As I become further immersed in my diet, I'm realizing that I need to make some adjustments that are going to help me achieve my weight loss goals. As I mentioned in a previous blog, my personal style is one more of a sprinter than a long distance runner. I'm driven by bursts of energy intermingled with moments to regroup... periods of pushing followed by time to reflect and make adjustments. It's hard for me to always be in the "push" mode. It just doesn't work out and I lose focus.
I've been experimenting with different eating patterns and what I've found to work best for me is to stick to a healthy food plan every day, but to have 1 day of the week that is more of a "push" day.
So what makes this one day different from the rest? During the "push day", I only consume low calorie food in a liquid form. That can include smoothies, protein drinks, soup, tea... (it does not include alcohol or melted ice cream). It does however include yogurt and sugar free Jello. For this one day, I generally will have a smoothie for breakfast, a protein shake, (or soup) for lunch and a hearty bowl of soup for dinner. In between meals I drink plenty of water intermingled with one or two glasses of freshly squeezed grapefruit juice. I'll make ahead, (can 8 quarts at a time), any one of the soup recipies listed in this blog to always have on hand for these days. I also like the Progresso brand low calorie line of soups. They are really good! The other five days are still focused on keeping my calorie intake at around 1200 per day. Having that one push day a week provides the"sprint" that I need to break up the week, boost my metabolism and make some real headway into achieving my goal. After a day of limiting myself to a primarily liquid food diet, my regular diet seems like a banquet! The "push" I get from this one day provides the boost and discipline I need to stay on track both mentally and physically.
A note about commercial protein shakes...
I basically don't like them. They have a highly processed taste that I find repulsive. They are a quick fix and not geared towards developing healthy eating habits for any sort of long term weight loss program. Most people love them because they "don’t have to think" about food, plan meals or buy expensive products. They do however have their place in a liquid diet plan as a meal replacement and there are a number of good recipes for homemade protein shakes that I love:
Fat-Burning Mocha Madness
- In a blender, mix ½ cup of cold water, (or can use 2% or almond milk), you can add more or less depending on the consistency and taste you prefer.
- Add 2 scoops of nutrient-rich chocolate-flavored protein powder.
- Add 1 tsp. of granulated instant coffee.
- Gradually add 5 ice cubes to thicken.
- Blend on high for one minute (in a pinch, this shake can also be made by simply mixing ingredients together in a glass with a spoon).
Simply put, weight loss occurs when your metabolism gets moving and you put out more calories than you take in. If you were to replace a 750-calorie bagel and orange juice meal with a 155-calorie protein shake, you’d save 595 calories per day. That's a considerable cut that adds up in the long haul.