Lose the Dough: My Game Plan

Mastermind Weekend 1/16

Hey there!

I'm Tina

I’m the owner of Carrots ‘N’ Cake as well as a Certified Nutrition Coach and Functional Diagnostic Nutrition Practitioner (FDN-P). I use macros and functional nutrition to help women find balance within their diets while achieving their body composition goals.


An in-depth, 4-week reverse dieting course for women who feel like their metabolism has slowed down, think they might have hormonal imbalance and can’t lose weight no matter what they do.

As you can probably guess, I’m not into “strict” diet or fitness plans. I don’t like them and they don’t work for me. You see, I’m all about lifestyle changes. I want to develop new healthy habits that will stick with me for life, which means that I want to incorporate new habits that easily fit with how I live now. I’m participating in Lose the Dough because I want to look great for my 30th birthday, but I also want to develop habits that will stick with me long after June 19th.

So, I told you guys that I would post my goals and game plan for my Lose the Dough challenge. Are you ready?!? 😉

I’ve divided my plan into three parts: Diet, Fitness, and Balance. For me, each of these elements are important to my success in this challenge, and I have idenitfied my goals in each category– some are measurable and some are not.

The measurable goals will help me push myself while the non-measurable goals are intended to be lifestyle changes. So, for instance, my goal of “less snacking” probably seems pretty general, but I don’t want to limit myself by establishing a goal like: “one snack per day.” What happens if I want two snacks or even three? I can’t go through my entire life thinking that I’m only allowed one snack a day. Plus, I want to keep things as simple as possible so they fit into my current lifestyle while enhancing it at the same time. I further explain my “measurable” and “non-measurable” goals here.

Just a quick note: I am by no means an expert. This is my personal plan to “lose the dough.” If it helps you out, awesome! Feel free to pick and choose what might work for you, but remember that different things work for different people, and for you to be successful, you need to find what works best for you.

Ok, here we go!



My Diet Goals:

  • Less snacking
  • Less sugar
  • Less booze
  • More veggies
  • More balanced meals

Less snacking: Generally, I eat 3 meals per day with a few snacks mixed in. Most of my snacks make it onto the blog, but quite a few do not– like a spoonful of peanut butter here, a handful of pistachios there, a couple of potato chips… you get the picture. Cutting back on these “undocumented” calories will definitely add up and help me lose the dough!

Less sugar: I love sweets, but lately, I’ve found myself overdoing it quite a bit (i.e. 10 cookies in one day). I will never, ever cut dessert out of my life, but I know that I can better control my portion sizes. My goal is still to enjoy sweets everyday, but just in smaller portions– one after lunch and one after dinner.

Less booze: As you know, I’m not one to turn down a beer or a glass of wine, but those calories definitely add up. I’m not going to give up drinking, but I am definitely going to cut back. My plan is to only drink on Friday and Saturday nights and limit my max number of cocktails to two.

More veggies: I already eat plenty of fruit, but some days, I don’t eat a single vegetable until dinnertime! I just want to increase my intake of veggies all around.

More balanced meals: I briefly talked about this on the blog the other day, but basically, I want to incorporate more lean protein, veggies, and healthy fats into my meals so they are satisfying and keep me full for longer.


  • Drink lots of water (and tea) to help limit mindless snacking
  • Enjoy sweets slowly and truly savor them
  • Get creative with sweet treats – try to incorporate nutritious foods
  • Limit drinking alcohol to Friday and Saturday nights only
  • Add vegetables to meals and snacks as much as possible
  • Take the time to create more balance meals and snacks

What and How:

I’m basically going to eat the same way that I always do, but with these goals in mind. Increasing my intake of veggies is a top priority for me! I definitely don’t eat enough.

I’ll mostly stick with 3 meals per day with 2 small-ish snacks mixed in. I like to eat, so eating often works for me. This way of eating might not work for you– maybe you’re a 6 mini meal-type of person or maybe you’re not a snacker. Just be sure to give yourself an eating plan that works best for you.

What I eat won’t change all that much either, but here’s an idea of how I will incorporate more nutritious foods into my diet:

  • Fruits and veggies: Lots of them!
  • Lean protein: Eggs, seafood, meat, tofu, beans, protein powder, soy milk
  • Dairy: non-fat cow’s milk, non-fat yogurt, Greek yogurt, cheese
  • Healthy fats: olive oil, nuts, nut butters, avocado

As far as including specific calorie counts, I’ll do my best to include approximate measurements of my food, but calorie counting just isn’t for me. I counted calories for years, and while I appreciate and understand the benefits, I don’t want to introduce calorie counting back into my life. If calorie counting works for you, continue to do it! If you want to start counting calories, check out Sparkpeople.com or Fitday.com. Both are great tools and totally free.

If you’re curious, I usually eat around 1,800 – 2,000 calories per day.



My Fitness Goals:

  • More strength training
  • More interval training

More strength training: When I got in shape for my wedding, I was strength training up to 5 times a week. Muscles that I didn’t even know existed were popping up everywhere! I know that strength training does wonders for my body, so I am getting back to it. My goal is to attend Body Pump classes at least twice a week, plus a full body strength training workout on my own at the gym thrown into the mix.

Body Pump is the most amazing strength training workout you can get in 60 minutes (at least I think so!), but I realize that not everyone has access to this class. If you belong to a gym, see if an hour-long strength training class or bootcamp-like class will fit into your schedule. You want a class that builds muscle while also burning some serious calories.

If you don’t belong to a gym, here are some ideas for a Body Pump-like class that you can do at home:

More interval training: Interval training is bad-ass. You work hard, burn tons of calories, and see results! So, instead of just peddling along at a steady pace on the elliptical, I plan to step-it-up and really get my heart pumping with some intervals. Intervals also help reduce the amount of time you spend at the gym– you can get just a good of a workout in less time.

I’ll post my interval workouts on the blog as often as I do them. In the meantime, if you’re looking for ideas, check out all of the interval workouts that I have on my Fitness page.

My Schedule:

I’m sure that my Fitness Schedule will change slightly from week-to-week, but here is my general plan of attack:

  • Sunday: 60 minutes of cardio or yoga
  • Monday: Body Pump + 30 minutes of cardio
  • Tuesday: Off
  • Wednesday: 60 minutes of cardio or yoga
  • Thursday: Body Pump + 30 minutes of cardio
  • Friday: Off
  • Saturday: Full body strength training + 30 minutes cardio

I think this schedule is a good balance of strength training, cardio, and stretching. I’m also looking forward to getting back into yoga and trying some new classes at Healthworks.

Once again, be sure to create an exercise schedule that works for you. Maybe you don’t have time to exercise on the weekends or you hate yoga. Do what’s best for you. Just be consistent!

Each week, I will post my schedule on my blog, so be sure to check back to see what’s on the agenda.



My Balance Goals:

  • Sleep at least 7 hours each night
  • Have one date night each week with my husband
  • Spend more time with Murphy

Sleep at least 7 hours each night: Basically, I work too much and I need to relax and sleep more. My goal is to sleep at least 7 hours per night and stop working so much. I’m becoming a real, live workaholic– and I don’t like it!

Have one date night each week with Mal: My husband is great. He cracks me up and makes me feel good about myself. Scheduling one night a week to do something special together is a priority.

Spend more time with Murphy: I already spend a lot of time with Murphy, but my little dog always puts a smile on my face. Simply cuddling on the couch with him is the most relaxing part of my day. I guess that I just need to remember to Keep Calm and Love Pugs.

So, that’s basically the plan. There will be a lot more details down the road, but here’s a general outline of how I plan to “lose the dough.” Hopefully, it’s helpful to you!

If you have any questions, feel free to contact me or leave a comment on this post. I’ll be sure to answer all of your questions. I want to make Lose the Dough a successful challenge for everyone involved. Plus, I know that I’ll work twice as hard if other people are counting on me!

If you have questions about how I originally lost weight, check out my Weight Loss Q & A.

Here we go! Good luck! :mrgreen:



  1. the goals look very smart and well-thought-out! and i really like that there is a ‘balance’ section — probably just as important as all of the rest, if not more so in making you feel your best.

    i feel like i aim for very similar goals as part of my regular lifestyle although admittedly the alcohol on fridays & saturday nights only would throw me off. i like having the option for a glass of wine after a hard day.

  2. I’m really excited because your goals are quite close to mine for the year, so I look forward to following along on your journey!
    I’ve started tracking my fitness and intake on livestrong.com which is free. I really like that website if any readers are interested!

  3. great plan tina!!!! honestly it’s something that i feel i should be doing too. my goal this semester at school is to do 2-3 total body conditioning fitness classes a week and only run 2-4 times. strength training makes such a difference in the tone of my arms etc.

    i love how you incorporate goals for your health and fitness and social life too! it’s so hard to not drink a lot at school but i swear alcohol goes straight to my muffin top and my face, leaving me bloated. at the same time it’s fun to have a few drinks with friends… i like the fri/sat night only rule with 2 drinks as a guideline. sounds manageable! good luck 🙂

  4. this rocks! 5 of my triathlete freinds and I are doing the same thing…all year long…we have some “fun” days involved Meat Free Monday, Tallgrass Tuesday (more veggies), Wacky Wednesday (1 good sized treat), Thirsty Thursday (more water) Fruit Filled Friday, Sassy Saturday (another treat day) and Slowdown Sunday (take more time to enjoy your meals and everything around you)

    I have been such a calorie counter/dieter forever and I’m so tired of it…If I eat clean and enjoy myself I’m so much happier and more fun to be around! Having the help of friends is the best thing!

    I look forward to sharing this journey with you and incorporating some great lifestyle changes to enhance my life 🙂

  5. TIna-

    Your plan looks wonderful. I hope that you are able to accomplish your goal and I thank you for the insight you have on living healthy/balanced lifestyle, realistically. I do have a question for you: I am looking for a heart rate monitor to wear that isn’t too bulky on my wrist. Do you have any suggestions– preferably under $100?

  6. The ‘Lose The Dough’ plan sounds great and very doable. I have my own little ‘lose the dough’ plan, but I hven’t given it a cute name yet so I can’t very well drag it out in all it’s – hmmm – glory until it has one, but I am already doing it!! Keep up the good work and trust me…you will LOVE turning 30!!

  7. Wow…good for you…I love your balanced approach and you are definitely an inspiration…but I don’t think you need to lose anything…you look AMAZING! I would kill to look as good as you do!

  8. I too have been looking forward to this all day 🙂 I made some specific goals for the New Year and I’ve been doing pretty well so far this month. I’m defininatly up for the “lose the dough” challenge.

  9. What an awesome plan…so well thought out 😉 I have similar goals, especially when it comes to sleep and balance. I think date night and time with the babes (my pets) is so important!

  10. Tina, that sounds like a really great detailed plan. I love the balance section- that is so so so important!! Also, maybe little mini rewards might be a good idea! Like a manicure after a week or a new sweater or something like that 🙂

  11. Hi Tina,
    This is my first time commenting, thank you so much for sharing your nutrition and fitness goals! I need to make some changes as well and am looking forward to following along with your blog for inspiration!

  12. Sounds like a GREAT plan that is flexible and not to any extreme. I can totally relate to you in the eating department. I do not get enough veggies at all and i’m trying to increase my intake. I will be participating in that portion of the plan. I can’t do the fitness part yet as i’m recovering from an injury but I think improving my eating will definitely make a difference!

  13. I really admire these goals and they seem similar to the way I try and have a healthy lifestyle. Similar to your Lose the Dough goals, I broke down my New Year’s resolutions into categories. Some had more measurable goals (as in a specific end date), others were more open-ended and some were totally aspirational/someday achievable. Best of luck to you!

  14. Your plan sounds just like one of my resolutions (minus the timeline). Something that I found really helpful was Bethenney Frankel’s book “Naturally Thin.” While I could never eat as little as her, the way she approaches food is great.
    Good luck.

  15. Love, love, love the plan!!! I am totally feeling this and adding some of your tips to my own– It’s going to be my half-birthday challenge! I with be 28 1/2 on your 30th so I def need to get this extra poundage off!!!! Thanks for the daily motivation!

  16. Tina, great plan! I made a very similiar “categorized” plan for my New Years resolutions this year and so far its working very well. I wish you luck in your conquest to lose the dough! You already look fabulous so I’m sure you will be stunning for your 30th! 🙂

  17. Sounds great! I love the picture of Mal and Murphy too…it put a smile on my face and thats not my husband and dog! Haha!

  18. Tina, I have been following your blog for a few months now and just wanted you to know that I love your daily posts! I’m extremely excited that your a BodyPump enthusiast as well! I’m a new instructor in Chicago and have been a loyal BodyPump advocate for the past 6 years or so now. I agree it is the best strength training work out(and so fun)and I credit it for getting my body into the fit shape it is in now : ) Sticking to two to even three classes a week is a great goal and I know that it’ll do wonders for your new years goals! Keep up the great work (with both your goals and your fun posts!) I truely admire the time you are able to put into blogging so faithfully. Your efforts are not taken for granted.



  19. What a great plan! Sweets are my BIG soft spot so I love your idea to “Get creative with sweet treats – try to incorporate nutritious foods” I can’t wait to see what you come up with. I had almond stuffed dates last night to satisfy my sweet tooth!
    I am ready to lose the dough with you, and wear my first bikini in Disney World in May!

  20. Ok so I am so excited to read this and read your plan! I am also really BLAH right now and def could use the motivation..I just turned 30 in Sept and a mom of 2. I have gained, staying at home I tend to snack and with my lOVE to bake!! I have recently started Weight Watchers with my friend. We are going till April 1st, trying to lose 20 lbs. So I want to make so many of your rec. but was wondering if you had any of the nutritional info!! Especially on the cookies and other baked goods!!!


  21. Hi- I just came across your blog and think it’s great! You look amazing and are very inspiring in your detailed goals! I’m trying to get back on track, and will definitely keep checking out your posts for motivation!

  22. A friend of mine referred me to your blog. I LOVE IT!! You remind me so much of myself. I hate being strict stick to a specific plan type diets etc. I love your workout plan! Its somewhat like mine! I am also a Les Mills enthusiast… My favorite class is bodycombat. I am planning to become a bodycombat instructor in 6 months or so. I also love doing bodypump and RPM!!

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