Saturday, March 29, 2014

How to Eat Your Favorite Foods and Not Gain Weight

A few facts:

1. I l-o-v-e food!

2. Weight does NOT determine worth!

3. It feels good to be fit.

My husband took me on a picnic for our first date, and I ate every last bit of the food he packed for me... easily as much as he ate.

 Later he told me THAT was absolutely impressive to him- no other girl he'd ever dated ATE as much as I did. Perhaps eating everything on my plate scared the other guys I dated away?!?  I just LOVE and adore good food!!! I love those parties in my mouth when I've tasted something divine.

Since I enjoy good food so much, I have to keep a watch on letting my taste buds get out of control. This is not a declaration that I have the perfect figure or that I'm a master at not gaining weight. I'm no Jillian Michaels.

I just know that when I'm fit I feel good, and so I'm constantly working on a balance between eating and enjoying all the great foods that the world has to offer, and also feeling good about my body. Both are possible!

Society makes us women feel that are bodies are never good enough, or pretty enough. It's brutal. Obsessions, eating disorders, and self-hate sometimes become the result. Some of the most gorgeous, "perfectly fit" people I know are also the most miserable people I know, because they are so self-obsessed.  Extreme behavior at either side of the eating spectrum are obviously unhealthy and unhappy.

Here are a few things I've learned and am working on to maintain a healthy balance.

But first, just so you know, I don't care about "perfection" with my body. I have a bit of a "muffin top." I'm not ever planning on getting a tummy tuck or doing anything extreme to get rid of it.  I am ever so thankful that my body grew 4 beautiful children- the treasures of my life. I consider my stretch marks a badge of honor. So, if you're looking for perfection then this is not for you. If you want to feel good and secure about yourself and your body, then read on.

1. Eat lots and lot of VEGETABLES!
 After I had my twins, I lost the weight quick, but then gained it ALL back and then some. I couldn't seem to lose it after that. I felt crappy. Not just because I was carrying unnecessary weight, but I could tell that my body was sick in a way. I didn't have the energy to do all I needed to. A friend recommended the book Eat to Live by Joel Fuhrman . I read it, and felt like I needed to adapt his diet for a while- but not to the exact "T".  The author is a doctor and gives this diet to his patients to reduce the effects of cancer, diabetes, and all kinds of diseases. He also recommends it to overweight people- and they lose weight FAST.

I wouldn't adapt this exact diet long term, it's too extreme for me. But, for a few months it changed my life (And very worth trying for a while if you need a jump start). I lost 15 pounds, and started feeling amazingly better. The most life changing part of his program for me is that he recommends eating 2 pounds of vegetables and at least 4 fruits every day.

Filling up on vegetables fills us up with very few calories, and a bunch of fiber. Eat the veggies first, and then when it's time to eat the favorite foods, you're not ravishing with hunger and indulgence.

I keep packs of frozen steamable veggies always on hand. For snacks, I just pop them in the microwave, add a teeny tiny bit of cheese, and let it melt. Sprinkle with a little bit of salt or other spices, and it is a satisfying and healthy snack.

One of the BEST ways to start the day is to get veggies down is in the delicious form of green smoothies!! I plan activities for the 14-15 year old girls in my church every week, and one day I taught them to make this green goodness. The girls gave me looks like they already knew what this stuff tastes like, and said: "my mom makes these every day."

Other girls gave the gagging sound, just like my kids. But, I had them make it, as I told them what to put in. And guess what?! They ALL LOVED it. They put the recipe in their phones, took some extra home for breakfast, told other people to try it. Yeah. Success.

Honestly, green smoothies are one of my best success tips for losing and maintaining weight, along with eating my veggies.

2. Keep yummy, healthy, foods on hand and available to eat.  Keep the bad stuff out-- or to a minimum.
One of the best things I've ever done is cut up a bunch of veggies and fruit at the beginning of the week, and then stick them in tupperware containers in the fridge.

This makes it so much easier to grab something healthy quick. So often, we don't eat the healthy stuff because it takes so stinkin' long to peel and chop.{Be watching for a post of the most healthy foods in the world!}

When the food is set out ready to go in containers, then it's so easy to create different salads and healthy sandwiches. I guess it's like making a smaller version of  Subway right there in your own fridge.

I'm NOT an advocate of NEVER having junk food or sweets. I've seen that create obsessions for people who deny themselves or their children. Have it sometimes, make it happy, good, fun, a treat! Balance is the key. A cookie or a few chocolate chips every day, and indulging in a decadent dessert once in a while never hurt anyone!!

3. Plan menus
I am such a believer in menus for so many reasons... money, time, sanity, and health! We don't have to plan ONLY healthy dinners. That would totally knock out a bunch of stuff that brings happiness. Just make sure to serve a salad AND vegetable along with all those delicious, fattening meals.

4. Savor and control portions
When I taste something I love, my first reaction is to snarf it down as fast as I can and then get some MORE!!
I've leaned that I have to slow down, and enjoy. Chew a little longer. Set the fork down and drink a sip of water in between bites. The satisfaction is actually greater this way... although I often revert to the first reaction.

Really, we all can eat whatever we want and not gain weight. It's true. Just small portions. I am such a believer that we don't need to cut any of out favorite foods out. The KEY is learning to stick to the right size of portion.

If I would have given away cookies and brownies rather than taken teensy bites every time I passed through the kitchen, I would be a few inches smaller... but, the cookies were too good to pass up.

Make yummy desserts, just keep a little and give a lot away!!

5. Strength Exercise

I know I might get some hate mail after this, but here I go... um...

Running alone doesn't usually make a whole lot of difference when it comes to body shape and losing weight.  There. I said it.

It takes a couple miles to burn off a small bag of chips. I promise that every time I've decided to run, thinking I can eat whatever I want, I don't lose weight.

I wish the saying was true, "I only exercise so I can eat."
Well, okay, I guess it's true- you can, but you probably won't lose weight. In fact, you may gain. If you spend time running your little fanny off every day, but are not seeing much difference, this is the secret: strength training.  Yep, weights, situps, pushups, lunges... and yes, some cardio (but not ONLY cardio). 

I am not qualified to give a whole lot of advice on this because I've always been a cardio girl. I like to run and hike. I don't like the strength training, but I'm learning because I see that it does make a huge difference.

Jillian Michaels Body Shred is a good place to start! Tough, but body changing.

6. Step on the scale- but only once per week

There is nothing worse that we can do for ourselves or those we love than become obsessive compulsive about our weight. It brings crankiness, annoyance, and bad relationships. Stepping on the scale multiple times a day IS obsessive. Stop, if you do that. There are many factors that go into weight changes in a day.

People who weight themselves once a week keep on top of their weight, but are not totally obsessed by it. Much better!

Ok, so that's what I know from personal experience. I know there are more and greater tips out there. I'd LOVE to know what has worked for you?


P.S. Read the other posts in our 31 Days of Feeding the Family Series HERE

Pin It

No comments:

Post a Comment

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...