Lately I have been craving HEALTHY food. Imagine that! Once I started eliminating junkie processed items that we call "food" from my body, it's no longer what I'm wanting all the time. Of course, this takes some time. It requires resisting junk for a few days/weeks & eating enough fiber-ful freggies & healthy proteins to keep your body from being hungry, but it does eventually happen!
Really, who comes home from the movie theater late at night and says to her hubby, "I REALLY want some steamed broccoli right now!" or thinks about an apple & salivates all the way home from the grocery store when hubby has just bought a tub of ice cream (normally my favorite, but I just didn't care)? ME!
Seriously, this love affair with broccoli is only about a month old, but it is BAD!
So, here's what I have been using as food staples lately:
- steamed broccoli
- apples (specifically Gala apples)
- dark cherries
- green beans
- seasoned Wild Alaskan salmon
- seasoned chicken breast
- greek yogurt (try 0% plain & add fruit to it and you will cut WAY down on the sugar, vs. the fruit flavored greek yogurt)
- black tea (1/2 sweet, 1/2 plain)
My less healthy foods, very much in moderation:
- animal crackers (I have an addiction, but at least they are low in sugar)
- Luna/Cliff bars (high in protein, but also processed & high in sugar)
- Annie's mac & cheese (organic, but still processed; however, a little goes a long way!)
Mind you, I have NOT completely cut sugar out of my diet yet, but I have GREATLY diminished the amount that I am eating.
I don't have a lot of weight to lose at this point, so since I lost 2.6 lbs in the last two weeks & several inches (that's a lot for someone with less than 10 lbs left to lose), I have been reflecting back on what I've been doing differently with my diet. I have come up with a list of things that I think have really helped me when it comes to the digestive department & I'd like to share them in hopes that they will help you, too! (this is what has worked for ME)
#1. PROPER PORTIONS
--- A. put your meal on a small plate, rather than a large one and you will feel like you are eating more (if you eat off of a blue plate rather than a red or yellow plate, you will also feel fuller faster. did you know certain colors stimulate the appetite?)
--- B. if you're eating meat, you should put on your plate a portion size no bigger than your fist (and sometimes smaller than that)
--- C. LOAD UP on the VEGGIES!!! Seriously. When I steam a 4 serving back of broccoli, I usually eat the whole bag, but it's only 30 calories per serving I eat the entire bag for just 120 calories!
--- D. eat slooooooooowly. One bite at a time, chew your food, drink water in between bites & ENJOY your meal!
--- E. don't inhale your meat and then leave your veggies for last. A bite of this & a bite of that will make you feel like you are eating more than you really are.
--- F. drink PLENTY of water. just keep guzzling it down!
--- G. brush your teeth directly after you get up from the table
#2. CALORIE ESTIMATION
--- A. this probably won't work for those who are just starting out their weight loss journey, but for those of us who pretty much know how many calories are in our every day foods: I no longer count every calorie, because I know that when I am meticulously counting calories then I burn out quickly and stop tracking at all. I ESTIMATE calories.
EXAMPLE: I am preparing tilapia, green beans, toast & an apple for dinner. I know tilapia is about 100 calories per fillet + a little seasoning, green beans are 20 calories a serving and there are 3.5 servings in the can, bread is generally about 70 cal/slice + I'll add a little butter and garlic salt, and an apple is around 90 calories for a medium. So, I estimate I'll have around 400 calories for dinner. 400?!? But if you add all that you just listed, you would only be eating 330 calories. Ah, but if I estimate around 400 then I don't have to figure out how many calories are in the little bit of seasoning & butter I am using, PLUS I have slightly OVER estimated, meaning that I won't be on the high end of my caloric range for the day, which leads me to my next point...
--- B. overestimate. if you know something has 70+ calories in it, just round to 100. At the end of the day, when you want to indulge in that little piece of chocolate or last bite of potato salad, you won't have to feel guilty that you have gone over your limits, because if you are rounding up on everything you eat all day, then at the end of the day you will have a few hundred calories to spare.
--- C. eat on the low end some days & the high end others, but AIM to eat on the low end WITH overestimation. I try to plan to eat around 1200 calories every day & then if I "overeat" by 500 calories or so one day every once in a while, I am probably sitting right around the high end of my range (1550).
--- A. I can't stress enough how important water is in weight loss & management, ESPECIALLY during HOT weather like most of the US is experiencing right now. Water, water, water, water, WATER! Don't like water?
--- B. FLAVOR IT... with natural flavor, of course! Try lemon juice, lime juice, pomegranate juice, etc.
--- C. drink tea! This cannot be your only source of fluid, because tea is a diuretic, meaning that it will actually dehydrate you after a while, but you can alternate cups of tea & water, or even mix a little tea in your water. However, to keep the caloric content down, try drinking 1/2 sweet & 1/2 regular tea, plain with lemon juice for flavor, or just plain tea with no sweetener.
---- D. eat foods high in water content like watermelon, celery, tomatoes, etc.
--- A. pre-plan healthy & filling snacks! Apples, protein bars (luna & cliff mojo's are my favorites), raw veggies, celery with peanut butter, 1/4 cup almonds, hummus with carrots, etc.
--- B. when you start craving something processed/high in sugar/fatty/unhealthy, drink a BIG glass of water, then find one of those go-to snacks above and eat it first. I have found that usually by the time I have had water & an apple, my craving for that hunk of dessert has subsided.
--- C. snack freqently! 100-150 calorie snacks three times a day between meals only adds up to 300-450 calories total and can really help prevent binging on 1000 calories of chocolate cake at the end of the day!
Ok, so those are my tips. Most are not all that original, but they WORK! Hope you can find something in there to help you out in your journey!
Now I just have to share...
This morning we had steak & eggs from breakfast. Mmmmmmmmmmm! I found a lean looking piece of steak at the grocery store last night, so we got it and this morning we marinated that in a little steak sauce & seasoning, pan seared it, then cooked eggs, egg whites, added a slice of cheddar cheese & a little rotel, mixed the steak in and voila! AMAZING breakfast!!!! Since it was a late Saturday breakfast, we didn't eat until 11:30, so it was a good thing that the calories were high enough to cover breakfast & lunch.
SO GOOD! Happy Saturday, Spark Friends!!