Chapter 2 : Diet

It all starts with DIET. What you eat and when you eat it is the MOST important thing when trying to lose weight and get healthy. Diet is more important than exercise! A good diet can start at any age and at any health level. I believe that it doesn’t matter what kind of diet you choose (for the most part) as long as you stick with it. Some diets are easier to stick with than others. First thing is to STOP drinking sugar (pop, lemonade, sweet tea) including diet pop. Basically stop drinking calories!! I chose to do a low carb diet, not necessarily the Atkins or South Beach Diet, but one of my own creation. I started eating mainly lean meats, nuts, proteins and some fats. The hardest thing at first is that you are scared that you will eat and not get full. Think about it. You have trained your “fat self” to look at the amount of food you are about to eat and determine if it’s going to be enough, even before eating you know if it’s going to fill you up or not. So I suggest starting your diet with foods that you can still eat a large quantity of and still lose weight. For example one of my favorite meals is Breakfast Tacos without the tortillas. I would brown turkey breakfast sausage, scramble some eggs, add cheese and salsa.

Your question may be ‘How does cutting carbs make you lose weight?” Well here is my answer. It is my understanding that your body will burn carbohydrates first and that carbohydrates take longer to burn than fats, especially complex carbohydrates. So the reason you gain weight when you eat carbs is your body is busy burning carbs and before it’s done burning the carbs and about to start burning fats you go and eat again or snack. Let’s face it your probably going to snack on carbs (basically every snack sold is a carb)! Your body has to start burning those carbs and never gets to the fats therefore you gain weight. If you can cut carbs (not all carbs) your body can burn fats and you lose weight. I’m sure that the process is way more detailed, but this is my simple version of how it works. The thing about a no-carb diet is that you can’t stick to it forever. That’s why I chose a low carb diet (so I can maintain my weight loss).

My family likes to go out to eat and it’s not easy to lose weight going to restaurants. I’m always able to find something low carb no matter where we go. For example, they love Mexican food and you know that chips, salsa and queso are a huge temptation. Not wanting to miss out on dinner with my family, I would sit there and try to distract myself during the chips and salsa portion of dinner, usually conversing about the day or looking at my phone. There are a lot of things you can eat at an Mexican restaurant that are low carb like fajitas, Tilapia and grilled shrimp. Lopez (a Mexican restaurant in Muskogee) has a great dish called Parrillada that is basically all meats and is fantastic. You can eat low carb at almost every restaurant, below are some examples. Just eat meat, cheese and vegetables. Always order without the bun or tortilla, don’t order it normal and think that you will just get rid of the carb! People order like this all the time and it takes away the temptation of just having a few bites of the bun.

As I got a couple of months into dieting, it got harder and harder. I started seeing post about meal prepping. I did meal prepping a little different. My family doesn’t cook at home. I would order a couple of pounds of smoked chicken and smoked turkey that I could eat it throughout the week. I also would buy blocks of cheese to slice or shred for a quick snack. It is important to have something low carb that can be QUICKLY and EASILY prepared. It is a lot easier to grab a high carb snack than to cook a healthy meal. If you stick with it long enough, your diet will change a little while you are losing weight. You will plateau and need to add or take away certain foods to achieve results or maintain.

Despite what the world tells you “it is okay to cheat!” (on your diet). You will get stuck and bored and just want a break, but you have to tell yourself that this is it, maybe once every couple of weeks. Cheating really helped me when I became stuck at a weight. Funny thing is, my cheat meal is not really anything I would really gorge on before my diet. Every couple of weeks I would pick the boys up from school and we would go to Boomerang Diner and I would have a cheeseburger (with the bun) and some tater tots. As I progressed into exercising and running, I incorporated more carbs into my diet to keep my energy level up.

In full disclosure there is one food that I refused to give up… POPCORN!!!! I love popcorn, I do! I also love going to the movies. I would reward myself for a great diet week by going to the movies and having popcorn. It was difficult at first to have popcorn without candy and a Coke, but I got use to popcorn and water pretty quick.

Food I eat:

Breakfast – Chick-fil-A egg white grill (no bread)

Sonic- breakfast burrito (no tortilla)

Lunch – Mahylon’s– grilled chicken and turkey

MyPlace– smoked chicken

Billy Sims- pulled pork, sausage , corn and green beans

Home- lunch meat, cheese, cashews

Dinner – Home- Breakfast tacos (no tortilla),

Lopez-Tilapia and shrimp, Parrillada

Mahylon’s– grilled chicken breast and turkey,

Rib Crib- smoked chicken and smoked turkey

Colton’s- loaded Chicken

Chili’s – smoked chicken, sausage and corn on the cob

Drink – Water

Flavored water- Crystal Light Blackberry Lemonade

I have countless more examples of restaurants and dishes with low carb options. If you have a place you like to go to and want to know what to order, send me a message and I’ll tell you what I order.