Last month I decided to use money as a motivator and signed up for my first Diet Bet challenge. I had my ups and downs but in the end, I lost 10 pounds in 28 days. People that I hasn’t seen in months commented on my weight loss which was such a great feeling!
So, how did I do it? It’s not rocket science. In fact, I think most people have all the tools they need to make informed decisions about being healthy. It’s usually the willpower or the motivation they are lacking. I know some of you are going to also blame prices but I’m not talking organic healthy. I’m talking plan ole fruits and veggies healthy. Granted, that boxed Stouffer’s meal is probably $10 for a family of five, but a couple of peppers, package of chicken breast and rice is also an affordable way to make chicken fajitas that isn’t caked in preservatives.
Here’s How I Lost Weight
Stopped eating out.
When I did have to grab lunch, I opted for Subway or a salad bar somewhere. When we decided to go out for dinner, I subbed the french fries for steamed vegetables and started with a salad, dressing on the side. It’s ok to indulge in dining options as long as you understand what you’re eating.
Slowed down on the carbs.
When I started this challenge, I realized that almost every single meal was carb-based. I always had cereal for breakfast which is nothing but carbs and sugar (I even had Special K, not the sugary kind we normally think of), a sandwich for lunch that was usually NOT on whole grains, and dinner was all over the place.
I moved to having fresh fruit for breakfast and found ways to incorporate smaller doses of carbs if I wanted something more – things like a slice of whole wheat toast or my new favorite – BoBo Bars. If you haven’t heard of these, try them! Gluten-free, non-GMO, all natural and made just north of here in Boulder. All the flavors are delish but my favorites and the peach and strawberry. Just be careful, there are two servings in that little pack but I find that one serving and a banana make for a delicious breakfast.
If I had a serving of carbs for lunch I opted for no carbs at dinner. The above mentioned chicken fajitas are just as tasty without the rice or tortilla and come in a bowl filled with vegetables. Protein-rich foods will become your best friend and you’ll find that fruits will help to satisfy your cravings for desert.
Kept my hand out of the candy jar.
Speaking of desert cravings, I can eat frosting out of the Betty Crocker jar. I can also eat a handful of mini candy bars from my coworkers candy jar every day. I realized that the first thing I needed to conquer was that darn candy jar. So I simply stopped eating out of it. I made sure I had a piece of fruit or something crunchy like baby carrots to chew on and within a week, I no longer craved those tiny pieces of heaven after lunch every day.
I know you’ve read it everywhere, but sugar really can be an addiction. Those tasty morsels affect the same parts of your brain as drugs. I realize that sugar is probably a better addiction to have then say, heroin, but I digress. According to WebMD, “In lab studies, rats that binged on sugar had brain changes like those of getting off drugs. In humans, just seeing pictures of milkshakes triggered brain effects like those seen in drug addicts.”
There are a lot of ways to say it, but weight loss really does come down to how you treat yourself in the kitchen. I’ve ran four half marathons and countless smaller races over the past two years and I haven’t been able to drop any weight. As soon as I made changes to my diet, the weight seemingly just fell off.
I am sticking to my fitness regime. I’ve found that I love to run and I love to bike even more. So far this year I’ve completed seven races and have many more on the schedule. That fuels the fire and keeps me motivated.
Since money also seems to motivate me pretty well, I signed up for another diet bet. If I complete this one, I will have lost another eight pounds. Wish me luck.
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How about you? Do you have an eating or meal plan that you follow? A special diet you’ve found works really well? How do you keep yourself motivated to stick to the plan?