Jenny's Top 5 Tips to Help You Lose Weight

People often ask me "Jenny, how did you lose all that weight and how have you kept it off?" Looking back on the past 4 1/2 years, I did a series of small things to tweak my diet that alone would not add up to 212 pounds, but together, they made a world of difference.

Here are my TOP 5 tips to help you on your weight loss journey!

1. MEAL PLAN!! I learned very early on in my weight loss journey that if you fail to plan, then plan to fail! I plan all my family dinners, and have generally always had the same thing for breakfast and lunch. I also avoid eating out. Fast food meals and even “healthy” restaurant foods are not only higher in calories, but full of additives and flavorings. We also tend to eat more when we eat out. Preparing food and eating at home is cheaper, healthier, and more fulfilling.

2. MAKE FRUITS AS ACCESSIBLE AS CHIPS! Wash, cut up, and store fruits such as grapes, melon, kiwi, pineapple, and apples in reusable containers in the fridge so they're easy to grab. Make sure they're right up front at eye level so they're the first thing you see when you open the fridge door. I often buy my fruit already washed and cut-up and this makes it even easier for me to stay on plan! I also don't bring chips in the house!! Throw out or give away the junk because if it's not in your kitchen, you can't be tempted to eat it.

3. USE SMALLER SIZED PLATES! When we prepare a plate of food, we feel the need to fill it up completely. If you start out with a smaller-sized salad plate, there's only so much you can pile on, so you'll end up consuming fewer calories.

4. DRINK MORE WATER!!  I can't stress this one enough. You should always have your water bottle within arms reach. Try to drink 2 cups of water 20 minutes before each meal. And how much water should you drink? You should strive to drink 1/2 your body weight in ounces every day.

5. TRACK TRACK TRACK! Write down every BLT (bite, lick, taste.) Sneak a handful of your kids' goldfish crackers while you are packing their lunch? Write it down. Sample a spoonful of mac & cheese just to make sure the noodles are cooked enough? Write it down. All those BLT's will ADD UP! There are plenty of free programs available online like My Fitness Pal, Spark People, or you can keep a journal with you and record it the good old fashioned way!!  Tracking really opened my eyes to how much I was really eating!

 

And there you have it! My top 5 tips to help you lose weight by making some simple tweaks to your diet!!

You can "like" me on Facebook for more tips to help you on your path to a healthier lifestyle!

I'd love to know if you try any of these and how they help you on your journey!

Whole 30: Round 2 Week 1

I finished up round 1 of the Whole 30 on May 8th. I did great. I lost 6 pounds and 5 inches, became leaner, stronger and faster.

During the past few weeks I have started to let some foods slip back in to my diet. Which foods you might be wondering? Well, beans for one. And beer for two. Tongue Out  And some natural sugars for 3 (honey, stevia and monk fruit) and some oats and flax (though that was only Friday and Saturday of this past week.) 

I'm feeling bloated, and poochy in my stomach, so it's time to tighten up the food choices because I don't like how I am currently feeling.

I'm going to try to be even more strict on this go around. During my first Whole30 I did allow myself snacks. This time, I'm going to try to eat more at my meals and curtail the snacking. The kids are going to be out of school, so this may or may not work against me. I'll be working so hard to keep them busy that I might not have time to think about snacking. Or...I'll be so stressed out that I'll be reaching for a snack out of stress. And that's when I'll have to remember H.A.L.T.

Hungry

Angry

Lonely

Tired

The hardest one for me was H. Am I truly hungry?? I need to listen more to my body. Am I hungry enough to eat a full meal? If the answer is NO, then I need to put the food down, drink a glass of water and find something else to do.

The average craving lasts for only 3-5 minutes, so when cravings come up, I need to take a lesson from successful 4-year-olds, and I must learn to distract myself until the craving passes.

I am quite proud of myself for not having ANY ketchup since April 7th. And I haven't had a diet soda, coffee creamer, etc...since February, so I did make some serious progress in certain areas.

I started Round 2 today, and I know that I'm going to stick with my staples for pre-workout snack: hard boiled egg. My post-workout snack will also be a hard boiled egg. Lunch will likely be sweet potato hash with avocado and a grilled chicken breast. We did a bunch of cooking today including grilling talapia and chicken breast and I have a bunch of shrimp so that will be on the menu as well!

 

and I'm planning on these meals for dinner this week:

Sunday- Talapia with roasted vegetables

Monday- Grilled Chicken with roasted vegetables

Tuesday- Tilapia Lettuce Wraps

Wednesday- Roasted tomatoes with shrimp and feta (no feta for me, but the kids and James will like it.)

Thursday- Smoked Salmon Quiche

Friday- Chicken Tacos for the kids and James, chicken on salad for me

Saturday- A hodgepodge of whatever we have left around the house!

 

I'm pumped for this round of the Whole30. I know how good I feel when I'm on it, so I just need to stay on it!! 

Have you done the Whole30? Have you done it more than once? If so, did you notice any differences between the first time and subsequent attempts?

Music Monday: We Don't Need No Education??

Typing a double negative just made the hair rise up on my arm. Undecided

When I was in school, this would be "the song" that we would sing on the last day of school. But for today's music Monday theme (remakes) I'm including a techno version!

The last day of school for MY gang is Tuesday, and they will continue to get an education throughout the summer. We will have reading and math time every day during break. The kids can't back slide during the summer months, and if I don't stay on top of them, they certainly will. Haley needs to work on improving her math skills and it's my goal to teach her all her multiplication facts before she starts 4th grade. Ella will work on those same math facts so that as she enters 3rd grade she'll be ahead and all three will continue to read read read.

We're taking advantage of the Pasco County Summer Reading Program: Dig Into Reading and will spend many hours in our local branch.

All three will also be participating in ONE week of summer camp of their choosing. Haley and Ella both chose an acting themed summer camp, and Ronin chose a sports camp. I will be keeping them busy busy busy!!

 What are your plans for the summer? What are your kids doing? Any camps??