Posts Tagged With: Eat to Live

What Are You Eating

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Hello my wellness friends. I wanted to do a brief post on ingredients. All food is not created equal.

I was standing in my office break room a few weeks ago talking with a coworker. They had done the Biggest Loser contest at work with me before and tried Atkins, South Beach, Weight Watchers. They lost weight and gained weight. I asked what they were eating for lunch. They showed me a frozen dinner. Problem number 1. I have investigated the ingredients in most box meals and it’s disturbing to not be able to pronounce some of the ingredients.

Even if you cut back on your caloric intake, you are doing your body a grave injustice by feeding it processed food. It will not run as efficiently. Just as vehicles are designed to run on certain types of fuel, your body needs a certain type of fuel. Water won’t work in your gas tank (of your vehicle). Chemical laden food will not help your body burn fat. It taxes your liver. It slows you down and increases food cravings. Your body does not recognize it as food.

If you want your body to burn fat more efficiently. If you want to feel better. If you want clearer skin. If you want your hormones to stay balanced, then please minimize or forego processed foods. Look at the ingredients. Do you know what they are? Look them up? If it isn’t found naturally in nature (example fructose (sugar), then think about whether eating it is a good idea.

Good choices:

Eggs
Lean meats
Seeds
Nuts
All fruit (some are high in sugar so watch your intake)
All veggies
Quinoa
Sweet potatoes
Natural Peanut Butter
Almond Milk
Rice Milk
Low fat, hormone free dairy (in moderation)
Beans and legumes
Ezekiel bread
Fish
Shellfish

And drink plenty of water!!!!

I would eat breads and grains in moderation. Bread causes blood sugar spikes, whole wheat worse than white bread. I would also bypass large consumption of crackers, canned soups, and fried foods just for sodium content and fat. Excess sodium not only causes you to retain water, it increases the amount of cortisol in your system. It’s the stress hormone. It tells your body to store fat on your belly…yikes (Source: Master Your Metabolism by Jillian Micheals).

Well, that’s all folks. Keep up the good work! You can do this. I’m cheering for you! 😀

Xoxo,

Erin

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Write it Down

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Hello friends! Hope your week is off to a great start. I wanted to touch base with you about something I think is important to success in weight loss and keeping it off.

Write down and track what you eat.

Studies have shown that people who take inventory of what they are putting in their mouths are far more successful than those who simply eat aimlessly. We eat to live, not live to eat. It’s also important to know how many calories we actually need each day. This link will help you calculate how many calories you need each day to maintain your current weight.

BMR calculator: http://www.muscleandstrength.com/tools/bmr-and-daily-calorie-calculator.html 

If you want to lose weight, you would decrease the amount of calories. Talk to your doctor about the amount. Going too low in calories can sabotage your metabolism by slowing it down. If your body thinks you’re starving, you won’t lose weight efficiently. A healthy way to lose weight is 1-2 pounds a week. It takes 3,500 calories to equal 1 pound. So cutting 500 calories a day and working out daily should yield a 1+ pound loss a week.

Back to the point of this post. Tracking what we are eating. If we don’t read labels or log our food choices, we could be consuming more than our bodies need. This is true not only of unhealthy foods, but also of healthy snacks. Great example from my food journal. Last week I picked up an energy trail mix. Only 140 calories a serving. The problem is I ate three servings! Yikes. When I logged my calories for the day, I was shocked I had gone over my normal eating routine by over  500 calories. Do that daily for weeks on end and guess what, you’ve gained weight.

Many items have multiple servings and restaurants serve portions that are for 2 to 3 people. If we eat an entire bowl of pasta from our favorite restaurant we may have consumed an entire day’s worth of calories in one meal and enough fat for days. Food places are required now to post nutrition info online. Look into your favorite places. You may be surprised the amount of calories, sugar, sodium, and fat are in 1 serving.

What to track:

1. Calories

2. Fat (want to limit especially trans fats)

3. Sugar ( it is not, I repeat not your friend)

4. Sodium (many foods are low in calories and loaded with salt. Salt makes you retain water and plenty of it)

5. Fiber (helps maintain blood sugar and promote proper digestion)

6. The carbs and protein (Especially if you are eating for your unique metabolism-see previous posts)

7. Vitamins-A, B, C, D…Zinc, etc….are you getting the daily recommended dosages of vitamins?

How to track: I recommended these resources in a previous post and have added them again. I also track my workouts. I track inches lost.

Online resources

  • http://www.sparkpeople.com. I like Spark People because it’s loaded with information and it’s free. So no excuses about not being able to afford it. There are forums, you can log exercise and food intake, they have a smart phone app, and you can join groups and meet people.
  • If you simply want to track your calories and workouts check out these Free Online Fitness Tracking Tools, http://www.fitsugar.com/Free-Online-Fitness-Tracking-Tools-20376377. Many have apps you can add to your smart phone.

Lastly, what if you say, “Erin I don’t want to track everything I eat, it’s time-consuming and I don’t have time for that.” I will say if you want to lose weight, tracking is the best way to do it. No exercise program can compensate for a poor diet. Food is meant to be fuel. Some people are killing themselves at the gym and they aren’t seeing results because they are eating more calories than they are expending or eating too little. Some aren’t getting enough vitamins or water. If you don’t track it, how will you know? Once you reach your goal, you may not need to track calories or what you eat. This isn’t the law, it’s a tool. It’s a tool to help with success. I can guess at the calories I’ve eaten for the day, but I it takes time to know proper portions, and how much is enough.

Wishing you the best friends! These are simply suggestions. You have to do what works for you. I hope my suggestions are helpful!

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Hunger Pains

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Hi friends! Sorry for the neglect. Work has been super busy lately! I haven’t had time to write. I have not forgotten about you. Tonight, I wanted to talk about something I have been dealing with-hunger pains. Often we think we are hungry and we are not hungry at all.

Things to ask when you feel the stomach screaming for food:

1. Are you hydrated? Many mistake thirst for hunger. Before popping any food in your mouth, go grab a glass of water. If after drinking 8 ounces of water there is still hunger, eat something healthy.

2. Are you sleeping well? The hormones that regulate hunger and feeling full (grenhlin and leptin) are disrupted if we are not sleeping well. So, our bodies scream, “Feed me,” and “I am not satisfied!” Lack of sleep leads to overeating.

3. Are you stressed? Food makes us feel good. Especially those sugary, salty, fatty foods. Many times we are not hungry, we are stressed out and our bodies are crying out for comfort. Take a walk instead, workout, journal, call a friend and not Ben and Jerry. 😉

4. Are you bored? Boredom can lead to all kinds of trouble. It’s not good to be overworked or busy all the time. It is also not good to sit and eat and eat. Food is fuel, and as we know every gas tank has a limit. Put in too much, and it spills out. Eat too much, gain weight. I like the phrase, “Eat to live, not live to eat.”

5. Are you eating in front of the TV or media? Studies have shown that people who eat in front of the TV or at the movies consume far more than those who eat at the dinner table or other places. I watched this study where they gave people in the movie theater stale popcorn and they ate all of it. When they exited the movie, they gave them samples and the people spit it out. Because they were so engrossed in the movie, they didn’t register how much they ate or what they were eating. If we can, don’t eat in front of the TV, etc…

6. Are there vitamins in your food? I will say it again and again. The quality of food we eat is important. Trans fats, sugary, salty, processed, and most fast food do not contain the vitamins and minerals our bodies need. So, since the body views food for fuel, it says, “Feed me more.” The nutrients are not there so the body keeps craving real food. Also, the foods I mentioned make the body want more sugary, fatty, highly processed food. The body is never satisfied. Taking multivitamins and eating poorly does not solve the problem either. The best way is to eat whole foods.

7. Are you getting enough fiber? Fiber is a great asset. It helps to regulate blood sugar, cleanse the body, and help us feel full. If there is no fiber in our diets, we are probably HUNGRY! Many diet programs work because they encourage the consumption of fiber.

8. Are you hormonal? Emotional? This isn’t just for the ladies. Many times when something is not going well for us, we turn to food. For some it’s sweets, others it’s alcohol, for some it’s pizza and wings…whatever the choice it’s due to wanting comfort. As for the hormones, many women have tremendous cravings based on hormone shifting. You may not be able to stop the cravings, but you can choose better options-fruits, veggies, lean protein, and choose to workout instead of pig out.

So, my friends, those hunger pains may not be due to the bodies need for food. I have had to stop myself in the busy last few weeks and ask, “Am I hungry or stressed? Is there a better option than what I have chosen? Maybe I am dehydrated not hungry.”

I hope you keep on the wellness journey! It’s a lifestyle change; one I am excited to take with you. You can do it! I believe in you! Have an awesome week. I hope you feed your body real food and make time to work it out! Cheers,~Erin.

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