Guys, losing weight — heck, evening maintaining weight! — as you get older, is tough. It’s a constant dialogue among friends lately. Realizing I’m closing in on 40 years old, I’m finding it’s easier than ever to put the weight on…. and much harder to take it off.
While I’m generally more focused on how I feel compared to the number on the scale, as a Weight Watcher lifetimer I do use my weight for accountability. I need to. Somehow even when I can barely button my pants, it’s not a fact that I’m gaining weight until the scale starts climbing. I’m not shy about my weight… my ideal weight is 125 but a few months ago it was hitting 130, 131. The number was generally symbolic that I was feeling sluggish and clothes weren’t fitting me as well. Plus, I LOVE to eat, especially when I travel. I crave salads and good foods yet I love indulging when I travel to try new cuisine and restaurants. I don’t like to feel like I’m starting a vacation at my heaviest.
I mentioned to you I started working out with Bell Gia, a local personal trainer and all around awesome, super knowledgeable person. It hasn’t been as steady as I would have liked due to my sprained ankle (that yes, two+ months later still hurts… I’m doing PT) however I’ve learned so much that I wanted to pass it along. The savvy tips below are a combination of helpful nuggets Bell has shared along with a tried-and-true rules that have worked for me over the years.
Beyond the obvious — cut out the sugary drinks, the alcohol, oversized portions, etc — here are some fresh tips to help you slim down if your current route isn’t making a dent!
As always, please consult a registered dietician with any specific advice – these are merely suggestions that have worked for me.
Switch up your breakfast.
I was eating one or two slices of a seeded bread (60-70 cal each) with almond butter on top. DELISH… and I thought an excellent choice. Bell disagreed and suggested I swap it for two hard boiled eggs or two scrambled eggs with spinach. I eat it each morning with my coffee and the protein really fills me up, and sustains longer than my other breakfast. For a little more flavor, I add the “everything but the bagel” seeds from Trader Joe’s on top… really good!
Limit certain “healthy” foods.
Yes, avocado, nuts, acai, almond butter, green juices and others are GREAT for you. In moderation. I swear acai bowls were making me fat. LOL. There is so much sugar in there, and combine that with toppings like almond butter, granola, more fruit, etc., we’re likely eating 800+ calories and who knows how many grams of sugar. Consider portions and do your research. Count out a serving of nuts, make sure your green juices are primarily all greens, not a bunch of fruits. Eat half an avocado instead of a whole. And, when it comes to snacking, my go-to are rX bars… they’re SO good, and only made with the ingredients you see on the label. So far, I’ve found them most affordably at Target, and then Trader Joe’s.
Minimize fruits, especially in the morning.
This is another suggestion from Bell…. avoid eating fruit before noon. I’m cutting down the number of hours I eat sugar each day and only eat fruit — pineapple being my favorite — from around 1 to 5 pm daily. This way, I’m minimizing my overall sugar intake, even with natural sugars, and I’m actually not craving “sweet” foods as much throughout the day. Be sure to also watch your portions. These natural sugars, and possibly extra calories from mindless overeating of good foods adds up to unwanted extra calories, can slow down weight loss.
Stop the BLT’s.
Nope, I don’t mean the sandwich, I mean the BITES, LICKS and TASTES. This is a Weight Watcher favorite that I always consider. Grabbing a few almonds while looking for a mid-afternoon snack, stealing a bite or three of you little man’s grilled cheese or popping in a few bites at a party all adds up. That mindless snacking isn’t worth it and it could be what’s holding you back from dropping weight. If you’re going to indulge… indulge and recognize what you’re eating.
Mix Up Your Workout Routine
I have always head to the elliptical and the treadmill, doing my 30ish minutes of cardio about 2-3x/week. After talking to Bell about where I want to add strength and muscle, she suggested I switch it up and use the recumbent bike to burn calories and work the booty. Well actually, she said it in a much more articulate way with a lot of words I maybe only half understood but that’s the gist of it. 😉 I can really feel different muscles working and feeling the result.
Starving? Pay attention to cardio.
Ok, Ok, cardio is great. I really love getting my heart rate going, getting out a sweet… it has such a calming effect. Keep doing it! But, at least for me, too much and I’m STAR-VING. ALL. DAY. And, since I’m not a tri-athlete or marathoner, I can’t justify eating like crazy after one workout (just like I don’t need Gatorade after my workouts). Give thought to your post-workout hunger… how to quench it (maybe you need more protein) or how you can mix up your workouts to better balance what your body needs.
With the above, I’m at 125.5 and feeling SO much better. I’m mixing up my workouts — still about 2-3x/week for about an hour. Have any other tips or methods that have worked for you? Hand it over…. we need to share all the insights we can!