With a strong interest in health and fitness magazines I’ve found it somewhat confusing reading all the contradictory information out there on what foods I should be eating to lose weight and finding that some foods I thought were healthy could potentially not be. While one article says that whole grains are okay for weight loss another article says not to eat bread, eat only fruits, veggies and lean protein. Then I’ll read something that says fruits are bad they’re all sugar. Ahh! What the hell? I am in a constant state of derailing from a plan because the next biggest thing is always contradictory. I finally decided to get to the bottom of all of this and I made an appointment with a nutrionist to see what she had to say. We came up with a plan that would work for me based on the symptoms I experienced on my regular diet. My findings were nothing I hadn’t heard before but it was simply coming up with a plan and sticking to it that led me to some instant gratification. I lost 3 pounds the first week!
Here is the foundation that I stick to when I want to look and feel my best:
1) Pair Carbs with Protein–Don’t just eat a piece of toast with jam in the morning or a bowl of cereal. Eating just carbs (while it’s great for energy) it will leave your blood sugar soaring a couple hours later leaving you searching for ANYTHING to take the shakes or hunger away. Always pair these carbs (toast, bagel, cereal, oats, etc) with a protein such as a tablespoon of almond butter, hard boiled egg, or nuts. This slows the processing of blood sugar in the system.
2) Only 2-4 servings of carbs/day–This is a really great way to measure your carbs and still get the energy you need, but maintain your weight loss goals. I don’t know about you, but any diet that cuts out carbs completely I can’t stick to. This is managable. I mean, let’s be realistic, if you want to be thin you have to make it a lifestyle. This is doable. 1 serving= 1 piece of bread or 1/2 cup of cooked rice. Get creative and think of ways you can save your bread. Do you really need 2 pieces for a sandwich or can you do 1/2 sandwich and a side salad? Limiting your carbs and adding on the veggies. Score!
3) Optional: No Sugar–If you want to lose weight quickly don’t eat sugar! I cut out sugar during the week that I lost 3 pounds. The first couple days are a little rough, but after that your body won’t crave it like it usually does. This included no fruit, but I made the rule that if I absolutely had to have sugar it would be fruit paired with a protein (apple with almond butter or string cheese).
4) Add Supplements–When going over the symptoms I felt from my regular diet with my nutrionist she informed me of some vitamins and nutrients I was probably missing. Do you have ridges in your fingernails? I thought I just inherited my mom’s brittle fingernails! Nope, this is a sign of a deficiency in omegas, zinc, and vitamin A. Calcium is the one vitamin hardly any of us get enough of. Did you know if we don’t consume enough we lose it? I now take supplements to fulfill these deficiencies and I have more energy, feel fuller longer, and best of all I have clear skin! A major change in your mood (anxiety, stress, fatigue) may be caused by just not getting enough vitamins and nutrients in your diet. We are what we eat.
The big 3-0 is right around the corner (ok, maybe 1 more year away), but I’m beginning my transition from the twenty-something “I don’t know what I’m going to do with my life” to a more mature “I know exactly what I want and I’m going to go get it.” I made the decision last February to move downtown closer to work, step out of my comfort zone, meet new people and experience new places. My biggest focus right now is finding a workout regimen I love and actually enjoy. In college I appreciated my long walks to classes and realized the pounds were just falling off of me without me even trying. Now that I live close to work I’ve been walking to work getting in an extra 5 miles daily. This isn’t just exercise but a chance for me to reflect about life and my day ahead. Sometimes I listen to Ted Talks and motivational lectures, some days I listen to music or call a friend and some days I just take in everything that’s going on around me at that moment. Last Friday Indy celebrated the Summer Soltice with a one hour yoga session on the circle for the first time. It was very empowering and just a glimpse of the new things Indy has to offer.