I eat. A LOT! I write about food and wine, which means that I eat more than the average person. I have people ask me all the time how I stay skinny.
I’m not “skinny-skinny”. I like to think I’m at a healthy balance. I’m 5’2″ and my weight fluctuates between 115-125 lbs (the higher weight usually comes on in the winter – I mean, it’s super hard to pass up all those Thanksgiving goodies).
Here are my secrets on maintaining a healthy weight and lifestyle when having my cake (and eating it to0).
1. Count Calories: The longer I am in this industry, the longer I realize that it all comes down to a mathematical formula. I know when I’m getting closer to the 125 lb mark, because I have been slacking in counting calories. When I am motivated and keep an accurate count, I am usually closer to 115. Luckily there are some great tools to count calories. I started by using The Daily Plate. It is easy, and FREE, but you have to do a lot of manual work. My tool of choice is the FitBit. It counts your calories, tracks your daily activity level and does a lot of other cool stuff. I really like it because now, all I have to do is enter my food intake. It is the best tool out there so far.
2. Exercise on a daily basis: I go to the gym EVERY DAY. Yes, you read that right, every day. I made this decision after reading Charles Duhigg’s book The Power of Habit. The book is life changing and incredibly informative. Every day, I wake up and put on my work out clothes (this is the trigger for my habit). I work, then I hit the gym around 11 or noon. On regular days I do 30-40 minutes of cardio, followed by light weights. On days when I am feeling particularly lazy, I go for just ten minutes. Why? I have found that as soon as I skip a day, it is very easy to slip and break the habit.
3. Reward Yourself: This is part of Charles Duhigg as well. Give yourself a daily reward for your good habits. My reward? A delicious green drink post workout. Antonio’s reward for skipping sweets is a glass of wine at dinner. Maybe you reward yourself with a bite of dark chocolate. Or maybe, you get yourself that amazing sous vide machine you’ve been waiting for.
4. If it’s not perfect, don’t eat it: Like Anton Ego said in Ratatouille, “I don’t like food – I love it! And if I don’t love it, I don’t swallow.”. Don’t waste calories on food that does not make you happy. That only results in dissatisfaction and a trip to the fridge to try to fulfill your desires and eat extra calories that you do not need.
5. Don’t Drink Your Calories: In college I drank lots of soda. This was until my dentist told me that it was destroying the enamel of my teeth. I quit and within a month, I had lost 10 pounds. I’ve never gone back. Soda is not the only culprit. Fruit juices are laden with sugars. That teaspoon of sugar you add to your daily coffee ads up. I drink only water, unsweetened tea, seltzer, and wine (nobody is perfect). Wine has lots of calories, so when I want to quickly drop some pounds, I simply cut out wine completely. You would be surprised how quickly the pounds will drop as soon as you cut out liquid calories.
6. Get a dog: I am a huge dog fan. Petey is our companion and best friend. He also lowers my blood pressure, cholesterol levels, Triglycerides and I have no choice but to walk him three times daily (serious exercise here). There are also games of catch, laser chasing, and every once in a while he steals those desserts I should not be eating anyway. I will ask that if you get a dog, that you have plenty of time to spend with him or her (they are pack animals and get quite lonely when left alone for a long time) AND that you adopt.
7. Always Leave a Little Something on Your Plate: I picked this up in high school thanks to Cosmopolitan. They showed how leaving just a bite of food on your plate adds up over the years. It’s an easy trick, and it works.
8. Slow Down: It takes a while for your brain to realize that your tummy is full. Take your time when eating. Give your brain a chance to catch up to your stomach. You will find yourself dropping pounds in no time.
There you have it. These are my tips to staying reasonably thin while food blogging. If you are a food blogger/writer and have more tips, please share them with me and the community.