After several months of heavy travel and zero self-control, I noticed my “fat pants” had become my regular pants. Then I saw a photo of myself on Facebook and quickly realized I needed get my shit together.
In a quick round of research on LiveStrong.com you can find that high-fiber, high-protein meals consumed six times a day can help expedite feeling good, getting active and losing weight. Even Michelle Obama’s, “Let’s move” initiative encourages lots of fruits and vegetables, including cute lesson plans about eating a rainbow.
Instead of counting calories, I prefer to count food groups each day because it makes me feel less weight-obsessed and more health-focused. To keep myself honest, I like to log meals on the free app MyPlate (created by the health freaks at Livestrong.com). Counting by numbers also offers more flexibility in meal planning, makes me feel less deprived and alleviates stress when you do eat out. So here’s the plan:
Eat by Numbers: What goes in six meals a day
- 1 serving dairy – about 1 cup of skim milk
- 2 servings of lean protein – Livestrong will help calculate appropriate recommendations for men v. women but in a pinch try to keep it to the size of your fist. Limit red meat.
- 2 servings vegetables – 1 cup = 1 serving … unless it’s lettuce or spinach. I mean, look what it does for Popeye.
- 3 servings fruit – best if consumed before 6 p.m., generally a whole piece of fruit or a cup of fruit if you’re munching on berries or grapes
- 3 servings starch – aim for rice-based starches like brown rice, rice cakes, sweet potatoes, or bran flake cereal
- 3 protein shakes – If you’re not sure where to start, check out my recipe for peanut butter deliciousness
So far, so good. I’ve lost inches, am cooking great meals, feel great and have been more ambitious about moving my body – more on simple exercise tips at home later.
Disclaimer: If you are considering losing weight, talk to your doctor. I’m only a quack on the internet. You’re beautiful no matter what the number on the scale or your dress says.
Here’s some music to keep you boppin’ through the produce aisle and meal planning: