Losing weight truly isn't complicated, I promise. We make it that way. Well, it's not always us. Sometimes it's a neighbor or a coworker or your doctor. Maybe it's the new trainer at the gym but the point is we get our information from somewhere. We aren't coming up with these diet and exercise plans on our own typically. This is going to be a 5 part series on why you are losing the battle with weight loss with my hopes being to get you moving in the right direction.
Reason 1: You Don't Know How To Cook
I'm talking real cooking here. Cooking is not Hamburger Helper or Tuna Helper for that matter since you literally don't have to cook anything and it's not a bag from the freezer section that you just put in the pan with a sauce packet and let thaw. I understand that they are super convenient especially when you have kids but if you don't know HOW to cook everything is going to be more convenient. If you don't know how to cook then you surely don't know how to shop for groceries either and now you're screwed because everything is prepackaged and processed garbage with very little nutrition involved. When you don't know how to cook eating out or ordering in becomes more like a necessity than a rare treat too because you can only prepare so many frozen dinners before going out and letting someone else prepare you a frozen dinner sounds good. (If you're typically frequenting casual dining restaurants you are kidding yourself if you think the meal is fresh) If this sounds like you and you are struggling to lose weight, can you see how just learning some very basic cooking skills could improve your health and your chances of losing weight?
This article isn't Cooking 101 and I'm no chef so I'm not going to teach you how to cook here but I can tell you where to start and lucky for you, you are already there: the internet! TA DA!! When you type in the search engine: super simple healthy recipes for beginners 601 million results show up. 601,000,000!!!! You have zero excuses. There are also many meal plan apps out there as well and my wife and I recently started using Mealime. It is very user friendly, it will only show you meals based off of your preferences and/or allergies, and as you pick meals you want to make it automatically generates your grocery list for you. I feel like it is designed for the new cook since the recipes are really simple and the ingredient lists are short (on the free version anyway). There you go! Over half a billion ideas online and a free app with even more ideas to get you started. What's that? You aren't willing to put THAT much effort into it yet? You want some helpful tips right here and right now? Okey Dokey!
1. Stop buying boxed and frozen meals and start buying fresh, canned, and/or frozen vegetables. The ones you like the most buy fresh. The ones that aren't your faves buy canned or frozen so they don't go bad on you.
2. Make sure you buy plenty of protein options. Chicken, fish, pork, beef and keep them in the freezer and thaw as needed.
3. 1 and 2 are important because a plate should mainly consist of veggies and protein. Carbs don't have to be emphasized unless you are very active but they still have a place on your plate if you consider yourself low to moderately active. Foods like rice, pasta, oats, and even potatoes have a longer shelf life than most foods.
4.Stop buying foods you know you shouldn't have around you. If it is in your house you will eventually eat it! Why test your willpower when you know you don't have any when it comes to Oreos, ice cream, or whatever your guilty pleasure is.
5. This one kind of piggy backs off of 4. Stop using your kids as an excuse to buy junk food. Just because you pack their lunch and they need a snack before soccer practice or after school doesn't mean you need to buy oatmeal creme pies. YOU want an oatmeal creme pie or a little bag of Doritos. Even if you don't, why buy and feed them something unhealthy on a regular basis anyways. Give them healthy options at young age. Let them watch you make healthy options while they are young so when they grow up they don't have to read weight loss articles like this one.
6. Now all the crap is out of the house the only option is to learn how to cook the real food you bought. Start small and simple. Learn how to bake your chicken and fish. Learn how to roast your pork and veggies. Learn how to slow cook (crock pot) your beef with potatoes and carrots.
Basic skills and healthy habits have to be learned to achieve long term weight loss. That's the secret and simple truth and that is why so many fail. Everyone wants the quick fix and there isn't one. Any diet that makes you drop weight quick didn't teach you anything except "I can starve myself for a short time and lose weight quick". Your weight loss success is 100% measured by your effort but it's not the effort you put forth as far as how "hard" can I diet. It's the effort you put forth in learning and practicing healthy eating habits. Exercise plays a big role too and that's what part 2 is going to be about next week. Until then here is a workout to start you guys off- clean out your pantry and take anything that doesn't support your goals to the dump.