I’m actually pretty excited about this particular Ask Dana post.
The reason is because it’s a question I have an excellent answer for. It also happens to be in two parts, so I’ll address each issue first and then discuss how they’ll work together for the most effective results.
The truth is that well-being is all-encompassing, so it takes the combination of nutrition and fitness into account – which I’m sure you already know by now.
But we’ll discuss it in more detail today.
So without further ado, let’s get to this month’s question.
Ask Dana – Weight Loss Without Shakes, Special Meals, Etc.
“Is there a possible way to lose weight without shakes, special meals etc..?
I have been wanting to lose weight for ages and I am a teenager who would like to lose about 15 kgs around my legs, chest, belly and butt area! Would you have any suggestions/workout ideas etc…?
I like your previous advice a lot.
Thanks for your help!”
First of all, great question! While I happen to enjoy smoothies, and I do eat healthy snack bars occasionally, the truth is that it’s ideal to develop healthy eating habits as early as possible. While it’s never too late to make a change, the fact that you’re 15 places you in an excellent position to start implementing these new habits and evolve into them as time goes on, hopefully for a lifetime.
In regard to shakes, quick meals or any other “convenience” foods for weight loss, while I do find that they have their time and place, I prefer eating whole foods as often as possible. This way, you learn how to use food properly and gain the benefits that different food groups have to offer for a well-rounded sense of nutrition.
If I were you, I would seek to discover what fruits and vegetables I enjoy the most and look to add them into my meals. An example of this would be that if you were craving a pasta dish, you would bulk the dish up with steamed or sauteed veggies.
To use food properly, you want to keep your blood sugar stable to avoid hypoglycemia. I would recommend eating approximately every three hours or so to make sure your glucose levels don’t get too low. Without giving you a specific diet plan (which are available at places like Sparkpeople.com), I can offer some soft suggestions.
Breakfast – Plain, organic oatmeal with walnuts (check serving size info and follow) and berries.
Snack – Organic greek yogurt and fruit
Lunch – Mixed baby greens with veggies of your choice, quinoa salad or lean humanely raised/grass fed animal protein and balsamic vinegarete dressing
Snack – Veggies and hummus
Dinner – Cage-free locally produced eggs prepared however you prefer mixed with lightly steamed veggies
You want to get a nice, balanced amount of different foods and experiment with a variety of recipes.
Keep an open mind and try new things. Shop locally and make sure that whatever you’re purchasing comes from a company that promotes labeling of foods (non-gmo project, etc) and consider attending (or hosting) a healthy pot luck. This will make the entire experience fun and creative.
You can also consider growing your own food – as there are several benefits to doing this.
In regard to physical fitness – I would recommend a wide range of different activities.
Strength training is great, but at 15, I would avoid intense weight lifting and high intensity plyometrics. The reason is because your bones are still developing and while these activities can offer benefits if used in balance, if they become the cornerstone of your workouts, they could, over time, cause injuries and damage to your growth plates.
Discover what you like to do naturally and stick with it. This is what promotes longevity and consistency. Involve your friends if any of them have an interest since having a workout partner offers several benefits.
There are some fantastic fitness programs you can do at home listed in this post as well.
Putting it All Together
If you develop a balanced program that focuses on overall well-being, you will not only lose the weight, but you’ll most likely keep it off.
Weight loss in and of itself is a nice goal to have, but the idea is to establish habits – stemming from an empowered mindset – that will continue to produce a lean and healthy body naturally.
Always remember to have fun, be creative and practice a safe and structured exercise program.
I hope this answers your question. Thanks for sending it in.
Do you have any of you have a question you want to ask?
Image credit goes to Huffingtonpost.com