Posts Tagged With: Weight Loss

Life After Whole30

I hope you gave Whole30 a shot. I did and do not regret it. I lost 14 pounds without exercising much. I did take my Whole30 further than the 30 days. I went for two rounds. Yet 7 pounds a month is great progress. It is healthy progress. 

If you did or are trying Whole30, I highly recommend easing back into eating non Whole30 foods. They provide guidance for reintroducing foods-one group at a time. I started with some grains, example corn. I was okay with grains. Then I tried dairy. Ummmmm…my stomach hated it. So I am less prone to eat dairy post Whole30. It is rare to have it. I tried beans. Another irritant. Therefore, I have built a new meal plan that is 80/20. Eighty percent is Whole30 and 20 percent is non Whole30. 

I have not gained weight by reintroducing non Whole30 foods. I am still losing and have incorporated more exercise. 

After talking to your doctor, I would highly recommend this program. Whole30 changed the way I view food. It changed the way I make meals. It changed the way I eat. 


Eating processed foods does not appeal to me. In the rare occossion of eating junk food, it does not make my body feel good. I prefer fruits, vegetables, and whole foods. My body runs better on whole foods. I still read labels, and ditch foods loaded with chemicals. I have a fondness for bananas, mangoes, berries, almonds, olive oil, purple potatoes, steak, roasted chicken, natural salad dressings, spinach, broccoli, and tomatoes. 

Learning a new way to eat is good. All the exercise in the world does not negate a poor meal plan. Changing the way we eat is a lifestyle change, not a temporary diet. Changing the way we eat leads to a better life, to wellness. 

So ditch the excuses and do something for your health! 

XO, 

Erin 

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You’ve Met Your Goal; Now What?

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Hello fitness friends. I have not forgotten about you! Tonight I wanted to write about maintaining.

We’ve talked in the past about how people push-even to unhealthy means to reach a goal only to gain the weight back. If they lost muscle in the process, they normally gain back more than they lost.

How do you maintain?

1. Use healthy means to get the weight off! Starvation diets, crash diets, over exercising, etc…are all sure fire ways to sabotage your metabolism. Once you increase calories or cease the workouts, weight gain commences.

So use healthy means to get it off! What can you maintain. If you’re eating bird food and burning a 1,000 calories a day-it’s not only unhealthy…it’s not something you can maintain for life. If your doctor approves of a special strict diet, that’s different.

2. Slowly increase calories. Don’t go from 1500 a day to 3000 a day. Try 1500, 1600, 1700, to 1800. Build while continuing to exercise until you get to the calories needed to maintain.

See calorie calculator link below:

http://calorieneedscalculator.com/mobile/calclb.php

3. Don’t ditch resistance training if your doctor approves. Muscle burns more calories than fat. If you lose muscle, you slow your metabolism.

4. Portion control. You can have some of your favorite foods in moderation. Binge eating is not your friend. Opt for smaller portions. The French eat calorie rich food, yet they are leaner than Americans. Portion size matters.

You can opt for 1 cheat meal a week if you must.

5. Understand if you consume more than you burn, you will gain weight. Especially if you’re sedentary.

6. Find an activity you love and do that! I love dancing. It doesn’t seem like exercise, yet it is. You may like tennis, volleyball, basketball, running, boxing, gardening,…whatever you love to do, get moving!

7. Recall how hard it is to get the weight off! One thing I did with the fitness challenge was taken before pictures. Looking at them is motivation not to go backwards.

Lastly I say that having a goal that grows is key. I finished phase I. I set a new goal for the next 4 weeks. The goal is to keep going! I hope you keep going.

Erin

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Get back on that wagon

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Hello fitness friends. As the holiday season comes to a close, I’m sure there are at least a few of you thinking, “I ate too much and gained too much this season!” Well, this post is for you!

I admit it’s challenging to not indulge in the cookies, pies, or carb loaded sides. It’s all fun and games until that muffin top becomes a pound cake or those delicious pies bring you thunder thighs!

If you ate poorly this season, know life’s a journey…not a destination. I hate “dieting.” It’s like a swear word. I do like healthy eating. I feel better and look better.

Step 1. Stop beating yourself up! Yep! Make a decision to change today. Examine what went wrong and move forward.

Ex. People kept giving me cookies and treats this season. At first I felt obligated to eat them. Then I started giving them away. Eat one, share the rest. Even now, I’m giving treats away or throwing them in the garbage. Sugar and white bread will add weight quickly. Recall stable blood sugar leads to fat loss.

2. Get moving! Sitting on our bums leads to weight gain. If we eat more than we burn, we gain. It’s a simple mass balance. And if you can, do some resistance training. Muscle burns more calories than fat.

3. Throw out the junk food! If it’s tempting you or you’re binge eating, get it out of the house.

4. Join an online group or find an accountability person. If someone is monitoring you, you’re less likely to stay in a rut. Start your own Biggest Loser contest with friends, coworkers, or family.

5. Trade high glycemic foods for low glycemic foods. You’ll see your percentage of fat drop quickly.

6. Water! Green Tea! Drink them. Stay hydrated and green tea is great for fat loss.

7. Fiber y’all! Get some. Fiber makes you feel fuller. So you’re less likely to overeat. I take glucommanan. I also eat beans, sub kale and spinach for lettuce, and eat fiber cereal. If you’re concerned about stomach upset, test out natural sources of fiber instead of supplements at first. Talk to your doctor before taking any.

8. Prep meals at home. Less sodium, fat, and sugar is in the food you make at home vs. what you get at a restaurant. You can monitor it too! Many restaurant veggies are overlooked and loaded with oil or butter and salt.

9. Take it one day at a time! It’s a lifestyle change, not a diet. What can you do for life, not just to drop 10-15 pounds?

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10. Encourage yourself! You can do this!!! I am cheering for you.

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Detox!

I have tried plenty of detox methods and purchased some of the celebrity trainer cleanses. They all claim to kick start your metabolism and make you healthier.

You can stop by the grocery and find select teas, drinks, pills. You can even go online and find all kinds of information on foot detox, colon cleanses, and ways you can purge toxins from your body. Is it necessary?

Our bodies were not designed to take in all the chemicals, toxins, and pollutants. We can slow our bodies fat burning efficiency by overloading our liver with processed foods. It is imperative that we have all the organs functioning for fat loss, overall health, and emotional health. If our kidneys are overloaded, they are not flushing toxins out of the body.

So, should you run out and buy pills? You don’t have to. Here are some things you can do to detox your system. Talk to your doctor before changing your diet and always eat at least 1200 calories a day.

1. Drink more water (80 oz for women, 100 for men). Add a squirt of lemon to your water.

2. Eliminate sugar, processed foods, caffeine, and red meat. This doesn’t have to be forever, just try it for a week or two weeks. If you’re a coffee drinker or sugar addict, you will have withdrawal symptoms.

3. Eat vegetables and legumes (beans). Fiber helps!

4. Cut back or cut out animal products ( especially dairy).

5. Cut out simple carbs: white bread, rice, pasta, etc…

6. Make time to relax! Prolonged stress causes hormonal imbalance.

I love the documentary Fat, Sick, and Nearly Dead. Food can be healing. Eating healthy foods helps the body detox itself. Some choose fasting from food to detox the body, but you should use caution with prolonged fasting especially if you have pre-existing health conditions. If you choose a liquid cleanse, drink water and lots of it, and talk to your physician. I’m not here to give medical advice just to share what I’ve learned.

The sugar and simple carb detox I completed last fall was amazing! I had better results and felt better than with any pills. Body fat melted off, and I felt great! Whole foods are good for us! 🙂

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Hormones that Promote Weight Loss

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Hi friends, I have not forgotten about you. I told you I would do another post on hormones. There are hormones that can prevent weight loss and there are hormones that can help promote weight loss. I am not recommending you take supplements for your weight loss. Diet and exercise help to keep hormones stable. Talk to you doctor if you believe your hormones are not well-regulated.

Adiponectin, a protein used by the body to regulate metabolism.

Adiponectin is a protein-based hormone produced naturally by the body that manages fat lipids and glucose (blood sugar). The hormone has direct control over the way a body metabolizes insulin, and so adiponectin is believed to play a key role in the management of type 2 diabetes, although research is ongoing. The hormone is abnormally low in obese people, suggesting a healthy diet may contribute to adiponectin production, and that may, in turn, help prevent people form developing diabetes. Adiponectin also reduces inflammation in cell tissue inside blood vessels and so holds some clinical promise in treating cardiovascular disease.

You’ve probably heard of this hormone is relation to raspberry ketones which reportedly causes the fat within your cells to get broken up more effectively, helping your body burn fat faster. This is due to raspberry ketones helping to regulate adiponectin. Supposedly apple cider vinegar also helps as well. Not enough supporting evidence on the research on for these two supplements.
Testosterone is a steroid hormone from the androgen group and is found in mammals, reptiles,birds, and other vertebrates.

In general, androgens promote protein synthesis and growth of those tissues with androgen receptors. Testosterone effects can be classified as virilizing and anabolic, though the distinction is somewhat artificial, as many of the effects can be considered both.

Anabolic effects include growth of muscle mass and strength, increased bone density and strength, and stimulation of linear growth and bone maturation, http://www.wikipedia.com

We can maintain healthy levels of testosterone by weight lifting. The more muscle we have, the more calories we are burning.  If you believe you have low levels of testosterone, get checked out by your primary care physician. I do not recommend taking any supplements to aid with testosterone production.
Three of the best ways you can keep your hormones in check are with diet, exercise, and sleep (6-8 hours). Proper nutrition and weight training (if you are able to) are vital to health. If you believe your hormones are out of whack, talk with your doctor. As stated in the previous post about Hormones that Hinder Weight Loss, you can be doing all you know to do and still not lose weight if the issue is hormonal.
Best of luck to you, and I will hopefully be back to weekly posts now!
Erin
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Hormones that Hinder Weight Loss

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Hello wellness friends. I have not forgotten about you. I hope you are sticking with your program and working out/eating well. Tonight I wanted to talk about hormones. When we think of metabolism, some don’t think that our hormones tell our bodies to lose weight or gain weight. So, it is not simply calories in and calories out all the time. If our hormones are out of whack, we can exercise and workout and gain weight! Let’s start with some definitions.

Disclaimer: I am not a physician. I am a scientist. This site is not set up to diagnose or treat any illness. Consult your Primary Care Physician (PCP) or Endocrinologist (specializing in treating metabolic disorders).

Hormone: A chemical substance produced in the body that controls and regulates the activity of certain cells or organs. Many hormones are secreted by special glands, such as thyroid hormone produced by the thyroid gland. Hormones are essential for every activity of life, including the processes of digestion, metabolism, growth, reproduction, and mood control. Many hormones, such as neurotransmitters, are active in more than one physical process (MedicineNet.com).

Metabolism: The whole range of biochemical processes that occur within a living organism. Metabolism consists of anabolism (the buildup of substances) and catabolism (the breakdown of substances). The term metabolism is commonly used to refer specifically to the breakdown of food and its transformation into energy (MedicineNet.com).

Here are some (not all) of the hormones that may be inhibiting your weight loss.

Thyroid hormones. If you are not producing enough thyroid hormone, you will not be able to lose weight and even on a diet you may gain weight. A condition known as hypothyroidism leads to weight gain, puffy face, intolerance to cold, brittle hair, fatigue, poor muscle tone, and more. If you are working out and eating right and not seeing any results, contact your PCP and have your thyroid hormones checked. A simple blood test (T4 and TSH) will let your doctor know whether you are not producing enough of this hormone.

If you are not producing enough thyroid hormone, your doctor may prescribe synthroid or a generic form of thyroid hormone to help your body return to normal functioning.

Cortisol. It’s also called the stress hormone though synthetic forms are used to treat disease. High, prolonged stress, and even over consumption of salt can trigger the body to produce this lovely hormone. This hormone causes weight gain!

  • Its primary functions are to increase blood sugar through gluconeogenesis; suppress the immune system; and aid in fat, protein and carbohydrate metabolism.It also decreases bone formation. Various synthetic forms of cortisol are used to treat a variety of diseases (Wikipedia).

A great way to combat cortisol is to get plenty of sleep, workout daily (but not excessively), cut back on salt, rest, and find ways to minimize stress. There are many supplements marketed to treat Adrenal Fatigue or excess cortisol. Talk to your PCP before taking supplements. Some can have serious side effects.

Insulin. Stable blood sugar is key for weight loss. Dips and peaks in blood sugar tell the body to store fat. Some people suffer from insulin resistance due to Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (POS) and find it difficult to lose weight.

  • It is a peptide hormone, produced by beta cells of the pancreas, and is central to regulating carbohydrate and fat metabolism in the body. Insulin causes cells in the liver, skeletal muscles, and fat tissue to absorb glucose from the blood (Wikipedia).

Ways we can combat insulin issues. 1. Talk to your doctor if you believe you have diabetes, low blood sugar (hypoglycemia), or POS. 2. Eat healthy. Ditch the sugary foods and opt for fiber, veggies, and lean protein. Don’t eat dessert or foods with loads of sugar alone (causes spikes in blood sugar). Add protein and or fiber to meals with desserts. Cut back or cut out high glycemic foods (white potatoes, bread (white and wheat), white rice). Opt for sweet potatoes, quinoa, greens, and lean proteins.

Ghrelin (Appetite regulator) and Leptin (Full/Not Full). We talked about these hormones before. They tell your body it’s hungry and when it’s full. When these two hormones are out of whack, you feel hungry all the time and never full. Lack of sleep is normally the culprit for messing with the balance of these two hormones.

Try to sleep 6.5 to 8 hours a night! Turn off that computer, TV, smart phone an hour before bed.

Well, my friends I want to end here. I might do a follow-up post on more hormones later like estrogen, testosterone, etc… The summary is this. If you are eating healthy, working out, and do everything right and you’re still not losing weight or seeing improvement-talk to your doctor.

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Keep up the good work! I am cheering for you!! xoxo Erin.

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When You’re Stuck in a Rut

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Hello friends. I have not forgotten about you. I am working on a post on the hormones responsible for weight gain. In the meantime, I wanted to post something about being stuck in a rut. What do you do when the last 10 pounds won’t budge? What do you do when you stop seeing results? What do you do when you’d rather eat ice cream than workout? Here are some suggestions (Always check with your doctor before changing your routine or exercise program).

When you’ve stopped seeing results or need to lose those last 10 pounds:

Your body has most likely adapted to your meal plan and workout. Once it adapts, less calories are burned. Our bodies don’t want to lose weight. Our bodies want to hang onto weight just in case a famine occurs. Things you can do:

1. Change up your workouts. if all you do is run, try spinning or a dance class or boxing, or a new routine for a few weeks. Check out a program that switches things up every 4-6 weeks.

2. Change up your diet. I like the phrase: Eat breakfast like a king, lunch like a prince, and dinner like a pauper. Try to make the last meal of the day one with less or little carbs.

3. Cut back on or eliminate sugar, salt, processed foods, bread (white and wheat), and eating late. If you drink alcohol, it will also pack on the pounds. Eat whole foods and drink plenty of water.

4. Make sure you are challenging yourself. Sometimes we are half doing a workout and it shows or we’ve been doing the same workout for so long we are no longer challenged.

5. Make sure you’re eating enough of the right foods. Proper nutrition is important for building muscle, maintaining lean muscle, and having the energy to workout. Are you eating enough protein, vegetables, fiber, fruits? Are you eating enough? Starvation diets lead to a plateau becasue our metabolism slows down to compensate for a lack of food.

6. Count those calories, you may be eating more than you think!

7. Are you stressed out? Are you sleeping enough? We will talk about hormones the next post. Cortisol (stress hormone) tells your body to store fat! If you are stressed or over working your body (long cardio workouts-2 hours or more), you could be producing cortisol which tells your body to store fat. So, throw in a rest day. Have some R & R. Find ways to relax. One great way is to unplug from the internet. Social media, smart phones, and constant communication leads to stress. We all need a break every so often. If you aren’t sleeping enough 6.5-8 hours per night, you are more apt to gain or be unable to lose weight.

What to do when you don’t want to workout!

I am doing a Biggest Loser Competition with my coworkers. Some people are so excited and they keep losing. Some people seeing the major results of others have lost motivation. The goal of wellness is to make a lifestyle changes. I go through phases where I do not want to workout. I would rather lay on my couch and sleep. I don’t love exercise. So here are some things I recommend that help me out.

  • Try something new. I recently started doing Zumba. I have a dance background so it’s great. I love it. I get up early and start the day with Zumba. Weight training is reserved for after work. By doing something that I love, I am more apt to stick with it.
  • Think about why you started. I posted on this a few weeks ago. Post an old photo up if you have  to. And recall it’s harder to take the weight off than it is to lose it. Our bodies would rather cling than lose any day.
  • Instead of planning 1-2 hour workouts 4 days a week, try working out for 1/2 hour every day! I can commit to 1/2 hour.

Lastly, believe in yourself. You can do anything you set your mind to. I recently read about a woman who’s a competitive body builder and she’s 75. She didn’t start training until she was 71. She’s the oldest female competitive body builder. How awesome is that? She runs a 10K daily and teaches exercise classes!

Here is the link to the article and video about her. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-18346128

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Fast Food Nation

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Hello mi amigos (my friends). I have not forgotten about you! I wanted to talk today about fast food. We live in a fast food nation! Everywhere you turn there is a restaurant offering you burgers, fries, deep fried golden delights! Since the rise in obesity, type II diabetes, and other food related illnesses, many places have added healthier options. BUT, you have to be careful. Yes careful. It’s required now that places provide their nutritional information to you. If you look at only the calories, you can still eat food not healthy for you.

Examples:

Taco bell has a new Cantina menu which is supposed to be healthier for you.

If you look at the calorie information, the burritos still have over 500 calories and loads of sodium (1100 mg and up)! Which is half of your daily allowance (what we should have). You are better off with one of their fresco menu items.

I told you a few posts back about my coworker who drinks his calories. The frappacino he drinks has 660 calories and almost 40 grams of sugar. We can get into trouble with fast food places if we think because an item is on a healthier menu it’s healthy. Too much sodium will not only cause you to retain water, but can lead to many other health problems. I read an article about how excess sodium helps your body produce the stress hormone cortisol. Cortisol tells your body to store fat on your abdomen. Here’s how much sodium we should be having every day.

Sodium Recommended Daily Allowance (RDA)

The current recommendation is to consume less than 2,400 milligrams (mg) of sodium a day. This is about 1 teaspoon of table salt per day. It includes ALL salt and sodium consumed, including sodium used in cooking and at the table.

We are consuming far more sodium, fat, and unhealthy carbs than we should when we opt for fast food. Even the healthier items are loaded with sodium. I track my calories, fat, sodium, fiber, and sugar intake. Fat, sugar, and salt are the best friends of fast food.

My recommendations:

Limit fast food to only a few meals a week (if that) and eat at home or what you make as much as possible. The Sugar Detox I completed last year eliminated fast food. I lost fat, and felt 100 times better. We were not made to consume so much salt, sugar, preservatives, and fat. Oh and visit the nutrition site. You’ll be surprised what you find. There are some good options, it’s good to know which ones are not.

Fast food nutrition sites:

Panera: http://www.panerabread.com/menu/

McDonalds: http://www.mcdonalds.com/us/en/food/food_quality/nutrition_choices.html

Wendys: http://www.wendys.com/en-us/nutrition-info/

Taco Bell: http://www.tacobell.com/nutrition/

Chipotle: http://www.chipotlefan.com/index.php?id=nutrition_calculator

Starbucks: http://www.starbucks.com/menu/nutrition

Kentucky Fried Chicken: http://www.kfc.com/nutrition/

Subway: http://search.yahoo.com/search?fr=mcafee&p=subway+nutrition+facts (Has the healthiest options)

Be careful with salads at restaurants as well. Some options once you add dressing are worse than fries (the fat content and calorie content).

Keep up the good work with your fitness and wellness journey! Cheering for you.

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Staying Motivated!

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Hello my fitness friends! I hope you are enjoying a great start to the week. It is a beautiful, sunny day here. Thankful winter is over. Tonight’s topic of choice is, “Why did you start?” Feel free to post a comment with your reasons for starting on a wellness journey. I posted my reasons when I started this blog, but wanted to share some reasons again.

I work a full-time job that is normally high stress. I also juggle tons of outside work activities. As a young person, I should have had tons of energy! I didn’t. I was exhausted all the time. I heard someone say in a movie I was watching, “Are you living or just existing?” There is a difference between living (enjoying life) and existing (taking up space). I was sick and tired of being sick and tired. I was also tired of the hideous pictures my associates would post of me on Facebook. One in particular I remember was from a wedding I was in; I looked like I was pregnant.

It’s easy once you start the journey to get tired. It’s in those moments you must go back and look at why you started. I don’t want to go back to being tired all the time. I don’t want to return to the relationships that left me drained, stressed out, and unhappy. I don’t want to return to doing nothing but eating and sleeping after work. I don’t want to ever be mistaken for being pregnant without actually being pregnant. It’s been a year since I decided to embark on this journey….I FEEL great! I have far more energy. I dropped three dress sizes. My skin looks better. I enjoy life more. This journey for me was about improving my life, not fitting into a social mold of beauty. My life has improved: mentally, emotionally, physically, and spiritually. It’s about changing our lives!

So when you feel like it’s too challenging, remember why you started!

When you feel like giving up and going back to old habits, remember why you started!

When you feel like the progress is slow and tedious, remember why you started!

When everyone else is indulging and over indulging, remember why you started!

Lastly, I wanted to say I run an at work Biggest Loser contest. We have done it multiple years, and we have some of the same people each time. Weight is lost for the competition and for some, drastic measures are taken. The problem is those drastic changes cannot be maintained for life, so the weight comes back on. This year I am pushing lifestyle changes! It’s about changing your life. If we can start for the right reason, to change our lives, then we can stick with those changes. Say no to obesity, heart disease, high cholesterol, increased risks of cancer or diabetes….say yes to HEALTH! You can do this!

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Benefits of Protein

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Hello my fitness friends. I wanted to do a post on protein. As I stated in the metabolism post, I need to eat more protein than carbs due to having a fast oxidizing metabolism. Every time I go to the vitamin store there is some new protein on sale. There is soy protein, whey protein, pea protein, and the list could go on and on….so I decided to write a post on protein.

Why do we need protein?

Protein is essential for muscle growth, repair, and even our hair is composed of protein. If we do not eat enough protein our bodies begin to break down our muscles to meet the bodies needs. If we are training hard, we need protein. If we are not training hard, we need still need protein. Our bodies benefit from the amino acids that are contained in protein. “Protein is a macro nutrient composed of amino acids that is necessary for the proper growth and function of the human body. While the body can manufacture several amino acids required for protein production, a set of essential amino acids needs to be obtained from animal and/or vegetable protein sources…The current recommended daily intake (RDI) of protein is 46 grams for women aged 19-70 and 56 grams for men aged 19-70...,” Healthaliciousness.com.

Some benefits of protein?

Protein not only helps with muscle growth and repair, it helps you get more out of your workout. “Your muscles are like sponges for 30 to 45  minutes right after exercise, whether you’ve done cardio or strength training,” John Ivy, Ph D.  “Consuming protein after a workout can help with muscle soreness and increase lean muscle mass,” Fitness Magazine.

Protein helps keep blood sugar stable. Protein does not cause spikes in blood sugar. Protein rich diets are successful because they help maintain stable blood sugar. They are also effective because the body likes carbs for fuel, see the notes below on weight loss.

Protein may help with weight loss. For those with fast oxidizing metabolisms, eating protein with every meal helps the body not to store the unused carbohydrates as fat. When carbs are depleted from the diet, the body begins to use stored fat for fuel. I don’t recommend protein only diets. There are many complications that can come from only eating protein. Carbs are not the enemy. The goal is to eat good carbs, low glycemic carbs, and healthy proteins.

Protein helps fight off the hunger. It takes the body longer to break down proteins than other food sources. I’d prefer people ate more fiber, but healthy protein choices are good.

Good Choices of Proteins:

  • Lean Turkey
  • Organic Chicken
  • Organic/Free Range Eggs
  • Lean Cuts of Beef (in moderation-Grass Fed the best)
  • Wild Salmon
  • Tuna
  • Greek Yogurt
  • Non-fat/low fat dairy (in moderation-hormone free the best)
  • Peanut Butter
  • Quinoa
  • Almonds and/or almond butter
  • Other nuts: Pumpkin, Squash, and Watermelon Seeds, Peanuts
  • Tofu
  • Beans

You notice I did not put protein shakes on the list. I have not done enough research on them to post about them. There are many options on the list I provided. Some of them have a higher fat content so don’t eat an entire jar of peanut butter or almond butter. Almonds are wonderful, yet we can’t eat them like candy. They are good for us in moderation. No matter the choice of protein, moderation is still key.

 

 

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