*Diet and Nutrition*

berry smoothie

Where do I begin? Because this is where I feel people get into trouble. Did you know that diet/nutrition can account for 90% of your weight loss when starting a new program?  I am the first to admit, I have tried it all, and I mean everything. And just because I am a trainer doesn’t mean that I don’t struggle with weight. I gain and lose it all the time. Because my life is crazy and I neglect to put my diet first, and also, I love to drink wine and socialize with friends, and that doesn’t let me be skinny. Oh, I also LOVE to eat. My mom will tell you that even as a baby, I ate 13 jars of baby food a day. Thankfully, I think that made me have a good metabolism! I am fit, but not skinny. I am average and as I am writing this I think I look OK. But the difference between me and you is that I already know how to get to my best body. And it will only take me a few weeks (ok, maybe 2 or 3 months) because even though I am curvy, I am not overweight. I wouldn’t want to lose more than 10 lbs. (Well, unless I was on TV for some reason, and then maybe 15 or 20 lbs, because the camera really does add 10!)  So if you want to know what really works, I will tell you, but you may not like it.

Jessica’s 10 Diet Commandments

1) No processed foods. At least limit them as much as possible. Processed foods have too much salt (which causes you to bloat and retain water) They also contain chemicals. Really. Would you eat bug spray? Because you practically are. If you can’t pronounce the ingredients, you probably shouldn’t put it in your body. (Unless it is quinoa, which is hard to say, but really good for you. And FYI it is pronounced “keen-wa”, lol) I am not overly religious, but I like to say if God made it, take it. If man made it, leave it.

2) Begin cooking as many meals as possible from home. Restaurants really slip a lot of fat and calories into your food and will sabotage your weight loss efforts. When out to dinner, try to look up the menu ahead of time and a choose a lean protein such as fish, with a side of vegetables or salad. Skip the bread basket and dessert when trying to lose weight. Limit yourself to one approved alcoholic beverage if needed.

3) Limit you sugar intake. Sugar does all sorts of bad things to your body. To keep it simple:when you ingest sugar, it sends a message to your body that there is fuel readily available, and your body will burn that sugar as fuel. (It really gets absorbed as carbohydrates, and too much of these do the exact same thing.) However when you are trying to lose weight and be healthy and fit, you want to burn fat as your primary fuel. So limit the sugar to 5 grams per serving. And I say try to only get it from fruit if possible. And also, look out for things that claim to be better than sugar, like agave, cane sugar, honey and corn syrup. I know many fitness professionals say agave is ok, and I do agree that it is a healthy product, but our bodies really use all sugar the same way, and they still all send the same message to our bodies. Until you reach your weight loss goal, try to skip it when possible. My preferred sweetener is raw, local honey.

4) Forget about artificial sweeteners too. They have no calories, but actually cause your body to crave sugar and carbs, and have also been associated with causing weight GAIN in long term use.

5) Eat 5 or 6 times a day. Small, healthy meals. This helps your metabolism stay fueled and soaring high. It also prevents you from binging. You can also play around with intermittent fasting. Intermittment fasting is a tecnique where you eat all of your meals within an 8 hour time window. I know many who have been very successful with this. For example, if you are someone who doesn’t wake up hungry for breakfast, this may be something worth researching.

6) Focus on eating all natural foods from the earth. Lean meats, fish, chicken, eggs, all produce, legumes, nuts, beans, whole grains. I also prefer if you eat organic foods, or even better, if you grow your own. (I don’t grow my own, but would like to eventually.) Again, let’s keep chemicals out of our body when possible. Pesticides actually ARE bug spray, so don’t eat foods grown with pesticides on them if you can help it. (Oh, I also count wine as from the earth, because it is from grapes. Wink Wink. )

7) Wine. Drink it. Or even vodka with seltzer and lemon/lime. But don’t overdo that either, stick with 2 nights per week. Max. See, there is a light at the end of the tunnel! However, stay away from fruity mixed drinks, and things like margaritas. (Sorry Michelle) They will KILL your diet!

8 ) Don’t eat starchy foods or carbs with dinner, or at all once you get past lunch time. It may take some getting used to if you were raised to make your dinner plate with meat, vegetables and starch, like potatoes or rice. Flip your meals around and have that sort of food for lunch. In my house, dinner is ALWAYS grilled chicken/steak/or fish with a yummy vegetable dish. My husband never even missed the starches when we moved in together. Really. He never asked once. He was just happy to have dinner handed to him every night.

9) Give it time. You need to give a diet time to work. You can’t expect results over night. Plan to commit to eating this way for 90 days before you can see actual results. You will lose a pound or two a week, maybe more if you are coming from being very overweight with bad eating habits, but that few pounds a week equates to big results over a year if you keep it real and don’t give up. Just don’t expect to be thin in a few weeks. It just doesn’t work that way. If it did, I wouldn’t be writing this blog right now. There would also be no fat people!

10) Be happy. Be proud of yourself. And most importantly, GET ENOUGH SLEEP! When you sleep well and are happy, you actually promote a healthier metabolism. It may be hard to believe, but it is true. And no, I am not going to explain this one, because I am tired of typing now, but you are just going to have to trust me on this one!

And I won’t count this as a diet commandment, but I assume you know you have to move? Meaning what exactly? Exercise. Hard. Often. Period. Nike said it best: “Just do it”. You can’t expect to have a toned and healthy body without moving. And since my blog is “Move to Live”, not “Eat to Live”, I assume you know how I feel about exercise!

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