The first four days of the diet are called The 4-Day Anti-bloat Jumpstart. You only get 1200 calories a day and you eat 4 times a day. You get breakfast, lunch, a snack and dinner and you are supposed to never go more than 4 hours apart between meals (until bedtime of course!). The food selection for the 4-day jumpstart is pretty lean. I ate cornflakes with skim milk every morning (which ended up not being so bad), plus a fruit of some sort (applesauce, pineapple tidbits, raisins - those were the ones the diet had me eat), 1/4 cup un-salted sunflower seeds and a glass of their sassy water (named after it's creator. It has sliced cucumbers, lemons, mint leaves and fresh ground ginger root). I'll be honest, I wasn't wild about the water. Mainly because it has two ingredients I don't like: ginger and lemon. Ick. I think the main purpose behind the flavored water is to spice things up since the four days have a pretty bland diet but I'm used to drinking plain water so after the second day, I just saved the veggies and drank my plain water. Lunch consisted of 3 days of rolled up deli-style turkey (sans bread), a pint of cherry tomatoes or a cup of steamed carrots and one low fat string cheese. The lunches weren't bad. I would take a bite of turkey, then a tomato (I love those cherry tomatoes) and go back and forth like that till it was gone. I discovered that I enjoy eating turkey this way. It's quite tasty. I always saved my string cheese for the end. I LOVE cheese and string cheese is fun to eat and delish. The afternoon snack was always a fruit smoothie. Those consist of 1 cup skim milk with 1 cup frozen fruit (blueberries, pineapples, strawberries and peaches). Those were quite tasty even with no added sugar and were a nice treat in the afternoons during my conference period. Then I wouldn't eat again till dinner. Dinners consisted of either baked Tilapia or chicken with brown rice and a different veggie each night (two nights were roasted red potatoes drizzled with olive oil, one night was sauteed mushrooms - which were yummy - and then sauteed yellow squash). Since you're not allowed to eat salt during this time, I used salt-free Mrs. Dash original blend. It wasn't quite the same as salting my food but it definitely helped! All in all, I enjoyed the food and never felt deprived and I definitely felt UN-bloated. I was satisfied after every meal but never had that "over-stuffed" feeling that I usually have after eating a much larger portion than I need. I thought that not eating after dinner was going to be super hard since this is the time I want to eat the most - in the evenings after dinner. But surprise, surprise, it wasn't as hard as I thought. An added bonus was being able to pat myself on the back for exerting self-control and not eating 3 bowls of cereal at 10pm. I felt accomplished each night, like I had done something good. Which is rewarding in, and of itself.
The next step of the diet is to begin the 28 days that follow the 4 day jumpstart. I will now get bumped up to eating 1600 calories a day and still 4 meals, 4 hours apart. If I did well on 1200 calories, I think I'll do just fine on 1600. The book comes with more recipes than I will ever use. It has an "on-the-go" chapter with all quick, easy 400 calorie meals for busy women and then a chapter with 28 recipes for the woman who enjoys cooking a full meal. It also has a chapter for once you have finished the 28 days and you are ready to continue this healthy eating style. I like that the book isn't just a fad diet that you can't do long term. It is a guide to eating healthier, tasty food and changing how you eat and eating smaller portions. There's even a chapter on emotional eating and how to break that vice and one with a workout plan as well. They advertise on the cover that you can lose weight and maintain it without doing one crunch but they do encourage working out and have a workout plan for you that you can build up to.
So far, there hasn't been anything about this diet that I haven't liked. Me and the two girls at work who are starting it together are very excited about it are looking forward to encouraging each other and cheering each other on towards our weight loss goals.
- lose a total of 20 pounds by June
- get to my ideal weight and maintain it by the end of 2010. (this ideal weight is going to be very difficult for me to achieve which is why I'm bumping it to the end of the year.) If I am able to achieve this goal, I will have lost a total of 40 pounds.
- find a workout plan that I can stick to and be consistent with. (right now I'm doing boot camp through my school which is great but I need something more long-term for when we get out for the summer that I can continue. I think the workout that the book suggests would be very doable for me)
- Make eating healthier and in smaller portions and exercising a part of my life to the point where it isn't a huge effort anymore.
So there you have it. I know it was very detailed and you probably nodded off a few times but I'm writing this more for my personal edification. I wanted to pen to paper...or finger to keys, and write down my goals so I can look back. I'll probably post my "before" picture on here so that I can post my progress pictures and you can compare and see how I'm doing. I'll also be posting some of the recipes I discover that are super yummy as I go along so that if you are interested in eating healthier, maybe you can get some ideas from what I'm eating.
Here's a breakfast sandwich that's delicious and pretty easy and quick for 400 calories:
1 toasted whole wheat English muffin,
1 scrambled egg
1 slice low fat cheddar
1/4 cup mashed Avocado (Hass)
Sliced tomato (I usually put two slices if it's the smaller ones)
Put it all together and it's very good. But you have to like Avocados, which, incidentally, I LOVE.
Happy, healthy eating to all!