By: Chalene Johnson
When people ask me what’s the easiest way to “lose weight,” I like to tell them about the “latte diet.” It’s really just a euphemism for cutting something seemingly minor out of your daily habits, which may be the cause of unnecessary, unaccounted-for calories.
I’m 5’2”. Okay, fine. I’m 5’1 and ¾” to be exact! If I gain two pounds, it looks like ten. There’s just nowhere for it to go. In the past couple of years, I’ve really buckled down and done my best to get a handle on the little things that make a big difference for those of us struggling to lose or maintain weight. A light bulb went off for me when people started sending me their own before and after photos representing the weight loss and body transformations they experienced with Turbo Kick™.
Many of these people started to see a difference when they began doing Turbo Kick™ three, four and even five times a week. There was a period of time when, due to poor scheduling on my part, I was teaching only one Turbo Kick™ class a week and a whole slew of other formats I didn’t enjoy very much.
I decided to give up every workout I wasn’t looking forward to, for whatever reason. I added three more Turbo Kick™ classes to my weekly workout schedule. I returned to teaching Turbo three or four times a week. Wow! What a difference I saw and felt in my own body.
Next, I decided to get critical, rather than defensive, about the calories I was consuming. For many years, I reassured myself that I was eating “clean” and working out six days a week and because of that, I was probably as fit as I was ever going to be. I was eating far healthier than most people I knew. Hey, we can only do so much with the genes we’ve been dealt, right?
I decided to write down everything I ate, and I mean everything! I even recorded the left-over crust from Cierra’s sandwich, the handful of cereal here and half a broken cookie there. I looked at the calorie content on the things I was consuming, including the Starbucks soy latte I enjoyed each day. After a few weeks of food journals compared with the calories I burn each day as recorded by my BodyBugg, I realized things were not as “clean” as I had thought. There were quite a few things I could do without. So I set out to cut out and cut back.
I still eat those last syrup-drenched bites of pancakes that Brock (thank God) leaves on his plate, but just one bite instead of four, and I count those calories! I replaced late-night handfuls of cereal with dried cranberries and almonds. If I want something sweet, instead of fat-free yogurt (which is loaded with sugar), I now do sugar-free Jell-O™. But the thing in my diet that I believe has had the most positive impact was cutting out the daily soy latte habit. In doing so, I save nearly $140 a month and about 7,000 calories. What a simple way to lose two pounds in a month!
Everyone has his or her “soy latte.” It’s a metaphor for something you’re eating every day that you really don’t need, that you really wouldn’t miss if you cut it out, cut back or replaced with something containing fewer calories. Most of us know what to eat; we just don’t keep track of it very carefully. It is reported that Americans underestimate their calorie consumption by an average of 40%! Wow!
To break your current plateau, take a close look at what you are eating (and drinking). Really account for every calorie. Use a food journal. There are many free apps available for your smartphone, but a Post-it note on the fridge will work, too! Make a serious effort to consume fewer calories. Consume the right balance of calories, i.e., protein and carbs, based on your activity level. And last, but not least, burn more calories and work those abs by doing the right kind of workout (hint: starts with a “T” and you hear sirens about 30 minutes into it!)
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