This month's DietClub update and advice comes from someone who is doing very very well on her track in our International Ban-The-Butt Campaign across the globe. Here to share a few of her tips and secrets of success is Donna Alward.
When I was asked if I’d be interested in doing a diet club slot, I had to laugh. Yes, I signed up in January, and yes, I have lost some weight since then. But the e-mail came as I was in the middle of revisions. And as most of you know, the two WORST times to ask an author about her diet is during revisions or the week before deadline.
I have lost 7 lbs since the beginning of January and you know, it’s not stellar – I mean some members lost that much their first week – but I’m happy with it. It’s steady and it’s in the right direction. Considering I’ve had gastritis during that time and also have had both knees put up a protest, one deadline and one set of revisions, all in all I think I’m doing okay.
The problem with deadlines and revisions, or any time I feel the crunch of immediate stress, is that the food pyramid morphs into something like this: starchy carbs like bread and pasta on the bottom, a layer of dark chocolate on top of that, crowned with red wine. I can go on about the health benefits of all those items but we all know as a whole, this isn’t a sound weightloss type of diet.
So here’s what I know for sure. What works for me during a “regular” week.
1. Eat clean. I discovered this when I had gastritis. It was boring as hell. But it worked. Most of all I missed spicy stuff, so if you can eat clean and add your flavour with spice, go for it. I ate a lot of porridge, whole wheat pasta, brown rice, low acid fruits and veggies, no juice, no alcohol (sob! My grape!) lean, plain protein (mostly boneless skinless chicken) and low fat dairy. I also didn’t have caffeine. Now, I’m back on tea and the odd cup of coffee as a treat, and my wine on Saturdays. But for the most part – still eating clean. This means NO PREPARED STUFF. And another thing about revisions….you really start to appreciate convenience food.
2. Drink water. LOTS OF IT. You’ll go like a racehorse and flush out all kinds of nasties.
3. I make exercise regular and routine. Do it every day and only take one day off a week. If I have a day when my energy level is zip, I at least do 2 things. I walk the kids to and from school and I do a half hour of pilates or yoga instead of a full workout. I ALWAYS feel better.
4. I do three days of cardio and three days of weights. Muscle burns calories 3x faster than fat, so the more muscle you have, the more calories you’re going to burn simply when sitting in the chair creating your masterpiece. Now, with my knees staging a rebellion, I’ve had to stop running which is a shame because I enjoy it. I’m back on the stationary bike now for cardio, or walking on the treadmill. And on weight days, I warm up by putting on the boxing gloves and hitting the heavy bag for maybe 10 min.
And no girlie weights here, girls. You need to put enough resistance so that by the end of your set, your muscles are fatigued. I alternate upper body and lower body days.
Of course we all know that rarely do we have a perfect week, and sometimes we stop being diligent. That’s why I ended up putting most of the weight I’d lost back on. No one warned me about Writer’s Butt until it was too late. Diligence is key. And it’s probably why I’m happy with my seven pounds. Because it’s regular and shows I’m getting back in the routine of things.
Lastly…don’t forget the added calorie-burning benefit of AFTER HOURS activity! ;-) Now, I’m off to take my own advice….whole grains anyone?
She is also blogging about her writing process in a fabulous series called the Construction Zone. Check it out!