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!

Meal Planning: Whole 30 Week 4

Is it already the start of week 4? I was talking to my husband and kids last night and they were shocked to learn that I haven't had ketchup in 20 days. I LOVE ketchup. Seriously. I love it on eggs, chicken, pretty much if anything can be dipped in a condiment, I'm dipping it in ketchup. I've been this way since I was a little girl and without a doubt this has been the longest I've ever gone without my beloved ketchup.

When we were in New York City they had a piece of ketchup artwork and I had to get my photo taken with it. I have ketchup issues.

That's the first thing I'm missing on the Whole 30. I'm also missing beans; black beans, kidney beans, garbanzo beans.

And lastly...

But on the plus side...I have learned to tolerate black coffee.

And have rediscovered how freaking fantastic REAL eggs are! Thanks to Nom Nom Paleo for teaching me how to make the perfect hard boiled egg!

 And last, but certainly not least is my new found love for sweet potatoes and yams. I've made a sweet potato hash every week and eat it for breakfast, lunch and/or dinner nearly every day. It's become a staple in our diet (me and the husband.)

I don't miss the sugars at all (unless you count ketchup) and it's been over 2 months since I've had a diet soda or any sort of artificial sweetener at all.

I'm feeling great, and will easily be able to keep this up after the official Whole 30 is over. Except for ketchup, beans, and beer. I'll be adding those back in to my diet, though I will really try to limit the ketchup since it has so much sugar. I don't eat junk food, fast food, processed food and haven't for over 4 years, so I didn't have to "give those up" when I started the Whole 30 because I was already living a fairly clean lifestyle.

 

We did well last week with eating up all the ground turkey, but I have a lot of shrimp, salmon, tilapia, and chicken breast, so this weeks meal plans will focus on those items as the main dishes.

Monday: Sauteed shrimp with onions and cherry tomatoes

Tuesday: Chicken Fajitas

Wednesday: Salmon Patties

Thursday: Breakfast for dinner: eggs, sweet potato hash

Friday: Blackened Pork Chops James has a request for pork chops, so I will make these for him and the kids.

And there you have it! Week 4 will be done! We usually have leftovers on the weekend, though on Sunday May 5th, we're heading off for an awesome SUP adventure! We're going to be paddling with the manatees with Manatee Paddle in Crystal River! We need to be there at 9am, so we'll need to eat a nice hearty breakfast before we leave, and then I'll pack a cooler with healthy snacks, which is something I do regardless, and for lunch I'm sure I can find a salad and a sweet potato at nearly any restaurant Smile

 

If you have followed or are following the Whole 30 what the HARDEST food/drink/condiment for you to give up?? The ketchup one really surprised me. Tongue Out I knew beer and beans would be somewhat of a challenge..but ketchup? That one snuck up on me.