Get Groceries the Smart Way

Small Changes Groceries…the Easy Way

Before You Go

  1. Take a close look at your menu options and plan for how often you will have each option in the next two weeks.
  2. Look at your calendar and plan for any events or holidays.
  3. Use the Flexcipe multiplier to alter the recipes for the number of people you are cooking for. If you have any questions about ingredients to buy, don’t hesitate to reach out to your Change Coach.
  4. Make a detailed list.
  5. Eat something! Don’t go shopping when you’re hungry. Then, the most critical part comes- make a detailed list and stick to it! When you go to the grocery store, buy only what is on your list. Don’t go shopping when hungry, and bring an accountability buddy with you if that would help.

At the Grocery Store

  1. Remember rule #5? Be sure to eat something before you step into the grocery store.
  2. Buy only what is on your list (being full helps a lot with that).
  3. If you think you’ll have trouble sticking to your list, bring an “accountability buddy” to help you stick to your list.

Get Your Tools Ready

Tools Required to Follow the Program


Tools Recommended to Follow the Program

Health benefits of Weight Loss

You may have heard that you will feel weak or sick because of weight loss. Some family members get concerned when they see you are getting thinner. Weight loss is a bit odd that way. It can happen unintentionally when you are sick. But, when you have obesity and do it intentionally through diet, it actually improves health.

Weight loss helps many health problems. If you currently have weight-related health conditions like high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and diabetes, you can expect them to improve. If you are taking medications for these conditions, monitor your symptoms carefully and update your doctor if they change. Your medication dose may need to change as your weight comes down. Some people have even gotten off medications altogether because of weight loss.

Weight loss also helps with quality of life and well being. As you become lighter, you will be more energetic and able to complete physical tasks with greater ease. You will have less joint pain. Doing housework, caring for children, and shopping or weekend outings will seem easier with less weight.

Even if you don’t currently have any health issues related to your weight, losing weight can prevent health problems from happening later on. Obesity makes you more likely to develop cancer, diabetes, heart disease, gallbladder disease, gout, sleep apnea, and osteoarthritis just to name a few. So, you are making the right decision to reduce your weight today even if you feel healthy right now.

Can I lose weight eating carbs and Mexican food?

You may have heard that you have gained weight because of the type of food you eat. And that to lose weight, you have to stop eating tortillas, and rice and beans! Or, it’s because of all the carbs. But, you’ll notice your eating plan includes typical Mexican dishes and carbs. This is because for weight loss, there are only two things that matter. And they are not Mexican food, or carbs!

#1: The most important thing that produces weight loss is that you eat fewer calories than your body needs. Your target should be 300-500 calories per day less than your total daily energy expenditure (TDEE- see the number on your program dashboard). If you can eat this number of calories, you should lose weight! Your eating plan from this program is carefully made to give you the correct target calorie intake.

#2: The second most important thing is that you have a plan you can stick to that helps you reach this calorie goal. If you have to eat new and odd foods, at odd times, or drastically change the way you eat foods, that is hard to keep up with and may not last. That’s why this eating plan helps you eat familiar foods, in the right amounts, to achieve your calorie goal.

You may have heard a lot about low carbohydrate diets, or diets that don’t include tortillas or rice and beans, for weight loss. They are a simplified way to reduce calorie intake without careful planning or calorie counting, and they technically can work. But, the long-term effects of low carbohydrate diets are not well understood, and some side effects like fatty liver have been recorded. In addition, cutting out major staple foods like tortillas and rice can lead to nutrient deficiencies if not done carefully.

Most importantly, low carbohydrate diets, or diets that are very different than the way you usually eat, may violate the #2 rule of weight loss- that your plan must be something you can stick to. Most people have a hard time keeping up with a diet that is very different from what they are used to, and that can mean you don’t reach your goals and improve health. There are many other popular approaches out there, like Intermittent Fasting for example, that also simplify eating fewer calories, but also violate rule #2.

That’s why this program includes an eating plan with carbs, and Mexican food, and eating at normal times. This eating plan shows how you can eat your way, within the boundaries of your lifestyle and preferences, and still lose weight. And this approach is both safe, and effective.

Are sugary desserts and drinks OK when losing weight?

Do you have a sweet tooth? Eating something sweet can be important for well being and happiness. Sugar, in a small dose, can absolutely be part of a weight loss diet. Added sugar includes sugar in desserts, or sugar added to sweeten foods like fruits or coffee.

Only a small dose of sugar is best to make sure your body is getting good nutrition while you are losing weight. Dietary guidelines suggest that you take no more than 10% of your calories as added sugar (up to 50 g for a 2,000 calorie diet). Sugary foods like sodas and candies have a lot of calories without a lot of other nutrients your body needs. You are eating a low calorie diet to lose weight, so it is important to make sure the source of those calories is rich in all the nutrients you need for health.

You can take a few approaches to managing a sweet tooth during weight loss. One strategy is to allow yourself a small, 100-150 calorie portion of something sweet every day. This portion size is small enough that it won’t hurt your weight loss or your health.

You’ll see examples of these dessert or sweet snack portions in your eating plan with this program. You’ll also see specific quantities of added sugar for tea or coffee, and for making fresh drinks like Lemonade. If you find yourself wanting more than that, try a zero calorie sweetener like Splenda or Equal.

If portion control is hard for you, you may find yourself taking more than planned on a regular basis. Or, you may stick to it but still crave something sweet. In that case, there are some other tricks you can try. Some other ways to manage a sweet tooth include taking a zero or very low calorie options like sweet gum, or a few hard candies, or diet drinks. Just be mindful of the caffeine in diet drinks.

Understanding Your Measurements and Progress

This program is to improve your health. Weight-related health problems get better when your body fat goes down. The only way to know if your body fat is going down is to measure it! Therefore, measuring yourself is important to understand if your diet program is working.

What if I find weighing myself upsetting?

Taking your weight can be upsetting for some people. Let’s take a moment to reflect on that. It would be best if you can measure your weight during this program. But, if getting on the scale upsets you, it is important that you manage those feelings and make a plan that helps you.

In the past, you may have felt disappointed if you didn’t see a change in weight. Especially if you had been trying hard to lose. This can happen for a few reasons. It may be that you tried a “fad diet” that is hard or impractical to follow. Or, the approach is just not working because the approach is wrong- a lot of bad information about weight loss is out there. Another possibility is your efforts are working, it just isn’t showing yet in the measurements (more on this later, see “What my Measurements Mean” below).

Taking measurements may also be stressful if you feel shame about having fat. But, did you know that there are over 90 different reasons that someone carries more fat? Some reasons for having more fat are related to how your body works, and some are related to your surroundings. Many of these reasons aren’t under your control, so blaming yourself for your weight is not fair or useful because it’s actually not your fault.

You may also dislike taking your weight because of shame about your ability to control your weight. You may have heard from others that losing weight should be simple or easy. But if that were true, everyone would be thin!

Losing weight is not easy and that is why you are in this program. You are taking the right step in keeping your weight under control by working with a medical professional who can give you guidance and tools to help you do so effectively. There is no shame in getting healthy.

If knowing all of this, you still have mixed feelings about measuring your weight and body fat, talk with your doctor. Very strong feelings of shame or concern over your weight and shape can mean you need more support. Also, be open minded to ways you can take measurements to know how you are doing but mitigate any negative feelings. Is there a friend or family member, or trusted healthcare provider than can take them for you to help you through it? Make a plan that’s right for you about how and when you’ll take your measurements.

What measurements should I take?

Here are the different kinds of measurements to take.

Waist Fat stored on your waist is the worst for your health. This program will reduce it.
Hip This program can help reduce fat around your hips. You can check this reduction by measuring around the widest part of the hips.
Weight Your weight is made up of fat, muscle, bone, water, and organs. This program will reduce the total amount of fat you have. Because the total fat is reduced, your weight will also go down.
Body Fat Percent. A special kind of scale in the clinic can measure how much of your body is made up of fat. This program will reduce your total body fat.

What My Measurements Mean- Answers to Common Questions

If my measurements haven’t changed since my last weigh-in, does it mean my diet isn’t working?

Even when a diet is working, weight loss may not happen for a few days. Your measurements will hold steady for a while, and then suddenly drop. Weight loss happens in a step-wise fashion, not a straight line, so it may not change every time you weigh yourself. The important thing is to not panic, and stay the course!

Why do my weight and measurements fluctuate from day to day?

If you take your measurements very often, you will notice that they change from day to day. This is normal. Weight changes when our body holds on to water, which can happen from travel, salt intake, or stage of the monthly cycle for women, as just a few examples. Waist circumference can also change if we are bloated from constipation or gas.

It’s important to understand the cause of day to day changes is not related to the diet and your progress. Instead of worrying about day to day changes, focus on long-term progress. If you have not seen any change in the right direction in any measurement in a month’s time, that is when you may want to discuss it with your doctor and troubleshoot what you have been doing.

What does it mean if my weight doesn’t change, but my waist and hip measurement goes down?

If your waist and/or hip measures are going down, that is a good sign you are losing body fat. This can happen even when your weight does not change. Many things influence weight, like how much water your body is storing, so just because your weight is not changing does not mean you are not losing fat. Waist and hip measures, or a body fat measurement from your local clinic or body fat scale, are the most trusty measure of fat loss.

Why is my weight loss slow?

Everyone’s body responds to dietary treatment differently. You may have in your mind a specific goal for weight loss per week or per month, and it is good to have a goal. Just remember that no one can make a plan that guarantees a specific rate of weight loss because it is impossible to guess how you as an individual might respond.

Weight loss can also slow down over time. If you have lost weight many times before, it may be slower each time. If you are older than you were last time you lost weight, age can also make weight loss slower. Also, if you are later in the stages of weight loss, it always happens fast at first and then slows down. That is normal and nothing to worry about.

You may be tempted to try to lose weight faster. But, faster weight loss can have complications. It requires a more strict diet than can have incomplete nutrition, which is not good for your health. Also, fast weight loss can result in more muscle loss and loss of organ mass, which can also be bad for health. So a moderate pace of weight loss is good.

How much weight should I lose in a week? In a month?

Healthy weight loss usually happens at 1-2 pounds per week. But remember, everyone responds differently to dietary weight loss treatment so your rate may be slower or faster. Also, it may not come down in even amounts each week. For example, it is possible that nothing changes in the first week but it decreases suddenly by 3-4 pounds at the end of a two week time period.

The important thing to look for is that at least one of your measurements is moving in the right direction within a two week period. If it doesn’t, talk with your doctor. It is also important to make sure you are not losing too fast. So if weight comes off very fast, also mention that to your doctor.

What can I do to lose fat from my waist?

Many people are losing weight specifically to lose stomach fat. Unfortunately, there is no way to make the body lose fat from a certain place on the body first. Fat is lost from different places for different people.

The good news is that eventually, as you lose more and more fat, stomach fat will eventually also be lost. There is just no way to make that happen first. For some it may come early, for some it may come later in the process.