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:
- ANY of Jari Love’s DVDs – they kick your booty!
- Jillian Michael’s 30-Day Shred
- Comcast’s Exercise TV
- My Strength Training Workouts
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.
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!