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. This is a great, detailed plan. I think it’s so important to lay everything out for yourself at the start to get a good grasp on the mission. And of course it doesn’t hurt to switch thinks up if they need to be but it sounds like you’re really in tune with what you need and how to go about it.

  2. I love your plan for “Lose the Dough”! I really like how you don’t give yourself strict guidelines to follow, but instead focus on the healthy things your body needs. I’m definitely going to work on my own “game plan” to lose some dough. Thanks for the great suggestions!

  3. I’ve been looking forward to this all day. Thanks for sharing your plan. I’m starting my own plan this week, as well. I’m excited to take this journey with you!

  4. I love it! I have a game plan, but it’s not nearly as organized or extensive as yours. I think I’m going to need to do some editing because I’ll be more likely to stick to a plan that “covers all the bases,” like yours does.

    I really love that you included the “balance” part. Whenever I’m making health/fitness a priority in my life, everything else seems to fall by the wayside. But the truth is what when I’m still spending time with my friends, engaging in hobbies, etc. I actually find myself being more successful with getting fit. It’s all about managing stress levels for me. I just wish I had a hubby and a pug of my own to help me with that!! =)

  5. What great goals!! I love that don’t like to follow any sort of strict diet. I agree with you on that! I’m trying to make it a body pump class one or two times per week as well. I love the way my body feels!

    Best of luck with your goals! I know you will do awesome!

  6. These are some great goals! I like that you’re not making too much of a “plan,” but allowing yourself what you want within reason instead. I eat wayy to much sugar/not enough veggies also, so this is a great inspiration!

  7. I think you will be successfull mainly just from having a PLAN. If you can follow along with the very reasonable goals you layed out for yourself you will see great results. Can’t wait to follow along!
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  8. My 30th birthday is TOMORROW!! Eeks! It will be great to start out a new decade following along with you on Lose the Dough! I’m especially conscious of the warnings that your metabolism slows down after 30, so I’m looking to incorporate some positive lifestyle changes, too. Good luck to you & thanks so much for sharing! 🙂

  9. Great, DETAILED post. I’ve been waiting all week for it =) I especially like your balance section. That’s a really sweet pic of your two loves. I, too, want to keep up mt strength training, incorporate intervals into my workouts (burn more calories), and eat less sugar! Good luck. I think this was a super idea! We are gonna be smoking hot on our 21st and 30th birthdays =)

  10. Great HEALTHY plan Tina. I really respect your healthy approach to your diet and to staying and becoming more healthy.

    Don’t want to impose my ideas on you, but I plan a fun sweet afternoon snack every day that is fairly healthy. That is my “sweet” for the day (besides treat day) and I love it. I posted about it here: http://rhodeygirltests.com/2009/12/22/the-trifecta-oikos-pom-kashi/ but basically it is just greek yogurt, fruit, a bit of granola and just a few chocolate chips to make it indulgent.

  11. LOVE this post and this plan!

    Gah though.. I was 99.999% certain that I was going to get rid of my gym membership but I keep seeing the words Body Pump and I know the amazing results it can give.. so now I am torn.

    Anyways really look forward to reading about your progress!!

  12. Looks like a balanced approach and not at all a “diet.” Like you, I have a desire to lose a little and tone up and do not want to do anything drastic. But it’s the BLTs (bites/licks/tastes) that get me every time. Being more aware is half the battle.

  13. Love your goals! This is a wonderful idea. I like how flexible you are about it but still making your goals structured enough that you’ll make solid progress with them.

    PS I once ate an entire batch of raw chocolate chip cookie dough in one weekend. I was supposed to turn them into cookies but the dough was too tasty so I ate it raw before it could be baked. The things we do for cookies!

  14. I love this approach. It’s very sane and healthy 🙂 I wish I could spend that much time at the gym. Ahh how things change when you have a baby! 😉

  15. Your plan sounds great! I started counting calories again to lose the dough. I think I need to do that at this point. I’m excited to see how this works out for you. I’m sure it’ll be great!

  16. That’s an awesome plan. Thanks for sharing it. I got a few ideas from it that I would like to incorporate into my own. I especially like your workout schedule and it has me thinking of upping mine a bit! I LOVE VEGGIES and I bet when you add a few more in daily you will be fuller and wont reach for the chips!

  17. Your plan looks great and it seems realistic too. I take a similar class at my gym and it’s really the only way I can do an hour’s worth of weights. Thanks for sharing your plan!

  18. This sounds like a great plan! I always find it rewarding to set goals for yourself. I’m working on doing some of my own right now! I love how you incorporate how you like to live your life, rather than trying to change everything to fit someone else’s idea of a good goal. Good luck!!

  19. what a good plan – i’ll be right along with you – my resolutions to recommit to my fitness/healthy eatting routine got sidetracked by a major headcold! this post was just the boost I needed – thanks! and good luck!

  20. Great Plan! Well thought out! Very realistic! My hardest is the “less sugar” part. My solutionis to freeze dark chocolate individually wrapped pieces and have 1 here and there to satisfy cravings. Freezing them keeps me from snacking on them and I don’t feel too guilty because it is dark chocolate.

  21. Good luck, Tina! I know you can do it. You’ve created a realistic and thorough plan for yourself. I limit my alcohol intake to 2 drinks once per week. Who really needs a glass of wine on a Tuesday night anyway?? 🙂

  22. I think your plan sounds like something that you can stick with. It’s very realistic and right for you because you chose it. I wish you much luck!

  23. Great goals Tina. I am with you, it is all about finding the right balance. Good luck! I do Body Pump 2-3 times a week and LOVE it. I agree that it is the best workout for strength training. I am also trying to eat better balanced meals, you can always check my blog for recipes:) I will be cheering you along!

  24. That sounds great! I like that you are not going extreme in any of these areas and just tweaking your habits to fit your new goals. I especially like incorporating date night with your husband and time with Murphy.

  25. That’s an awesome plan. I’m turning the big 30 this year too. My major goal is more strength training and flexibility. I’m a runner (marathons) and getting those two in are really hard. Running takes over especially when I have set runs planned.

  26. Tina – this is excellent!! I love your gameplan and its also a great reminder on how we should be treating our bodies everyday. Although this is a ‘lose your dough’ plan, I would be so thankful if I could maintain the principles that you’ve described. Thanks!!

  27. You have a great detailed plan! I was just curious if you take measurements/weight to keep track of your progress, or do you just go by how you feel and look in your clothes? I sometimes get soooo wrapped up in the numbers and just wondered what your approach on that was. Thanks and good luck. I know you’ll do great!!

  28. Good luck with “Lose the Dough”! I have similar goals so I can tone up and get leaner before my wedding this summer. It’s so inspirational to read about someone’s own journey to meet their fitness goals while I’m striving toward my own.

    One thing your readers might want to know…I’m pretty sure that “Body Pump” is available at many gyms but under different names. In grad school I went to a class called “Raise the Bar” and now in Charlotte, I attend “Group Power”. It is the same exact class! And I might be wrong, but I think Body Pump may be the same as well. You do it with a bar and plates right?

  29. It sounds like you’ve really put a lot of thought into your plan. I’m excited to read about your progress!

    I love the amount of exercise you’ll be doing too. The 1 thing I miss about belonging to a gym is the group exercise. They always get me so pumped, it’s awesome!!

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