Food is 80% of the weight loss battle. Exercise is only 20% or so. But, exercise is still important because you want to build muscle, because muscle burns fat. Have you heard of high-intensity workouts? You can get your entire workout in only 30 minutes or less. I would do a couple sessions with a personal trainer who can come up with a few workouts for you. Circuit training is also a great way to incorporate both weights and cardio in one workout to save time.
But you need to do some sort of exercise. Not only to lose weight, but to be HEALTHY overall. Exercise is good for your heart and lungs, and your mind. Plus it really does wonders for energy. You don't have to work out every day, but shoot for 3 to 5 times a week.
Preparation is key for eating. If you aren't prepared, you're just going to hit up the McDonald's drive through.
I'll give you an example of an ideal day for myself:
Breakfast: oatmeal with milk and flaxseed
1 piece of fruit
1 hard boiled egg
Snack: Non-Fat greek yogurt
Low-fat mozzarella string cheese
Lunch: Tilapia Fillet
Pure Protein Protein Shake (if I will be exercising after work)
Dinner: Chicken Breast
Lots of protein and veggies, with minimal carbs. You don't want to eliminate carbs all together, because your body needs them, but they are calorie heavy and you need to pay attention to how much you are eating and make sure they come from a good source.
I prepare all my fish and chicken on Sunday so I have them ready for the week ahead. Preparation is key!
I also agree to avoid "fake stuff" like splenda, can't believe it's not butter, and hamburger helper. Instead, use natural products and make it yourself. I'd rather eat a little bit of REAL sugar or REAL butter, than the fake stuff. I always feel bloated and weird after eating fake stuff.
And that includes Special K. Have you ever actually read the labels to their "weight loss" products? They are LOADED with sugar and very little protein. They are garbage, including their shakes. Stick to plain cereal that has whole ingredients like oatmeal.
Totally agree with whoever said swapping miracle whip or mayo for hummus. You really have to be careful of condiments like mayo. They are loaded with calories and most people aren't honest about using 1 TABLESPOON. A loaded spoonful usually is much more than that.
Stay away from Ramen noodles -----> SALT. Oh my gosh are they loaded with salt!! In that aspect, be careful of soup too and make sure you read the label, because broth is loaded with salt. Honestly, if I eat too much salt, I won't lose weight. Be really careful of your salt intake. That includes sandwich meat. Just be aware of it.
Be careful of Subway. It's easy to add a bunch of saucses to your sub that will sky rocket and calories and fat. Those calorie number they post? Look closely because that's for a basic plain-jane sub without extras on it. If you do it right, it can be fine, but be careful of the things you can add to it.
Lose the Mountain Dew and the tea. And most of the coffee. If you REALLY want to lose weight, then just drink water. Moutain Dew is one of the worst things you can put into your body with all the sugar. If you absolutely need coffee, only do ONE cup (not a thermos ... only 1 cup) and do not use creamer or sugar. Just depends how badly you want to lose weight, and only you can decide that.
And little things like grabbing PLAIN almonds instead of SALTED almonds. Or making homemeade spaghetti sauce with no-sodium-added tomato sauce, instead of Ragu. Or not putting any ketchup on your chicken or hamburger. Etc. All those little tiny things add up calories (and extras) very quick.
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