If you can’t shop right, you can’t eat right. Dieting and eating clean (low-fat, high protein, whole foods) starts at the grocery store.
Below is a shopping list categorized by what you can eat, and how much you can eat. You see, not all high-calorie foods are bad. High calorie foods are necessary, but you just have to limit them.
For instance, nuts are very healthy, but the calories add up fast so they are in the “Use Sparingly” column. However, you can eat a TON of fish and asparagus so they’re in the “Enjoy Plenty” column.
How do you want to spend your 211 calories?
4oz tilapia AND 11 spears of asparagus AND 1 cup of cauliflower
OR 1/4 cup (which is only 1 1/4 ounce) of almonds
Both of the above options are 211 calories, but with one option you can eat a LOT and the other option you only can eat a LITTLE. When you choose correctly, this is what I call eating smart – and the smarter you eat, the happier you will be, the healthier you will feel, and the faster you will reach your goal!
Dieter’s Shopping List
Click on the list below to open in a new window and enlarge or print.
NOTE: This doesn’t cover all the foods we eat, but these are just some of the most common foods on our own shopping list to give you some ideas. This list is mainly a list of whole foods and doesn’t include items like milk, vinegar, creamer, etc.
What are some items that are always on YOUR grocery list?
So you set out on a path to get healthy, lose weight and get fit – but how committed are you really? Do you have a back-up plan or an escape route already in place? Maybe you have a few pit stops you’d like to take along the way to make your journey a little more fun. By the end of this blog, you will be able to determine if you have prepared yourself for success, or set yourself up for failure.
People do not like commitment. Ironically, pretty much anything that’s amazing requires it. Marriage, work, family, finances, where you live – you can’t be successful in any of these things unless you fully commit. But commitment is not just about what you hold on to, it’s about what you have to let go of.
When someone gets married, they say “I do” at the alter. They list all the things they promise to do, but they don’t list what they promise to NOT do. Of course, that does without saying but, with fitness, I think we need more closure. We need to remember it’s more than just what we plan to do – but what we plan to stop doing.
Can You Let Go?
When we set out to get fit and eat healthy, I believe one of our biggest problems is that we refuse to let go of certain things. There are still foods we want to eat, things we want to do (or not do), and a certain lifestyle we want to lead. Even if we plan to get rid of stuff for a while, we still have plans to go back to them, or at least make it an option. The evidence of this may be in your pantry, or it maybe in the big clothes you still keep in your house (just in case). Holding on to some of these things might be holding you back from faster progress.
When you hold on to these things, it’s like you have a back-up plan – a Plan B (or what I’d call a Plan F, for Failure). If you truly want to turn your life around, there should be no option to “going back”. You need to completely let go of the things that created the old unhealthy you, and grab hold tightly of the new you and new healthy lifestyle.
Breaking Your Food Addiction
I’m going to give you 2 examples to help you think a little deeper on this. First, let’s use a recovering drug addict as an example. Even if the addict gets rid of all the drugs in the house, how successful do you think he will be if he keeps all the paraphernalia and friends that enabled that lifestyle? There must be a complete disconnect with that world in order for most addicts to kick it for good. In many ways, living healthy can require some of the same steps – and overeating can be a very real addiction.
Ending Your Love Affair
Second, let’s look at marriage again. What if you still kept a relationship with your last boyfriend or girlfriend? What if you were faithful for a few months, but allowed yourself to kiss someone every once and a while? Do you really think that marriage would work? I don’t think so. Marriage is a total lifestyle change. There are things you simply cannot do if you plan to stay married – and there are things you simply cannot do if you plan to stay healthy, fit and trim. However, many people treat fitness like a temporary fix – not a completely new lifestyle. Of matter of fact, many people actuallly plan to return their old ways. They count on it – like a “prize” for their efforts.
Can you imagine saying “honey, I’ve been so good for so long, so I was thinking I really deserve a treat”? (and they weren’t talking about having an ice cream sundae!) Of course no man in his right mind would say that, but they may change their behavior. They might not be quite as careful maybe as they used to be. Like in marriage, what can start as just having a little fun (a “treat), and having an innocent relationship, can turn into a full-fledge affair. I believe the way we treat our relationship with food has many similarities. We put our guard down, we “play” a little, and we ultimately fail.
No Going Back – The Ultimate Example
If you want the perfect example to follow, I’ll give you a great story to think about. It’s the story of Elijah and Elisha (thank you Jim for touching on this yesterday!). Elijah was a regarded prophet by all faiths who did many great works. When it was time for him to “pass the baton”, he found Elisha plowing the fields. When he shared his plan to pass his ministry down to him, check out Elisha’s response. Not only did he say “yes” (that he’d leave his life there and follow Elijah), but it’s what he did next was simply the most perfect example of being sold out and whole-heartedly committed.
He went back to his family to say goodbye and threw a party – but it’s what he served at the party that made the biggest statement. He grilled Oxen. Not just any ordinary oxen – he actually used the oxen he used to plow his field – and grilled it over a fire that was fueled by the tools of his trade. This was his way of saying “I’m not coming back“. Even if he was tempted to, it wouldn’t even be an option. (1 Kings 19:19-21)
THIS is how we should be when we decide to turn our life around – whether we are talking about getting spiritually healthy or physically healthy. We need to fully commit, become sold out and be able to say goodbye to the things of the past.
Are You Ready to Say Goodbye?
Are you so sold out to change your life, to get rid of your weight once and for all, that you are ready to say goodbye to your old ways? Or are you going to keep your “oxen” just in case you fail? I challenge you to search your heart deeply and ask God to reveal to you the things that you are holding on to that could be holding you back. A new life awaits for you – but only if you can say goodbye to your old one.
Today’s Motivational Mantra:
People say “don’t do it for anyone else, do it for yourself” but, with weight loss, sometimes that just isn’t enough. It’s unfortunate, but getting our own body fit isn’t always enough motivation to stick with it. Sometimes, there has to be more driving us. It might be an end-goal, like a race, a competition, a vacation, pictures, a job, a date, a reunion, a check up or a number on a scale, or it may be the mere pressure of everyone watching us.
We’ve all been there. We’ve either attempted a diet and failed, or we have set out for a goal that we never reached. If you are a yo-yo dieter that has battled with your weight all your life, one of the first things you think of is what others will think, or what people will say. Will they roll their eyes at your 135,827th attempt to lose weight or will they support you? Will they take you seriously this time? Will they believe in you? Or, are they actually hoping you will fail, so they can say “I told you so” or so things can go back to “normal”.
These are all very real feelings that go through people’s minds, and it can sabotage someone’s success before they even start – OR it can drive them to be a success.
Sometimes our fear of failure is what drives us to success. While I don’t believe we should always worry about what people think all the time, I do believe a healthy dose of care can give us the push we need to succeed.
No one likes being a failure. We all want to be successful, respected, valued and admired – and we can ALL be that person if we want to. We can be the example. We can show everyone in our shoes that they can succeed too. We can prove our enemies wrong and show them we DO have what it takes. We won’t need to talk about working out and dieting, or convince anyone of how bad we want to succeed. Our actions will be the proof of our desire. And the results will speak for themselves – and every day we are tempted to skip, slip, quit, cry, complain, we will remember those who are watching us and we will not give them the pleasure of seeing us fail.
Matching iPhone Lock Screen
Get a constant reminder that your actions always speak louder.
How bad do you want it? Then prove it each and every day!
Here is a simple concept: “Nothing changes if nothing changes”. WOW! What a revelation! I’m sure you already knew that, but I bet you haven’t always practiced what you’ve known. We complain about so many things in our life, yet many of us do nothing to make them better. Our job frustrates us, but we don’t work to improve it or find another job. Our marriage can be a mess, but we are too busy to get the help we need to fix it. Or, our weight is out of control, and we just keep doing what we always do, hoping someday it will change. How retarded is that?
I believe many of us get caught in this vicious cycle because we let our life direct us, instead of us directing our life. We live in survival mode, paycheck to paycheck, day to day, always thinking “if I can just get through this, I will..”. I’ve got news for you. You will never “get through this”. Sure, you might get through this particular trial, this season, this certain difficulty or this day, but as soon as you get through “this”, there will always be another “this” waiting for you.
What are you waiting for?
You have a decision to make. You can keep waiting for a better time to work on the things you know you need to be working on, and live in denial, waiting for life to be easier and your schedule to open up so you can make your dreams come true. OR, you can accept the fact that there is no good time to get healthy, get your life right, fix a relationship or get a better job. Honestly, NOW is the ONLY time that is right.
Believe me, I know. I have put off friendships, vacations, family, marriage, kids and many other opportunities for YEARS, under the assumption that there would be a “better time”. Now, I am 41 years old and I realize that time will NEVER come.
Procrastination: The thief of dreams
• If I want more time with the ones I love,
I can’t wait for time to open up, I have to open my time up.
• If I want to lose weight and get in better shape,
I can’t wait for the right time to work on it, I have to work on making the right time to do it.
• If I want to make more money or get a better job,
I can’t hope someone notices & values me, I have to work hard to be noticed & valued.
• If I want a better marriage,
I can’t wait for a magical moment, I have to create magical moments.
• If I want to get my life on the right track,
I can’t wait for my life to straighten out before I start working on it, I have to work on it (while it’s completely a mess) to begin straightening it out.
Our life will NEVER change unless we change it. What are some of the things you want to change? Are you doing what you need to do to make those changes? If not, you are wasting precious time. You don’t have to wait for change – make it.
Today’s Fitness Mantra:
Let’s be practical here. In this fast-pace world, sometimes we need a fast-pace lunch. Unfortunately, new dieters panic at the thought of having to eat fast food because they think that means they don’t have a lot of choices. Or worse, they think it means complete failure.
The truth is, fast food chains give us more healthy choices than ever. We just need to order smart. It’s just up to us to do some investigative work so we can make the best choice possible.
Here are 10 tips to help you keep your calories low and your spirits high while dieting on the go.
10 Fast Food Tips for Dieters:
1. Go simple. The fewer ingredients the fewer the calories.
2. Go small. Avoid biggie sizing meals just because it’s a good deal. Believe me, you will eventually pay for it.
3. Avoid bread. Bread can account for 200-300 extra unnecessary calories. Try to get the majority of your calories from whole foods, instead of processed fillers.
4. Know what you’re eating. Don’t play guessing games when making your order. If you want to be sure you get results, be sure about the food you are eating. An average low-calorie meal for a dieter should be between 300-400 calories.
5. Don’t drink your calories. Stick to water, unsweet tea or diet coke. Drinking liquid sugar is just plain silly.
6. Salads aren’t always low-calorie. Just because something looks healthy, doesn’t mean it is healthy. A salad can easily add up to be more calories than a burger if you are not careful.
7. Think with your mind, not your stomach. Don’t let yourself get so hungry you can’t think straight. Many people blow their diet simply because they are starving by the time they face the drive through menu.
8. If you don’t love it, skip it. Removing one slice of cheese, or one condiment, can save you 100 calories or more. Prioritize the toppings you love, and skip the ones you can do without, to save calories.
9. Share your findings. Help others by sharing your healthy discoveries so other people can also benefit too. Education is key to success.
10. If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. Although you will likely find some foods you are pleasantly surprised with, many times people will continue to order something when their gut is telling them something isn’t adding up. Listen to your gut, not your taste buds.
I wish I could claim this brilliant quote, but it was actually the encouraging words from “Watson”, played by Lucy Lui, to young college girl (played by Melissa Farman) after losing her mom on Episode #11 in the new Sherlock Holms show called “Elementary” on CBS.
Of course there is no deeper pain than losing a loved one, but there are many other deep pains that can make life tough. The stressed of life can weigh us down so much that we can find it extremely difficult to get out of bed in the morning and face the world.
In the world of fitness, often times the sheer struggle of getting rid of the fat you accumulated over the years can feel like quite the battle. This battle can be discouraging, frustrating and exhausting – truly feeling like tough times.
Are You Tough Enough?
For many people, trying to look like Kate Battersby would feel like an impossible goal. Just losing weight seems hard enough, much less imagining having chiseled abs and smooth tight skin, after years of being stretched out. This feeling of hopelessness can cause people to give up before they even start.
People think “why me?” They don’t understand why getting fit and losing weight is so hard for them, and it leaves them feeling alone – but I want to encourage you like Watson encouraged that young girl, “tough times don’t last, tough people do”. The only reason someone else in the same position could lose weight and transform their body, is because they decided to be tough it out.
No matter what your battle is, finances, your weight, marriage, health issues, etc, it won’t last if you decide to be tougher than the battle itself. Sure, you can let your weight beat you up, and let it become stronger than you, OR you can fight it with all your might – and win. You can do the same in your marriage, with your finances and many other areas of life. Because, really, tough times don’t last, tough people do – and YOU can tough it out in 2013.
In Steve‘s blog yesterday, “Hello 2013. What Now?“, Steve talks about the reality of how you feel before you start working on your goals, during the process and once you reach your goals. ”Reality” is the key word here – in order for us to successful, we have to be more realistic. His words were simple, but so powerful and true.
Today, we’re going conquer our worst enemy – our mind.
No Pain, No Gain
I think some people live in a dream world (or maybe a “wish” world). I blame advertisers for pushing a message “no pain, and have gain anyway” – but that is a lie. That’s just not life. As a result, we wish our way through our workouts and diets. We wish that we could take a pill and sit on our but and lose weight. We wish walking the dog would be considered cardio. We wish that counting calories wasn’t important. We wish our halfhearted effort would pay off. We wish it didn’t hurt so bad. We wish it wasn’t so hard to get to the gym. e wish, we wish, we wish. Before you know it, you’ve wished your way out of results. Then, when we don’t get the results we wished for, we wish we never even wasted time trying.
It’s time to come back down to reality. To accept what you are in for, and also embrace the fact that it will all be worth it. Unfortunately, the reward often gets overshadowed by the work – to the point the works is all we can see. And for most of us, it will take a few purposeful steps (note: I’m using that word “purposeful” a lot this year). In order to reach our goals we must be very strategic and purposeful in our planning. Just like an army prepares for battle, we have to be prepared for every attack imaginable – and our biggest enemy is our mind.
But the End is SOOooooOOOOOoooooo Far Awayyyyyy
In order to succeed this year, you have to be in control of your thoughts. You can’t let the thoughts that face you today, like pain, struggle, doubt and a goal that seems almost too far away to ever reach, fill that pretty little head of yours up and sabotage progress.
It is SO easy to let the “now” paralyze you instead of push you. But, as you plan your attack this year, you can be ready. You can use those thoughts to trigger a productive response. You can remind yourself that it IS worth it. You can tell yourself that your pain will be replaced with power. Will it be difficult? Yes, it very well might be. Will it be worth it? Yes, it totally will be.
Have you ever wondered why your best buddy loved the Adkins diet, but you hated it. Or maybe a friend lost lost 20lbs on weight watchers but the scale didn’t budge for you? Well, here’s my very unscientific, but completely logical, approach to why certain diets work for some people, and they bomb for others.
Here are 5 popular diet methods, and why each of them can produce results or regret.
1. Meat Lovers: Paleo and Adkins diets are high-protein meat lover diets, so people who love meat do well. People, like me, who could go without it and not miss it struggle. Steve loves meat – I mean LOVES IT! So, he’s thoroughly enjoying the Paleo Diet. It’s harder for me, so I am beefing up my veggies so I can enjoy my meals, where Steve is totally fine putting a big clump of meat on his plate and calling it a “meal”. I have to be more creative with my meals to stay content.
2. Sugar Busters: This diet works well for people who have an issue with sweets. If I cut sweets out of my diet, I wouldn’t make a lot of changes. I just don’t crave sweets. So, if I went on this diet I would not lose that much weight because I wouldn’t be cutting that many calories out of my diet. All mainstream diets, no matter what “gimmick” or set of guidelines is given, works because it is based on a set number of calories by industry standards. Reduce sugar, reduce calories.
3. Carb Cutters: Low carb, or no-carb, diets get huge results for the people who love their bread and potatoes. If I completely cut carbs out of my diet, I’d drop weight too because I love me some carbs (lots of carbs means lots of calories). However, not everyone likes carbs like I do. So different strokes for different folks.
4. Weight Watchers: Someone can even goof up weight watchers if they aren’t careful. I’ve known people to overeat items that are low in points (or have “zero points”) and they don’t understand why they don’t get results. If you are an overeater, this diet may not work for you because you will find some way to cheat the system. However, if you are unhealthy eater, weight watchers is a great way to get your food in balance and learn how to eat better, which will naturally reduce your caloric intake.
5. Calorie Counters: Counting calories works – unless you are lazy, unorganized, forgetful or don’t have the tools you need to track calories properly. So, someone can even mess this up too. They may say “counting calories doesn’t’ work for me”. What they most likely mean is “I know counting calories works, but I don’t want to do it”.
If you are trying to lose weight and you’ve tried various diets that have failed, don’t give up. Think of the reasons you loved them, and the reasons you hated them. Learn more about yourself and the reason each diet works for others. Try new things and reattempt things you might have gone about all wrong in the past. You must continue to explore new and improved ways to eat and live healthy. You WILL succeed as long as you never give up.
How do you jump back on the right track, after a totally blowing your diet on Holiday weekends like Thanksgiving? Here are the steps we take at the Pfiester’s, to get us back in the groove.
Purge the crap. No, I’m not promoting bulimia. I’m saying get rid of the junk in your house. For example, Steve bought a pint of ice cream Friday weekend. Sunday night he said “my diet starts tomorrow. Do you want to know how serious I am?” And he proceeded to take the ice cream out of the fridge and toss it in the trash. It’s hard to eat clean when you are surrounded by junkfood. So, like Steve, if there is food in your kitchen you know is something that will tempt you, get rid of it. If you feel guilty for throwing food away, get over it. Keeping it doesn’t help solve hunger – and giving it to your friends or family is like passing along a disease. Do you really want to make someone else fat? Just get rid of it. No one needs that stuff.
Stock up. Once you purge all the crap, it’s time to replenish and do some healthy grocery shopping. Many times we eat poorly because we don’t have anything healthy handy. If you want to eat healthy, you have to shop healthy.
Prepare. After a weekend of feasting, I cooked up all our healthy food for the week. Grilled zucchini and squash, grilled fish, new potatoes, slow cooked chicken, and a whole roasted turkey is what’s on this week’s menu. Now that we’re stocked up, there’s no reason to go off plan.
Shrink the tummy. The first few days of getting back on track is all about portions. I eat several small meals and snacks, without ever filling all the way up. I also do a lot of watery, low-calorie density foods like soup, fruits, vegetables and smoothies to keep me full while reducing calories. In a matter of days, my stomach flattens back out and the smaller portions are perfect portions.
Burn it off. After falling off the wagon, I not only get back to my routine but I do double duty. I do 2 cardios a day to help boost my turn around. It helps erase my mistakes and gets my head back in the game.
Count calories. Even though I know what to eat, I always go back to tracking calories (I use the Lose It app) after going off my regular routine. It helps me stay focused, as well as get results quickly. Without calorie counting, my bounce back is normally slower and I’m not as strict. Accountability is key – and nailing the diet is essential to success.
Stick with it. To prevent going off my diet too soon, I stick with a plan and set goals for how long I will stick to my routine. Consistency is key, so I don’t let myself cheat until I’ve either fulfilled the time, or hit my goal (which is normally a goal weight).
Diet Tip of the Week: Calorie Density
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