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Bill Leslie's Carolina Conversations

10 Lbs. Down - Day 1

Posted May 20, 2009 9:52 a.m. EDT
Updated May 21, 2009 7:37 a.m. EDT

We begin our Ten Pounds Down Challenge today. Over the next ten weeks we will make a positive push toward better health as we shed ten pounds. You all sound determined and I am confident this is going to be a great ride.

Okay. Wednesday is weigh day. I tipped the scales at 184 pounds this morning before my shower and breakfast. That means I will weigh 174 lbs. by July 29. 174 lbs. is an ideal weight for someone my size. The last time I was in the mid 170’s I felt and looked better and my blood chemistry was excellent. Thanks for joining me in this new push. Losing weight can be difficult. It sure helps to have a team and a specific goal.

Registered dietitian and trainer Tara Wind of Life Time Fitness in Cary will help cheer us on and guide us toward better health and diet. I asked her to comment on the bullet points of our Ten Pounds Down plan.

Exercise portion control:

For someone active trying to lose weight monitor and measure out portions of starch (breads, rice, pasta, potatoes, peas, corn) and proteins (meats). For starches at breakfast, lunch and dinner try to limit yourself to 1 - 1.5 cups cooked. For proteins at lunch and dinner try to limit yourself to 4-6 ounces of a lean cut.

Cut down on fried foods:

Great idea - easy easy way to cut a bunch of those calories and fat! Try sauteing in 1 tbsp olive oil and finish baking it off in the oven.

Keep food diary:

Just by keeping a food journal people automatically change their eating habits for the better. Accountability is a huge factor in weight loss - whether it is you holding yourself accountable or someone else (like me) holding you accountable. Journals also help to highlight patterns of erratic eating, missing meals or eating the wrong combination of foods all which can lead to sticking your hands in the candy bowl later on.

Regular exercise including aerobic and weight lifting:

Weight loss is so much more effective and lasting if done with a combination of nutrition and exercise. Aim for 5 days per week of exercise but be active in your daily life as well - those little calories from walking up stairs and parking far away can really add up! Also weight lifting doesn't have to include weights - strength training may be a better word :)

Cut down on sugar laden foods:

Don't drink soda! If you are drinking fruit juice limit yourself to 6 ounces daily.

Add more fruits and vegetables:

Don't have a diet that is all tan. Have color every meal and snack. Start with having fruit at breakfast, mid am and mid pm snacks. Have 2-3 cups of vegetables at lunch and dinner.

Limiting red meat:

6 ounces a week - lean cuts ending in loin, or 90% lean ground beef. Red meat contains good things too - zinc, B vitamins, iron, protein.

Avoid processed food:

Anything that comes in a box or the frozen aisle is going to have more salt, fat, calories that it's made at home counterpart. Cooking does not have to be fancy or hard! I love Cooking Light - it inspired me to make cooking my hobby (which my husband to be is of course happy about haha)

More salads:

Have one per day - about 3 cups worth of greens with a drizzle of olive oil and vinegar. Experiment with salads - my current favorite green is "Herb Mixed Salad" - spinach, baby lettuces, arugula, cilantro, dill and parsley.

Weigh just before shower:

Same time every day and same day or days every week.

Drink a glass of water before eating:

Have 2-3 liters of water per day for an active person.

Tomorrow, Tara Wind will offer healthy lunch ideas, offer advice to diabetics, tell us what we should eat after working out and educate us on the value of strength training.  Let me know what you think so far.