2010 Couple Goal: Improving Our Diet and Losing Weight
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We've seen the scale creep up over the last 3 years and we've had enough.
We want to be healthier and we're going to encourage one another.
Changing Our Diet
Now, I’m not talking about switching to all salads and water, but I am talking about making small calculated changes to what you eat over a long period of time.
We understand that although the total number of calories we eat certainly impacts our health (eating less will make you lose weight), WHAT we eat is just as important, if not more so.
– Steve @NerdFitness
We knew that adjusting our diet and changing our eating habits were going to be mandatory for success. We've both been reading books and websites on the subject to get some general guidelines. Food Inc with it's DVD, website, and book combo offered some more information on the quality of food we should be putting into our bodies and more healthy tips.
Adjusting Our Grocery List to improve our diet
I think a huge step for us in adjusting our groceries is we now try to read the labels before we buy. We've glanced on them occasionally, but we lazily relayed on the package cover to give us our information.
We're going to have to adjust our shopping list and I'm going have to do a grocery price book to reflect the new items we pick up now.
Drinking More Water and Switching Our Milk
We've never been big soda drinkers, but we love drinking juices. We would go through a ton of juice throughout the week. What we've done is cut back on drinking so much juice and tried to incorporate more water into our routines. I carry a water bottle some days to help me stay on goal.
After a couple weeks, it's become a habit and I want to have more water. That's good news as I'm reducing calories and saving a little bit of money on our grocery bills.
We've also tried some different milk options than the whole milk we've been using. First we did the 2% choice and it was alright. I didn't like the taste. We've had lactose free milk which was a bit sweet, but it tasted pretty good.
We heard from some friends to try our almond milk and I was amazed by how much I love it. We use it for cereal and put some in our coffee.
If you want to see the difference between all your milk options, FitSugar has a great chart to check out.
I will say that I wish almond milk was a bit cheaper and readily available.
Making Breakfast a Routine
Having breakfast as part of our morning routine is an adjustment. Too often we're grabbing coffee (or maybe a smoothie if we have time) and get started with the day.
We need to have our weekday morning be more like our weekend morning, which means having a solid breakfast.
Since time is an issue, we decided to have a cold cereal option to help us. We kept reading how skipping breakfast can sabotage your blood sugar and hinder weight loss.
Having a good breakfast can increase your energy level and reduce your chances of gorging later.
We bought Kashi GOLEAN Crunch to help us have a quick breakfast option in the morning.
My husband has enjoyed Shredded Wheat, so this may not have a big deal for him. My preferred cereals, however, were Cap'n Crunch and Fruity Pebbles.
(Actually put Cap'n Crunch on my wish-list for my bridal shower. Seriously.)
I was really hesitant to switch over and eat it, but I knew I had to change my habits.
It's definitely an acquired taste, but it's much better than what I thought it would be. It reminds me slightly of Smacks, but with almond milk, it comes across much better.
Some benefits to having the GoLEAN Crunch for breakfast includes:
- 9g Protein
- 8g fiber
- 17g of whole grains
Anything that can jump-start my day on a healthy kick is welcomed. I also have used it as a snack and put some natural vanilla yogurt with it to help me with my sweet tooth cravings.
I noticed that for the cereal's webpage many people find this too sweet, but I disagree. I think Kashi should keep it the same to help sweet cravers make the leap to healthy options.
Cutting Back on Buying Snacks
As we've all heard, junk food is waste of calories and doesn't have any real benefits for you.
Like I mentioned before, I love sweets and I had a habit of buying sweets as part of my grocery routine. What I try to do now if reduce the frequency of getting junk food when I go to the store.
When we grocery shop together, this is less of an issue and we've done pretty well with it. This is a problem area for me though and I think it'll be some time before I say I'm happy with my shopping habits.
Your Thoughts on Eating Healthy as a Couple
What are you guys doing to eat better? What has been the hardest change? What has been an easy adjustment for you?
Sounds like you’re getting started on the right track and have a good mindset going into this, which is really important.
I hear ya on the juices. Although they sound healthy and taste delicious, they’re really just fancy sugar water, and that sugar pretty much gets burned as quick energy or turns to fat.
As far as cutting back on the junk food, it’s 100% mental. You just need to decide that you’re not going to buy them, and then you won’t be tempted to eat them at home because they’re not on your shelves.
Good luck on your journey, take it one day at a time, and let me know if there’s anything I can to do help.
Great post, Elle!
For all the talk about money and developing solid communication, there is a tremendous benefit in embarking upon health goals as a couple. My wife and I recently started doing yoga together a few days a week to drop a few pounds and feel more energetic. It’s awesome! We also give each other a high-five when we’re done, like we’re a team.
A few years ago I used to struggle with the ice cream aisle in the grocery store. If they ever had a buy-one-get-one sale, I’d tear the place up! We started to shift to fresh fruit after dinner and now ice cream is back to being a special treat.
Glad you hear you guys are making healthy living a true goal!
@Steve: Your posts have definitely helped me have a regular exercise routine (bodyweight routines are tough!) and I loved your interview w/ Saint about how having breakfast had a big impact. Thanks again for your blog!
@Derek: It definitely makes it easier working with your spouse on a common goal. It feels good to watch out for each other! I think you make a good point with not just losing a few pounds, but getting some energy from exercising. It gives you a boost.
By the way, congrats on having over 100 shows on Past Due Radio!
We plan our meals ahead of time and buy the ingredients to make the dishes on a once every two weeks grocery trip. This means that we don’t eat box or frozen dinners unless we are really in a pinch for time. We also don’t even buy the potato chips and soda (or similar items), because if it is in the house it gets consumed.
We go vegetarian and low fat two days a week. It feels great and has definitely helped us stay no more than 5-10lbs over our college weights.
On “adjusting the grocery list”:
The less processed the better. Avoid instant mixes and packages.
On “drinking more water”:
You don’t have to eliminate juice completely. Sometimes water can get boring. You can either add some lemon juice or cut your other drinks with water. I use lots of gatorade powder, but use about 1/3 of what they recommend.
Eat Less Calories – sort of like weening off caffefine, there’s a “withdrawal” period but eventually you just get used to eating less. Your stomach will contract and eating “more” than your new normal will make you feel stuffed.
Thanks @Tim @Financial Samurai and @FinEngr for sharing tips that worked for you! It definitely takes more work to prepare meals, but not as much as I thought. Most meals can be ready with 20 mins of prep. I’m learning to love sald as a side and try incorporating some fruits into it as well.
I lost about 6 lbs in a few weeks from cutting out soda! Sweets are my downfall, but if I control those I feel like I’m doing pretty good.
Also, our big thing is portion control – it’s so hard to say no to 2nd helpings a lot of times!
The best advice is adjusting the grocery list. It’s a lot easier to eat healthy when there is junk food staring at you in the kitchen. You’re naturally going to eat healthier with healthier foods around.
Eating breakfast is key to starting your day off right and so many people skip it. Great advice.
I post a different healthy recipe every Friday afternoon if you are ever looking for some great eating ideas. Let me know what you think.
Trying to fight with your lifestyle alone is terrible, I can agree. Having a buddy (no matter if your partner or just a neighbour) is a big push, especially if you can have a kind of unofficial ‘contest’
Jason – no wander, check the label on a bottle of Cola or Sprite. It has over 200 grammars of sugar per 2l. That’s unbelievable amount.
@Jason: Congrats on losing the weight! It’s amazing to me how much soda can affect us. We’re learning to adjust to smaller portions; I use a smaller plate for some dinners to help me.
@diyworkouts: Yeah, it takes more time to plan out meals, but I’m happy at how quickly you can make a good meal. Thanks for sharing your recipes.
@Toronto Lorne: I’m very grateful for my husband. He’s great for keeping me focused and has been very disciplined with this goal.
Our hardest change was not buying premade stuff like frozen meals. I’ve been doing more “batch” cooking and make ahead meals. Also to save money we’ve been buying more stuff and freezing. Glad to hear someone else cut out soda!