUR CAKE AND EAT IT TOO!!  (Just try to stick to low calorie cake, or a nice small sliver of the bad stuff on special occasions).

Till next time.  :)

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