Back in January, I announced that I wanted to look my best when I turned 30, so I challenged myself to a 5-month shape-up called Lose the Dough. My ultimate goal wasn't necessarily to lose weight, but I did want to tone up and increase my lean muscle mass.
For years I thought the “eat tons of protein” trend was all diet hype. And while I certainly won't be giving up carbs any time soon, I've learned that a healthy mix of protein and whole grains is key for satiety and controlling my cravings. After meeting with a registered dietitian, I've made an effort to include more protein in my dietusually avocado, beans, peanut butter, and tofu. Not surprisingly, I feel a lot more satisfied after meals (and less tempted to raid the cookie jar).
I haven't added any more workouts to my schedule or increased my time at the gym, but I've made a solid effort to lift weights. Instead of just cranking out the cardio, I'm taking two or three hour-long Body Pump classes at my gym, and this has made all the difference in my body composition. Body Pump is a mix of aerobic exercise and strength training, so you kill two birds with one stone. I get both workouts in just 60 minutesand I work really hard during that hour. I'm usually dripping with sweat by the end of the class!
I thought twice about eating treats
I love wine, cookies, cake, nachos, and beer as much as anyone, but I noticed that indulging too often started to catch up with me. I didn't want to cut these treats out of my diet completely, so I made sure to plan for my diet splurges. If I knew I was headed to a tempting party or night out with friends, I made certain that all of my other meals that day were healthy and filling. And I found that a few bites of a cupcake (instead of the whole thing) or a glass of seltzer (in place of a second cocktail) was enough to keep me happy.