Friday, July 6, 2012

"You cannot out-exercise a bad diet"

This became obvious to me after about 6 weeks of exercising.  I was working out so hard.  I was sore and tired every week, but knew I was working toward getting stronger.  I was putting all this hard work into exercising and felt I needed to respect the hard work through healthier eating.  I knew it was time to start watching what I ate.  I vowed I'd never go on a diet ever again.  They just never work for me.  Nothing makes me feel more oppressed than tightly controlling what I eat.  I decided this go around that I would just tweak my current eating pattern.  I did eat pretty healthy for the most part.  I needed to do just a few things.

First off I found that I really don't eat enough on a regular basis.  Years of being overweight made me feel I shouldn't eat much every day.  Then I'd have one day that week where I'd eat too much.  The doctor told me I was starving myself and my body was holding on to the fat.

Secondly I ate very little protein.  I really didn't know this until my trainer told me that she wanted me to eat about 80g of protein and wanted me to use to track my intact of food.  I thought this would be good to make me eat enough every day.  Never dreaming I didn't get enough protein.  After my first week my trainer pointed out that I didn't even eat 25% of the protein I needed.  I found it very difficult the first few months to eat enough protein.  I got a protein powder that I added to a breakfast shake to get me close to eating enough protein.  I started having a little cheese during the day.  I started eating a handful of almonds or a sprinkle of sliced almonds on my cereal every day.  I started putting chicken on all of the salads I ate.  I started eating Greek yogurt, which has more protein.  Now I don't use the protein powder any more.  I am more intuned with eating protein during my day.

The third tweak was reducing my simple carb intact.  I love candy, cookies, bread, rice, potatoes etc.  I knew this was going to be my hardest hurdle.  I crave simple carbs like a addict craves drugs or alcohol.  I've talked with my doctor about this many times over the years with no real solution other than to just gut it out.  Just don't eat them.  That's all well any good until I'm cruising the kitchen in the background I can hear the sound track to the "Jaws" shark right before it attacks.  Fortunately, for me I had quit drinking diet soda.  I didn't know what a big affect it had on me and my craving for simple carbs.  I never had withdrawals from candy, but I did have minor withdrawals from diet soda.  It took me about 2 months to get past wanting one on a daily basis.  When I quit wanting a diet soda that's when I realized that I had quit wanting candy on a daily basis.  I didn't want candy at all.  I didn't want bread, potatoes, rice or any other carb.  My diet at that point consisted of mostly protein and vegetables with the occasional fruit.  I was greatly relieved that I gave myself permission to have candy whenever I wanted it, but I didn't want it.  Now come PMS week that's still a hard week.  That's when having no candy in the house really pays off.  I can gut it out for a week.

Fourth thing I do is common sense and that's make sure I eat enough vegetables and fruit every day.  I've always eaten them, but I just make sure I eat enough.  My motto is "Put it on a bed of lettuce."  By lettuce I really mean a salad that usually consists of lettuce, tomato, cucumber, green onions, carrot, and avocado.  Sometime I'll throw some cabbage in there if I have it.  OH and let's not forget spinach.  I almost alway have half lettuce and half spinach.  If I roast a chicken I dice mine up and put it on my salad.  I've put chili on a salad.  I've found a lot of things go well on a salad.  The salad really plumps up the meal for me.  Makes them main course go further with less food.

The above picture is my favorite breakfast.  I have it nearly every morning.  1/2 cup of Greek nonfat plain yogurt. Diced fruit usually strawberries, but apricots have been in season and they've been really good too.  Then I'll have granola.  Still trying to find the perfect healthy Granola.  This one is Bare Naked Vanilla with almonds 1/4 cup.  I do put a squirt of honey on the yogurt.  The plain is just too sour for me.  I've also found bite sized shredded wheat non frosted is really good instead of granola too.

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