Hello everyone! I know I haven't been keeping up with the blogging, but no need to worry. I'm still on the wagon!
I've been doing much better, and I think it's because of a few key changes I've done to give myself a leg up in my own battle. Here's a list of my favorites. They've really helped, so if you're running out of ideas, feel free to try them out. I know they've given me a definite advantage.
1) food scale
This is just a dinky one I bought at walmart. No electricity, no special settings. Just pure, simple weighing power. Before I got this, I never knew what a single serving of dry pasta looked like. Now I do, and I can accurately keep track of my calories as a result. It's also great for cooking at home...it makes portioning out ingredients SO much easier!
2) Protein shakes
I have this problem of being hungry in between meals. Not just a twinge of hunger, either; it's a deep, empty hunger like I haven't eaten in days, but I just ate an hour before. Now I have pretty bad acid reflux, so I know that's part of my problem. However, having one of these shakes on hand at all times "quiets the monster" if you will. It's not enough to fill me up completely, but it takes the edge off for another hour or so, and it's fairly low in calories (about 100 per bottle). You'll have to buy a few kinds before you find one you like; for me, it's the special K chocolate ones.
3) Insurance-assisted gym membership
I don't have an image for this one, so I'll just explain. A little while back, in january, I heard a rumor that you could get a discount on gym memberships through your insurance. So I called my insurance company and asked, and it turns out they have a really great plan where you get about $10 a membership to participating gyms in the area. The catch is that you have to go a set number of times per month, but I haven't found that to be a problem just yet.
Going to the gym is something I've never done before; I always felt intimidated when I did it during college, and I never went consistently enough to make a difference. But i've found that if I go early in the morning, hardly anyone is there yet. I put my headphones on and tune out of my head, just enjoying the movement and the feeling of accomplishment after I'm done working out.
Check with your insurance and see if they have something similar. If they don't, the next step would be to find a workout that you ENJOY...whether it be a dance class once a week or walking down the road to have some quiet time to yourself. Every little bit helps!
4) OAMC (once a month cooking)
This is a big deal for me. Every night, the man and I come home and we're EXHAUSTED. Like beaten down tired. It's really hard for either of us to think about physically making dinner, and then cleaning up afterwards. We usually would resort to eating out, which isn't good for our waistlines or our wallets.
Then I found this site about once a month cooking, where they show you how to make meals in bulk at the beginning of the month, and store them in your freezer so you're all set. That way, you come home to either a meal that's all ready in the crockpot, or one that simply needs to be heated in the stove or the microwave. They have breakfasts and lunches too, so you're covered for every meal. LIFE SAVER.
The best thing about this particular site is not only do they make the menus for you every month, but they also make a grocery list and complete instructions for you. They make it so easy! AND there's a menu for almost every type; vegetarian, gluten free and vegan, dieting, traditional american, etc. I'm in awe of the work these people put in to their site every month.
Check it out!
5) Salad in a jar
That's right, you heard me. Salad. In a jar. Want to learn to eat more veggies? This is a good way to do it.
Remember those shaker salads mcdonalds had a while back? This is the same concept. You layer ingredients in a jar (a mason jar), then shake to combine when you're ready to eat. This makes an awesome make-ahead lunch for work, and it's super filling too! I got my recipe from the site below, and once you get the hang of it, you can add whatever you want! I usually add a bit of feta cheese and slivered almonds to mine.
Well there you have it...my top 5 things that are helping me win the battle. I've only been using these tools for the last two months or so, but they've really helped me stay on track, even if my weight isn't budging (sidenote: GRRRRR). But at least I'm building momentum and habits, and that's a win in itself.
Until next time!