This weeks photo challenge is “lunchtime”, which connects well to another post I had planned on sharing today. So that works out great!
Today for lunch I had Panda Express, because today is my cheat day after completing the 24 day Advocare challenge.
I lost 6 pounds and 4 inches on the challenge (the average weight loss for women is 10 lbs., so I think I did a decent job).
I thought I would write a review of my experience, what I learned, what I liked, what I didn’t like, etc.
First off, I found it very hard to stick too. Mostly when it came to eating out. Jeremy and I normally go out with friends 2x a week, wether that be a BBQ at someones house or just meeting up for dinner. We also eat out together 2-3x a week, breakfast on Sundays, dinner on Friday, etc.
The diet basically boils down to fruit, vegetables, lean protein (chicken, turkey, fish, etc.) and limited whole wheats, like brown rice, whole grain past and whole grain bread. (for a more exact description of the diet you can explore the Advocare website)
That doesn’t give a ton of options when you go to a BBQ at a friends house and they are providing the food.
So I did not stick to the diet 100%. I would say my average was about 80%
However, what I did learn, and will take a way from the experience, is that there are ways to eat the above mentioned foods in tasty ways. A few of my favorite recipes were turkey tacos (whole wheat tortilla topped with salsa), pineapple turkey burger (on a whole wheat bun) and sweet potato fries.
My two biggest problems with sticking to any kind of diet like this is 1) I have no willpower, and 2) I LIKE yummy-bad-for-me-food
I don’t think I will ever be one of those people who gets excited for a turkey burger, I would much rather eat Panda Express. And if you put both of those options in front of me, I will probably grab the Panda Express, I don’t have willpower.
So how do I lose the weight that I want to lose? Figure out something that works for my lifestyle and stick with it long term.
I will not be able to stick with a strict diet, I was amazed I made it at 80% for 24 days.
My plan now is to use what I learned as far as healthy eating habits, incorporate it into my daily life, give myself room to cheat a little, and make it a long-term lifestyle change.
When Jeremy and I go out to eat I don’t have to order the french toast with hash browns, I can have oatmeal and eggs. Every once in a while I can have a cheat day and order the pizza and Panda Express, but for the most part I have learned that there are healthier options at most restaurants that still taste pretty good.
And there are healthier options for me to cook at home, where my lack of willpower isn’t such an obstacle. I only buy healthy foods and try to cook at home most of the week, eliminating the temptation of bad foods.
The word “diet” is so negative. Just saying it makes me miserable. I want to live a healthier lifestyle, a lifestyle that I can actually accomplish and stick too long term, not just for 24 days or a few months. I recently found a FB page that I love called “This is not a diet – this is your life”, and I think her message is great!
I have 11 lbs to go until I reach my first goal weight and obtain a “healthy” BMI. Using what I learned from Advocare, I think that is a realistic possibility for me in the next 2-3 months.
I’m down 10 lbs. since I started this journey in January, it’s slow progress, but at least it’s in the right direction!