I have been asked quite a few questions lately about how I am losing the weight. Keep in mind that this process started about 4 years ago, so it has gone through various permutations to get to the point I am currently at.
Food: I pretty much count calories.
I try to eat around 1400 calories per day. I have played with this a bit, and going lower doesn’t really help that much, so may as well eat more if I can, right? Some days it is 1350, some days 1500, but on average around 1400. I try to eat 50% of my calories from complex carbs, fruits and veggies. I shoot for 25% protein and 25% fat. Ideally, I would love to be at 40/30/30 – but I really do like to eat fruit and grains, so that is hard. I try to eat very little refined starches.
I eat 5 times a day. 3 meals and 2 snacks. I strive to have protein/carbs and fat every time I eat. I don’t really eat a lot of sweet stuff. I don’t use artificial sweeteners, if I want something sweet – I have the real thing. That way I have learned that I don’t need that stuff on a daily basis, but it really is a treat. So I am not wasting my calories on 100 calorie packs, or junk like that.
Cardio: I do cardio pretty much everyday. At least 30 minutes, and many times longer. During this warm time of year I jog 3x per week (3 miles), and then ride my bike the other days. In winter, I do exercise DVDs inside. Don’t belong to a gym, and no plans to currently.
Strength training: This is a very important part of my lifestyle. I own a bowflex and some hand weights, which is great because there is no excuse I can make for not using them! I currently strength train 4x per week. I do legs/back on Monday and Thursday; arms/chest/abs on Tues/Fri. About every 2 months, I change the exercises that I do for those body parts. It takes me about 20-30 minutes for each session.
The Mind: I do a *lot* of reading about health and weight loss. Not just diet books, but those on the science behind nutrition, weight loss and weight disorders. I also try to meditate. Learning to have patience with myself and to not expect perfection has really been a large part of my success.
So, this is what I do. And this is what I will be doing for the rest of my life. Am I perfect? No, of course not! I would say I am on plan around 90% of the time.
My lifestyle is doable, enjoyable and works for me.