A Lifestyle, Not a Diet!


Moderation is the key to sustaining a healthy goal weight. I've been on diets for the last ten years and keep losing and gaining the same ten pounds. Now that I'm in my thirties, I'm carrying 15 extra pounds. My goal is to sustain a healthy weight over the long term. Here's my plan:

I am preparing the majority of my food. Approximately 85% of my meals come from whole grains, fresh fruit and vegetables and lean protein like chicken, fish and turkey.

I am keeping a food journal and using Calorie King software to measure my calories. Each day I plan to eat 1500 calories and at times, I will eat 200-250 calories that I earn through exercise in order to sustain myself through the workouts.

I control my portions by looking at my plate and making sure 1/2 is full of fruit or veggies, 1/4 is whole grain and the remaining 1/4 is lean protein. I am learning what portion sizes look like so when I eat out I can make those decisions. Sometimes it is easier to order soup (not cream-based) or a salad, then an appetizer as your meal in order to control your portions.

I meet with a trainer at the gym twice a week for an hour long strength training workout.

Five times a week, I do 45-55 minute cardio workouts. Sometimes I go to the gym and use their equipment (stationary bike, wave machine, treadmill, stairmaster, etc.) and sometimes I stay home and jog for 25 minutes and get on our elliptical machine for another 20 minutes. I never stay on one machine for the entire session. 15-20 minutes on three different pieces of equipment helps combat boredom. I always work out with my Ipod. Typically 80s pop music!

I wear a pedometer every day. I don't wear it in the gym, though. By aiming to walk 10,000 steps a day - in addition to my workouts - I find ways to keep moving. Walking the dog longer, walking up stairs and escalators, parking farther away, walking in the mall, etc.

My goal is to drink 5 bottles of water a day (16 oz each)I limit my coffee to 1-2 cups a day.

Finally, I do not judge my success by stepping on the scale. For too long I was stuck on the number. Now, I measure my hips, waist and chest because it shows how toned I'm getting. My goal is to be athletic, toned and healthy. I am currently a size 10, but would like to wear my size 8 clothing again.

It is not important to me to lose weight rapidly. It is very important to me to sustain a healthy weight longterm and not view this as a diet. I want to create a lifestyle that I will happily want to live.

(Updated January 7, 2008) Check out my healthy cooking blog at www.testdrivekitchen.blogspot.com to learn some of my favorite recipes!

(Kaybee's food tips)

 Foods you can have

Breads, Grains, Cereals, Pasta, Rice
Meat and Fish
Fruit and Fruit Juices
Vegetables and Legumes (e.g. Beans)
Dairy Products - Milk, Cheese, etc
Eggs and Egg Substitutes
Nuts and Seeds
Fats and Oils
Herbs, Spices, Sauces
Others, Snacks, Sweets, etc

Not OK

 How To Follow A Lifestyle, Not a Diet!:

1) Aim to prepare 85% of the food you eat. Limit your consumption of packaged foods
2) Take a guided tour of your local Whole Foods market or farmers market and learn all about the produce, whole grains, and lean protein options.
3) Use a food journal to count calories. Did you know that 3,500 calories is equal to one pound? If you lose 500 calories a day through a combination of calorie reduction and exercise, you will lose 1 lb per week. On the web, www.calorieking.com offers software to track calories easily. It's the easiest one I've ever used! You can also use a small notebook and a calorie book to track them. I aim to eat 1500 calories a day and expend approximately 300 calories per day through walking, strength training or cardio excerise.
4) Control your portions by looking at your plate at each meal. Don't fill past the rim of your plate. Section your plate into three areas. One half is fruit and vegetables, One quarter is cooked whole grains and the remaining quarter is lean protein like chicken, turkey or fish.
5) Be sure to count condiments or seasonings in your calorie intake.
6) Take your hip, waist, chest and arm measurements. Don't check them obsessively. You'll see greater change if you measure yourself once a week or every ten days. If you are like me, a scale will not tell you all that you've accomplished. The toning you get from exercise can lead to better fitting clothing and an overall better mood!
7) Don't drink your calories. Try to drink more water. I aim to drink 5-6 glasses a day. It keeps me feeling fuller, keeps my skin looking great, and just keeps my body going like a well oiled machine.
8) Wear a pedometer. Aim to walk 10,000 steps a day. You'll find yourself climbing more stairs, walking up escalators and parking farther away from the mall in order to reach this goal. It's approximately 1.5 hours of walking in your 24 hour day. You can do it!
9) Strength training builds muscle and muscles use up more calories than fat. They also make you look leaner and smaller. An hour of strength training or weight lifting burns 150-300 calories a session depending on how vigorous your workout is. Try to get one hour of strength training in 2X a week.
10) Cardio workouts are natural mood lifters! There are countless benefits to cardio, not to mention having fun while doing it. One of the greatest benefits I've gained is a deeper, less interrupted sleep. It is proven that you'll lose weight and stick to your new lifestyle if you're well rested. Aim for 4-5 cardio workouts a week. Start with 30 minute sessions and aim for 45-50 minute sessions. Train for a 5K for motivation. Also, aim for 8 hours a sleep per night.
  by member Kaybee
member since: 23 Oct 07

More A Lifestyle, Not a Diet! Info

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Kaybee's top tips

1.Make eating a meal an event. Don't eat on the couch. Sit down at the kitchen table, drink water and enjoy yourself. Eat slowly and savor the flavors. Be proud of what you prepare :-)
2.Find enjoyment in learning about new foods. There is so much out there to try. I've built a friendship with our fishmonger at Whole Foods and I've tried more types of fish in the last five months than in my entire life! Fishmongers are great, because they know how to prepare fish and make it delicious. They will share their secrets with you!
3.Use smaller plates and bowls. I use glass bowls that hold 1 cup of food every morning for breakfast. I don't have to measure my yogurt or cereal that way. When using plates, I fill below the plate rim. Learn about portion sizes like 3 oz. of chicken equals the size of a cassette tape.
4.Make your plate colorful! My dinner plate is like a rainbow sometimes. Orange is roasted sweet potatoes. Yellow is roasted butternut squash, green is sauteed kale, white is lean chicken. Red is red quinoa (whole grain). The more colorful the better!
5.Use microwave steaming bags, such as Glad Simply Cooking, to steam veggies. Season well with kosher salt, ground black pepper and parmesan cheese to make them delicious! You will crave these at most meals when you start doing this. I promise!
6.Find a workout routine that is fun for you. Did you enjoy biking as a child? Take it up again. Try a spinning class to take it to the next level. Then, switch what you're doing every six weeks in order to challenge yourself and combat boredom. My trainer once told me that 50% of people who go to the gym ONLY for their workouts stop coming after six months. Mostly because they get injured by doing the same thing all the time or just get bored of it. She always applauds me when I take long walks, a short hike or even raking leaves in place of one of my gym workouts.

About / History

I began working out with a trainer in January 2007. At first I asked her to meet me at home because I was intimidated of the gym. I was having a hard time walking up the stairs without breathing hard. I worked out twice a week at my home with her until March 2007. I finally felt better about myself and my athletic ability. Since then, I haven't looked back. I've run three 5K races this year and I'm planning another one on November 10. I have never run in my life, so this was a mental accomplishment as well. In March 2007, I decided to work with a holistic nutritionist. My main goal was to fall in love with cooking again. I was eating 80% packaged food at this time and I knew it wasn't healthy. I wanted to fuel my body to help fuel my workouts, too. Through her help, I spent a lot of time in the produce aisles of supermarkets or farmer's markets and learned how to cook these items. I discovered how delicious kale and butternut squash are! I also learned a great deal about whole grains such as bulgur, barley, quinoa, polenta, etc. I knew that they would make me feel fuller so I started to try them. Every morning I would make cooked 5 grain oatmeal (with flax). It was the best way to start my day. I slowly started to cook more and began to feel better physically. I'm sleeping better, my skin is glowing and my overall mood is a happy one. My workouts are also better because of this change. I'm currently cooking 85% of my meals. I even read healthy cookbooks and Cooking Light magazine in bed before I go to sleep! It's now October 2007, and I have a toned and healthy body, but I would still like to lose about 10-15 lbs in order to wear my size 8 clothes again. I lost weight from January-July 2007, but gained weight back this summer when I injured my neck and back. My weight gain was due to the fact that I didn't restrict calories during my recovery time. But thanks to my fitness level, I bounced back quickly and I'm working out again. I am now using Calorie King software (www.calorieking.com) to keep a food journal. I'm eating approx. 1500-1700 calories a day (as opposed to 2300 calories or more) and I'm not hungry at all. It just takes some planning.

  Why choose "A Lifestyle, Not a Diet!"?
 Promotes long term weight loss
 Maintain your goal weight
 A healthy living alternative
 Teaches sustainable weight loss skills
 Provides an energy boost
 Improves mood and outlook
 Reduces the risks of diet-related diseases
 A roadmap for a healthier lifestyle

features in a nutshell