How I Lost 20 effing Pounds

IMG_0478It’s crazy actually, but I don’t think I did anything amazing. I just did a few things that I said I was going to do and the results have been more than I could’ve hoped for. I lost 20 pounds in about 45 days and weight loss was not even my goal, it was a result of me just trying to be healthier.

I may have explained this before but there have been 5 people in my life that have gotten cancer. 4 of those are relatives. 2 of those 5 are my age. The thing that doctors tell cancer patients and survivors is that they need to change their diet. So I started thinking, why wait for that to happen? I should just start now.

I stated last month that I was going to stop eating meat. There were some jokes and some looks that I got. The comments were interesting both on Facebook and on Twitter. Most were supportive, of course, but I had to convince some family members that I was not going to force my beliefs on anyone. They can have all the meat they want but I will still continue to this lifestyle.

That is the key to this. This is not a diet, this is lifestyle. I run 2-3 times a week and I changed my eating habits. There is no special pill, no green ring that works on will power, and no formula to any of this, just motivation. However, I write about this because people do asking me what am I doing that has allowed me to be this way.

Well first, I eat Fish which technically means I’m a Pescatarian so that does help because, depending on the fish, it is generally healthier. I stay way from fast foods and, of course, I drink tons of water. However, the most important thing that I have changed in my life has been the decrease of sugar intake. I believe this is the number one reason for my weight loss. The reason I added this along with giving up meat is because outside the threat of cancer is diabetes, which is way too common in my family.

My daily intake of sugar is from 5g – 20gs a day. I do strive for the lower end of the spectrum and I know there are days when I don’t consume sugar at all. I’ve gotten very used to not putting sugar in my coffee. That is something that I did every day without fail. Now, I don’t even miss it and in fact, I don’t even put milk in my coffee anymore.

Here is some example of what I do for meals each day. I don’t do these all at once or even every day but these are my options:

9e2cV5ZBreakfast: Eggs. Cheerios (1g of sugar) with milk. Banana. Black Coffee. Croissant (6g of sugar). Pancakes and French Toast are a rarity because syrup is high in sugar.

Lunch: I have salad everyday for lunch. When I don’t, it is generally a veggie burrito. If I’m slumming it, peanut butter & banana sandwich (Multi-grain Bread)

Dinner: Fish (Salmon, Sushi, etc), veggies, pasta, rice, quinoa, beans,

Snacks: Fruits, walnuts, peanuts, cheese, crackers.

These are samples of what I do. Sometimes I will have tuna fish sandwich for lunch or a slice of cheese pizza. The most important thing is that I do not have too much of the guilty pleasures like ice cream, cookies, and chocolate. Trust me, I can kill those, but I do have them in moderation.

Speaking of moderation, I have eaten meat a small number of times in the past 45 days. I would say no more than 6 times. I’ve come to realize that I cannot go over board when it comes to the consumption of meat because it actually has been making me sick and that was just one hot dog. So, for me, if I’m going to eat meat or poultry (because, after all I am Latino) then it will be on my terms.

That is also the key everything. I’m doing all lifestyle change on my terms and it feels great.

Vegetarian? What?

vegetarian-dishes-328917_640Here’s the thing, I know too many people that are battling cancer in their lives. I’ve seen, first hand, the affect on family and friends. In every case, the doctors have said one universal thing, “you need to change your diet.” Its has been scientifically proven that there are certain foods have cancer fighting agents. So my thought in all this is, why wait for something bad to happen in order for a doctor to tell me to change my diet? I should just change it now.

This also happens to coincide with a fitness challenge that I fell into (You know, the kind where family is like…come on, you know you wanna). I started a 21 day challenge on June 1st where I do some form of exercise for 45 minutes everyday.¬† If I miss a day, I have to double my work out the next day. If you are into things like math then you realize that I’m currently on Day 5 and my body is sore as hell. My workouts consist of running and ab work…so my body basically hates me.

So that is 5 days without meat so far. What can I eat? Well for starters I can eat fish. I know, that would make me a¬†pescatarian but It doesn’t sound sexy to me. I have virtually take sugar out of my diet too so the foods I’ve been eating have been salads, brown rice, broccoli, Quinoa, fruits, yams, pasta, potatoes, eggs, non white bread, and nuts. I started this with the idea that meat is no good for me with the chemicals that are added so the deletion of sugar from my diet was just an added bonus.

I’ve done some research and watched some documentaries (yay Netflix), like Forks over Knives and Fed Up, that have given me a clear understanding on what is happening to us when it comes to food. I wont get into major details but the reality is that we should only be consuming the max of 25g of sugar per day. If you look that up, we max that out just by having cereal and milk. Its the excess sugar intake that can lead to type 2 diabetes. I turn 41 in a week, I’m not trying to deal with that too.

Some of you may know that I’m a coffee drinker so what does that mean? At the moment, I drink black iced coffee unsweetened. It’s not as bad as I thought. In fact, nothing about this is as bad as I thought it would be. I thought I would be hungrier. I thought that I would crave a hamburger or at least a pork chop. I crave none of those things. In fact when I snack, its on almonds and peanuts. This is not to say that I don’t have small amounts of chocolate here and there but craving things like cookies, so far, hasn’t happened.

For the most part this is about not having any meat to see how it feels. I started off being very curious to see how my workouts would be effected by the change in my diet. Not to be cliche but I do have more energy. You see these commercials about that 2:30 feeling during the middle of the day? I used to have that. Now, I don’t and I think that is a direct result of lack of meat.

For the record, I was at the point already where I limited my red meat intake, so the meats I was killing all the time were chicken and pork (turkey too). Those are the meats essential to any Latino diet. Which brings me to the next question, will I ever eat meat again? I’m not sure. Its quite possible that meat maybe become a delicacy, something to have on special occasions. If I were to go eat it on a semi regular basis again, then it might just chicken breast.

But hey, the only thing for sure is that nothing is for sure. I will continue down this path and see where it leads me.