I have been eating much healthier this week, and I am definitely feeling better! My diet (as in what I am eating, not a diet) has consisted mostly of healthy foods like fruits and veggies. I'm typically more of a fruit eater than a veggie eater, so of my 10-11 servings (combined) a day, three or four are veggies and the rest are fruits. I try to eat more veggies, but I'm so picky when it comes to them that it's hard to get them in. I also don't count things that other people sometimes do (like pizza sauce, for example) as a serving.
I've read conflicting information on eating too many fruits. Some say that if a person fills up on fruits, they don't have much room for anything else and may miss out on nutrients. Others say, "eat as many as you want!" Personally I like to be somewhere in the middle. I drink a protein shake in the morning (lots of protein!) and always eat some kind of a lean protein with lunch and/or dinner, but usually both. I also take a multivitamin to supplement what I might be missing. Basically what I've cut down on is my intake of other simple carbs, because I am getting more than from fruit. When I talk about carbs, I am not talking about going "low carb." I have done that in the past and it's not something I can, or want, to do forever. I'm only talking about simple versus complex carbs.
Just as a reference for anyone who is interested, this website has some good, easy to understand info on simple versus complex carbs. It's one of those things that's good for reference, or just for something to do. Even if I know a lot about a particular subject, I still like to read about it.
I did splurge a little last night to enjoy a small slice of cake, some ice cream, and a slice of pizza. Outside of fruit (which, simple carb or not, is good for me) I'm staying away from most simple carbs (in general). I will continue to eat the complex carbs found in things like vegetables and whole grains.
That being said, I could stand to decrease the fruit by one or two and replace it with a veggie. I'm working on it.
I'm also limiting my whole grain intake because that's what I crave. It's very tempting for me to make an unhealthy snack out of a healthy, whole grain (like whole grain bread) by mixing it with simple carbs (mostly sugar - ohhh how I love cinnamon and sugar toast). If I have whole grain crackers, I'll eat too many of them. More than I need, which leads to increased calories. Grains are what my body loves. When I initially changed from white flour products to whole grains, I didn't eat the whole grains as much. For a while my body craved the white flour products, not the whole grains. I didn't given in, and stuck to eating whole grains in moderation. Apparently my body adjusted because there are times when I over-do it with the whole grains. When I eat whole grains, it will be in moderation. It will not be frequently. If I keep the stuff around, I want it all the time. My body replaced it's addiction to white flour products to whole grain products. Like anything else I've craved in the past (chips, popcorn) it is best for me to avoid buying it because my sense of control when it comes to those things.... Stinks.
My protein intake will come mostly from lean meats like turkey and chicken, and sea food - mainly white fish and shrimp. I usually allow myself one red meat meal a week (usually extra lean ground beef in some form). I love cheese and I am really trying not to eat so much of it. It's a protein, yes, but it's way too full of sodium. I'll allow myself some brown rice or qunioa with a meal, or some beans or sweet potatoes, so that I am getting the energy I need from complex carbs. I am not cutting out all, or even drastically cutting down on, carbs. I'm just trying to replace those that are bad (hello, sugar) with those that are good.
In addition to this I am decreasing dinners out. For a while I wouldn't have a meal out for weeks at a time. Prior to that it was at least once weekly. Recently I've gotten into the eating out habit again. Generally when I eat out I have a drink or two. Or three. That needs to stop too. It will be hard over the next few weeks because I have so much going on.... I have a dinner planned with a couple friends soon, then a birthday celebration for two other friends which I believe includes dinner. The way it looks now, this will luckily only be one dinner a week (unlike recent weeks where it's been two, or even two meals a day - some two days in a row!). That many processed foods isn't good.
When I do eat out, I need to get back to making better choices. I used to have a lot of salads when I went out. With water. The last several months I've had far too much pizza, accompanied by beer or wine. I took at step toward that last night... I loaded up on salad, drank water, and had only one piece of hand tossed crust pizza. A month ago I probably would've had two bread sticks and two pieces of pan pizza, and probably two beers. Possibly three. The dessert at the end of my meal last night wasn't the greatest In thinking about it, a small piece of cake and some ice cream was, in the end, probably better than a second piece of pizza, two bread sticks, and two beers.
I'm also better about tracking. I got in the habit for a while where I would eat something small, like a candy cane, and forget to track it. As I know, those little things add up. I don't think that I was eating so many little bites here and there that it would have added up to be a significant amount, but that's not what matters. Done over time, it DOES add up. Also, that's just a bad habit to get into. Whatever you eat, be sure you have the correct serving size - even if you have to measure or weigh it! Accountability is a key factor in eating healthy and weight loss. So does what you eat. Most weight loss is what you put into your body, rather than what you burn. Yes, exercise is important in weight loss and in general health, but you can't forget about what you eat. If you eat junk all the time and exercise, you probably won't lose weight, and if you do it won't be much. I'd imagine you'd plateau a lot sooner. Nutrition is a key component in weight loss.... Be mindful of what you're putting into your body!!
Another thing that I plan on doing is spending more time on Spark. I didn't start using it until I was well into my weight loss journey. When I first started I tracked everything by hand, in a notebook. The convenience of a computer is nice. While I like the actual tracking aspect of MFP more, I feel a larger sense of community with SP. I don't have that on MFP. To me it's designed more for tracking and is less about a sense of support and community. Maybe it's because I have been on SP so long and have made "friends" there, and more than I have on MFP. I definitely like the social aspect of SP more than MFP. For me, a huge part of this is connecting with other fit-minded people. It's good for support, encouragement and motivation. These people understand the ups and downs. They can offer words of wisdom or just say "I've been there too."
I guess that's why I write this blog. :)
This reminds me of something that Chalene mentions in one of the turbo fire workouts... It's about getting your friends involved in fitness. Not only is it great to support your friends in their pursuits, but it's good to have friends you can connect with over things like health and fitness. These friends are more likely to be encouraging and supportive of your journey too.
Side note: I love Chalene and I strive to be like her - in fitness and in life. She appears to live such a healthy, positive life. I think she's amazing... And I'd love to be able to help people the way that she does!!
My new plan is that I'm back to the basics. I'm doing what I did when I started, but with a little more exercise! I know what to do. I've done it. I've become a little lax on actually doing it lately though. No more... Nope... I'm going back to the basics....
This will be less social time.... Fewer dinners out; fewer drinks with friends. It will mean cooking more at home, and eating alone (which is just fine with me). Unless those in my social circle want to come over and exercise with me, I will probably be cutting back on my social time. Right now I need to be surrounded with people who understand what I'm doing and who support me. I can't be surrounded by people without a similar mindset. If they love me they'll do a round of BBL or RB with me. They'll kick some imaginary ass doing TF with me. They'll come over and cook/eat with me - healthy meals (without criticism, please!!!). There will be more nights in and fewer nights out - for whatever reason.
My cousin and I had a girls night in on Sunday night. Unfortunately we majorly pigged out on pizza and bread sticks. Next time we do that? I'm making something healthy for dinner. We can still have a couple glasses of wine, but nothing crazy. I was good on the wine front the other night... I only had two glasses, meaning she consumed the majority of two bottles (about a bottle and a half). I felt so well behaved, and so healthy!
Bottom line... I'm going back to 2009 style (I KNOW I said that already). Those who want to be in my life will be going with me... To an extent. They can eat what they want, but they WILL be supportive of me. They WILL be accepting of how I want to live my life. If they want to see me, at some point they WILL sweat with me!!!
Speaking of sweat... I'm off to run.