It’s part of the lifestyle I have that really helps me eat healthy and keep the weight off.
One of the best things I learned from my time with Weight Watchers was the point system.
I was given 18 points that I could spend on food throughout my day.
I treated myself to a carrot muffin and medium coffee with double cream like I usually did.
Then I looked it up in my little book. It cost me 12 points! Not a good choice! I didn’t do that again!
I learned from Weight Watchers to make smart choices. I now have a food budget that I keep in mind. It’s something I have been working on for a few years.
When I stay within my budget I maintain my current weight.
Remember it’s not a diet, it’s a lifestyle.
We want to spend our food budget calories well! We want to make the best choices throughout our day.
We want to choose nutrient rich foods with a mix of low and high calories.
Here’s how my food budget gets spent throughout my day.
I’m really hungry at breakfast time so I spend more calories then. I have ½ cup each of blueberries and raspberries topped with ¼ cup of homemade granola, with milk or Greek yogurt. Then I also have ½ cup of Fibre 1 bran cereal that I like to eat dry. Weird I know. But it stays crunchy, and milk just turns it to mush. Blah.
Doesn’t that look delicious?
Lunch is easy for me to have nutrient rich foods with lower calories. I have a full plate of fresh cut up veggies with hummus and crackers and cheese.
The other thing I avoid that really helps…. I don’t drink high calorie beverages, like pop and sweetened coffee. It’s not worth it for me. I want to chew my calories.
I drink lots of water, which helps to fill me up and keeps me well hydrated.
I try to have fruit for my snacks.
Then I can eat a regular dinner with meat, veggies and potatoes or rice, but on the smaller luncheon plate. I usually have a small dessert after dinner with a cup of tea.
When I know I am going out for ice cream with the kids I cut back on my calorie-spending at dinner. I save some of my calories to spend on the ice cream.
I will have a bigger salad and regular portion of protein and very little of the carbohydrate.
Every once in awhile I have a really high calorie-spending day, like when I go out to eat twice in one day. Or when we celebrate my birthday and my daughter’s, which are 2 days apart. Those days do happen. Remember it’s a lifestyle not a diet!
For the next 2 days I try to make lots of high nutrient and low calorie food choices, lots of vegetables, fruit and protein.
That’s how my food budget works.
So how can you create your own food budget?
For a few days write down everything you put in your mouth. Then check out the calories and the nutrients of the foods you regularly eat.
I suggest you check out some sites that list the calories and nutrients of the foods you may eat.
Some of these sites also give you an idea of how many calories you should eat based on your current weight.
I leave that up to you to decide. Use that number to help you understand how many calories you should spend but don’t get caught up in the diet mode again. It’s only to give you an idea of what your food budget should be.
Then look over your list and see which foods you should add or remove from your daily food budget. Trade some empty high calorie foods for nutrient rich low calorie foods. Like me, you will probably be surprised at how much some of your favorite treats cost.
TODAY’S little STEP: Give the food budget idea a try! It works for me.
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I want you to know that I struggle too. I have reached some of my health goals but I have to continue to take these little steps to health.
I am still climbing the Mountain of Health and Well-being.
Writing this blog helps me stay accountable. I find the summer especially hard because there is less routine and summer equals fun food!
Here’s how I stay on track and some strategies that work for me.
Veggies and hummus are a part of most of my lunches. I fill half my plate with the veggies first.
Then my plate looks really full when I add anything else.
Here’s a picture of what I might have for lunch. I would add some crackers and cheese.
When we have hamburgers I use a smaller bun or I cut the burger in half.
I spread salad dressing on the wrap before I assemble it so there is taste in each bite and I use much less. I fill my wrap with mostly vegetables and added white chicken meat.
If we have potato chips I include them as part of dinner. I don’t buy salt and vinegar ones, as those are my favorite and too hard to resist. A small portion of potato chips, a nice sandwich and fresh raw veggies is a fun supper on a super hot day.
We have cubed watermelon available or popsicles for dessert.
A small hand dipped ice cream cone is a treat we enjoy, just not every day. When we have them at home I can control the portion. Licking an ice cream cone slows down the eating process and every lick tastes so good!
One of my best strategies is to not have foods that tempt me in my home. Then I won’t hear them calling: “Oh Dixie….this is the big container of delicious mixed nuts and candy calling you. Stop by for a yummy treat. You deserve it.” Can you relate?
My husband Don deserves a shout out because he is very supportive. He doesn’t like rich desserts and I’m so glad, because I would make them all the time.
He appreciates that we eat healthy.
When I do occasionally overeat at a meal – yes, I still overeat – my temptation is desserts.
I make sure the next meal is healthy and a little lower in calories.
I also try to make sure I get some exercise that day.
Every little step does make a difference!
Let’s claim our verse again! “And let us not get tired of doing what is right, for after a while we will reap a harvest of blessing if we don’t get discouraged and give up”. Galatians 6:9 New Living Translation.
TODAY’S little STEP: Keep taking little steps to be healthy. Use some of these strategies. They work. Every little step makes a difference.
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Rest much, talk often, and laugh regularly. Summer is too short!
Why do we fail with our weight loss plans? Did you know there are scientific reasons why we fail?
But there’s hope and scientific strategies for success!
James Clear is a writer, teacher and keynote speaker.
His focus is behavioral psychology, habit formation and performance improvement.
Wow, that’s someone that knows the science behind our troubles. I’ve visited his site James Clear and give him the credit for the first three points.
WHY DO WE FAIL?
We fail because we set unrealistic goals. We try to change too many things.
We give up all junk food; eat only fresh fruit and vegetables and chicken and fish.
Then one day there is fresh pizza at the office meeting and the temptation is too strong. We give in and eat a piece and then have a few more. We feel like a failure because we ate pizza, which is not the truth!
The new eating plan is thrown away with the empty pizza box.
Behavioural scientists suggest we change only 3 habits at a time. Three small changes that are easy to do and that we can stick with.
I want you to look in the mirror and love who you see!
Make 2017 the year you commit to lifestyle changes. Join me as we climb the Mountain of Health and Well-being!
If you have been on our climbing team before then find the Camp that is right for you.
If you are new I’m so excited that you are here. Check out Base Camp and get started.
I’m working on these future posts-how sleep affects our weight loss, quick healthy dinner choices, weight loss sabotages, real life fashion, ways to reduce stress and hopefully some guest posts too. I look forward to chatting with you, praying for you and hearing about your success!
TODAY’S little STEPS: Make lifestyle changes this year! Get started today!
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Spiritual: Learn a Bible verse like this one, “For I am the LORD, your God, who takes hold of your right hand and says to you, “Do not fear, I will help you”.” Isaiah 41:13
Stay at Base Camp for 4 weeks. Once these steps are habits then climb to Camp #2.
Nutrition: Drink water in place of other beverages. Continue with the smaller plate or bowl.
Exercise: 15 minutes of exercise per day, break it into 5 minute periods if you need to
Mental: Become aware of your inner critic and negative self-talk. Repeat this healthy self-talk statement daily. ‘I am a beautiful beloved daughter of the King! I am making small changes to be healthy. Taking care of me is important’.
Spiritual: Pray and share your concerns with Jesus. Memorize a verse. Here’s a good one. “Show me your ways, O LORD, teach me your paths. My hope is in you all day long.” Psalm 25:4,5b
Stay for 4 weeks. Move back to Base Camp whenever you feel it is necessary.
Once these steps become habits move to Camp #3.
CAMP # 3
Nutrition: Add 1 serving of vegetables (½ cup cooked or 1 cup of leafy) to 1 meal. Continue using a smaller plate at each meal or snack. Drink water as your main beverage.
Exercise: Add 5 minutes of exercise for a total of 20 minutes per day. You can divide it into 2-10 minute sessions or even 4-5 minute sessions on a crazy day.
Mental: Recognize that you have an inner critic. Identify a lie and replace it with a truth statement.
Spiritual: Pray and access Jesus’ power. Choose a verse to memorize. Here is a good one. “Be strong in the Lord and His mighty power”. Ephesians 6:10
CAMP # 4
Nutrition: Add 1 serving of fruit – 1 small piece of fruit or ½ cup of cut fruit to 1 meal. Continue using a smaller plate. Drink water as your main beverage.
Exercise: Continue with 20 minutes of exercise daily. Add incidental exercise to your day. Examples are: take the stairs, park at the far end of the parking lot, walk during commercials.
Everywhere I go there will be tempting goodies. Then I’ll add some holiday stress and I’ll have the perfect combination for overeating. My favorite foods – turkey, stuffing, gravy, pie, cookies, rich desserts and chocolates will be within my reach.
But this year is going to be different!
I have strategies to share!
10 Healthy tips to beat the holiday food frenzy.
1. Be realistic. Don’t try to lose pounds during the holidays, instead try to maintain your current weight.
2. Plan time for exercise. Exercise helps relieve holiday stress and prevent weight gain. Get your 20 minutes of exercise everyday. Break it up into two 10-minute sessions. On a day when you overeat, add extra minutes.
3. Eat until you are satisfied, only the turkey needs to feel stuffed! Savor your favorite holiday treats. Sit down, get comfortable, and enjoy.
4. No mindless eating from the bowl of party snacks. Serve yourself on a small appetizer plate and physically move away from the food.
5. Leave a calorie allowance for dessert. If you love dessert and hate to miss out then make a point to cut back on the hors d’oeuvres or skip the bread. Or avoid the pasta and have mostly salad and veggies.
6. Put desserts on a small plate, or even better, on a napkin. It’s a simple trick: You can’t fit as much on a napkin, so you won’t eat as much. No trips back for seconds!
7. Just say ‘NO’! Don’t feel as though you have to say yes to everyone that offers you food. Don’t let yourself be bullied into eating something that you really don’t want.
8. Trim back on the trimmings. To shave calories, go easy when adding nuts, cheese, cream sauces, gravy, butter, and whipped cream. These additions don’t add much to the meal, but can add plenty to your waistline.
9. Wear snug clothes. When you wear snug-fitting clothes chances are you’ll feel full faster. No elastic waist pants for us girlfriends!
10. Be a food snob. If it’s not a 10 then it’s not worth the calories! Scan the choices for foods you truly treasure and skip the everyday dishes.