Below are a few tips from what I’ve learned so far in my journey to a healthier leaner me.
CICO = Calories In Calories Out
LCHF = Low Carb High Fat
Keto = Ketogenic Diet
SV = Scale Victory
NSV = Non-Scale Victory
If you follow Calories In Calories Out (CICO), then you can pretty much eat whatever you want. However, when I first began, there were some very easy no foods and yes foods that helped me with my journey. I found these rules kept me full most of the time and helped keep the cravings down, and in some cases, got rid of some of my cravings altogether. I no longer have carbs cravings. It took about 2 – 3 weeks to break my soda cravings. And, I’m still waiting to break my sugar cravings.
- Veggies: Yes
- Fruits: No
- Cheese: Very little (calories)
- Avacado: Yes! (watch calories)
- Eggs: Yes
- Meat/Protein: Yes
- Sweets/Treats: No
- Bread/Tortillas: No
- Only drink water, protein drinks or (low sodium) V-8. This is really a rule for me. For me, I can see any other drink(s) becoming a “gateway” drink, so I just stick to water.
Above are some general guidelines I used. However, I would also add, don’t look at meals or food in “conventional” ways either. Part of what got me to my overweight life, was being full and thinking I still needed to eat a big dinner, or that I must finish everything on my plate. There are many times now that 3 pieces of hard salami is dinner. Or, 4 ounces of ham may be dinner. If I’m satisfied, it’s OK to stop eating and save the rest for later. Or, if I’ve eaten part of a cookie, it’s “OK” to throw the rest away. And, I’ve also tried to start looking at food in a different way as well. I try to look at food as nourishment now instead of entertainment.
The Protein Aisle
Don’t be afraid of the protein aisle – I used to think the protein aisle was for body builders, but I’ve learned it’s also for body slimmers.
Try to find a store with individual serving sizes so you can try multiple bars/shakes/powder before you buy in larger quantities.
Try pre-mixed drinks first. I feel the premixed drinks are the manufacturer’s best attempt at their drink. However, powders can be cheaper… much cheaper in some cases. When you try powders, try them with water, milk, soy milk, almond milk, cashew milk. Each of these will provide a different flavor and consistency.
Protein bars are NOT candy bars. They are for nutrition. If they happen to taste like a “treat” that’s just a bonus. Many protein bars dress up like a candy bar, but please don’t expect them to taste like candy bars – although some can actually come pretty darn close.
Check the nutrition on the protein items – it’s like any other part of the store. Some items will help your journey, some might not. Some protein items are made for body builders trying to bulk, so they will have many more calories, carbs and sugars than you will want.
When I’m shopping the protein aisle, I’m looking for items with 300 calories or less, 20 grams of protein or more, 3 grams of sugar or less, 20 grams (net) carbs or less.
Low Carb High Fat (LCHF) / Keto / CICO
As you notice above, I push carbs and sugar out of my (personal) diet, and bring in protein. There is a diet out there call Keto. See here for a Keto support community. Keto is about getting your body into a state of ketosis, which is supposed to turn your body into a fat burning machine. There are many, MANY different views in regards to the keto diet, and you will want to consult your physician to make sure it is safe for you.
(In short) a calorie is a unit of energy and our bodies burn energy JUST TO LIVE, not even including exercise. Your body will burn quiet a few calories simply to keep you breathing and moving around throughout the day. TDEE provides an approximate number of calories it takes to keep you alive (not including excess exercise). So, really Calories In Calories Out (CICO) is the primary number you need to monitor every day. However, it’s good to figure out what keeps you full and reduces cravings in order to help reduce your CICO needs. Here’s a great support community for those who really like to follow just CICO.
I personally don’t fully follow the Keto diet, but I do find it easier to push carbs and sugars out and bring in protein simply because protein fills me up and helps me manage my CICO easier.
Tip: there are 4 calories in 1 gram of carbs, 4 calories in 1 gram of protein, and 9 calories in 1 gram of fat.
Tip 2: There are 3500 calories in a pound.There are 7 days in a week. So, if you reduce your TDEE number by 500 calories daily, you should be able to lose 1 pound per week. If your TDEE is 2000/day and you consume 1500/day, you should (in theory) lose 1 pound that week.