I also whipped up some quinoa tabbouleh for a good lunch for the rest of the week. Jim's not such a fan, but I can't get enough of it. If you have never heard of quinoa (pronounced keen-wah) check it out. It can be a little expensive but it lasts awhile and it is a rice like substance, but packed with protein as well. In addition to "burglar" it's my other go-to grain. Tabbouleh is a traditional Lebanese food and I love it's fresh light taste. It's also a healthy, low cal lunch idea.
On a side note, I believe I owe an apology to my reader(s) who are also on diets and find the pictures of decadent Italian Christmas cookies torturous. I know that not everyone can look at pictures of food and recipes for hours a day like I do and somehow use that as motivation to continue dieting. I usually look and look and fight the urge to bake goodies, and then finally cave and allow myself to have one (sometimes one per day) and vicariously enjoy the rest of them by watching Jim gorge himself (maybe "gorge" is the wrong word but when you're on a diet it certainly feels that way!). But beware, I may have to make at least one of those types of cookies around Christmas time, like it or not.
Also concerning my diet, I recently hit the 15 pounds lost mark! I often cruise the knot website for wedding ideas, and at the start of my diet I would read the "getting in shape" forum there in search of inspiration. Oftentimes I found it, and I wanted to share the ideas that have worked for me with other soon-to-be brides attempting the wedding diet. So here's what I wrote (warning, it's long):
I promise I'm really not trying to brag, I just know that toward the beginning of my wedding diet I would spend so much time on this site and others looking for inspiration or ideas from other people that I could see working for me. The way I've managed it is really pretty simple, and nothing that surprising.
First off, I've started drinking 8-9 glasses of water a day or more.
Second, I started counting calories religiously. It sounds daunting, but if you register for free on livestrong, it's so easy and if you do it for about a week it becomes second nature. I can't stress enough how important tracking your calories is because a bite here and there can really add up, and I think I misbehave more when I don't have to hold myself accountable for what I eat. Also, livestrong takes your age, weight, height and activity level into account when prescribing a calorie goal for you. Since I work a desk job and exercise not super often, mine was "sedentary" with a goal of losing 1lb per week. If you log your weight daily or weekly, the calorie goal will adjust to keep you at your goal of weekly weight loss. You can also track calories burnt though fitness, but bear in mind the site overestimates quite a bit.
Third, I started eating in a LOT more. Breakfast at home, pack a lunch, and cook dinner almost every night. We eat out like once every two weeks now. It's also free and easy to register at allrecipes which has a ton of great meal ideas with the calories all figured in for you, it really takes the guess work out of it. Also, by spending time cooking each night I found that keeping busy helped me to not eat out of boredom. Not to mention we're saving a ton of money this way.
I really believe that losing weight is 80% diet, 20% exercise so I still tried to exercise 3-5 times a week, usually just a quick 20 minute 30 day shred workout, or stationary bike for about 30 minutes. My fiance and I also go golfing together which is a great workout when you add up all the walking, but I never beat myself up when I couldn't fit in a workout, I just made sure to very carefully track what I ate.
Skinny Cow. I am one of those people who NEEDS a treat every night, and these suckers are about 140 calories a pop. I would factor mine in at the start of my day so it would be built into my daily calories.
Don't beat yourself up if you have to have a "cheat day" but don't have one any more than once a week tops. My fiance and I had a few weekends out of town with friends, and during those times I'd try to make healthy choices for breakfast and lunch and then let myself go a bit at dinner. Just don't binge...don't worry, but don't use it as a free pass to go hog wild.
Just follow these guidelines (especially the calorie counting) strictly and the weight will come right off. I am 5'3'' and weighed 136 in March...my wedding is October 9th so I knew I wanted to crack down and get in shape. I weighed in at 119 today and my clothes are very baggy. I even wore the "skinny jeans" that I had given up hope of ever fitting into again just the other day. I do weigh myself every day, which some people disagree with, but as long as you bear in mind that your weigh fluctuates a pound here or there, I don't think it's detrimental. Just weigh in at the same time each day (I prefer the morning, before doing anything else). Anyway, that's what's working for me and I hope it works for you. Good luck!
I later added:
I'm really glad to hear that others have had such good success doing these same things...it really is that simple. I think it clicked for me when I just looked at the math...
There are 3500 calories in a pound of fat so it is very feasible to lose a pound a week, you just really do have to watch the numbers.
In the course of my weight loss I've had a few weeks where my weight just wouldn't budge for like two weeks, which would drive me nuts, but hang on, I found that if I hit a plateau and I kept with healthy habits I would suddenly drop like two pounds after like two weeks of nothing.
I forgot to mention that I try not to deprive myself of foods I love, I just choose smaller portions. For example I love carbs, so I eat sandwich thins for lunch and for Mexican night I find really low cal tortillas (they do exist). I mentioned Skinny Cows which are a lifesaver, but for days where my calories have been too high even for the 140 in a skinny cow, I have some dark chocolate hershey's kisses in the freezer and I'll eat just one or two of those. Another food I love is cheese, and I do a laughing cow wedge at lunch and dip celery or crackers in it. (Special K Multigrain have 90 calories in 17 crackers!) Also, I'm somewhat of a soda addict and it has been really hard letting go of that. I know a lot of people won't agree, but every now and then when I'm really having an urge for one, I'll have a Cherry Coke Zero. I know, I know aspartame is the devil, but they have no calories and it satisfies me when I have to watch my fiance eating like....5 cake pops. Also, I chew sugar free gum like I'm getting paid to do it, it keeps my mouth busy.
Best of luck for eveyone else in their continued pursuit of a healthy lifestyle!
Anyway, just thought I'd share that here as well. Happy Wednesday!