Changing the way you eat is the most important step in changing your weight. Add 3-5 days of fitness and you have just created an equation equaling a healthy weight loss. But changing your diet is often the most feared. We love the way simple foods can improve our mood in an instant. It’s the comfort factor that’s hard to break away from.
So, what is clean eating? Clean eating is to eat as Mother Nature intended us to eat: wholesome and natural, consisting of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean proteins and complex carbohydrates. Man made foods and ingredients should be eaten occasionally and eventually not eaten at all. A simple rule of thumb is “if man made it, don’t eat it.”
Walk down any market isle and you will see 3-4 different choices of the same product. Light, fat free, original, sugar free are the most common, and it can be very overwhelming. You buy them thinking that the are “better for you and your waistline”. Chances are you dig in and chow down, eating more calories then you would if you were to buy a package of original, or avoiding the product all together. I challenge you to take your eyes from the nutritional value and read the ingredient list. Can you pronounce them? Do they sound appealing? Can you recognize ALL of them? I know, I know… the product claims to have only 110 calories and 1 gram of fat, healthy right? Think again.
So As I have progressed on my journey and though the weight is coming off sometimes I feel like it could come off a little faster. I could progress more on restricting more calories but I have done that before and ended up gaining more than I lost because of going back to old habits. I think eating clean and wholesome will win out in the end, even if this take a couple years to reach my goal. There are some things that I have found out is you MUST READ LABELS!!!!! Lets take a trip to the grocery store together!
The list on the left is from a sugar free “maple” syrup and the one on the right is from a 100% pure maple syrup. See any differences? Let’s first look at the natural ingredients. On the left: water, salt and mentions of corn. How does the one on the right look: 100% pure maple syrup.
“But sugar is bad for you!”
Yes, to a point. But I bet it’s better for you than sodium hexametaphosphate. (I know, I can’t pronounce it either)
I know it’s hard to get look beyond the calories and fat. I used to buy nothing but low fat, fat free and sugar free food, fearing that if I had one bite of “regular” food I would turn into a balloon. Products are marketed to appear appealing to those that are struggling with their weight and diet. “Sugar, fat and calories are the enemy and that is why I have love handles.” Our bodies need a healthy dose of fat, sugar and, most importantly, REAL food to function.
There are some general rules to follow for eating clean: (these are taken from Clean Eating Magazine)
- Eat five to six times a day - three meals plus two to three snacks in between. Include a variety of lean protein, fruits, vegetables and complex carbs. It will help you feel satisfied and energized all day long.
- Drink at least two liters of water daily - look into purchasing a BPA free water container as most plastic bottles have BPA in their material.
- Know your labels - Read the ingredient list, making sure you eliminate products that contain man made ingredients. Don’t know what it is? Don’t eat it!
- Avoid processed and refined foods - White flour, sugar, bread and pasta. Look for alternatives that taste better and are healthier.
- Consume healthy fats - Fatty acids are essential to our bodies. Avocados, nuts, olive oil, flax are a handful of readily available good-for-you fats.
- Slow down and savor - Embrace the goodness of whole foods, savor every bite and eat slowly.
- Incorporate your entire family - Since this is a lifestyle change, it’s important to involve the ones you love the most. Help your significant other and your children understand the importance of eating well. This will make your success greater and help all of achieve a great appreciation of the food you eat.
Most importantly, take small steps, educate yourself and mentally prepare. Diets don’t work for a reason but this is not a diet - it is a way of life and eating. Read online blogs, buy magazines but most importantly do it for your health. You have one body - feed it well!
So you have been eating healthy for a couple of months and seeing a little bit of progress on the scale and in your clothes and then it happens you sabbotage yourself! You are driving home from a long hard day and decide to treat yourself by stopping at dairy queen for a blizzard ice cream treat and not the single serving small. Why would you do this??? You have now sabbotaged yourself. Okay you did not have the ice cream but did you know there are other ways to sabbotage your efforts.
Self-Sabotage #1: You disregard the power of your thoughts and think weight loss happens only through physical effort.
We’re conditioned to believe that releasing weight is only about diet and exercise. Of course, that’s important. But the thoughts in your mind are just as important as the calories you consume. You need to have faith in yourself.
Discover what limiting beliefs hold you back. If you’re not sure, listen to your self-talk and how you speak to and react to others. Become aware of fears or doubts that hinder your progress.
Self-Sabotage #2: Instead of focusing on your goal, you dwell on being overweight.
Okay you made some success but you did not realize how hard this would be and taking off the last 20 lbs or even 5 pounds would take so long!
Until you shift negative attention away from your current weight, and focus on where you’re going, you’ll remain stuck. Criticizing yourself keeps you attached to what you don’t want. It’s like trying to drive forward in your car while still in “park.” You’re not going anywhere.
To keep the image of your goal in mind, regularly practice visualization. This helps you create the feeling of excited anticipation of having the body you desire. This new mental model of success gently guides you towards your goal. Make small tangible goals instead of saying I need to lose 100 lbs.
Self-Sabotage #3. You punish yourself for setbacks instead of moving on.
You have been losing steadily and then your boyfriend wants to take your out for a celebration. You say”I will be good”. You get to the restaurant and lose all control but you are celebrating after all and you have the pasta and tiramusu.
Every path to dieting success has its ups and downs. What you perceive as a setback stops your progress only when you think it does.
Solution: Be gentle with yourself. You will make huge strides when you simply say “I’ll make a different choice next time” and let it go. Practice to forgive yourself. When you release shame and guilt, minor slips become meaningless.
Self-Sabotage #4: You want to change your body, but don’t accept it as it is now.
It may seem strange to think of accepting a body you want to change. But, ironically, what we resist, persists. Remaining at war with your body keeps you stuck and keeps weight on. Being at peace isn’t about accepting excess weight, it’s about acception of yourself.
Solution: Give your body a daily gift. In doing so you’re honoring yourself, and your body. Your gift could be a ten-minute walk, a glass of water, or lotion on your hands. By consciously offering your body daily devotion you’re creating a pathway to self-acceptance and self-love.
Self-Sabotage #5: You become discouraged when you don’t see immediate results.
Permanent weight loss takes time. Patience is necessary to emotionally grow into the new person you’re becoming. Allow inner transformation to happen along with the outer change of reducing pounds. One reason yo-yo dieting is so common is that weight is released but self-sabotaging thoughts are not.
Solution: Even when you don’t see visible results, have faith. You are making progress. Recognize that your tendency to find evidence of failure is your fear-based mind trying to discourage you. Hold faith in your heart. Just because you haven’t reached your goal yet doesn’t mean you won’t. You will.
Emotional eating can be a tough beast to tame.. I have dealt with this issue I think from the day I was born. It was easier in my 20’s. I had a metabolism that did not care if I had that chocolate sundae or that big helping of moms southern macaroni and cheese when I had a bad day at school or fight with my boyfriend. Today life is more stressful we have more worries in our 30’s and beyond. We worry about the kids, finances and even the little stresses can send us over the deep end. I was normal well health wise before I became a nurse and part of being that has put over 90 lbs on this body.
I think emotional eating is probally the biggest obstacle of overweight and morbidly obese women. Yeah it affects men too but I think as women we tend to take the weight of the world on our shoulders on things in our families. My husband says he does all the worrying when it comes to bills and different things. No I just hide it better which is evident in my obese body.
Being a nurse is similar to being a scientist so I decided to make a hypothesis of this problem and then a solution to the problem or my plan of attackt to deal with this tricky devil.
First of all the steps to the scientific method is first is to state the problem.
1. Emotional eating makes me fat and I eat when I am stressed.
We eat when we are sad, angry and even happy over an event. Are we really hungry when we grab that snickers bar or the last piece of your daughters birthday cake you told your self you were going to throw out?
2. Do research to help you define the problem
There are several differences between emotional hunger and physical hunger
a. Emotional hunger comes on suddenly; physical hunger occurs gradually.
b. When you are eating to fill a void that isn’t related to an empty stomach, you crave a specific food, such as pizza or ice cream, and only that food will meet your need. When you eat because you are actually hungry, you’re open to options.
c. Emotional hunger feels like it needs to be satisfied instantly with the food you crave; physical hunger can wait.
d. Even when you are full, if you’re eating to satisfy an emotional need, you’re more likely to keep eating. When you’re eating because you’re hungry, you’re more likely to stop when you’re full.
e. Emotional eating can leave behind feelings of guilt; eating when you are physically hungry does not.
3. Construct a hypothesis and draw a conclusion
This is easy for me because I have own up to the fact that I know emotional eating makes me overeat and eat the wrong foods. The key for all of us is finding what the triggers are for each and every one of us and why it makes us go for those chocolate chip cookies. I think emotional eating will always be there for me but the longer I stick with my plan of eating healthy the less likey I will go for the chocolate bar in the checkout line. I know once I do I say the hell with it and binge for the day, week or even longer. I think once the guilt of eating the food sets in we then totally release our will to it.
- Recognize emotional eating and learn what triggers this behavior in you.
- Make a list of things to do when you get the urge to eat and you’re not hungry, and carry it with you, a. When you feel overwhelmed, you can put off that desire by doing another enjoyable activity.
- Try taking a walk, calling a friend, or even god forbid clean the house.
- When you do get the urge to eat when you’re not hungry, find a comfort food that’s healthy instead of junk food. Such as belvita bars these are my new fav food. Don’t go over the limit just pick a food you won’t feel the guilt.
- For some, leaving comfort foods behind when they’re losing weight can be emotionally difficult. The key is moderation, not elimination. You may divide comfort foods into smaller portions if you cannot totally turn your back on your comfort food. For instance, if you have a large bag of chips, divide it into smaller containers or baggies and the temptation to eat more than one serving can be avoided. For me this does not work but if you feel you must have the food then a small amount will not hurt but can you really stop at just one lays chip.
- When it comes to comfort foods that aren’t always healthy, like fattening desserts, Your memory of a food peaks after about four bites, so if you only have those bites, a week later you’ll recall it as just a good experience than if you polished off the whole thing. So have a few bites of cheesecake, then call it quits, and you’ll get equal the pleasure with lower cost.
Lastly, remember that emotional eating is something that most people do when they’re bored, happy, or sad. It might be a bag of chips or a steak, but whatever the food choice, learning how to control it and using moderation are key.
Yes this is a big demon, but we can all do this.
I don’t know about you but weight loss is full of ups and downs. There are days where I feel like I can take on the world, and there are days where I feel like I’m just as heavy as always and I want to drown my sorrows in cupcake frosting. Both types of days are entirely normal and I am slowly learning to relish in the good, strong, powerful days and to look for small victories in the harder days.
The keep on keeping on nsv or “I can do this ” nsv
This type of non-scale victory relies on you noticing when you are rising above something that might have previously been an obstacle. You use your strength and determination to make a different choice from the one you might have made before. This could include not eating your fries, working out when you really don’t want to, avoiding the dangerous buffet, or even managing to eat the buffet in moderation. Anything that is a temptation for you is an opportunity for a NSV. And as I find, the more of these types of NSVs you have, the easier it is to make more good choices. Strength and willpower multiply exponentially. When you are staying strong on Monday it is easier to stay strong on Tuesday. If you make some not-great choices on Monday it might be harder to make good choices on Tuesday. This NSV has cumulative powers to keep you on track.
The “That’s New” NSV
These are victories that are new to you, or at least things you haven’t seen or been able to do for a while. Again these are dependent on you, but most of the time you suddenly become aware of them and it is a shock to you. Just when you think no progress is being made you might find a pair of jeans looser, or the blazer fitting better, or the car seat belt just being more comfortable. You might find your endurance has gone up at the gym, or you can run longer distances, or lift heavier weights. Or maybe it is realizing that the salad you had for lunch really hit the spot, or that you aren’t craving diet coke today. These NSV are glimmers of progress that also keep us going. They are tangible examples of our ability to make change in our life, even if we don’t always see it on the scale. You can seek these out by measuring yourself or trying on new clothes in different sizes, but most of the time these will sneak up on you and you will suddenly find yourself smiling with the knowledge of something accomplished.
Here are just a few others
Your clothes are fitting looser or you are not sturggling to snap that snap!
Your exercising is getting easier
Crossing your legs(I haven’t reached it but remember when I did before what a big nsv this was)
Seeing a slimmer face in the mirror
For me a big goal was getting on my horse without the step stool, well I still need one but it is only a one step.
Comment on your nsvs and how they impower you!
Next blog I’m going to tackle emotional eating because I battle this every day.
When I first begin taking steps toward a healthier me, it’s easy to think that the only thing that matters is the number on the scale. I am obsessed with the scale. After all, that message is reinforced everywhere you turn. We have tickers that document how much weight we have lost or need to lose. Weight Watchers sets 10% goals, and in every form of media - no shortage of advertisements offering ways to lose the excess pounds, shed the unwanted weight, win the battle against the scale.
It is total BS!
Look, the scale is a great indicator of progress, but it is simply that - ONE indicator. A SINGLE data point in a sea of potential progress markers. Why did you start this “journey”? Was it just to lose some arbitrary amount of weight with a total disregard to your overall health? If so, cut off an arm and cauterize the wound.
No, I suspect like me that you are taking steps toward a healthier you, a stronger you, a more confident you. And that, my friends, is NEVER going to be reported by the scale.
Tommorow I will post ways to keep up our momemtum without looking at the arbitrary number.