I lost 10 pounds in two weeks by eating a vegan diet and doing some really simple exercises. I always gain 10-15 pounds during the winter months, because I’m not as active as I am in the warm weather. I wanted to lose the weight I had gained in order to fit into all of my cute summer clothes. I made a few small changes and the weight I had gained dropped off without very much effort.
Changing What I Eat
The rules for eating a vegan diet are simple; if your dinner has a parent or came from an animal you can’t eat it. That means no milk, eggs, meat, or animal based products. I enjoy a good steak every now and then and I love eggs in the morning, but I had to say goodbye to those foods for a couple of weeks in order to reach my goal. I love vegetables and fruits, nuts and seeds, and an occasional veggie burger but I was worried that a vegan diet wouldn’t be well rounded.
After two weeks of skipping meat, oil, and dairy products, I began to feel lighter and healthier. In fact, I’ve never felt so wonderful. For extra protein, I used a plant-based protein powder. You do have to be careful not to overdo the protein powder or it can bulk you up and cause you to gain weight if you aren’t working out. I know a lot of people who are dieting skip the carbohydrates but I never do. Carbohydrates are an essential nutrient that your body needs to function correctly. Just like any other food there are good sugars and bad sugars, and good carbs and bad carbs.
Six Small Meals
Eating six small meals per day instead of three large ones can really give your metabolism a boost. I learned this trick from my doctor when I found out I was hypoglycemic. When you starve yourself your body goes into starvation mode and actually makes more fat. Choose healthy foods and eat smaller portions more often. I also snacked whenever I wanted but my snacks were normally fruits or vegetables.
The biggest mistake people make when dieting is not exercising. A close friend of mine is a physical trainer and she maintains that dieting accounts for only 30 percent of weight loss and exercise the other 70 percent. A workout schedule is a must to tone muscle and burn calories. For me, working out also helps me feel good mentally and get into a healthy state of mind. No matter what your weight is right now, you can do some sort of exercise routine. The important thing is to get up and move.
My workout schedule goes as follows:
Monday: Thirty minutes of leg work: biking, stair-stepping, squats, and leg lifts.
Tuesday: Thirty minutes toning arms and back: Use work out band to tone arms and back with slow repetitive motions. I didn’t use any weights because I didn’t want to bulk up.
Wednesday: Thirty minutes of cardio. You can do cardio any way you want to. I prefer to go running when I first wake up and hop in the shower after I’ve worked up a sweat.
Friday: Core strengthening and yoga. For this I use P90x Ab Ripper and Yoga DVDs. The Ab Ripper DVD is really intense but it’s over in just a few minutes and it’s awesome. It well shred your abs in just a couple of weeks. Yoga may take some working up to for some people. This is the toughest workout day.
Saturday: Bowflex routine. I have a Bowflex in my home. I realize not everyone does. You can just make up your own routine for this day. I spend 45 minutes on Saturday mornings working on my chest, legs, and back.
The best advice I can give anyone who is trying to lose weight and tone up after winter is to choose healthy foods, eat more often but in smaller amounts, and it doesn’t matter what exercises you choose as long as you try and keep trying. Don’t get frustrated and give up on yourself. You have to want to get rid of the extra weight and make a commitment to yourself to do it. I’ve watched so many of my girlfriends starve themselves and if they actually manage to lose weight it’s gained right back when they start eating again. Never starve yourself; just take a long hard look at what you’re actually eating. I even cheat once in a while and have that piece of cake or candy. One cheat a week won’t wreck your diet and then you don’t have those uncontrollable cravings. I’m ready to hit the beach with confidence this year.