Monday, August 23, 2010

Who doesn't love food pictures!

Today was fairly boring food wise, but I took pictures anyway... let's just think of it as blogger training! I intend to start using my DSLR for the food pictures, so I'm hoping the quality of the pictures with improve over the next little while.

I started out with a bowl of Fiber One Honey Clusters cereal (one of my favs!) and 1% milk.

For my mid-morning snack, I enjoyed a deliciously ripe plum!

For lunch, I had leftover stir fry... I assure it tasted much better than it looked. The sauce is from a recipe in Rocco's Dispirito's book, Now Eat This.

For the sauce, you mix 3/4 cup of low-fat, low sodium teriyaki sauce, 2 tbsp of orange juice concentrate, and 2 tbsp of low fat peanut butter. It is rich and delicious. I would say it rivals restaurant chinese food! Next time I make it, I'll probably cut back on the teriyaki sauce a bit, and use some fish sauce to thin it out a smidge.

For my afternoon snack, I munched on some trail mix. It went unpictured... I'm still getting the hang of this!

I had a bunch of errands to run after work, so I wasn't able to have dinner right away. I got home, grabbed a nectarine, and was out the door!

By the time I got back, I didn't have time to make a proper dinner before my Zumba class, so I had a bit of this Seven Grain Salad from Costco.

Zumba was really fun! It was only my second class, but I think I'll keep with it. It's at a studio in the city that offers various adult dance classes for exercise! I'm trying to convince a couple of my girl friends to take another class with me - maybe Burlesque or West African!

After I returned home, I made myself a random but delicious grilled sandwich with the sandwich press. It included: Whole wheat bread, Spinach, 2 slices of deli ham, a few crumbles of blue cheese and a few dashes of buffalo sauce.

I finished off the meal off with some sliced honeydew!

As I mentioned before, I am just now entering the maintenance stage of my weight loss journey. I should call it the "tone up" stage, as that is what my main goal is that this point.

It was August of last year that I decided to make an active effort in losing some weight. I had been 20-30 pounds pretty much my entire life, and I guess I was sick of it. I don't have any real reason other than that for kick-starting my plan. I just needed a change, I guess.

I get asked frequently, "What is your secret" or "How did you do it?". As everyone who has ever successfully lost weight knows, there is no secret. I did not use any specific weight loss program. What it takes is commitment and a little self control. Over the next few posts, I'll share the tools and tips that were the most essential to my success. I'll start with the #1 most important and successful tool that I used:

Food Journaling

At the very beginning, I started with following the Canada Food Guide. I counted and measured the servings and portions of everything I ate for the first few months. This was extremely helpful in helping to provide an understanding of what a proper sized portion should be. After a while, I added a calorie count to my food journal.

As time went on, I found I didn't need to worry about the servings in each food group because I had a solid understand of how my meals should be composed. I kept the calorie count going, to keep myself accountable and mindful of my calorie limit per day. A simple equation stayed in the back of my mind; there are 3500 calories in a pound. In order to lose 2 pounds per week, one must create a deficit of 1000 calories per day. When I started, that meant I had stay around 1700 calories per day.

It's easy to forget the little bites and the little sips. Food journaling helped me realize that a lot of the treats I was enjoying before, just weren't worth the dent it made in my calorie budget. I've cut out soft drinks and Iced Tea (an old favorite of mine), because they just aren't worth it.

Food journaling is also great because you get a sense of accomplishment when you can look back at the past week and know that you've stayed within your goals. Or, if you've had a bad week, it's helpful to look back and know where to improve.

And, if all else fails, it might give you some meal ideas if you're running short!

- R.

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