Wednesday, January 20, 2010

for the love of food!

I should first start out by saying that I love food. I love buying it, cooking it, and or course eating it! I am lucky enough to have married a man who has pretty flexible taste buds and will eat almost everything I cook.

My love of food has not always been a positive thing. I graduated high school at 104 pounds (a little underweight) and ended college at about 137 pounds. Now I know that is not too large, but for my 5’4” height, small frame it is a little on the heavy side. So when my then fiancĂ© (now husband) proposed, I knew I wanted to drop the extra weight and look the best in my wedding dress.

This was my strategy: eat healthy and workout. Seems pretty simple right? And it really is, just with some hard work and determination. I should say though, I am not a doctor. This is just the strategy that worked for me.

Here’s how to do it:

  1. Find out your daily calorie intake- I used the Mayo Clinic website. I figure that the Mayo clinic would provide the most accurate and healthy number of calories. This number is very important because it determines how many calories you can consume without gaining weight (in theory). If you want to lose weight one pound equals 3,500 calories. To lose one pound you must burn 3,500 more calories than you are consuming or reduce your calorie intake by 3,500 calories. So to aim for weight loss of one pound per week, you would reduce calories by 500 per day.

  2. Tracking your calories- My newly discovered favorite website is Calorie Count. I was paying $40 a year for another site and I found this free site that offers all the features I wanted. This site allows me to search many food items, add them by meal, and track my intake. In addition, I can add my own recipes and it will calculate the calories in it. This is invaluable to me because I have learned to substitute items to make my meals healthier. Such as…egg beaters for eggs, splenda for sugar, wheat flour for white flour, quinoa for rice, and the list goes on.

  3. Planning Meals- This really should be number one. After all, this is the food section. I have found that planning meals is vital for eating healthy. If not, you end up coming home and throwing together some high calorie, pasta dish or worse yet fast food! I just LOVE, LOVE, LOVE Recipezaar's recipe sifter. It allows you to search by meal type, stuff you have on hand, and nutrition information. I usually try to find a main course that is less than 400 calories.

  4. Exercise, exercise, exercise- I am lucky enough that I have a very flexible job that allows me to work out over my lunch break. I try to get to the gym 3-4 times a week. I try to get some sort of exercise every day. If I do not go to the gym, I speed clean my house or walk my dog. I also read lots of fitness magazines- self, shape, and fitness. Studies have shown that reading these magazines help keep you more motivated to work out. Not to mention that it keeps my work out from getting boring.



That is my weight loss/maintain strategy and it seems to have worked for me. I have maintained my weight at about 119 pounds for over 3 years. This lifestyle change is actually pretty easy to do, as long as you plan your meals and track your calorie intake.



The question remains still, why the cooking section?? Well, I will post little healthy finds I make in this section. I mean, don’t get me wrong...this section will be completely full of unhealthy items too.

All of my healthy items will have this lovely little image on them to denote they are healthy.



I just hope this will be a good way for us sisters to share recipes, ideas, and a yummy, healthy way for all of us to live!



~Beth

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