With the new year here, it’s a good time to prepare ourself for the upcoming year and create some good habits. For most, diet + exercise seems to be at the top of our New Years Resolution list. So, I thought now was a better time than ever to share about my personal journey to finding my best weight, because like most women, we’ve tried it all and struggled over the years. I FINALLY feel that my relationship with food is at a very healthy place and I truly believe that’s one of the first steps in being the weight you want to be. Warning, this is one of my longer posts but if this topic interests you, I think you’ll enjoy it. I’m writing this because the fashion industry is obsessed with being skinny, which to me isn’t healthy.
I’m no dietician, but I’ve done my fair share of research. Also, my fair share of experiments as to what works and what doesn’t. My family and friends can attest that I’ve tried every diet, been overly obsessed with working out and definitely was no fun to go out to dinner with! One of my best friends always tell the story of how I made her a low carb sandwich to try out (I was SO proud that it was low-carb AND a sandwich!) and later reminds me it had globs of mayo dripping out the sides. We laugh and I admit, I was totally nuts.
But one thing I did do while trying all these diets and routines was educate myself. I’d go to Barnes & Noble and read up on everything out there, then use myself as a guinea pig. Low calorie, low fat, low carb, and diet were my friends. Let me clarify that a lot of my extreme ways were not healthy and I don’t advise this, but I have learned a lot of positive habits through it all.
I found reality and I’m not exactly sure how the change came about but it did, and I’m better than ever before. I realized I needed to pay attention to my body and one of the most important things for me was that I stopped obsessing about food. I don’t count calories, I don’t limit myself, I rarely feel the urge to over indulge and I hardly have intense cravings for everything. If I want pizza, I eat it, and I try to have a healthy salad with it. I basically eat what I want but there are a few things I’ve learned over the years that are now ingrained as natural habits, for weight but also for the fight against inflammation and living a long healthy life. Once you naturally know these things, you’ll start to incorporate them into your routines and foods and choose good foods without thinking. I like a lot of concepts from Enter The Zone: A Dietary Road mapdata-imagelightbox="g"> (without the extreme measures it has you take) and also The Perricone Prescription: A Physician’s 28-Day Program for Total Body and Face Rejuvenationdata-imagelightbox="g">
Here are a few things I found work for me:
- I choose foods with fiber – apples, nuts, beans, lentils, hummus, avocado, oatmeal, broccoli, kale, and raspberries.
- Fiber keeps you full longer and also helps you, ehem, stay regular. You’ll feel lighter all throughout the day and fiber will help with your cravings. Plus, it’s linked to fighting cancer down the line.
- I’m not afraid of carbs, but I usually eat the heavy stuff at night.
- I try to eat my big meal of carbs during dinner. Some say it’s bad to eat carbs at night but I disagree. If you’re going to have pizza or a lot of white bread, you’ll probably dip in energy about an hour after you eat it. I feel that carbs actually help me get tired and fall asleep and that’s the opposite of what I want to be feeling during the day.
- I’m a grazer and don’t enjoy the feeling of being too full during the day.
- I don’t eat right when I get up, although that’s what people recommend. I keep my metabolism fast by eating small meals often (I think it’s SOOO bad when you go 8 or 9 hours w/o food! I get on my brother all the time of this, because I gaurentee you’re going to be so hungry at that point, you overeat).
- I usually need some carbs with my meal
- Don’t limit yourself, eat what is satisfying, just keep it to portions. I’m not scared of carbs, just really wouldn’t recommend having a ton of empty carbs without good fats and fiber alongside with it. For example, I’ll definitely enjoy some pita chips (totally empty white flour) but I’ll have some sliced avocado and hummus with it. The good fats and fiber have been know to slow down how carbs enter your body and affect your blood sugar.
- I do drink coffee – YUM.
- Coffeee is a stimulant and a natural appetite suppressor. Try having some tea or coffee after your meal (decaf is fine, too!). It’s soothing and helps with cravings.
- Sugar is a DRUG.
- The more you eat, the more you’ll be addicted. Fake sugar is a drug, too. I would advise you to stop eating any fake sugar substitutes instantly and only eat natural ingredients. I would also recommend trying to limit your sugar intake, at least during the day. The urge will fade, I promise!
- I workout
- Not excessively and not obsessively, but I try to stay active often. I now workout 3-4 times a week rather than where I used to be: 6 times a week and feeling really, really guilty if I don’t get a workout in. That’s not healthy.
I write this because this is something I know many women struggle with and I want to share my journey if it can at all help you. Each women is born with different genetics and bone structures and I think what’s the most beautiful is a women being healthy and happy in their own skin. Email me if you have any other questions and here’s to an amazing 2015! X