The only thing that has helped me lose weight is counting calories. If you’ve been reading the blog for a while, you know that I started my healthy eating and exercise plan back in May, and it’s really been working. I’ve lost over 30 lbs, wear a smaller size in clothing than I ever have, and got my blood pressure in check. I’ve also been feeling more toned up, and better about my body than I have in a long, long time.
Obviously, exercise has helped with the toning up part, but the weight loss has really come down to counting calories.
I started by using a calorie counter I found Online, but now, I just read labels and calculate my food intake throughout the day. I eat 3 meals a day, with 2 snacks in between. Honestly, I eat a lot of the same things on a daily basis, but I realized I do need variety in my diet too. I also want to be able to eat dinner with my family, so I’ve come up with some tips that allow you to keep eating with your family, even when you want to lose or maintain your weight.
Tips for Eating together as a Family
#1 Make a slightly different version for yourself
While it may take a little work, there are easy substitutions and changes you can make to your own meal, so it is close to what your family is eating. Swapping low fat cheese, the type of bread/bun, or using a meatless option are just a few examples.
My little ones, especially my oldest need full fat cheese, butter, and calorie dense foods because they are on the small side and it’s what their doctor recommends. I, however, do not.
#2 Have everyone eat healthier
Just because you’re the only one counting calories, it doesn’t mean everyone shouldn’t be eating healthy.
We all eat whole grain foods, eat veggie burgers and zoodles (zucchini noodles,) and use the turkey and nitrate free versions if we eat processed meat.
#3 Eat less
I definitely control my portions. I don’t make my plate overflow or go back for seconds, unless it’s for the salad or vegetables. Using a smaller plate for yourself also helps. Heck, you could even use one of the kid’s plates!
#4 Don’t make a huge deal about your meal
I don’t ever want my boys to have issues with food or their bodies because of me. I want them to be healthy, and realize that is why I am eating like I am, but I don’t need to draw attention to my meal if it isn’t exactly like theirs. Most of the time they don’t even notice.
Here’s a real life example.
We had a make your own pizza night. My kids made pizza’s on individual whole wheat crusts with lots of sauce, regular cheese, turkey pepperoni, and olives.
I also made my own pizza. Here were my changes:
Instead of the pizza crust they used, I used 100 calorie flat breads, and toasted them. I then used less than a serving of sauce (because of my acid reflux, not calories,) a serving of low-fat cheese, and half a serving of the turkey pepperoni (a serving was 17 pepperoni!) and then toasted it all in the oven after theirs had finished cooking.
We all then had our own individual pizzas, and no one was the wiser.
So, with a few small changes, you can still enjoy dinner and meals together, even if one of you is trying to lose/maintain weight.
Are you watching your weight while trying to feed your family? Are there other changes or suggestions I may have missed?