Nobody Really Likes Salad: Part 4

In the past couple weeks I’ve been often asked how I’m losing weight. Is it Shakeology or Isagenix? Am I running 15 miles a day? First of all, these diet plans are usually successful for one reason: they take away the responsibility of making good choices or learning about nutrition. Just drink an overpriced shake, portion your food in cutesy color coded containers, and follow along with this DVD. Even though spending extra money to get the same products you could get at Target is a foreign concept to me, they’re successful because they’re simple solutions.

So what’s the best way to be successful but not break the bank on products? Take the same approach: Keep it simple. Here’s how I’m doing just that:

Keeping Sugar and Carbs Low:

Without boring you with my medical history, my body doesn’t respond to sugar like a normal person’s would. Tip: if you also have headaches and nausea after meals, have your doctor schedule you for a 2 Hour Insulin Response Challenge. The easiest way for me to lose fat is to keep my sugar and carbs low. I usually skip bread, pasta and rice. When I do eat processed carbohydrates, I opt for Mission Carb Balance Tortillas (6g) or HyVee 40 Calorie Bread (19g). I’ve been keeping my carbohydrates under 85g per day and usually eat around 1,200-1,400 calories a day.

Like everyone else on the Internet will tell you, the easiest way to cut back on sugar is in beverages. I like Canada Dry Sparkling Water in Mixed Berry and Dasani Sparkling Water in Pineapple because they aren’t as bitter as La Croix.

Adding Volume With Plants:

Since I’ve almost cut out starches entirely, it’s hard to feel full after meals. I avoid this by loading my meals with plants. I eat almost every single meal with sautéed mushrooms. Grapes, green beans, chopped avocado or apples make easy side dishes. I usually don’t have time to make a special side dish with my main lunch entree, so I just have an apple.

One of my favorite dinner recipes is Thai Low Carb Stir Fry:

  • 1 lb ground beef
  • 1 bag of broccoli slaw
  • 1 cup of chicken broth
  • 1 cup of mushrooms
  • 2 tbsp low sodium soy sauce
  • 2 tbsp Maagi sweet chili sauce
  • 1/2 tbsp Sambal Oelek chili paste

First, cook the ground beef and mushrooms with the Sambal Oelek. Sautee the broccoli slaw in another pan with the broth. Mix both together, then add the chili sauce and soy sauce.

Nutrition: Calories (218), Fat (14g), Total Carbohydrates (5g), Sugars (2g), Protein (21g)

Efficient Exercise:

I don’t believe in being obsessive about exercise while trying to lose weight, because neither the motivation nor the need to burn tons of calories will last forever. Also, I don’t have time to spend over an hour in the gym every day and I bet you don’t either.

Optimize your laziness and your need for exercise. Find an app that you can complete in 30-40 minutes. I’ve been using Live Fit with Jamie Eason. The program also has a handy iPhone app.  It’s free and developed by Bodybuilding.com. Each workout takes me about 30 minutes and I usually add 10-20 minutes of cardio at the end. Not running, no no no.

How’s It Going?:

Honestly, I do not weigh myself. I have a tendency to become a slave to the scale when I’m losing weight. I do know that I’ve lost 1.25” from my waist, 2” from my hips and 2” from my chest. My least favorite pair of work slacks fit comfortably when they used to be too tight a month ago. I’ve been sleeping better because lifting heavy things repeatedly reduces my stress levels. Most of all, I’ve liked the sense of accomplishment and stress reduction the most.