“What if I told you there are 3 really easy steps that could wean you off of drinking sugar or diet sodas...”
The Quit the Gym and be healthier for it blog post outlines many ways in which you can hack your exercise. This blog post touches on eating to lose weight and how you can gain control and change your eating lifestyle, your way.
Confession; I love food and eating – I am not someone who skimps. One of my passions is trying exotic international restaurants, something I do regularly. So how is it that I was able to lose 30lbs in six months?!
In my opinion, one of the reasons many diets fail is because they cart off YOUR food and replace it with their diet proven foods. These foods don’t necessarily fit your taste palette or lifestyle and are often not sustainable, post diet. This is a diet imposing change on you.
On the LifehackrDiet YOU are going to make small changes to your food, that YOU feel comfortable with and eventually these will become part of your lifestyle.
There are two main variables that can effect your weight; your exercise (calories out) and your food consumption (calories in). As with everything in the lifehackrDiet, you just need to make small shifts in your thinking to come up with food solutions that work for you. I’m going to give you some example food hacks that fit my lifestyle and particular tastes. You can use them as a guide for hacking your own food..
Let’s start the unenviable job of the lifehackerDiet calorie audit. You can snack your hack or hack your snack – whichever way you like. I am passionate about this particular snack, although I’m sure I’d made a meal out of it in the past! Guacamole and chips – it’s just something that I end up eating almost every day.
Guacamole and Chips…Before
Until recently I ate guacamole with tortilla chips but I had the unenvious job of doing a lifehackrDiet calorie audit, something had to change. I enjoy the Yucatan brand of Guacamole which weighs in at about 100 Calories for 3 tbsp which is a nice sized serving for me. The problem was the Tortilla Chips (which are delicious and I still eat them on occasion), 15 of them are 150 Calories. When these two delicious ingredients are eaten together, I could easily consume 250-300 Calories for a snack.
Hacked! Guacamole and Sugar Snap Peas/Sweet Mini Peppers
What’s more fun than auditioning food with a dollop of guacamole? Eating them! There were several “best supporting food” candidates; carrot sticks, cucumber spears, celery stalks, but for me the “best food” award goes to Sugar Snap Peas and Mini Sweet Peppers. You should definitely explore what you like but the result should be the same – 150 Calories cut down by 2/3 to under 50 Calories. I eat Guacamole and my chip substitute of choice daily and I have a satisfying, healthy snack that is 150 Calories or less.
Pancakes and French Toast…Before
I have always enjoyed these two weekend breakfasts! I’m not sure if it was their taste, texture or the peanut butter and syrup I slather on top of them, regardless they are weight loss killers. A small single pancake can break the bank at 150-250 calories and that is without the fixings. I need a lot of those little pancakes to feel satisfied, so I could easily rack up a 850-1000Kcal meal! In my house we use Challah or Egg bread for our french toast and a satisfying meal also weighs in around the 750-1000Kcal range.
Hacked! French Toast
I was not willing to give up on my favorite weekend breakfast so I started hacking. Early on I decided to drop the pancakes because I found french toast more satisfying and more hackable. Soon I discovered a Light Raisin Bread made by Country Kitchen that is 50Kcal a slice or Vermont Bread, Cinnamon Raisin at 70Cal a slice and when you prepare it french toast style it’s delicious and satisfying. I cook up 5 slices of the Country Kitchen (50Kcal each or 250Kcal for 5) or 4 slices of the Vermont Bakery (70Kcal each or 280Kcal for 4) with two eggs (50Kcal each or
There are days when being on the lifehackrDiet can be a little challenging. Less than ideal food choices, comfort eating, the munchies – we all have those days. So what meal can you eat a lot of, something that will really fill you up and not blow your calorie budget for the day? There are a select number of “cheat meals” that will surprise you when you enter them into your food diary. Here is one that I like
and you can hack to your food preferences; Boneless Skinless Chicken Breast (white meat) with a Grill Mates Seasoning Blend for flavor, broiled or barbecued. The secret to prepping this meal is not to add any appreciable calories with the seasoning of the chicken (Grill Mates adds 5 Calories per serving). Marinades, butter, oils and the likes will make the calorie count soar. Also the addition of a vegetables like cauliflower, asparagus, peppers, onions, zucchini, portobello mushrooms and eggplant which when lightly coated with olive oil and thrown on to the barbecue or grilled until tender, are delicious. A 5 ounce boneless, skinless chicken breast weighs in at around 140 Calories and a 10 ounce serving doesn’t even hit 300 Calories! Eat until you are stuffed and it’ll be less calories than all the junk you just shoved down your gullet in the weak moments, earlier in the day.
Other foods that apply to this “cheat meal” tag to varying degrees are; lean cuts of meat, fish and seafood but remember to eliminate any fats in the flavoring of your meal. If you are still craving flavor the roasted/BBQ onions, eggplant and peppers will compliment any forkful.
Chocolate Ice Cream for Dessert…Before
I seem to be making a lot of confessions on this blog. It must be that talking about food on a diet blog is cathartic or something. But here comes another one; I am addicted to Dark Chocolate and I love(ed) gooey chocolate ice cream with fudge chunks, bits of dark chocolate, veins of chocolate fudge, chocolate covered nuts…ahh. Bet you can guess that this sort of dessert is not conducive to losing weight! Let’s take the finest as an example; Ben & Jerry’s Chocolate Fudge Brownie ice cream – The cadillac of ice cream. A small 1/2 cup serving weighs in at 279Cal and who can stop at just 1/2 a cup! This is pure heaven but if you can stop somewhere between a 1/2 cup and 1 cup you are doing well! Let’s say a satisfying serving weighs in at around. 418Cal.
Hacked! Frozen Chocolate Dessert
Giving up good chocolate ice cream has been a gradual process over a year or so but when I discovered Dole Banana Dippers at a 100Kcal a serving I had finally found a worthy alternative. This frozen treat contains 4 banana slices smothered in a reasonable helping of really nice dark chocolate. They are cold, with a nice mouth-feel; the contrasting textures of crunchy chocolate and meaty banana are surprisingly satisfying. You need to let them thaw for a couple of minutes so there is a ritual involved in their consumption and it takes a little bit of time to eat them.
The true test is that my wife, daughter and one of my sons actually choose to eat them on a regular basis.
If you were to switch out your regular Ben and Jerry’s ice cream for the Dole Banana Dippers 3 times a week you would be saving 954Cal, extrapolate that out to a month 3,816Cal and 45,792Cal a year! On occasion I do have a spoonful or two of heavenly ice cream but I am really happy with my hack and this summer I am looking forward to trying to make them myself.
Eating to Lose Weight
With a couple of substitutes, you can eat anything you want at home in restaurants and with friends. Keep record of what you eat in your Food Journal and let your Digital Pedometer record your calories out – your job is to burn more than you consume.
I have been able to lose 30lbs in 6 months this way with little difficulty. I don’t have any superpowers other than the lifehackrDiet technique and technology which Illuminates the workings of my metabolism and allows me to control my actions to get the results I want.
These are life long habits that you are laying down and it only takes 3 minutes a day everyday to maintain your weight. There some challenging days but the majority of them are good ones – just remember the choice is always and has always been YOURS to make. Take control with the lifehackrDiet plan, today!
Share Your Strategies and Tips
So what strategies and tips have you discovered? Please share what you have uncovered or struggles you can’t seem to beat, in the comments section below. You will help others and possibly reveal things all of us can try to achieve; Our lifestyle and wellness, reinvented!
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About the Author
Paul Michaels is the founder and resident guru of the LifehackrDiet.com website, podcast and youtube channel. At 49 years old Paul was able to totally reinvent his lifestyle by making small changes that eventually led to huge results. He lost and maintained 35lbs of weight-loss and walks an average of 3,000 miles a year while he works, plays and creates awesome content.