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Seven Ingredients to a Healthy & Fit Lifestyle #6

Ingredient # 6 – Nutrition! Finally we’re going to talk about food!! An ancient Egyptian doctor once said, “Man eats too much. Thus he lives on only a quarter of what he consumes. The doctors however, live on the remaining three quarters! So true. Our doctors are living on our western diet obesity epidemic. Over 1/3 of the U.S. adults are considered obese. That doesn’t even take into account the ones in the overweight category.

Our bodies need to be nurished. When you give your body nutrient dense foods they will fuel your cells. Eating foods as close to the way God made them as possible such as whole fruits, vegetables and grains will give you energy and leave you with a feeling of satisfaction. When you eat processed, empty calorie foods, you’ll be left hungry and craving more because you’re not nurishing it.. Your body wants to be fed, but not only just to fill up your stomach, it wants to be nourished with whole, natural, live foods. When you put these types of foods in, your brain’s hunger mechanism automatically turns off. It KNOWS when your body has received what it needs and says “ENOUGH FOOD! YOU CAN STOP EATING NOW!”

If you need to lose weight, keep track of the calories your taking in. You need to eat at a deficit. When you eat less than your total daily energy expenditure, you will lose weight. If you don’t keep track, you’ll have a tendency to forget those few nuts, the cafe’ latte or that bite of cake you just didn’t want to go to waste…but ends up going to your “waist”.  Do you want to double your efforts? Add exercise.

There are many tools on-line that will help you track your calories. MyFitnessPal.com and Livestrong.com/Dailyplate are free and easy to use. Keep track for a few weeks to get an idea of how many calories you’re actually eating. You might be surprised and it may be just the information you need to start you on a plan to lose those extra pounds. It sure works for me.

The foods I’d highly recommend that you start decreasing are sugar, sodas, white flour, cakes, cookies, processed foods, fried foods and ice cream. Add in green leafy vegetables, high protein grains such as quinoa, beans, lentils and fresh fruits.

Eat smaller meals three hours apart. You’ll keep those hunger pangs away if you make sure you’re eating nutrient dense foods every three hours. And did I mention that my energy is through the roof eating this way? It’s true. Try it and see for yourself.

Compliance is what’s important. We’re not expected to be perfect 100% of the time. There will be those occasions to have a treat. But if you are compliant 85 to 90% of the time, then you can enjoy your treats with out any guilt. Who needs extra guilt these days? Go a ahead and have that treat. Only make sure you enjoy it on special occasions only!.


Calories Do Count

Getting lean depends on one thing, and that one thing is consistently staying in a calorie deficit. Yes there are “good foods” and “bad foods”, but calories are the biggest influence on how much you weigh and how you look. Now obviously, 100 calories of soda and chips won’t provide the same nutrition as 100 calories of green leafy vegetables or fresh fruit. Different foods affect your hunger levels because different foods either turn on or turn off your internal hunger switch. I can choose to eat a fresh green salad with carrots, spinach, artichoke hearts, jicama, corn, cucumbers, red bell peppers, heaerts of palm, OR I can choose a small bag of chips with dip. Both meals would have around 350 calories, but both meals would not have the same affect on my hunger. I am satisfied for a longer period of time after eating the salad for sure. My body is nourished and tells my brain that I’m full. Chips and dip on the other hand only leave me hunger for something else. It didn’t nourish my cells. My brain is still telling me to eat something so I can be satisfied. I will probably crave something sweet to offset the salt from the chips so a soda would sound good. Do you see where this is going?

Most people don’t know how many calories they’re consuming in a day. They are really easy to track. You can go to Livestrong.com/myplate or MyFitnessPal.com. Both are free and easy to use. When you become aware of the calories going in and the calories being burned off, you will be well on your way to success. Track your daily results and adjust based on your results. This may be the one thing that will make all the difference for you. It may be as easy as creating a 100 calorie deficit per day. You could lose 1 to 2 pounds in 30 days. Now this might not seem like a lot to you, but when is the last time you lost 1 or 2 pounds? And if you did, how fast did you gain it back. By putting these habits in place, you’ll lose it and keep it off and It won’t seem like you’re depriving yourself either. Add to this some exercise and you’ll really see results!

Here are some 100 calorie foods that you probably won’t miss: two Oreos, one-third of a Snickers bar, two-thirds of a Twinkie, half of a glazed donut and a Two-Bite Brownie, 20 roasted peanuts, half of a small apple with 2 tsp. of peanut butter, 12 Quaker Cheddar Cheese Rice Snacks, a mini bag of Orville Redenbacher’s popcorn or 60 Goldfish crackers.You may not eat these types of foods, but you get the picture. 100 calories over time can make a huge difference. You get to chose what type of difference it will make on your body.