My Pre-Wedding Diet Starts Here

my-pre-weddng-diet-and-exercise-routineThe countdown is on! I'm about 7 months, 2 weeks and 1 day away from my wedding and the days just seem to get shorter and shorter. On paper it appears as though I've got plenty of time to get in shape for the big day but in reality, I don't. In just a few short months I've got my engagement shoot to be ready for and then before I know it I'll be walking down the aisle. That's why it's time to get my sh*t together and put my plan on paper - my pre- wedding diet and fitness plan. So here it is, my goals and visions on the line for the world to see. It's at this point where I go from the "out of sight, out of mind" method to holding myself accountable in front of the world. This is it, it's now or never. My Pre- Wedding Diet Starts Here. After reading this article you'll understand why I'm not your average dieting bride. In fact, I don't plan on dieting at all. Considering I'm a Dietitian and Sports Nutritionist my daily eats are naturally very clean and consistent. Because of that I plan to use exercise as my primary source of weight loss. That doesn't mean I can eat anything I want. What it means is that I plan to keep my diet the same as it is now (with small manipulations and variations here and there) while increasing the amount of cardiovascular exercise I put in each week. That being said, below is a typical example of my pre- wedding diet with weight loss in mind:

Meal #1 (aka breakfast): Protein Pancakes with PB and J 1 cup of black coffee + 2 packets Splenda + 1 tablespoon Half N Half

Meal #2 (lunch): 3-4 ounces grilled chicken breast or turkey/ground beef burger with reduced sugar ketchup 2 cups romaine lettuce salad topped with handful of slivered almonds, balsamic vinegar or Light Gingerly organic salad dressing and 4 or 5 baby carrots water to drink

Meal #3 (snack): 1 scoop chocolate protein powder sweetened with Splenda and mixed with water and 1 tablespoon half n' half (the protein I use is a blend of whey isolate, casein and egg white protein) 1 medium or large green apple sliced 2-3 tablespoons natural peanut butter

Meal #4 (dinner): 3-4 ounces grilled chicken breast or turkey/ground beef burger with reduced sugar ketchup 2 cups romaine lettuce salad topped with handful of slivered almonds (~1 ounce), balsamic vinegar and 4 or 5 baby carrots water to drink 1 medium pear or apple 1 small plum (if I'm still hungry)

Sometimes I will make Brisket, Ground beef or another type of red meat for dinner often using the Crock Pot.

I have no idea how many calories this is equivalent to. Often I'll eat more or less depending upon how hungry I feel. Breakfast and lunch tend to be the same every day, it's other meals and snacks where there might be some discrepancies.

Ok, on to my pre- wedding workout plan:

Monday thru Friday I head over to CrossFit Stony Brook for a workout. On the weekends it's a tad bit difficult for me to get over to the gym for a workout since I work from early in the morning to late afternoon. By the time I'm out of work on back on this side of town the gym has been closed for 5 hours. On those days my goal is to head outside for a run around my neighborhood if the weather and my body permits. During the week I plan to add an additional 3 days of morning cardio like running or rowing (I have an indoor rower). Here is how my schedule is going to look:

M - AM Cardio; PM CrossFit T - PM Crossfit W - AM Cardio; PM CrossFit Th - PM Crossfit F - AM Cardio; PM CrossFit S - Off (optional cardio in the evening) Sun - Off (optional cardio in the evening)

Home cardio workouts will consist of one of the following: - 2.5 mile run around neighborhood (~30 - 35 minutes in duration) - Intervals on the Rower (~15 minutes total) - CrossFit style workout using body weight movements, box jumps, kettlebells, wall balls, situps and jump rope (~20 minute workout)

The key to my morning cardio workouts is that I plan to do them first thing in the morning before breakfast. I find that this method works well for me to help get rid of this stubborn body fat.

Speaking of stubborn body fat. I plan to record my weekly progress right here on my blog. Starting with today. My weight this morning was a staggering 143 lbs! Ugh! Before the holidays I was doing exactly what I have posted above consistently and I was losing weight. I lost a total of 7 lbs! My weight was down to 139 which is the lowest I've been in over 3 years! And now, it seems like it's creeping back up slowly and I'm not cool with that.

Every Monday morning I'm going to weigh myself when I wake up. Then I'm going to lace up my running shoes and hit the sidewalk. My goal is not to see a certain number on the scale, but more to feel confident in my body and fit in to smaller clothes. My first milestone marker will be the engagement session we have yet to book with our amazing photographers Alexis Stein Photography. I've not yet set the date for this photoshoot but I would imagine it will be at minimum set for 2-3 months from now. That means I've got about 9 or 10 weeks to make some progress. I'm ready to make things happen and I can't wait to see how our engagement photos turn out, especially after I am in better shape!

This road is not going to be an easy one but I am going to do my best to make things happen and feel good in my skin no matter what the outcome turns out to be.

Got any tips or tricks to help me feel and look my best on my big day?

7 Tips to Avoid Calorie-Overload on Thanksgiving

Today is Thanksgiving and there is so much to be thankful for. To start, I'm thankful for the food I'm about to indulge in. Though I'm not particularly thankful for the discomfort and guilt I'm likely to experience post-feast. Like anything else in life, the best way to tackle T-day is to go in with a solid plan. Try these 7 tips for success to avoid calorie-overload and guilt:

1. Burn some calories. Starting the day off with a workout or run can help ease the idea of eating a plate full of Thanksgiving goodness later in the day. If your gym is not open on Thanksgiving, take this opportunity try an outdoor workout or check out a local gym you've been wanting to drop by. Today I'm heading to CrossFit Suffolk for a morning WOD. My usual gym is not open and a break from the norm with great company every once in a while is well-deserved and needed. Another great way to get in a workout is to find a local Turkey Trot (5k walk/run the morning of Thanksgiving). Search online in your area for more information.

2. Don't starve yourself all day. You may think that "saving" your calories during the day for what you may expect to eat at night is wise. Think again. Not only are you setting yourself up for failure, but you're putting your body in to "starvation mode" making it more likely to store every calorie you put in to it. Go about your day as usual without skipping breakfast and lunch. If you are having an early Thanksgiving dinner, opt for a light lunch beforehand.

3. Focus on the activities. Thanksgiving is the time to reflect and be thankful for those around you. Spend this time to catch up with family you've not seen in a long time, hang out with the little kids, and get to know the new faces at the table. The more you talk, the less you eat (hopefully).

4. Eat only what looks good to you. Instead of trying every item on the table, serve yourself small portions of the things you want most. If it's not a food item you are crazy about, what's the point in wasting precious calories on it. Enjoy what you like and you'll end up feeling good about what you did eat afterward.

5. Get your fill of veggies and protein. Stuff your plate with turkey, veggies and salad before topping on the carby sides like sweet potato casserole, stuffing and cornbread. It's the carby sides that put your calorie intake and discomfort over the top. Opt for bite size portions of those and fill up on the lean stuff instead.

6. Steer clear of liquid calories. Fill your glass with water and other calorie-free beverages. It's crazy how many calories you can take in from sipping a cocktail or other beverages. Watch out for cream sauces, dressings and gravies as well - they can be filled with unwanted hidden calories you didn't know you were taking in. Use sparingly.

7. Walk it off. Start a new family tradition by walking around the block together after the big meal. Any sort of movement will burn some calories and your overstuffed tummy might feel better as well.

With these tips in mind you can leave the elastic waistband pants at home and walk away from Thanksgiving without regret.

Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours!