If you’re trying to lose excess weight with exercise, bravo to you! Exercise and movement are essential for total body health. But, if you’re disappointed with the weight changes, it’s because your diet sucks. Sorry. But diet alone is 80% of weight loss. (Taking into account your hormone and stress levels are OK.) Exercise helps with muscle tone, metabolism, and stress-reduction, but exercise alone will not give you 6-pack abs.
6-pack abs are, for me anyway, not ever going to happen. #1) My genes do not support that body type. #2) The amount of diet discipline necessary for 6-pack abs for me is not worth it. I want to occasionally have queso and chips; wine with dinner; and a brownie a la mode. I’ve decided that I am not willing to sacrifice those things just to have a certain body appearance.
That being said, I have discovered a way to have your cake and eat it to, so to say. The answer is having a “cheat day.” Once per week you eat whatever you want. Seriously, anything goes. Doughnuts, Doritos, waffles and fried chicken, gummy bears, … whatever floats your boat.
At first, I balked at the idea, but in practice, I’m finding that it works. It usually works. There was that one time eating with friends when someone ordered a brownie a la mode (not on cheat day) and I just could not resist. I tried, but eventually I gave in to one bite. Then another. And I enjoyed each bite until I was done enjoying it. Then went back to my disciplined diet.
Sometimes cheat day is having a few chips with dinner; sometimes it’s having a stack of pancakes for breakfast, a hamburger with the bun, and ice cream after dinner. The cheat day is a mental game: you wait until cheat day to have what you want but know that you “shouldn’t.” Like I said, it’s not a perfect mental game, but it works most of the time. On cheat day, I eat my beloved carbs that I know are not good for me, and I usually end up with a stomach-ache and saying to myself, “I can’t wait to just eat healthy food again!”
The “perfect diet” for anyone is an illusion. There is no one perfect diet plan.
For me, these are the foods that I avoid except for on cheat day:
Foods that other people might consider avoiding: coffee / caffeine, dairy, fruit, alcohol, all grains, yeast.
To be frank, there are some things that I am just not willing to give up!
Some foods are really good for you and healthy and eating “clean” 6 days of the week gives you more opportunity to eat those.
Here are some things I eat for breakfast: eggs (almost every day), cooked in grass-fed butter, usually with organic sausage and greens. The greens may be kale, spinach, or arugula or a mix of all of those. If I don’t have greens, I may chop avocado into the eggs after they cook or add a spoonful of salsa on top. If I’m not in the mood for eggs, I’ll have un-sweetened, full-fat yogurt with a scoop of Standard Process protein powder and a spoonful of almond butter. I’m not a huge fruit eater, but sometimes I’ll add some raspberries in there. Oh, and don’t forget the coffee! Organic, sustainable and with a little dab of raw (unpasteurized) cream.
for lunch: tuna salad with mixed greens and pickles; potatoes with asparagus and herb cream sauce (made that for dinner last night); raw sashimi (fish) and miso soup; sweet potato fries with a burger (lettuce wrap – NO bun!).
for dinner: pollo con arroz (found a great recipe for this one last week); stew with bone broth, beef tips, and root vegetables; pork chops with sauteed (in butter of course) greens; coconut curry soup with tofu and bok choy.
Ok, so those are just some ideas to get you going. Get a subscription to a food magazine and read it to get some new recipes. That’s what I’ve been doing lately because I got bored just eating the same things over and over again. When I read the recipe ideas, I just pay attention to the healthy ones. Or ones you can make into healthier options. For example, I take the noodles out of the curry soup. It still tastes good, just less carbs. Save those for cheat day!