A friend of mine asked I make a post that takes you through a day of how I eat. Sure, that’s pretty easy. Now, I’ll explain each meal and my mindset behind it. I’ll also try to point out how you may eat and why that’s probably wrecking your plans of losing weight and getting ready for shirtless or bikini summer. I have to warn you; this isn’t for the faint at heart. Will you starve by eating this way? Hardly, you’ll actually be eating or ‘grazing’ all day (as a co-worker once pointed out that I do – not that I enjoy being compared to a cow). But guess what – you’ll eat weight and you’ll get over the stares and comments that are thrown your way when other notice how you’re eating.

How You May Eat It: If you’re a busy bee and have to rush out to work, you may skip this meal. With this being said, some companies provide services like Organic Fruit Delivery for Offices or provide cereal. So even if there’s not much time at home to eat breakfast, at least there may be options to do this at work. It’s the one meal most people think is non-essential. Or, you may be in the group who knows that just by eating breakfast you’re setting your body up for a full day of work and actually helping stoke your metabolism (meaning you’re going to burn more calories through the day). Skipping this meal or ‘starving’ yourself means you’ll either pig out at lunch or at dinner or worst … late at night. So my general tip is to eat something, even if it’s a small something, within an hour of getting up. Try drinking a cold glass of water the moment you wake up because doing that will also rev your metabolism.

How I Eat It: My breakfast usually consists of a leafy green vegetable (collards or kale, occasionally spinach), green tea and maybe a banana as a mid-morning snack. Why? Well, if you haven’t noticed, this is a vegetarian/vegan way of eating. Milk, eggs, bacon, ham, biscuits … yes, these are delicious but they are also super fattening. If you’re not a vegetarian, you could probably eat a simple omelet full veggies like mushrooms, spinach leaves, peppers and you’ll still be okay. But, by starting your day with the green leafy vegetables you’re giving yourself a much-needed dosage of vitamins and minerals that many are short on. The banana is a bit sugary, but it’s far better than a donut, muffin (an excuse to have cake at breakfast) or a toaster strudel. At the start, eating greens or beans (I sometimes will have a small serving of pintos at breakfast) will seem very weird and out of place … but after 1 week it’ll seem natural. You won’t feel as sluggish or worn out as you would by eating meat or sugary doughy foods.

How You Eat It: You’re at the office, you have 30 minutes or an hour (if you’re lucky). So you either rush to the vending machine for a coke and some Cheetos or you treat yourself to a REAL lunch at some eatery like a burger from Burger King or McDonald’s, a slice of pizza, a salad loaded with fattening dressing. Mmm, feel that heart attack coming.

How I Eat It: I usually have a handful of nuts (peanuts, a few walnuts, some almonds if I have any), a peanut butter sandwich on whole wheat (using one slice of bread, not two, so I guess 1/2 a sandwich), or again … some beans (black or pinto) and water. Lunch should still be healthy. If you’re going to do a salad, get one and a vinaigrette-based dressing (that’s made with olive oil). You shouldn’t drown your salad in dressing either. Have your dressing in a small container on the side, dip it as you eat it. No croutons (they’re usually fattening). But, beans at lunch are really my favorite option. A can of pinto or black beans can range from 40-70 some cents … 1 can = 2 or 3 servings so you’ll have lunch for 2 or more days from one can. What I do is remove the beans from the can and rinse them in cold water. Rinsing can beans is another way to make them healthier because you’re knocking off a good portion of the sodium content. Again, ditch the sodas because even the diets are loaded with sugar and calories. Go for water (in a water sports bottle – make sure the bottle doesn’t have a 7 on the bottom or it could have BPA in it). You can also do tea or 100% juice. I down at least a 1/2 cup of 100% grape juice in between breakfast and lunch.

How You Eat It: You’re at the office staring down the clock. Your lunch didn’t feel you up so you decide you need a snack. You opt for potato chips, candy, coke (hopefully the drink) and just a little doesn’t satisfy you. You basically have a mini party every day.

How I Eat It: Snacks should be healthy and only eaten if eating it will help you eat less during the next meal. There’s a whole list of healthy options: carrots, raw broccoli or cauliflower, a spoon of all-natural peanut butter, nuts, Cheerios or an all-bran cereal, air popped corn (a brown bag and some pop corn kernels in the microwave for 2 minutes or less is just as good as the fattening microwavable bag kind). Again, drink water. Water fills you up and most times you’re dehydrated and mis-interpret that as meaning you’re hungry. I usually will snack anywhere between 2p.m. and 5p.m. because between 4 and 5 p.m. I like to get outside and run or exercise. Eating something healthy before you workout gives you a needed boost of energy.

How You Eat It: You’re all in, no holds. You’ll eat a big 12-inch diameter plate worth of food with lots of meat, a small portion of veggies, rolls, cake … there’s no method to your madness.

How I Eat It: Plan ahead. Often, I’ll peruse recipes, check with RachelRayShow.com and various cookbooks I have on hand for something vegetable based. Vegetarian chili, veggie burritos, Chinese food … whatever I have a craving for, there’s usually a vegan or vegetarian recipe out there for it. I’ll cook up 2 or 3 meals, will cut them down to 1 serving, stick ’em in the freezer. Planning ahead for dinner is key. Yes, it’s a bit repetitive but alternating what you eat and cooking ahead of time ensures that you’re going to be eating healthier and at home rather than spending your money eating out and eating fast food. If you’re the social type who eats out a lot then at least be smart about it – make sure you’re going to restaurants that serve healthy food and use the AMEX Gold Card to ensure you’re being responsible financially. Once a week or so, when I visit my parents, I may have something that has meat in it. But if it’s with friends or family, I plan ahead. They know I only will eat lean protein (90-93% lean or higher) and chicken; not fried chicken, but grilled or baked. Again, I try to avoid dairy; cheeses, white sauces … full of fat. Try making your own tomato sauces (less sugar and less high fructose corn syrup); avoid enriched bleached flour like the plague; avoid sugars and you’ll be able to enjoy food and lose weight all at the same time. However, there are plenty of health-focused restaurants that will save your perpetration and cooking time, be sure to visit Dandy Kat to find restaurants in your area!

In conclusion … a lot of my diet is repetitive. Breakfast and lunch are pretty set in stone and that’s good. My variety comes with dinner. I eat on smaller plates because that means I’m consuming less food. I eat all day; starving yourself until dinner will mean you’re pigging out on everything in sight. I don’t consider this a diet – I really despise the word and plus you really do feel like you’re going to keel over when you’re on a real die-et. Instead, it’s a lifestyle change and way of eating that allows you to eat all day without gaining a ton of weight. Again … look into vegetarian and vegan recipes and lifestyles if you’re really interested in getting healthy, looking better and ridding yourself of pills and unnecessary medications.

Follow me on Twitter @decaptain

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