Vegan recipes for an active, healthy life.

How to Lose Weight – For Real

How to Lose Weight – For Real

The Math

Losing weight is a numbers game. Mathematics.
Below is a detailed outline of the steps I use to “calculate” and SOLVE the problem of weight loss.

Step One

First, go here (http://www.active.com/fitness/calculators/bmr) and get your BMI. BMI means Body Mass Index. This will give you the total number of calories your body uses simply by being alive. For me, that is about 1400 calories. That would mean if I laid in bed all day and never moved, my body would burn about 1400 calories. This means I can safely eat 1400 calories of food and not gain weight. Chances are, that I do more than lay in bed. So, the real total number of calories my body burns is probably more like 1600-1700. If I work out, I can add those calories to that. So, we’re looking at about 1800-1900 maybe. However, if I want to lose weight, I need to consume less than I burn. In other words, I must be in a deficit.

Some Basic Facts

3500 calories = 1 true pound of fat.
So, if I burn 1900 calories a day in a normal day, this includes working out, then…
And I want to lose 1 lb a week, then…
I need to burn 500 more calories per day than I eat.
So, I can only eat 1400 calories for that day.
If I stay within this, the pounds literally fall off.

Secret #1

I use My Fitness Pal phone app to track my food (http://www.myfitnesspal.com/). Please go sign up. It is free and will help you tremendously.

But What Do You Eat?

Ok, so about food. What should you eat?
I try to keep my main meals to about 300 calories each, which puts me at about 900. Then I can have 3 snacks at about 200 calories each, which lands me at 1400-1500 calories. Everything is measured and weighed. Don’t guess! We will always err on the side of too much – as that is only human.
Again, I track every single damn thing in My Fitness Pal (or any other food tracking app!). The app is free and it SAVES my ass, literally.

What I Eat In a Day

Breakfast 
Coffee with soy creamer (to be honest, I have never measured this because I cannot live without coffee, so it is my ONE thing, but the total calories are probably around 60-100 and I definitely still document that)
1 cup cooked oatmeal (I prep a huge batch on the weekends and portion out 1 cup in tupperware, then just grab in the morning)
1/4 cup fruit in the oatmeal (I use frozen a lot since it’s easier/faster for prepping and storing)
1/4 cup nut milk (I leave this out if I really want to lose weight)
I have been known to add unsweetened coconut flakes, PB2 powder, maple syrup, cinnamon or nuts to my oatmeal, but only when I’m not being as strict because those treats ADD up.
Snack
1/2 – 3/4 cup of sweet potato or red skin potato (that’s about 130grams. So, if you have a huge sweet potato, it’s about 1/2 of that) add a bit of nutritional yeast and lime – Yum!
1/2 cup of any grain (like quinoa, brown rice, basmati rice, lentils)
1/2 cup of any protein like a bean or tofu (like kidney beans, garbanzo beans, black beans, tofu, tempeh or edamame)
Again, 1/2 cup of any protein like a bean or tofu  (like kidney beans, garbanzo beans, black beans, tofu, tempeh or edamame)
So, that’s total 1 cup of any protein like a bean or tofu, I like to mix and match, that’s why I broke it down
1-2 cups of kale
1-2 cups of spinach
Small handful of tomatoes
Lemon, lime, garlic, onion for seasoning
Notes: for the beans, grains and protein, one and half cups total is my best portion size because it usually lands me around 300 calories. I mix and match. My 1 cup measuring cup, my 1/2 cup measuring cup and my 1/4 cup measuring cup are my best friends. Sometimes I’ll do 1 full cup of grains and 1/2 cup of protein like beans or edamame.
When I am not is strict mode, I top all this with sauces or dressings. I use any one or a combination of these: tamari, grey poupon, horseradish, teriyaki sauce, annie’s goddess dressing, annie’s shittake mushroom dressing, sesame seeds, hemp seeds, chia seeds, sauerkraut. Measure those dressings, they add up.
Snack
2 rice cakes with 2 chopped up dates and 2 Tbsp PB2 powder and cinnamon (you could easily just put peanut butter, almond butter or hummus on these if you can spare the calories). This snack saves me because it’s sweet and pretty filling. Get PB2 powder, it is a great replacement for peanut butter or almond butter.
Dinner
Exact same ratios as lunch
Snack
My banana nice cream (This snack saves me because it’s sweet and makes me think I am eating ice cream for real. My recipe here.)
Basically, it’s:
1/2 banana
2 Tbsp PB2 powder
1 Tbsp unsweetened cacao powder
1-2 tsp of unsweetened cacao nibs
1/2 tsp of coconut sugar (unless I am looking to really lose weight, then no extra sugar)
Notes: lots of green tea or other tea, lots of water. If I have coffee later in the day, then no creamer, just black.

The Real Truth

That’s it!
I definitely eat more rice cakes sometimes. Truthfully, I can be a lazy sometimes, too (because I’m human!) and even with my laziness and cheating, I still do great and I’m really happy! I do not think being too strict is helpful because then I will binge if I am feeling deprived. We just need to get creative with finding foods that fill us up but aren’t bad. Adding tons of greens to my lunch and dinner helps. Kale and spinach have virtually no calories and they are insanely good for you! So pile them on, they will fill you up when mixed with the beans/ grains/ greens.
The other thing that has been really helpful is allowing myself one Cheat Meal every week. This means staying strict every day at every meal as much as possible, then going out to eat one time a week and not counting or measuring. This Cheat Meal has really helped me with perspective, too. As in, I don’t need to eat out or just eat so much all the time! One time, or maybe 2x a week is plenty and it helps me feel satisfied and reasonable about food. So, I go get Indian food or sushi or pancakes or whatever.
Ok, one last thing. Buy togo containers so you can measure and meal prep ahead of time. If you are going to eat sauces, buy 2 Tbsp sauce containers so you can portion that stuff out! Having togo containers is a life saver.
There are a lot more options for food choices!! This is just one day! I will post more next time!
Enjoy!
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