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Work and watch

by Latoya Burnham

lovingmestirfryDon’t let anyone tell you differently, when you are trying to lose weight, exercising comes so much easier than watching what you eat.

Once you psyche up yourself that this is what you are going to do and set yourself exercise goals, I find that getting up at whatever hour of the morning or getting into the gym, on the circuit, on the road to do that exercise is times easier than cutting out those little goodies of pure fat or sugar in the diet.

When you tell people you are on a diet, for some reason they tend to skin up their face like it’s a bad word, like you’ve just sworn at their relatives twice removed, instead of acknowledged that you are watching what you eat. And if you work in an office where snacking is almost a pastime, it becomes even more of a challenge.

When I joined the Body by Kirk and Lifestyle Body Solutions’ Want It… Live It Ultimate 8-Week Fitness Challenge, apart from getting weighed in, measurements taken and shown around the gym that would be my third home for the next eight to ten weeks, I was also asked to note what I ate, everything down to the fries I would sneak off my colleagues’ lunch, for an entire week. From that, and along with the questionnaire I filled out about my goals, Sophia was able to come up with a “diet” for me to follow for the duration of the programme.

There would, of course, be options for changing or having her or Kirk tweak certain aspects as we went along.

The diet I now try to follow is as follows:

Breakfast – 1/4 cup oats, 1/2 banana, 2 eggs

Meal 2 – 2oz chicken or 2 12oz fish and 1 cup stir fry veg or 14 can tuna

Meal 3 – 12 cup rice or 6-8oz yam or breadfruit or 4oz sweet potato with 2oz protein

Meal 4 – Use meal 2 option

Meal 5 – 2oz protein and 1 cup stir fry

For those who like snacks like me, there are options of 1 fruit and 14 cup almonds or raw nuts.

I’ve included a few pictures of my meals and preparations. I tend to stick to three meals per day because really I am so accustomed to eating a big breakfast and a big lunch then using cereal as dinner, that my stomach got accustomed to not eating more than three meals. But this meal plan [let’s not call it a diet cause that’s a ‘bad word’], has shown me that my big breakfast and big lunch was really still more food than I should eat in one day, especially the protein portions.

For breakfast now I blend my oats and banana in a little water and add a bit of cinnamon as an option, then boil or fry my eggs in a little cooking spray.

For lunch I bake my fish or chicken in herbs with a little olive oil, stir fry my veg in cooking spray, and use herbs instead of salt to cook my rice or ground provisions. It calls for creativity so meals don’t get repetitive and boring, like making pancakes out of the oats and eggs, mashing the sweet potato or yams and making a pie with a little milk, very little cheese and sprinkling your shredded cooked protein or even mincemeat on top and baking with bread crumbs or protein powder sprinkled on top.

Lucky for me, I love cooking and experimenting. A little word to the wise though, try to prepare at least two days worth of protein at one time in the correct proportions – it saves time, gas and therefore money. Leave your vegetables for the morning, it takes about three minutes to stir fry the veg if you are like me and like them crunchy.

I’ve also found that my new way of eating really saves money, but that is if you live alone. If you live with a partner or children, a modified version of what you prepare for yourself could stop them from trying to steal from your plate or tempting you to eat form theirs.

Here’s a few words from my gym to remind you of why you are doing this:

It will hurt

It will take time

It will require dedication

It will require willpower

You will have to make healthy decisions

It will require sacrifice

You will need to push your body to the max

There will be temptation

But, I promise you, when you reach your goal

It’s worth it!!

You are worth it!!

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