I would definitely say that I have a complete fascination with food. Once upon a time (ok, twice) in the last 8 years I have tipped the scale at 200 pounds. I think at my heaviest I was at 210 but that was 9 months pregnant with my son...so maybe that doesn't count. At any rate I have definitely been up and down the scale over the last decade or so due to several reasons. One of the reasons is named Devan, one is named Niko and the others are named things like french fries, cookies, pizza, cheeseburgers, chocolate and ice cream.
So over the years I have began tweaking my eating lifestyle. I have slowly lost about 10 pounds a year over the last 5 years and managed to maintain that weight loss. So this is my year to achieve my final goal weight. It is going to be very hard- I have tried to get below 150 pounds a couple of times and it is like my body is fighting me. Apparently it is quite content in the 150 range, but I have a news flash- I am not content there!!!
***Disclaimer-I am not educated whatsoever (at least as of right now) in the nutrition department but I am going to share with you some of my favorite eating tips and strategies. Although there are a lot of them so I think I will make this a weekly topic and just give you 5 at a time. Because if you try to do too much too fast it won't stick. These are things I have adapted and trained my body to do over several years. Maybe they will be helpful to you as well!
1. My number one tip is to eat several small meals throughout the day. I started eating 4 meals throughout the day of roughly 400 calories, eating every 3-4 hours. If I do a hard workout I might add in an extra 200 calorie snack somewhere in there. This keeps your metabolism going all day, as well as keeps your portions in control. I cannot stand overeating now and can almost tell when I have eaten around 400 calories. The trick is to pick something that will keep you full- 400 calories of a cinnamon roll and 400 calories of oatmeal with some fruit will feel very different in about 2 hours!
2. Eliminate high fructose corn syrup. It is in EVERYTHING! Bread, ketchup, salad dressing, cereal...but if you take a moment to read the labels you can find products with something more natural- like sugar- instead. Also yogurt, peanut butter and jelly, granola bars. And by the way, try to find something with low amounts of sugar if possible!
3. Drink water. All day, especially while exercising. Keep a water bottle with you and take sips all day. Water helps you stay full and hydrated.
4. Eat healthy fats. Things like nuts and nut butters, avocados and olive oil are all heart healthy fats that help you stay full and satisfied while cutting calories. Yes, they have a lot of calories but they are very filling. Add some avocado to your salad or sandwich or add some peanut butter to your oatmeal (one of my favorite breakfasts) and I think you will be pleasantly surprised.
5. Eat more protein. This is something I have started doing recently. I will cook up enough chicken for a couple of days and stick it in the fridge so it is ready to eat when I am hungry. Especially if you are following a workout program, protein is very important to help your muscles recover. I have been making a lot of protein drinks as well (I use the muscle milk light whey powder) and that is pretty good. Like having chocolate milk! I make sure each of my meals has a good source of healthy protein throughout the day and it seems to help me stay full longer as well.
One of my next posts on nutrition is going to be about the long distance runner's diet. I am working on it now and just finished reading about it in the book I have been reading. Food is fuel, and if you pick the wrong fuel there are definite repercussions! I will also address my biggest fear- hitting "the wall" during my marathon. Just reading about how my glycogen stores will be depleted around mile 20 is enough to completely stress me out. So I have been doing what I do best- lots of research!!! Hahaha. Yes, that is me. Always prepared. Well, as much as possible!
Great- now I am hungry! Well, guess that means I should head to bed. It has been snowing here for several hours. The roads are pretty slick and when I got home from work a little bit ago I couldn't even pull my car all the way up my driveway. Well guess what? I looked out the window a few minutes ago and my car had slid halfway down towards the road. So what did I do? I woke my poor husband out of a sound sleep so he could move it for me of course! Poor guy. There was no way I was going out there- it is way too cold!!! Thanks babe!!!