All this month, we’ve been talking about losing weight. It’s not just because bathing suit season is almost upon us; excess weight is associated with many diseases such as high blood pressure, heart disease, diabetes, cancer and so on. Losing even just a few pounds can improve your health and reduce your risk of illness. Here’s what your day can look like if you’re implementing some small changes to eat right and exercise:
You wake up feeling well-rested. Before you get out of bed, you take a minute to read the index cards that outline your weight loss goal and why it’s so important to you. You’re really looking forward to buying a new swimsuit. You grab a mini Larabar for fuel then hit the gym (or the pavement) for a work-out. Drinking a full bottle of water helps get you through.
Time for breakfast. You know you’re rushed in the morning, so you’ve planned ahead and made cereal power-packs. When you unloaded your groceries from your last shopping trip, you made up small plastic bags filled with a cup of cereal, a tablespoon of ground flax seeds and a ¼ cup each of walnuts and raisins. Since you know exactly what’s in each one, you’re able to add it to your food diary easily. You dump one into a bowl, add some milk and you’ve got a super-healthy breakfast.
Off to work. Commuting’s no fun, but polishing off another bottle of water makes it go a little faster.
Lunchtime will be spent in the conference room for a department meeting. The boss has ordered pizza and soda for everyone. Tempting, but you know you’ll feel bad later if you eat a few slices now. Good thing you ran down to the cafeteria and hit the salad bar beforehand. After the meeting starts, however, the smell of the pizza is too much, so you take half of a slice. It’s okay, because the bulk of your meal is a healthy salad, balancing out this small portion of a treat. You realize as you jot your lunch down in your food diary that only the first few bites of the pizza are the best anyway.
A quick mid-afternoon break is spent e-mailing your weight loss buddy. You touch base with each other every other day to check in and see how each other is doing. It helps you feel more accountable and it’s nice to have the support of a friend who has similar goals. Before you sign off, you make plans to walk together this weekend.
Dinner’s not for a few more hours, but you’re hungry now. Time for a snack: an apple and peanut butter you brought from home. The healthy fat in the peanut butter fills you up and holds you until later. Feeling thirsty, you drink some more water.
Knowing that you had to work a little late today, you made a double-batch of soup last night: low-salt vegetable broth with a bag of frozen chopped vegetables, peeled shrimp and some brown rice. Easy. Tonight, you’ll toss some cherry tomatoes in as you heat it up to give it a slightly different flavor so it doesn’t feel like leftovers.
As you relax after dinner, you read through your food diary to make sure you wrote everything down. It took a few days to get used to doing this, but it feels like your eating is better controlled when you do it. There’s a lot on your mind, but you know you’re making the best effort you can to lose weight. Good for you.