A Kind Approach to Diet Change

Changing your diet is often a difficult battle. While I do not find yo-yo dieting or trend diets to be effective, I absolutely believe in eating healthier and making permanent changes. I advocate for lifestyle change rather than quick fixes. Making a drastic change can be daunting and cause one to give up and go back to the diet they are used to eating because it is seen as easier or more comfortable. Don’t let that be you. Being kind to yourself and taking things one day at a time is a good way to set yourself up for success.

As I always say, weightloss is a journey. We get to a point where we go, “How did I get here? How can I fix this? How did I let this happen? Why do I feel this way? Why do I look this way? I wish I could be different. Maybe I should get surgery. Maybe I should just forget it and keep doing what I’m doing.” The truth is, we are complicated humans and life throws a thousand and one changes at us and it is at these moments when we decide to take life into our hands and trust God will guide us and carry us through to better ourselves, or succumb to the circumstances. Rise above and realize the value in yourself and embark on the powerful act of caring for yourself.  I have put together a grocery shopping list, meal plan, and workout plan that you can use to get started.

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Groceries

Some people have the false belief that eating healthy is always more expensive. This is simply not true. If you are big on coupons, you can use those for many frozen produce items, some fresh produce or whole grain items, and plenty of other health food items. You can also shop around to compare prices. I recommend checking out local produce stands, produce markets, or farmer’s markets. I also love shopping at ALDI. My weekly shopping includes a trip to the fabulous Parkesdale Market for all my produce, ALDI for almost everything else at amazingly low prices, Sam’s Club (mostly for samples but also for bulk items like almonds and meat that I can store in the freezer in convenient serving sizes), and the occasional stop at Walmart for any sauces or items not available at the other spots I frequent. Here is a list that should last 1 person two weeks:

1 Bag Apples
1 Bag Oranges
2 Bunches Bananas
2 Heads or Bags of Lettuce
2 Large Tomatoes
2 of Your Favorite Raw Veggies for Dipping (Celery, Snap Peas, Carrots, etc.)
4-6 Avocados
4 Sweet Potatoes
1 Bag Chicken Tenderloins (Freezer Section)
4 Bags of Frozen Veggies, Any Type
2 Bags Frozen Fruit
2 Sausages Such as Polska Kielbasa or Smoked Sausage
1 Gallon Milk
1 Carton Eggs (Hard Boil 6)
2 Blocks of Cheese (To Slice for Sandwiches or Grate for Salads)
1 Container of Veggie Dip or Hummus
1 Large Jar Peanut Butter
2 Cans of Tuna
1 Package of Pita Bread
1 lb Turkey from the Deli Counter

Meal Plan

I like to keep variety in my food. I love smoothies for breakfast and I usually have the same smoothie a few times a week and on other days I might have an apple with peanut butter and a glass of milk or a couple fried eggs with some bacon or a some almond milk and zucchini bread. This meal plan gives you plenty of options for personalizing to your own tastes.

Breakfast- Cook Up a Couple Eggs and Half of an Avocado OR Have a Smoothie (Peel and Freeze a Few Bananas to Make Your Smoothies Creamy and Delicious) Flavor Ideas* Peanut Butter Banana, Berries, Any of Your Favorite Frozen Fruit Your Purchased or Peanut Butter and Cocoa Powder For More Ideas, Check out My Pinterest Board, Have 1 Serving of Fruit

Snack- Apple Slices with Peanut Butter OR an Orange OR Veggies and Dip OR Cheese and Fruit

Lunch- Pita Sandwich with Peanut Butter, OR Turkey and Cheese, OR Tuna Salad, Any Raw Vegetable and Dip or Hummus, 1 Serving of Fruit

Dinner- Sauteed Chicken OR Smoked Sausage OR Sweet Potato WITH Salad or Veggies

Snack- Once a Week, Have a Small Dessert After Dinner

Exercise

Physical Activity is an important part of the weight loss journey. It is vital in keeping your body functioning as well as it can and it also releases endorphins which means working out makes you happy. If you are already following a steady routine, remember to give it your all, continue to push yourself, and vary your routine so your body is constantly working for you and not against you. If you are just starting out, one of the best things to do is take a walk, either alone or with a friend. The longer the walk and the faster the pace, the better, so start where you are comfortable and just continue to increase and push yourself. I enjoy working in the yard, walking my dog, going on runs with my husband, joining races, paddle boarding, Zumba, and love the NTC Nike App. Check out your local gyms, many offer 3-7 day passes during which you can try out the gym for free. If you are thinking about joining a gym, that’s a great way to see if a gym is the right fit for you.

This is an at-home 15 minute workout you can easily complete from WorkoutLabs. No weights or fancy equipment necessary. Make sure to add in cardio throughout the week such as running, biking, swimming, paddling or dancing. Aim for at least 30 minutes of cardio 3-5 days a week.