Plateau Busting: The Two Pound Goal Post

I’m slightly worried this post might betray my weirdness, but here is a mental technique I used to help me lose weight once I began to plateau.

Preface: Goals are great. But if you keep making them, and not meeting them – they can be very discouraging. Goals should be achievable, but just barely so.

Step One: Calculate your “Goal Date”

Pick a day 10 days in the future. This is your goal date.
Example: Today is January 22. Therefore, my goal date = February 1.

Step Two: Calculate Your “Goal Weight Range”

Weigh yourself today (in the morning, before you eat or drink!). Subtract two pounds from that weight, but only counting the whole number.
Example: So let’s say today I weigh 165.9, 165.5, or even 165.1 – my Goal Weight Range would be “163 point anything”.

Step Three: Put It on a Calendar

Hold yourself accountable by physically writing or typing your Goal Weight Range on your calendar.
Example: In this case, I would write “163 point anything” on February 1st in my calendar

Step Four: The Mental Work

Every morning while you brush your teeth (assuming you brush your teeth!), take a look in the mirror and remind yourself of your specific goal. Promise yourself that you will make healthy choices, just for today – in order to be one day closer to your Goal Weight Range on your Goal Date.

Realize that you whether you make your goal or not, it’s OK. In any event, you’re going to make good choices today to get there.

Step Five: The Weigh In

Sometimes, you won’t make your weight, and sometimes you will. This is simply what happens when you are close to a healthy weight and losing weight becomes harder.

But here is the key: if you make good choices for a 10 day period, sometimes you will lose one pound in 10 days, and sometimes you might lose three. This is especially true for females. No matter what – you repeat the process on your weigh in day. Always with a two pound weight range as your goal.

Step Six: The Repeat

The key is to do this consistently (and also to be gentle with yourself) until your reach your ultimate goal weight.

What I like about this method is that your goal resets every 10 days. And because we are rounding, sometimes your goal is actually closer to one pound, and sometimes it’s closer to three (depending on your start weight).

Because your goal continues to reset, you can kiss your history goodbye. All that matters is what choices you make today.

Because of monthly hormonal fluctuations (and fluctuations in my eating habits) I personally found that I meet or EXCEED my goals about 3/4 of the time, and usually miss them 1 in 4 times. Over a period of a month – I generally averaged somewhere between 7 and 10 pounds with this method.

If you miss your goal two times in a row, it’s probably a good indication that there are changes you can make to your eating habits if your goal is to continue losing weight.

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Sweet Tooth

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Loving sweets is such a terribly delicious addiction!

There are times when I am sitting at my desk and start salivating thinking  of caramel, sugar, chocolate, cookies, and cream, oh my! The list goes on and on. So what does one do when they are torn by their love of chocolate and all things sweet and wanting to be fit and fabulous ::sad face:: ?!

After researching healthy dessert recipes and substituting this and that and making myself crazy, I’ve discovered the wonderful world of protein bars! Quest, Power Bars, Mission, Crunch, OhYeah!, Combat… you get the idea.

Anyway, some protein bars are a major disappointment and others are pure bliss. Whoever came up with Combat chocolate chip cookie dough is my hero and if you are reading this, I LOVE YOU, I LOVE YOU, I LOVE YOU. WILL YOU BE MY VALENTINE? MY SWOLEMATE?

I thought for a minute I was eating a twix bar or licking the cookie dough batter off the spoon… It’s an emotional roller coaster.

Peoples, the weekend is just around the corner and I hear there is gonna be a HUGE snow storm… go to your local GNC, pick up a box [or two] of some Combat bars and snuggle up by the fire enjoying the deliciousness. Your taste buds will thank you and you will continue winning the battle of the bulge. You-1 Scale-0

Final thought, courtesy of Charles M Shulz, “All you need is love. But a little chocolate now and then doesn’t hurt.”

….I’m sure he would say the same thing about these delicious chocolaty protein bars 😉

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Avocado Toast On Fleek

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GET INSIDE ME.

So I tend to get a bit teary-eyed when I talk about avocado toast. And fine, it’s true – I might be a Trader Joe’s fangirl.

But I want you to experience this toast.

I swear to you I am not sponsored by Trader Joe’s (if only!). But Trader Joe’s 100% Rye Bread, in particular, is my favorite for this recipe. If you have access to it, you should definitely use it for this recipe.

This toast is so simple and SO good. It’s perfect if you’re cooking for yourself or for two people.  Like many of my other recipes, you can make it all in one pan.

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Don’t stare directly into the pit.

You’ll need:
1. small amount of onion
2. one or two eggs
3. 1/2 avocado
4. one slice Rye (Preferably Trader Joe’s 100% Rye)
5. Optional but recommended: Tomato and/or Olive Oil

Directions:

  1. Do whatever you do to make your pan not stick. I use Trader Joe’s Coconut Cooking Spray
  2. Cut up onions, throw them on one corner of the pan. You’ll want to do these first, because they’ll take the longest.
  3. Once the onions have been cooking for a bit, begin toasting the Rye on another portion of the pan. At some point you should flip the Rye.
  4. Crack an egg somewhere on an unused portion of the pan. I cook it sunny side up or scramble it, but wtvr works.
  5. Dump everything from pan onto a plate. Spread avocado on toast, add onions and egg on top.  Nom nom
  6. Optional: cut up the tomatoes and cook them lightly in the span. Add them to your toast. SO good!
  7. Double Optional: Drizzle a little olive oil on the whole concoction. MMMmmmMMMMmm.
  8. Mandatory: ENJOY!!!

Let us know how you modify this recipe to fit your own tastes 🙂

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Keys to Weight Loss Freedom: Expect Failure

In business, the mantra is that successful people not only expect failure, but embrace it.

In weight loss though, we expect perfection. If we “mess up” we often find ourselves at the wrong end of a downwards spiral. We compound our small missteps until they become disasters. And while we know it doesn’t have to be that way, we feel helpless to stop it.

I have lost 60 pounds over the past two years. But there were ups and downs. There were breaks. And many times I failed.  In fact, many weeks I continue to fail.

And I am happy about that.

Sometimes…

Sometimes I go an entire month without losing a single pound. And sometimes I gain three pounds. I NEVER feel bad about it, and I never lose sight of my progress.

Because even if I gain 5 pounds, 10 pounds, or 15 pounds – I’m still in such a better place than I was 60 pounds ago.

Sometimes I get my period, and other times I want to drink half my weight in rum and eat a donut. Sometimes ice cream happens, often pizza happens, and I can assure you that when froyo happens, I don’t go light on toppings.

Because here is the important part. I expect failures. I embrace failures. There is no way that I could expect anything else. Because horrible food is delicious, and it makes me happy. So there is no way I’ll have a perfect month or year. But I do have perfect days, and wonderful weeks.

A Promise to Myself

From the very first day that I embarked on this journey I promised myself that I would never ever experience guilt over food again. That’s because I know that weight loss is affected not only by our habits, but also by our psychological health.

Small failures are not a big deal. In fact, they are are a good thing. Sometimes your body just wants calories. And sometimes eating is fun.

Small failures include the dollar slice I drunkenly enjoyed with friends on a great evening. The birthday party where I indulged, and the vacation where I had the best time.

When I look back on them, they weren’t failures. They were indulgences, and I enjoyed them – just as I enjoy eating (mostly) healthy on a daily basis.

My failures are integral to my success. Because in the scheme of things, my failures were never failures at all. They were natural parts of the process.

No More Cheat Days

I don’t believe in cheat days. To each his own, I say, but they don’t strike me as part of a healthy mentality.

You are never cheating. You are making choices. Sometimes you’ll make good choices, and sometimes you’ll make worse choices. Make sure your choices are overwhelmingly good, and you will look great in no time. Just don’t punish yourself for the ‘bad’ choices.

When you lose weight the fact of the matter is this. Your body is starving. It doesn’t matter if you do it slowly or quickly, or if you take all the right vitamins and minerals. Your body wants things, and thats ok – let it have things, or don’t. But if you gain a pound, it’s not a failure. It’s a blip.

And remember that sometimes – just OK is good enough.

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Slow Cooker Vegetarian Chili

Let me be blunt. I modified this recipe from here.

But without the modifications, it’s a bit bland.
And the modifications work. And by work I mean WEEEERK.

If you’re a single lady, this recipe will make men love you. And if you’re a single guy, it will also make men love you.  So I hope if you’re a dude that you’re gay or at least open to exploration.

OK so go to that link. Put those exact things in the slow cooker, and then add the following:

  1. SALT! I don’t like salt, but without any salt at all this recipe is bland
  2. 1/8 cup of brown sugar, I added it a few hours into the slow cooking process
  3. A few table spoons of balsamic vinaigrette! Also added late in the slow cooking process. This is the secret key!! Oh my goodness.

Also. The recipe says slow cook for 2 hours. I don’t think that’s nearly enough to get the full flavor.

I slow cooked on high for 4ish hours. I turned it to low towards the end.

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Heavenly chili, obscured by a ton of other delicious ingredients: spring mix, bruschetta, avocado, egg

BONUS POINTS:
You get bonus points from a higher power if you serve this chili on top of mixed greens with an egg on top. If you’re feeling naughty, a dollop of sour cream won’t hurt.

ALERT!!! Burrito Potential alert!:
I try to avoid carbs. But if you’re feeling feisty, add one egg, some mixed greens, some avocado and/or tomato.  Throw it all together in a wrap to make the world’s most wonderful burrito. You won’t be disappointed.

STAY WARM! And Happppppppppy Chili Nomming 😀

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The Infamous Egg Thing

What is “Egg Thing” you ask?

Egg Thing is elusive… like a dove.
Egg Thing is a feeling more than a recipe. It’s like homespun wool, perfect precisely because of its imperfections.

Egg Thing reminds me of babushka’s cooking – it comes out a little bit different every time. Cooking Egg Thing is like replicating DNA over and over again. The mutations add up. Sometimes they are disastrous, sometimes miraculous – but they always code for Egg Thing.

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Egg thing. Pictured here with besties Butternut Squash Puree and Beet Juice

The Two Foundational Premises of Egg Thing: 
1] The presence of three main ingredients
– mixed veggies
– a cut up veggie burger (but specifically, Morning Star Chik Patties are the most delicious)
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2] The eggs are always added last, and left slightly wet and yolky. DEAR GOD I WANT EGG THING RIGHT NOW!!

Egg Thing changed my life because:
– It can be made in a single large pan
– It’s easy, bc it can be made with microwave steamable veggies
– It’s crazy filling, and you can make many portions at once
– It’s a great intro for someone who is new to healthy eating

Here is How I Generally Make My Egg Thing

Ingredients:
1. Bag of Steamed Vegetables (I usually Bird’s Eye Mixed Vegetables)
2. 1 or 2 veggie burgers (I usually use either Morning Star Original Chik Patties OR Buffalo Chik Patties. I highly recommend trying with these)
3. 2-3 eggs (I try to stick with Organic, Cage Free…yada yada)
Optional: Soy or teriyaki sauce. Or any sauce for that matter.

Directions:
1. Steam veggies according to directions on bag.  I steam them in the microwave for slightly less than the recommended time.
2. Do whatever you do to your pan to make it not stick. WARNING: Egg thing WILL get sticky. I use a ceramic pan and Organic Coconut Oil Cooking Spray from my beloved Trader Joe’s.
3. If you keep your veggie patties in the freezer, defrost them slightly – just until you can cut through them easily. Cut each patty up into 8 or more pieces.
4. Throw patty pieces on pan on a LOW FLAME! Flip them regularly and wait for them to brown slightly.
5. Add steamed veggies to same pan, turn it up a little bit. Wait a bit for everything to cook.
6. Crack eggs directly into the pan. Scramble things around a bit. My egg thing is finished when the egg is still slightly wet and yolky. This makes things so delicious!!

OPTIONAL: Add salt, spices, whatever you want. Almost anything will taste great. I especially love adding a bit of teriyaki sauce. It tastes AMAZING. I usually use Soy Vey Veri Veri Teriyaki.

Egg Thing tastes great hot or cold.
I usually make enough to last me a few meals.

Let us know how you personalize your egg thing!!

Happy Nomming 🙂

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Salad For Breakfast

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People look at me strangely when I eat this at 7 AM.

Why don’t we eat salads for breakfast? I just won’t stand for it any longer.

And no, I’m not talking about a special breakfast salad. I’m talking about a plate of leaves for you to insert directly into your mouth early in the morning.

I’m not the biggest fan of breakfast to begin with. But if you’re going to eat breakfast, at least make it leafy. Here’s why:

1. Breakfast is disgusting. Salad is not.

 

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Energy for typing. Romaine mix with eggplant, avocado, roasted pepper and a number of lesser fixins.

Your classic breakfast foods are carby, oily, or gross. Eating them will make you feel like a shitty breakfast monster.

Toast and jelly? Carby and pointless. Cereal? Carby, highly processed, and pointless. Bacon? Gross. So deliciously gross. Pancakes and Waffles? More like heartburn and large pants. Eggs? Good start, but even better with mixed veggies. Berries? Now we’re getting somewhere..

2.“Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants.” – Michael Pollan

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This morning’s friend. Mixed greens topped with: homemade vegetarian chili, 1/4 avocado, bruschetta, 1 egg.

I’m skeptical. Not of anything in particular, just of everything I’ve ever been told.

Even so, I subscribe to the idea of eating lightly and mostly plants. It’s not that I think it’s the best way, or the only way, but it works for me.

Eating this way has helped me lose a lot of weight. It’s transformed me from an angel of humility into an arrogant wretch who likes my own selfies. You are now met with the possibility of undergoing a similar transformation.

What we do know objectively is that many plants are good for us. They are often filled with good stuff, including more phytonutrients than current science even understands. Some of these phytonutrients help plants fight UV damage and disease. They might help us do the same. On this subject, check out the book “Eating on the Wild Side” by Jo Robinson. It is one of the most fascinating books I’ve ever read.

If you want to be sexy, and  if you believe you should be getting the majority of your nutrition from plants, then it makes sense to start with your first meal. Breakfast is a great time to eat plants, because every time is a great time to eat plants.

3. Plants might make your gut happy.

We are also beginning to understand that a diet filled with plants might make your gut microbiome happy. Could it be the fiber? The phytonutrients? The fact that veggies tend to take the place of less healthful choices?

It could be that some veggies are ‘prebiotic’ (meaning they encourage growth of bacteria we like). Or it could be that they discourage growth of bacteria we don’t like. I tend to think the effect depends on which vegetables we eat. We have a tendency to group all veggies together, but I don’t completely buy it.

Anyway, the sad truth is we don’t know much of anything for sure. But on this subject, I really enjoyed the book “Brain Maker” by Dr. David Perlmutter.

4. Salad is filling.

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One for the bland palate. Romaine, grilled chicken, shaved parmesan, and croutons.

Maybe you think you have a problem with appetite control. But really, it’s more likely that you’re eating a diet that you were never adapted to eat.

If you eat things that come out of a box for breakfast, it’s likely that those foods are making you hungry all day.

I could never get full when I used to eat processed foods. They are too refined, and digest too easily. Processed foods often lack volume per calorie. They are too calorie dense, and you need too little of them to meet your caloric needs. Hence, you continually over-eat.

Salad, on the other hand, is filled with veggies. Fruits and veggies fill your tummy, signaling that you’re full. Veggies, in general, are not calorie dense. And even those that are are often filled with so much good stuff that it doesn’t even matter.

Add a protein to your salad, and you have a hearty breakfast. You’ll be full for hours. You can even add two proteins.  Later in the day, you’ll feel more inclined to eat healthier because you’ll feel so good. You just need to get used to it.

5. Salad gives you options.

There is no reason to not eat leaves for breakfast. And when it comes to which leaves, or how you dress them – that is up to you. Your salad can be sweet or savory, mild or intense. If you close your eyes and pinch your nose, you might even mistake your salad for a cronut.

I eat salad for breakfast almost every day. My salads are my best friends. Mostly because I talk about salad so much that none of my human friends like me anymore. I love my edible friends.

Great (refreshing!) ingredients for an early morning salad include:
-eggs
-cucumbers
-cherry tomato
-avocado
-seeds

Moral of the story? Salad. Don’t leaf home without it.

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