My basic food guidelines
Like all of my other changes with food I started small. I decided to continue to eat the foods I had always eaten (favorites being nachos, macaroni and cheese and pizza), but have one small portion and fill the rest of my plate up with vegetables. I also dedicated to only going back for seconds with vegetables.
After learning important information about portion sizes (for most foods one portion is the size of your fist), I started researching and learning more about food in general. I learned about how different foods fuel (or dont) your body, how processed foods are bad for us for about a billion reasons and what the hell a processed food is. Anyway, all of that is a lot of information for this space. There is a lot of information readily available about all of this at your local library, but there is also a lot of conflicting information about dieting so I DONTdiet.
There are a million effective diets you can follow and lose weight. My issue with diets in general is that unless you can conceivably follow said diet your entire life than they are ineffective in the end, bc as soon as you return to your former eating habits you gain the weight back. This may well be obvious but it is worth saying. So I can just tell you what has worked for me. I personally know I cannot count calories or have a very restrictive diet. That wouldnt work for me forever. If that works for you then go to the bookstore, pick a diet book and follow it. J I have been following 2 main rules.
#1 I eat only healthy foods unless its the perfect unhealthy food.
Basically, 90% of the time I am eating bc Im hungry and its time for a meal. On those occasions I eat healthy food that fuels my body and gives me energy. Most of the time its pretty delicious too. About 10% of the time I eat something bc its just plain delicious. But it needs to be amazing and worth it. So I will never again eat day old cold pizza. But I will eat my favorite pizza, hot, in moderation.
#2 I never beat myself up.
Do your best, everyday. Some days your best will be better than others. Dont let a doughnut steal your dignity. Enjoy and move on.
A healthy food looks like God made it, not a mad scientist. So pretty much if it comes in a box or is coated in orange colored flavor dust its probably not healthy. That kind of food is actually addictive and does not make you feel full. **what? I cant have cheetos? Yes, you can have cheetos but only if cheetos are your favorite ever. And then you can have cheetossometimes. But dont bring home a Costco bag of cheetos. That is just plain self sabotage.
Eat lots of
Lean protein (chicken breast, fish, buffalo, turkey, lean pork cuts, legumes), fruits, vegetables, DRINK LOTS OF WATER, seasoning/spices. This should be the bulk of what you eat.
whole grains (brown rice, whole wheat pasta/bread, quinoa), dairy, good fats (Olive oil, avocado, nuts)
Sugar, sugar substitutes, salt (sea salt okay), white rice/pasta, soda/juice, red meat (98% lean okay) anything in a cream sauce, anything processed, fried foods
Cooking your own food is best case scenario. I LOVE the cookbook cook yourself thin. Every recipe Ive tried has been flavorful and delicious. If you are a calorie counter then you want to stick to between 1600-1800 calories a day while trying to lose weight. The website calorieking.com is helpful. I dont do this. But if you do, go for it. NEVER eat less than 1200 calories bc your body will go into starvation mode and eat away at lean muscle mass. Not cute. If you are really serious about your diet eating small meals every 3-4 hours keeps your metabolism in high gear and you are less hungry. I did this when I was really focused on losing. But in general I think the best thing you can do is a diet you can do forever. And that may not be something you want to do forever.