New Year, New You: {Eatin'}

Hi girls and welcome back to the New Year, New You series! We kicked off last Wednesday night with our introduction, so if you’re just joining tonight, you may want to go back and read that post. But tonight, we’re going to start focusing on the diet part of what we’ll be doing for the next six weeks. Since everyone is at different heights and weights, everyone will have different calorie needs.

The formula for weight loss is simple: Burn more calories than you take in. Since we know that 3500 calories = 1 pound, you’ll need to cut out 500 calories PER DAY from what you’re currently eating to lose 1-2 pounds per week.

To find out how many calories you'll need to eat per day:

1. Go here to figure out the bare minimum number of calories that you need to be consuming per day, also known as your BMR (Basal Metobolic Rate). Your BMR is the number of calories that you expend per day, just to keep up your necessary bodily functions (breathing, digesting food, etc.) I calculated mine, shown below:

2. Now, take your BMR number and add calories for your respective CURRENT activity level:

Sedentary = 0

Light= 100 (some walking, household chores, etc., 1-3 times per week)

Medium= 200 (brisk walking, Zumba, or jogging 3-4 times per week)

High= 300 (running, interval training, competitive swimming, tennis 5-6 times per week)

3. Add your BMR number and your activity number together. My number is:

1322 (BMR)
+200 (Calories from activity)
1522 (Number of calories I’ll need to take in for the next 6 weeks, while on this plan.)

Obviously, as your activity increases, you’ll need to up your calories accordingly using the above formula. Enough of this math stuff, let’s talk meal plans! This drawing representing your dinner plate shows how to distribute the portions of each food group:

50%- Should come from non-starchy veggies like broccoli, spinach, asparagus or zucchini
30%- Should come from lean protein like boneless/skinless chicken, skirt steak or pork
20%- Should come from complex carbs like sweet potatoes, brown rice or butternut squash

Adequate portions 101:

Meat: Portions of meat should be the same size and thickness as the palm of your hand

Carbs: Portions of carbs should be no more than ½ cup. If you can’t hold it in the palm of your hand with your fist closed around it, that’s TOO MUCH.

Greens: As many as you want!

Sugars: No more than 1 Tbsp. of real butter or margarine per meal, keep salt to a minimum

Here's what you'll need to do to up your weight loss during this program:

1. Eliminate Diet Soda - Ever noticed that you crave something sweet after drinking a diet coke? Here’s why the diet stuff ain’t cuttin’ it. Drinking a beverage with aspartame actually causes your body to store fat around your middle- yuck! Also, your body doesn't recognize fake sugar, so to get its sweet fix, it sends signals to your brain to eat something with simple sugars, like are found in candy and cookies. Thus, you eat a jelly donut after your diet soda. If you want fizz, just drink a real can of Coke, jot down the calories and move on. It won’t kill you.

2. Say No to Fake Sugar- You’ll also want to cut out the Splenda, sweet ‘n low, equal, etc. Fake sugar is a chemical that your body was not made to metabolize. Quit NOW.

3. Say Yes to Real Sugar- If you need a sweet fix, eat a reasonable portion of something with real sugar and move the heck on.

4. Drink Coffee- Coffee or unsweetened black tea up to 30 min. before exercising will help you power through your workout AND burn more calories by increasing your metabolism. Caffeine stimulates your body, helping you to put that extra oomph into your workout.

5. Be Careful with Bananas- I’m being serious. Bananas are loaded, I repeat, LOADED in sugar. I mean, it’s better than a candy bar when you’re hungry, but there are much better fruit alternatives.

6. Stay Away from Low Carb Diets- ‘Cuz all that meat and cheese is not good for your body or your digestive tract. Luckily for you, COMPLEX carbs are A-OK on this plan.

READ MORE! (Continued)


  1. Loving all this information - thank you! I know doing this takes a lot of time & I alone appreciate it! :)

  2. my nutritionist warned me : stay away form bananas and yogurt! My "low fat" yogurt has 27 grams of sugar in it! more than one should have in a whole day!

  3. Yeah, those bananas are B.A.D.! Scary how much sugar is in just one of them!

  4. Very informative post!!! I had no clue about bananas!

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  6. I have to whole heartedly disagree with the banana. I eat a banana nearly daily, especially before long runs. They are a good source of potassium and fiber and really have no more sugar than other starchy fruits. Yes, berries and citrus provide more punch for less calories/sugar, but pears, apples, bananas, are about the same. An average apple has roughly 30 grams of carbs, as does a medium banana, as does a cup of grapes, as does an average pear. In fact, an average apple, say, granny smith, has more SUGAR than a medium banana. The banana has twice as much potassium. I have lost over 60 lbs, and SWEAR by a banana a day (on top of my protein pancake, blended up with some strawberries and milk and honey/agave/splenda/sugar, with a pat of PB, in the bottom of my bag when I am stuck in court eaten plane (it doesn't bruise or dent like other fruits!)... I say bring on the bananas! Like everything, eat in moderation, 3 bananas a day is not a good idea. but neither is 3 apples, 3 pears, or a lb of cherries.

  7. Love this!! Also, thanks so much for the sample menu and grocery list!! Thanks for taking the time to put this together for us, very appreciative girl right here!!

  8. Thanks hunny!

    I can't even begin to express how helpful this is! After getting off of steroids (to manage my autoimmune disease), I gained 15lbs from the medication, which was expected. Now it's taking longer to come off.

    However, I found MyFitnessPal, which allows me to track calories, nutrients, sigar intake etc., and it's really helping me visualize how manh calories I can cut out.

    This shopping list and tips is a dream come true! Please tell your sweet husband thank you also from all of us who have been looking forward to sound nutritional counseling!


  9. Thanks for all of the info. I haven't really ever understood all this BMI business.....this really helped :)

  10. Loving all of this information. Thanks so much for getting everyone in the blogosphere motivated during the least motivational time of the year ha! Just the push I needed to get my lazy butt back out running and making more trips to smoothie king for lunch!

  11. On the meal plan, I bet you meant 2 TBSP hummus, not 2 cups. 2 cups of hummus would be a bajillion calories!

    LOVE that 2 piece graphic! I pinned it to my thinspiration board! :)

  12. Thank you so much for this! I am really excited to get started on this plan.

  13. I am not trying to be snarky, so please don't misinterpret me, but why are you trying to lose weight if you are 5'5" and 112 pounds? Is this just to get healthy in general? I think you look great!

  14. Hi Stacey,

    I'm not trying to lose weight, just maintain a healthy lifestyle and hopefully encourage others to do so. I'm small, it's true, but that doesn't mean I don't need to eat healthfully and be physically fit : )



  15. Had NO idea about bananas. Good to know!

  16. Great information, thank you! I'm looking forward to these weekly posts and being fit and healthy in 2012!

  17. Thank you so so much for putting all of this together for us--especially the grocery list! I will be printing this out and taking it to the store today!! Have a great day!

  18. I have to agree with Aliana comment above, there is absolutley nothing wrong with eating bananas. If you like them go ahead and eat them. To aid with digestion try eating them frist thing in the morning and same with all fruits! As for the yorgurt, if you are worried about the sugar content of regular yogurt, try greek style. It have twice the protien and half the sugar!


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