Archive for category sweets in moderation
Posted by Amy Romero in better food, calories, eat healthier, eating healthy, food choices, Food quality, healthier snacks, how many calories should I eat?, lose a few pounds, lose weight, Nutrition, reach goals, self help, self-talk, stop cravings, stop eating sweets, sweets in moderation, Uncategorized, weight loss on April 2, 2013
Wondering what to eat to lose weight? Or maybe you want to know what to eat just to be as healthy as you can?
It’s no secret, diet is extremely important to weight loss and health and wellness. You can work out every single day, but until your diet is clean, you won’t see the best results possible. Some people will tell you that a calorie is a calorie. If you want to be literal, yes, I suppose it is. If you have a lot of weight to lose, counting and cutting back calories and thinking about little else will definitely help. But there will come a time when you’ll plateau. Not only that, if you’re eating low-calorie junk, you’ll still feel like crap. Not to mention, eating low-calorie junk food will not help your actual HEALTH any. A healthier choice at the SAME calorie count will mean more nutrients, more fiber, more filling, etc.
So, put down the 100 calorie snack packs, the pretzels, and the diet ice cream. It’s worth it. You’re worth it. Your results will be SO noticeable, and you’ll feel SO much better once you clean up your diet.
But I know you’re still asking… “How do I eat clean?” True, 100% clean would be nothing store-bought, really. Maybe bulk grains and of course produce from the store, but anything in a box would be a no-go. I try to work toward this, but I’m not there yet.
Instead, I want to share with you what I believe is some of the most important things to eat (and not eat) that will make a big impact but also be reasonable for those of us who still need a little convenience in our lives…
Here’s my “Rules to eat by”:
- Get rid of enriched wheat products. Replace with items that specifically say “100% whole grain”. Doesn’t have to be wheat as the grain, you can think about rice, barley, oats, etc
- Drink water all day long, every day
- Get rid of sodas, inculding diet sodas.
- Eat at least 3 servings of veggies every day. (1 serving of leafy veggies like raw spinach is equal to 1 cup. Small veggies like chopped carrots & broccoli is 1/2 cup as a serving.)
- Eat 1 serving of fruit every day
- Buy organic as much as possible, especially the types of produce and fruit that were directly exposed to pesticides and all that garbage. Berries, greens, apples, etc are especially important. Things that you peel, like oranges and bananas are less important.
- Eat 1 serving of beans every day
- Combine the ‘must eats’ as much as possible. Try having a big salad for your lunches…include beans, seeds, etc & plenty of veggies, then you get it all in at once!
- Eat every 3 hours or so. Snacks can include small stuff if you’re not super hungry. Think nuts, greek yogurt, fruit, etc
- Try to keep meat to only 2 meals a day to start. Try to work your way to 1 meat a day, then if you’re feeling amazing like I think you will be, you can go from there.
- Get rid of as much packaged food as you can.
- Check product labels, look for stuff with only real ingredients. If you can’t pronounce it, don’t eat it.
- Remember to keep your meats lean. Stick to chicken, fish, and turkey as much as possible.
- Treat yourself some, but be reasonable. Have a drink once in a while if it’s important to you. But be real with yourself about how much you’re eating/drinking, measure it out. Stick to dark chocolate (72% cacao or darker), or red wine..or just a couple cookies a week,etc). This shouldn’t be a daily thing, work to kick your sugar habit. YES you can.
A few random *other* tips for well-being & weightless/healthy living success:
- Sleep 7-8 hrs every night. No excuses
- Take time every day to relax. No, sleeping doesn’t count.
- Drink more water (Yes, I know I said that already. Must be important, huh?) 🙂
- Work on speaking to yourself in a positive voice.
- Write out your goals. Not just your fitness goals. Write them all out and revisit often.
- Laugh alot.
- Make new friends.
- Find old friends.
- Help someone in need.
- Be nice to yourself and to others, even if they may not deserve it.
Soooo….what your FIRST step going to be?? Tell us in the comments below!
I should clarify. Eat what you want…SOMETIMES 😉
One of the keys to being happy while changing your lifestyle to healthier one is to not deprive yourself. If you feel like you can NEVER have anything yummy like a brownie, cookie, or ice cream, then you’ll be down about it. You may even eventually snap and eat every brownie in sight. It’s better to be reasonable with yourself, allow yourself to have things you truly enjoy – just keep moderation in mind. For instance, while I was trying to lose 10lbs, I cut out my evening dessert (and made other dietary changes as well!), and then one evening, maybe Friday, I would let myself have dessert. I just made it low-fat ice cream & stuck to ONE serving size. Now that I’m at my goal weight, I have ice cream almost every night, but I’m super good about what I eat all day long. If I eat some stuff I wouldn’t normally (think Panera bread breakfast) then I skip ice cream that night. It’s all about balance. I can do this because I work out almost every night and I’m very good about what I eat most of the time.
So just remember, you don’t have to hate your diet. In fact, I encourage you to find adjustments and options that make you love your new way of eating. It may take some trial and error, but I assure you, it can be done. As always, I’m always happy to share meal planning options, recipes, etc. Just comment here or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org – the meal planner I use is fantastic, you can set the amount of calories you want to stick to every day and opt out of certain foods and the recipes are actually easy and delicious. Even better, you can print a shopping list of ingredients for that week’s meals….and of course each meal/day is completely editable. If you want to have your own meal planner, I very much recommend this one, I use it every single week and have always been pleased with the meals – just click “join” and select the paid option to try it! www.TurboRomero.com
~To Your Health~
We all have cravings. When you’re trying to watch what you’re eating, whether you’re counting calories or just cutting back on things like sugar, preservatives, whatever, it’s still hard to curb those cravings. But there are ways to indulge or to divert those cravings with healthier choices. The hardest part is those first few weeks of trying to NOT eat something or eat a lot less of it. For instance, in December of 2010, I decided I was going to eat healthier, watch my calories, and I started running. Now, all went pretty well because I was motivated. However, I have always had a sweet tooth. Not many people don’t, I know. But when you’re trying to cut back on sweets, you feel like you’re the only one who could possibly know what that feels like to NEED your dessert. That’s it, you need it. It IS like an addiction. So you have to treat it like one. First, recognize that it’s going to be difficult. Now, accept that you may have moments of weakness. That does not make it a failure. Any time you have a bad day of eating or a few days of no workout, don’t fall of the wagon. Just jump right back in. A few moments of weakness doesn’t mean that your journey is over.
Once your mind is in the right place, it’s time to start working on cutting back or eliminating those things you crave. Now, if you’re craving broccoli…then please, keep on eating it! But for those of us that crave junk food, read on.
First, recognize when your cravings set in. To do this, keep a food journal. Write down everything you eat, and at what time. You may also write down things that were going on or what you were feeling when you ate certain things. This can be helpful if you’re an emotional eater. You can identify those triggers this way and start to divert the attention to another habit. After keeping a journal for a few days you will likely start seeing where your weaknesses are. Perhaps you already know yours. You may not need a journal to identify it. But for some people, those weaknesses are hidden, you can convince yourself they don’t exist or they aren’t that bad. For me, I was eating dessert after every dinner. But I was failing to realize that the random sweets I ate throughout the day amounted to as much as they did. So, maybe I had a cookie after lunch. Maybe I had a piece of dark chocolate after that. And then I may even have another cookie when I get home. I mean, one cookie can’t hurt, right? And then my usual dessert after dinner because, well, that’s usual. Writing all of it down and seeing it stare me in the face was enlightening.
But how can I overcome these cravings, you may ask? Well, for some people, cold turkey is the best way. Sounds simple. It’s not, really. First, you have to get rid of all temptations, get it all out of your pantry and freezer and your desk at work. You also have to have a powerful motivation to succeed here. A good motivator is to know that after a few weeks of cold turkey, your habit WILL be broken. It’s sort of a detoxing process. Your body craves something, like I mentioned earlier, like an addiction. Stopping that indulgence can be difficult in the beginning. You may experience mood swings, headaches, or other symptoms of that nature. If you can get through that part and get past it, you will get over those cravings.
Some folks can’t go cold turkey. Understandable. For those people, I recommend a replacement and weaning technique. Get rid of the REALLY bad indulgences from your kitchen and replace with LESS bad things. Start paying attention to serving sizes and you’ll have cut your intake already. So if brownies and cookies are your thing, get rid of them. Go out and get some replacements such as reduced sugar ice cream & light chocolate syrup. And actually measure out the serving sizes. This will start to help you teach yourself control over portions. Go get chocolate graham crackers (or regular ones), get sugar free chocolate pudding, Bear Naked chocolate chip cookies, and so on. As long as you’re actually replacing what you’d normally eat with one of these types of *better* things, you’re reducing your intake and also slowing weaning yourself from expecting the really awful things. This technique can be tricky. You still have to pay very good attention to how much of these replacements you’re eating. You may subconsciously eat more since you know it’s *better* for you. Keep writing everything in your food journal so you can watch it. And really, measure out those serving sizes and stick to it, it will help you control it.
Finally, when it comes to weaning yourself off of the *better* options, you can start with eating only one of your indulgences per day. A lot of this is mental, so if you’re trying to stop eating, say dessert after lunch and just want to keep it to eating it after dinner, you may need to find something else to DO after lunch. Replacing that time with something else, if you will. So maybe after lunch you go walk the dog now. Or you read a book for 10 minutes. Anything to keep your mind off of it for a few minutes and start a new habit in it’s place.
Eventually, if you want to cut it ALL out, you’d just repeat that weaning step again for any remaining servings you have been eating. For me, I eventually quit eating dessert after dinner. That was hard since I’d done it for so many years. I ended up replacing dessert with a workout. May sound crazy to you, but trust me, it’s not. Once you get ‘hooked’ on a workout and you really love it, you will WANT to do it. It’s a perfect opportunity to use that workout to replace another bad habit! That feeling you get after a great workout, one that was fun and taxing, it’s actually a type of high. It produces a new addiction. A good one. So go for it!
So tell me, have you had any experiences in trying to break a craving or a habit? How did it work out? Are you trying to break one now?