My Rollercoaster Ride
Overall, I am a healthy woman. I have always been relatively thin, although my unhealthy eating while in my 20s led to some weight gain during some of the most stressful years of my life. I was 31 years old when I reformed my eating habits, and I have maintained a reasonable weight for several years.
Last Autumn I moved to Boston, leaving behind my active job that made it easy to keep the extra weight off. In only 4 months, I gained around 15 pounds. Stress and lack of activity could have easily caused me to gain more, but I got back on my feet and lost 5 pounds. A little bit of success is motivating.
When we don't have to wear layers, our weight gain is especially noticeable. In Boston I am particularly aware of my figure, because I am surrounded by an astounding number of woman who are fit and trim. I see them walking in town fashionably dressed, at the beach, and in their form-hugging outfits as they jog up the street. They are everywhere, and I am reminded that I am not quite at my ideal weight. I am fortunate to not be obese, but it is also sometimes not as motivating to get off of my butt to work out. I know from past experience that once I get started, it gets much easier to keep going.
Diet Preparation Tips
- Get checked out by your doctor, if necessary
- Ease into exercise, if you are a beginner or have been sedentary for a while
- Start reducing your intake of caffeine, salt, sugar, alcohol, or whatever it is you are trying to cut down on during your diet or lifestyle change
- If desired, buy a diet and exercise log, and a journal to keep track of your diet and your thoughts and feelings
- Track your diet for one week. This will allow you to see any negative or positive patterns you have, enabling you to make and maintain healthy habits
- Think about what it is you want to accomplish during this diet. Do you just want to lose weight, or do you want to lose inches? Do you want to gain muscle tone? Do you want to gain energy, reduce your cellulite, or detox? Being specific will help you stay focused
- Find or put together a diet, or else just basic guidelines to help you stick to your goals
- If desired, build a music playlist for working out or walking. My MP3 player is a useful and fun part of exercising for me
- Think about any "tools" you may want during this time, and obtain them if you can. This may include a blender to whip up smoothies, workout video or weights, or maybe some workout clothes or a comfortable exercise mat. It varies from person to person, and many times we can get away without buying anything. Just work with what you have, and the environment around you
- Weigh yourself
- Take down your measurements
- Figure out your BMI (Body Mass Index)
- Measure your body fat
- Take into account what size your body frame is
- Take photos of yourself before the diet, if you want a visual reminder
The range of the ideal BMI (Body Mass Index) is between 18.5 and 25. Anything less than 18.5 is usually associated with a lack of lean body mass, and may increase your risk of osteoporosis. Anything more than 25 increases your risk for cancer, high blood pressure, and heart disease.
I like to use a chart like the one below to keep track of my stats. I usually weigh myself once a week, and I measure myself once every 1-3 weeks.
Sample Measurements Chart
Shape Up America provides an array of useful tools
These are a few examples of what you can find on the site below:
- Nutrition Center: shows menu plans at different calorie levels
- Supplemental Guide: Supplements that are promoted for fitness
- Shape Up and Drop 10: Solid information and guidance to lose weight in 10 steps
- Body Fat Lab: Information about your body fat, and the role it plays in your overall health. I especially like the Body Fat and Health Risk Calculator. You enter in basic information, and it shows you your BMI, your approximate body fat percentage (if you don't already know it), and what your health risk level is, based on your body fat and waist circumference
- Chef's Select Cookbook: A variety of healthy recipes, several added to it every month
- Meal Upgrade: Choose one of 24 meals that are frequently served in American households, and they provide several options for making it healthier. After choosing one or a few of the options, the "before and after" calorie and fat amounts are shown. It's interesting to see how a few small changes can make a big difference
- Support Center: Includes the Information Center, Motivation Center, Maintenance Center (for maintaining your current weight), and Feedback
- Tools: If the above sections were not enough, this one provides many other tools that are useful for obtaining or maintaining a healthy lifestyle: Family Activity Calculator, 10,000 Steps, Physical Activity Calculator, Resting Metabolic Rate Calculator, Food and Activity Diary, and Portion Control Tutorial
I really enjoy this website, since it is interactive, and provides a lot of useful information. It is an American site, but many from out of this country could find it useful, as well.
The American Heart Society has Great Diet Tips
- Welcome to the No-Fad Diet
The American Heart Association provides tips and recipes for a simple diet
What diet plan do you prefer?
When I Get Ready For a Diet
- I think about my weaknesses, and how I can turn them into strengths
- I think about what has worked for me in the past
- I decide on exercises that will strengthen my body, help me lose weight, and think of some fun activities in between to avoid boredom
- I look through my resources (books, magazines, and websites, including HubPages) for recipes that are healthy and flavorful
- I write up a grocery list full of healthy foods (and a "treat" here and there), and shop for my healthy diet
- I find ways to motivate and engage me during the diet, and to reward me once I attain my goals
JamiJay has many healthy snack recipes, including this:
- Oven Roasted Chickpea Recipe
Homemade oven roasted chickpeas is a fantastic, filling, and delicious snack that everyone can enjoy.
Food Group Recommendations
These Are My Own Basic Guidelines
- Drink lots of water
- Drink 2 cups of green tea per day
- Cut down on coffee
- Consume a high amount of protein and veggies, as well as healthy fats, and fruit at times. Reducing my intake of pasta and potatoes
- Limit or omit sugary beverages and beer
- Eat often, but in smaller portions
- Practice portion control
- When I eat out, be careful what I choose, and take some of my meal home
- Don't snack mindlessly
- Sit down and enjoy my food. It's not good to stand and eat!
A Great Fitness Guru on HubPages
- Abby Campbell on HubPages
Abby Campbell is a professional fitness and sports nutritionist, personal trainer, and published author of One Size Does NOT Fit All Diet Plan:...
Many times I like to kick start my diet by going on some sort of a detox diet for 1-3 days. I usually cut out caffeine, salt, sugar and alcohol during the time, and consume plenty of liquids and vegetables. But even when I don't do that, I try to eat and drink things that are very good for the liver and kidneys, and cleanse the body.
This is an Informative Video Explaining Several Cleansing and Detoxifying Foods
Articles About Dieting and Detoxing By Fellow Writers
- How Create, Organize, and Maintain a Healthy Diet Plan
Make a healthy dieting plan that works for you. Tips and free website resources for making your own healthy diet.
- Ten Tips for Losing Weight Dining Out
You can go to almost any restaurant and find suitable choices for your healthy eating style and also low calorie selections. Don't let your diet sabotage a good time.
- Three Easy Ways to Use Lemons In Your Diet
Lemons can be difficult for some people to get used to! However, they are incredibly beneficial for your body! Read on for the 3 ways that I use lemons in my own diet.
- Lemon Water: Diet Drink or A Detox Plan. Losing weight the easy way!
Lemon Water, the benefits are numerous. Diet Drink and a Detox drink, the plan is simple and easy. Lose weight and detox your body at the same time. Try it out....
My Exercise Plan
- Walk 30 minutes a day, 5 days a week
- In addition, walk on the Harbor Walk (going along the beach) 2 times per week, 30 minutes each time.
Workout in Apartment:
- Once a week, exercise my abs and legs in the comfort of home
- Once a week, workout my arms with my dumbbells
- Cardio once a week: The gym room in my building has striders, treadmills and a stationary bike. I will aim for 30-45 minutes
- Using the weights in the gym room, workout my arms once a week
- I will walk up the stairs in my building every other day, or about 3 times per week. Since I live on the 15th floor, it is a big workout. Yesterday I did this, and I think I counted two flights of 10 stairs between every floor. We have no 13th floor (superstition is funny), so that translates to about 260 stairs.
Once a week, give myself permission to leave out one of these, so I have about 2 days to relax. I don't want to overdo it, or give myself more than I want to handle!
Total exercise tasks, not including the automatic walks for work: 9, or 8 after leaving one out.
This is the beach I will be walking along more oftenClick thumbnail to view full-size
- Weight Loss Shakes and Smoothies
Recipe's for delicious and refreshing weight loss shakes, smoothies and slushies. Whether you need to loose weight or just need a simple meal replacement, a smoothie is the way to go. Blend these tasty treats in seconds.
- Two Ingredient Healthy Cookies
Are you trying to live a healthy lifestyle? Do those pesky sugar filled cookie treats taunt you? Now you can give a little and bake these easy, two ingredient, banana oatmeal cookies at home!
- Best Homemade Protein Shake Recipe
Learn how to make healthy homemade protein shakes, popular with muscle-building athletes and dieters looking for meal replacement. Also included: a chart of common proteins to vary your smoothies.
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.
© 2013 Kathryn