People on this diet report that they:
- Are more satisfied
- Are less hungry
- Have enhanced weight loss
- Have improved blood fat levels
Follow these 22 tips and you WILL lose your excess weight and keep it off!
1. The MOST IMPORTANT – The “Food Journal”
The most IMPORTANT part of this diet is the FOOD JOURNAL!!!
I REPEAT – the most important requirement for success is the FOOD JOURNAL! Write down everything that you eat, each day, in a “food journal” (spiral notebook). It sounds like a lot of work but it probably takes 2 minutes or less (total) each day.
It is the MAGIC answer!
IT WORKS! REALLY!
What is the food journal?
The food journal is simply a spiral-bound notebook. Each day you start a new page for the day. You keep track of what foods you eat, the amount of each food, and the energy and nutritional values for each food (calories, proteins, fats and carbohydrates).
This may sound like a lot of work; but, it isn’t. It becomes easier and quicker every day. You can refer to the Food Counts (print it). Since you will have many of the same foods on a regular basis, you will start to memorize the values very quickly.
Why is this food journal so important?
Keeping a food journal makes you aware of how many calories you are consuming each day and the nutritional value of the foods that you are consuming. So many times I hear people say that they are “watching their weight”. Watching your weight doesn’t usually work that well. Your brain naturally causes you to consume the amount of calories that your body needs each day to maintain your weight. Even if you start eating foods that are lower in calories, your brain will cause you to eat more of those foods in an effort to maintain your weight.
When my diet “buddies” complain that they have quit losing weight or have slowed down in their weight loss, I immediately know what the problem is. I ask them if they are writing everything in their food journal each day. The answer is ALWAYS NO! This ONE PART of this diet is CRUCIAL to success! I have learned this from my own past experience. I would be following the “diet”, or so I thought, and I wasn’t losing any weight. When I started writing in my food journal again, the weight started coming off again. It’s too easy to consume too many calories without realizing it.
For every pound that you want to lose you need to have a 3500 calorie deficit. This means that if you require 2400 calories each day to maintain your weight and you eat 1400 calories each day, in seven days you will have a deficit of 7000 calories which will result in two pounds lost in one week.
What does the food journal look like?
Click on the photos to see them enlarged!
2. If you have less than 40 pounds to lose, restrict yourself to 1400 calories per day. If you have 40 pounds or more to lose, restrict yourself to 1800 calories per day.
Consume 30% of your calories from protein (1 gram = 4 calories), 30% of your calories from fat (1 gram = 9 calories), and 40% of your calories from carbohydrates (1 gram = 4 calories).
Protein = 105 grams per day (1400 X 30% = 420 calories / 4 = 105 grams)
Fat = 47 grams per day (1400 X 30% = 420 calories / 9 = 47 grams)
Carbs = 140 grams per day (1400 X 40% = 560 calories / 4 = 140 grams)
Protein = 135 grams per day (1800 X 30% = 540 calories / 4 = 135 grams)
Fat = 60 grams per day (1800 X 30% = 540 calories / 9 = 60 grams)
Carbs = 180 grams per day (1800 X 40% = 720 calories / 4 = 180 grams)
3. Do not eat any grains for the first two weeks. It is best to avoid them for the entire duration of your diet. This includes wheat, rye, barley, corn, rice, and oats and food products such as bread, cereal, pasta, and most foods that come in a box. You will get all the healthy, complex carbohydrates that you need from vegetables and fruits. Limit your fruit to two servings per day. When you do add grains back to your diet, make sure that they are 100% whole grain.
4. I have found it much easier to succeed when I don’t allow any exceptions. One bite of a candy bar can lead to cravings for more. When you go without certain foods for a short period of time, you tend to forget what they taste like and your cravings will go away. When you allow yourself “treats”, you have a bigger chance of swaying away from your diet.
5. Regular exercise is an important part of an effective weight loss program. Studies show that people who lose weight and keep it off exercise on a regular basis. There are two main types of exercise.
Cardiovascular exercise, also referred to as cardio or aerobic exercise, is the form of exercise that increases your heart rate and causes you to breathe harder. This exercise is good for your circulatory system (heart and blood vessels) and for your lung capacity.
The other type of exercise is weight lifting, also referred to as resistance training. This type of exercise builds muscle and muscle burns fat. The more muscle you have, the higher your metabolism will be. It takes more calories (energy) to maintain muscle than it does to maintain fat. You can be the same weight and height of another person yet you can be much smaller than that person if your body is more muscular because one pound of muscle is significantly smaller than one pound of fat.
6. When weight is lost too rapidly, muscle mass is lost along with fat. Muscle requires (burns) more energy (calories) than fat and one pound of muscle is significantly smaller than fat. You don’t want to lose muscle; you want to increase your muscle mass. If you lose weight too quickly you have a much greater chance of gaining it all back and then some.
Never eat less than 1200 calories per day. It’s better to aim for losing one pound per week. If you find yourself losing more than two pounds per week, increase your daily calories until you reduce your weekly loss to two pounds per week or less. The exception to this is during the first week (maybe two) when your body begins shedding built-up, excess water weight. It is quite common to lose five to seven pounds the first week and this isn’t anything to be concerned about.
7. Eat 5-6 times per day. This will keep your metabolism at its optimum and keep low blood sugar from causing cravings. If you are following the 1400 calorie diet this would mean about three 300-calorie meals and about three snacks at 100-200 calories each.
8. Don’t eat too close to bedtime. You won’t burn these calories before you go to bed and they will turn into fat while you sleep.
9. Drink at least two quarts of water each day. Water is very important to your overall health and is what will flush the “burned” fat out of your body. You can also benefit by drinking “cran water” and/or lemon water.
10. Prepare your food in advance whenever possible. For those with busy schedules this can be a “diet saver”. Cook your poultry and beef ahead of time. Freeze each portion in a small freezer storage bag. Within minutes you can have food on your plate, ready-to-eat. Take the zipper bag from the freezer and put it in a bowl of hot water. In a few minutes put it on a plate with a tablespoon or two of water (to keep it from being dry) and microwave it for about a minute. This saves a lot of time and can keep you from “falling” off of your diet when rushed for time.
I have found that freezing and reheating fish doesn’t work that well. Plan your fish meals on days that you know that you will have the time.
11. Weigh yourself EVERY DAY! Weigh yourself in the morning, after going to the bathroom and in the nude. This will be your most accurate weight. I know that there are many diet plans out there that recommend weighing once each week. I don’t agree. A lot can happen in a week. If you are writing in your food journal each day and keeping within your calorie range you shouldn’t have any surprises; but, you can keep better control of your weight if you are aware of any changes on a daily basis.
Sometimes there will be fluctuations that aren’t “real”. The scale may say that you weigh two pounds more than you should one day and then it’s back to normal the next day. This can happen for many reasons including eating closer to bedtime or fluctuations in hormones. If you are only weighing yourself once each week and that happens to be the day that the scale says you weigh two pounds more than you actually do, that could be a major disappointment. Also, if you aren’t losing weight like you should be, you don’t want to wait for an entire week to be aware of this. You can make the necessary adjustments right away if you are aware of the problem.
Seeing the weight coming off on a daily basis can be exciting and motivating.
12. Set short-term and long-term goals. They must be specific, measurable, attainable, action-oriented, realistic and time-bound. (I will lose ten pounds by July 15, 2013. This is how I will achieve this…) If you have a lot to lose, divide it into “chunks”.
Your last long-term goal should be a healthy, ideal weight for your height according to ideal weight charts created by the medical profession. If you have a lot of weight to lose, this may seem “unachievable” and “unbelievable”. This is okay. That is why you will set multiple goals and will focus your efforts on reaching the first, smaller goal.
Click on the ideal weight chart, below, to go to the Good Food Recipes site (its source) and enlarge it.
13. Make it visual. Having a visual line graph of your weight loss progress is a great visual motivator. Hang pictures around of yourself when you were at your ideal weight and/or cut pictures of the body that you want to have from magazines. Look at these photos/pictures each day. Write motivating things on your mirrors with a dry-erase marker.
Don’t forget to take “before” and “during” photos. When you have reached your first goal hang the “before” and the “now” photos up so you can be reminded of what you used to look like and what the results of your efforts look like. Of course, when you have reached your final goal it will exciting to take “after” photos.
14. Say this, or something like it, to yourself several times per day on a set schedule (morning, noon and night): “If I eat something I shouldn’t I will only taste it for a matter of minutes. These few ‘dumb’ minutes can easily take me off-track and multiply into thousands of dumb minutes. TODAY I CHOOSE an AWESOME looking, fit and healthy body that I can have for the rest of my life rather than just a few dumb minutes of tasting unhealthy food.”
15. Find a friend (or two or three) to diet and exercise with. Finding friends with similar goals can provide you with support, motivation, and fun.
16. NEVER reward your efforts with food. Many overweight/obese people already have issues with using food as a reward or comfort. (I’ve had a long, hard day. I’m stressed. I’m sad…) Food is fuel and nutrients for our body! Food should never be used for comfort or as a reward. When you reach your goals, reward your efforts with a new outfit or an activity or event that you enjoy that isn’t related to food.
17. Carry an emergency snack with you when you leave home. Sometimes you may be away from home for longer than you expected. If hunger sets in you don’t want to give in to bad choices from a gas station or fast food restaurant. Having a snack such as an apple, banana, or piece of string cheese with you can save you from making a poor decision in time of hunger.
18. Plan ahead for times that you might need to eat away from home. Get nutrition facts sheets from restaurants (including fast-food restaurants) that you might go to while you are on your diet. Use a highlighter and highlight food items that you can eat. Keep these with you at all times (in your purse or vehicle).
19. Re-train your mind if you think that fat is bad for you! Fat is a necessary and ESSENTIAL part of your diet! Saturated fats, which mainly come from animal sources, and trans fats are unhealthy fats. You should never consume trans fats. Monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats are healthy fats. Two polyunsaturated fats are ESSENTIAL, meaning that they can not be made by the body and must be consumed. There is some controversy over whether saturated fats are healthy, which mainly come from animal sources,
Fat does not make us fat! Excess calories and the wrong types of foods make us fat. Sugar and other refined carbohydrates make us fat. Healthy fats provide us with energy, protect our organs, maintain our cell membranes, and help our body absorb and process nutrients. Even better, it helps our body to BURN FAT!
Fat contains nine calories per gram, so while it’s important that we get enough healthy fat in our diet, it’s important that we don’t over-consume fat. Healthy fats should make up about 30% of our daily calories. Flaxseed oil is a daily part of this diet. One tablespoon is added to the daily breakfast protein smoothie each morning. You will see this smoothie in the sample menus under breakfast..
20. Sugar and refined-carbohydrates (grains that aren’t 100% whole-grain) are your enemies. These are the “fattening” foods. They are empty calories and have had some or all of the fiber, vitamins and minerals REMOVED from them while being processed. They cause spikes in your blood sugar and can lead to health problems including “carbohydrate cravings”, weight gain, insulin resistance, and Type 2 Diabetes.
21. Don’t try to cook separate meals for your family. This can be very time-consuming. There are many great-tasting, low-calorie, healthy recipes for poultry, fish, meats and vegetables. Your entire family will enjoy these. Rather than cook separate meals, just ADD to the meals that you are cooking for yourself. For example, you and your family might have the Teriyaki Brown Sugar Chicken, broccoli and a green salad and you might also serve garlic bread to the rest of the family. Another example would be that you serve them potatoes, broccoli and dinner rolls while you eat broccoli and Creamy Mashed Cauliflower. Remember to take advantage of cooking ahead and freezing foods. It takes the same amount of time to cook three meals of Teriyaki Brown Sugar Chicken in the crockpot as it does to cook one.
22. When you have reached your goal weight continue with your food journal for at least 3-6 months. Figure out how much weight you were losing each week during the past month. If it was one pound per week then add five hundred calories back per day. Continue to track your calories in your food journal until you determine how many calories you now require each day to maintain your weight. This will also make you aware of what your daily food choices should be now. Many people do a great job losing a lot of weight only to gain it all back (and then some) because they go back to their same, previous eating habits. You now weigh less so you will require less calories each day to maintain your weight.