Over the years, I have lost and gained over 1500 lbs. in my lifetime. Yes, you read that number correctly. I have lost huge amounts of weight to only gain it back again. You see, meal planning is the key to my success this time around. It’s not just a typical every day diet program, it’s been a lifestyle change for me. Each and every day I start out with a very similar game plan; to eat healthy and maintain a certain caloric intake. Don’t get me wrong, this is only a portion of what I do today to maintain a Healthy Heart. My total Caloric intake for the day is less than 1800. This has helped me with staying on a sustainable program without feeling hungry. The other thing I do is exercise at least 4 times a week making sure I keep a balance of Walking, Bike Riding, and Weight Lifting – roughly 90 minutes each time I workout. It’s a must for a well rounded program.
In the mornings, I typically start my day off with a few cups of Decaf coffee and a banana before heading to the gym for a workout. I did have a trainer for several months, but it had become too expensive for me so I rely on my wife to help me stay motivated. After my workouts, I come home to eat 5 ounces of Egg Whites with 2 Large Eggs. I will add about 15 cherry tomatoes to these eggs to give me some vegetables. There is no seasoning except for Italian Blend Dash on the tomatoes and hot sauce on the eggs. Other days I eat 2 Cups of Cheerios or Special K with 6 oz. of Skim Milk. I try keep my total calories for breakfast under 400.
At lunch time, I normally have a broth soup and salad with a small piece of protein. My wife has made a special liver cleansing soup for me that is low in calories and helps to rid the liver of toxic waste from all the Heart Meds I take to stay alive. The soup is a broth soup made with Unsalted Chicken Broth, Miso Paste, Spinach, Broccoli, Carrots, Spiral Zucchini Squash, Cauliflower, Mushrooms, Garlic and Red Onions. It is absolutely delicious. I do not know the quantities of each item, but I do know everything is made with fresh vegetables, nothing frozen or canned due to the amount of salt used. If I eat out, I try to find a restaurant that has a broth soup with a house salad I can add a small piece of grilled chicken or salmon. My dressing is typically a Balsamic Vinaigrette that I typically dip my fork into rather than pour on top. This too will help with unwanted calories. My typical lunch meals are under 450 calories.
As for dinner, my wife and I are on a rotation of protein using the following – Salmon, Chicken, Turkey and Pork. She prepares all my meals with either baking in the oven or prepared on the stovetop. Nothing is ever fried. All protein is skinless and boneless as well as weighed. I never consume more than 10 oz. of protein at dinner time. On special occasions, I will order a 7 or 8 oz. Filet Mignon, which is an absolute treat for me. This occurs maybe once per month. As for vegetables, we us only fresh vegetables for our meals. My wife will typically fix 3 different veggies that are filling. For example, we might have Butternut Squash, Carrots and Green Beans with a small salad and the 10 oz. of protein. Most dinners do not include any carbs like, Pasta, Potatoes, Corn, Breads, or Rice. If you asked me if I miss these items, that is a Huge YES!! These have way too many calories and too much sugar that is not good for the Heart. Maybe once a week when we eat the Turkey Breast, we will split a sweet potato, which is a healthy clean carb. But once again, I have the choice to eat Healthy and live or eat unhealthy and cut my life short. The total calorie intake from dinner can range between 600 and 750 calories. I know it sounds pretty strict, but I actually get up from the table extremely full from all the water based veggies. My wife uses no seasoning in cooking except for the occasion bits of garlic. It’s all about consistency. Most of my friends will vouch for me – I never cheat – No bread or butter, no sauces, no gravies, no EXCEPTIONS!! I can’t afford to cheat. If I do, I could possibly go back to my old ways of eating. Speaking for me, I can’t just have one bite – I am a Compulsive Overeater and that’s the end of that story!!
As for snacks when I get the urge to have something sweet, I choose to eat Sugar Free Popsicles. They are only 15 calories each and sometime I will eat 8 popsicles after dinner as a snack. It’s more of a habit. The only problem with eating popsicles late at night, I promise you will wake a few times during the night to rid the fluid – its basically frozen flavored water. I will also end my evening just like I started, with a Hot Cup of Decaf Coffee.
Will to Live – Exercising My Heart – Part 94