Foods You Shouldn’t Eat (And What to Replace Them With)

I’m tired of hearing “America is overweight.” That’s putting a huge number of people in the same category that shouldn’t be. About 30% of adult Americans are obese. And even then, some can’t control their weight due to health issues and whatnot. Now, about another 30% of American adults are classified as overweight. Let me clear something up: being overweight means you have a body mass index of 25 or more. Body builders would have an extremely high BMI and others may have one as low as 26 but are still a part of that statistic. Although these statistics might change the judgement on America, finding your BMI is a good way of starting a weight loss plan because let’s face it, you know whether you need or want to lose weight.

Now that I’m done with my rant, we can start on what you’re here for. I’m going to give you a compiled list of foods you should never eat. And I understand, never is a harsh word, but if you are serious about losing weight and becoming healthier, trying won’t hurt. At least cut back on these foods and slowly progress to the point you no longer keep them in your house.

White BreadNumber One: White Bread
White bread is left with almost none of breads original vitamins, minerals or fiber. The flour used in white bread has also been bleached with chlorine. That just does not sound healthy. There are so many other options when choosing bread. Some of the healthiest breads include: whole wheat, rye and pumpernickel (and they’re all delicious!) To find out which type would be healthiest for you check out this article.

Number Two: Corn-fed Beef
Grass-Fed CowsIf you can avoid it, do! Cattle are meant to eat grass, not grains! Originally, cows were fed grass and it took them 4-5 years before they were able to be slaughtered for meat. With grain-fed cows, they can be ready in 14 months. This is because of how fast the farmers are able to fatten them up. They even use growth hormones. It is a bit more expensive, but isn’t everything that’s good for you? If you’re like me and don’t want your arteries clogging, I believe the healthier choice is obvious here. More info: Corn-Fed Vs. Grass-Fed Beef

sad_potatoNumber Three: Non-Organic Potatoes
Pretty much self explanatory, don’t ya think? They absorb so many herbicides and pesticides while they are stuck in the ground. And even after they come out, they are sprayed with more gunk so they don’t sprout. In my opinion, it’s probably one of the worst non-organic foods out there. A lot of other fruits and vegetables should be bought organic. Here’s a list of foods that you should buy organic and foods that are normally clean.

Last, but not least: Fatty Foodsfatty foods
Unfortunately, this includes: fast food, sweets, frozen dinners, pizza, anything fried or greasy, and the list goes on. We all know we aren’t suppose to eat them, but then we have our excuses. “I didn’t have time for anything else,” “I won’t eat anything else today,” “It’s cheap.” While any or all of these may be true, it doesn’t change the fact that you’re putting filth into your body.

I’m not saying I’m perfect. I don’t even follow some of these rules I’ve just listed out for you. I have just recently started my health kick and I feel great about it, although I do have a fast food burger or chicken nuggets maybe once a week. I plan on stopping this. I have decreased my fatty food intake by about 70% and I will keep going. You have to set goals before you can reach them and nothing changes overnight. I know that if you want to–and I mean really want to, you can change your life completely.


Only Way to Lose Weight: Part 2

I was going to wait at leWeight Loss Workoutast another week before I posted again about my weight loss journey, but I’m too excited to wait any longer! If you didn’t read my first weight loss post, I started my diet and exercise on 12/10/12, which was four days ago. And also, if you haven’t read, I’m using an app called Lose It to track what I eat, when I exercise, and how much weight I’m losing. I’ve been wanting to lose weight for a couple years now and I’m finally doing it!

The reason I’m posting this a few days early is due to the fact that I set my weight loss goal at 2 lbs. per week so I could reach 130 lbs. by April 4, 2013. By eating only the amount of calories Lose It has recommend, and starting on this 20 day beginner workout (click the picture to the left), I’ve already lost 5 lbs! That might seem like a small amount to some of you, but I’m happier than ever!

By eating less and eating healthier, I have gained so much energy! I have been able to get up early in the mornings with no extra help (I used to sleep until noon if no one woke me). I get hungry less often. And since my calorie limit is 1,192 calories a day, I use them sparingly. By that, I mean I separate those calories into: breakfast, lunch, and dinner. If I’m lucky, I’ll have 100-200 calories left by the end of the day (which I normally don’t use), so there’s practically no room for sweets. Which also means, I’m craving them less!

Here are some quick, easy foods I’ve been eating:

Breakfast: Since I try to eat healthy, small breakfasts, my main go-to food is Honey Cluster Fiber One cereal. It’s delicious and super healthy! I eat about 1.5 cups of the cereal with 1 cup of Silk Soy Milk, which together, is Fiber One Honey Clustersonly about 350 calories! Although I haven’t strayed much from that, on a couple of days that I was out of milk I microwaved a packet of Instant Quaker Oatmeal (apples and cinnamon, mmm!). That’s only 200 calories when you make it with water!

Lunch: Now this is where I cheat a little. Most of the week I’ve stayed pretty healthy on this, but today and Tuesday I had ONE piece of pizza with a glass of water for lunch. Now, if you only eat ONE piece and nothing else, it doesn’t really mess up your calories for the day. But you have to keep in control. If there’s somewhere you can just buy one slice at a time, that’s what I would recommend. Also for lunch I’ve had: two plain scrambled eggs, a bowl of tomato soup, and a turkey and cheese sandwich on whole wheat bread.

Dinner: For dinner Monday I had cooked broccoli, carrots, and potatoes. Since then, I’ve been eating: cooked chicken, green beans, and raw carrots. Thursday night, my boyfriend and I were in town running errands around dinner time so we stopped by Wendy’s. Like I mentioned before, I used an app for that! I used Fast Food Nutrition to see what was something I could eat that had low calories. I went with a five piece chicken nugget with lemonade. 🙂

At this point, I haven’t got to try many recipes and whatnot since it was finals week. BUT here to save the day–my Pinterest page! I’ve started a “Health Kick” board with recipes, workout tips, and routines. Let me know what you think!

If you have any healthy recipes feel free to share them below!

Only Way to Lose Weight

Lose Weight

So, I’m overweight. Anyone with me? I’m only overweight by about three points, according to this BMI calculator, but all the weight is in the wrong places (belly, muffin top, back, etc)! As much as I’d like to blame my weight on my massive amounts of muscle….I don’t have any.

Everyone (mostly my mom) has always told me: “Jessica, if you want to lose weight you’ve got to eat right and exercise!” Not to mention, every single diet plan or weight loss program I’ve researched says the same thing. No matter what it is, it’s the same thing. Even fad diets and the really expensive eating plans say “with proper exercise” at the end of everything. It’s just great.

I’ve never exercised. I had always hated gym class in middle school and high school. Now I’m in college, I have someone I’m going to spend the rest of my life with, and I still can’t wear a bikini? No, I was not havin’ it. It was time for me to buckle down!

I just started my diet and exercise and I’m using the Lose It app to track how and when I eat or exercise. It’s really a fantastic app and it’s FREE. I started by entering my weight, height and age. Then, I entered my weight goal and how much I wanted to lose per week. I started at 163 pounds and my weight loss goal is 130 pounds. According to the app, by losing two pounds per week, I will have reached my goal by April 4, 2013. That’s less than four months away!

UPDATE 2/14/13: I’ve now switched to the My Fitness Pal app. I has more variety on foods and exercise.

Here are some other awesome apps that will help you achieve the same goals: Noom, Fooducate, CSPI

I’ll be tracking my weight loss on here: posting healthy meals and exercise plans I try out. If I’m feeling really brave, I might end up posting before and after pictures in a couple months, but we’ll see how it goes! Until then, here’s a very condensed list of healthy eating and workout tips!

  1. Only eat when you are hungry. This is what I struggle with the most. There were just so many times I would look in the fridge and see something so deliciously fattening, I had to eat it. If you ONLY eat when you’re hungry, it’s almost impossible to over eat!Stretch!
  2. If you do decide to work out, stretch, especially if you’re new to working out. Many times I tried and failed at losing weight, it was because I’d do a super hard workout without stretching or warming up at all. When I did that, my muscles were painfully sore — so much that I could barely sit down the next couple days, let alone work out.
  3. Instead of dessert, eat fruit! It is natures candy. Pears are my favorite because of how sweet they are. If you can, buy the freshest fruit possible, or maybe even grow your own! It tastes better off the tree and it’s loads healthier.
  4. Find out what is the easiest for YOU. We all know sit-ups, push-ups, and lunges are a good workout, and maybe it is for you. But for me, I find jumping jacks, planks, and walking to be much easier! Once I get used to doing those, I’ll probably level up to some more challenging routines.
  5. Last, but only last on this list — use apps! I know I say it a lot, but if you have access to these amazing tools, why not use them? I’m talking about apps that can find healthy items on the menu almost wherever you are! Check out this website for some examples, but don’t be afraid to research a couple on your own!

I hope you all gained something from reading this article, whether it be the tips, or just motivation to start getting in shape with me! Feel free to post some of your eating and exercise tips below! 🙂