My lovely sister, my inspiration for this blog (hence the name “leen” which is what I have called her for years, she calls me “heen”, don’t ask, we don’t really remember where that originated from) told me to write down everything that I did up to this point to get me down those 26 pounds, so here i go! I will add more as time goes on.

After posting on facebook that I lost that 26 pounds, I had people messaging me right and left asking me what my “secret” or “trick” is. A lot of people won’t like my answer: Hard work and dedication. This doesn’t happen overnight. You need to get into the mindset that each little life change with in turn make a big life change. It takes time, but let me tell you, it is completely worth it! Don’t look at this as a diet, look at it as a life change! Now that I have been doing this for a couple of months, I don’t really crave the bad-for-you food anymore, because I know that I can cook something similar, or different, and make it taste so much better!

**DISCLAIMER** I am in no-way an expert on losing weight and working out. Everything that I put on here is for you to try if you wish AT YOUR OWN RISK! It worked for me, which is why I want to share it with you all. I have complied my information on weightloss and healthy eating based on reading endless articles and doing a lot of research. I am open to opinions and new ideas. Feel free to email me your questions or opinions! leenpockets3@gmail.com

Here is what works for me, but just remember that every ones body is different!

        1. Eat 5 SMALL meals a day.

This way, you continue to stay full, therefore cutting down on the snacking that we all love to do so much (especially me!). Here is an example of what my 5 meals would be:

  • Breakfast: Whey Protein Powder shake
  • A.M Snack: Low fat Greek Yogurt (2 Tablespoons) with a handful of fresh fruit
  • Lunch: Romain lettuce mixed with spinach (about 2 cups total of each) one green onion chopped, one Roma tomato chopped, raw broccoli chopped, 1/2 slices of left over pork tenderloin. (You need to make sure your lean protein is only as big as a deck of cards, it’s all about portion control)
  • P.M Snack: One apple with 1 Tablespoon of Natural Peanut butter.
  • Dinner: Salmon with side of veggies.

I usually have my shake around 9:00 am, my a.m snack around 11:30 a.m, lunch around 1:30 p.m, snack around 3:00 p.m, Dinner around 5:30 p.m.

2. Drink LOTS of water! And ONLY water. No juice, no soda (even diet).

This helps the body work most efficiently, as well as getting rid of toxins in the body.I have close to a Gallon of water everyday, which at first was hard to do, but in this South Georgia heat, it became easier as time went on. I also have a glass of water 30 minutes before each meal, this way your body fills up on water, therefore you don’t eat as much. Diet soda, even though there are no calories in it, you would be surprised how bad for you those chemicals are. Do some reasearch, look up aspartame, and what it does to your body. Among other things, it actually makes you more hungry, which isn’t good if you are trying to use portion control and eat less. I know that fruit juice may sound good for you, but with all the other junk that’s in it (as well as calories) you are way better off just having the real fruit instead! If you don’t like the taste of water, try squeezing fresh lemon or lime into the water, this is great and refreshing!

      3. Use a small plate.

This may sound crazy, but by using the smaller salad plate, you are tricking your mind into believing that you are eating more than you are, as well as having smaller portions each meal.

4. Eat slower, smaller bites.

This was hard for me to catch onto, as I was always in a rush around meal time, but it really does help. By taking slower, smaller bites, it tricks your brain again, into thinking you are getting more food then you are. This also allows your brain to know when it is full, and to not over eat. You should leave the table feeling satisfied, not to the point of full. You will feel full in 30 minutes as your stomach starts to digest the food.

5. Sign up for Womens Health Magazine, or other websites 

I signed up for the free emails from womens health magazine, which sends me different recipes, new workouts, new research, etc. This way, I find new things daily to help my progress, as well as reminding me to eat healthy through out the day.

6. Cut out sugar, salt, carbs, and bad kinds of fat.

Easier said then done right? But this WILL pay off. If I find a recipe online that has any of these things in it, I will leave it out completely or substitute it for something else. For example, I found a delish salmon burger recipe that had breadcrumbs in it, but I called my Mom and asked her what else I could use, and she said she has used chopped mushrooms an it came out great. I gave that a try, and I think it was even tastier then if the breadcrumbs were in it! (not to mention healthier!)

Salt caused me to gain a lot of water weight. When I was at my heaviest, I almost looked puffy, because of the high amounts of salt I ate. Most of this salt was from restaurant food (my boyfriend and I love Mexican food!). There are also hidden amounts of salt in those “low fat” salad dressings you can buy pre made.

By bad fat, I mean butter, anything fried, etc. Instead of butter use a SMALL bit of olive oil. I say small because one tablespoon has over 130 calories in it. Put half an avocado on your salmon burger or your salad, it is so good! Experiment with different oils. I have sesame oil and grape seed oil as well as extra virgin olive oil. These good fats help your body get rid of fat (oxy moron right?) You will learn to love the taste of these things, and won’t crave bad stuff anymore.

I always say that it is better for you, as well as tastier if you learn how to make your own dressings and marinades at home. A great tool I always use is Allrecipes.com, you can find pretty much everything you can think of there, as well as searching by ingredient. Also, you can see the ratings of each recipe, and other users reviews on things they liked or changed about each recipe. I will find one that I like, and tweak it to be healthy, and tasty! Which brings me to my next point.

7. MAKE YOUR OWN MEALS.

There is no secret way to lose weight. The basic principle is that you need to take in less food and exercise more. Secret pills, etc, are only messing up your body, as well as adding harmful chemicals into your body. Maybe you will lose weight for a short period of time, but as soon as you come off of them, you are going to gain it all back, because you haven’t made a lifestyle change. Losing weight and getting fit, is a change in lifestyle, nothing more.

Take a look at the labels before you buy anything, and see the ingredients. Try to stay away from high amounts of sodium (buy low or no sodium when available), high calories, high fat content, and random chemicals you have never heard of. Our bodies were made to break down natural food, and will work its best when this done. The quick ‘lean cuisine’ meals are packed with sodium, therefore your not doing anything good for your body, and wasting more money then it would take for you to make the meal yourself. Cooking can be fun, and now I love it. It took me a couple years to get here, but its almost like a puzzle to me, putting the different combinations together to make something great.

8. Give up drinking alcohol.

Yes its nice to have a glass of wine once in a while, but all those mixed drinks, beers, etc. are full of pointless calories. You are basically gaining back the weight you have tried so hard to get rid of.

9. Walk more.

I thought my Mother was out of her mind, every time we went to the grocery store or the mall she would literally park in the last spot in the parking lot. I didn’t understand till about the beginning of may why she did this. Since May I moved into an apartment closer to my college campus, allowing me to walk to classes (saving money on gas!). The walk is 20 minutes each way, a little longer depending on where my classes are. I have noticed in the last two months inches have come off because of this 40 minute walk daily. Anytime you can, get out there and just walk! Keep it at a pretty good pace, so that you are burning calories.

When going grocery shopping, make a list of all the things you need to get. Try to stick to anything that comes from the ground, or is natural. If it is not on your list, don’t allow yourself to buy it. It helps me to go to the grocery store AFTER eating, therefore I’m not craving crazy things while there. Stick to the perimeter of the store, as in the isles is where bad, fatty food is waiting! Get a health buddy to come with you to the super market, to keep you on track, you can hold each other accountable for the things you buy. Make sure its healthy!

10. Keep a health journal

I have read continuously in my research how important it is to keep track of what you eat. This makes you accountable, and you can see exactly what it is that you are doing to hinder your progress. I like to use the app loseit or you can go on the website loseit.com. This app allows you to input the food you eat as well as excerise you do daily.

11. Set goals

Set little realistic goals that can be reached within a week, two weeks, a months time. Don’t set a goal that is too crazy, otherwise your motivation will be gone when you don’t reach that goal. Example: I will eat healthy all this week. I will work out every day this week. I will get to _ weight by the end of this month, etc.

12. Remind yourself of your goals

I have little notes to myself everywhere! I have a note on the back of my front door to remind myself to make healthy decisions when I leave each morning. I have a white board on my fridge which allows me to write little inspirational quotes as well as daily goals. Putting up these reminders will help you stay focused.

13. Reward yourself

If it is a pampering day at the spa, or a do it yourself pedicure, remember to reward yourself for your hard work!

14. KEEP AT IT

Nothing is going to happen over night. If you mess up a meal or a day, just pick back up the next day. Things happen, but keep yourself on the health schedule! You need to continuously work at this, and remember, slow and steady wins the race!

There you go ladies and gents! I will add more on it as I think of more, but stick to this, and you will go far!

-MCP-

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