Hunger And Weight Loss

Ah,’tis the season for diets, resolutions, and a overwhelming flocking to the gym.

Along with all of that comes the need to follow fad diets or whatever current trendy diet Karen at the office is on.

With diets come lots of myths. One of those being you must be hungry (constantly) to lose weight.

Let’s look at two sides to the hunger games ūüėČ

First, being hungry isn’t bad and won’t kill you….well eventually it would but I’m pretty sure you won’t get to that point.

Hunger, at the base level, is our God given, natural signal that our bodies need food. It’s like the low fuel light in your car.

That light comes on, you know you’ve got a number of miles before you run out of gas.

In a similar fashion when you start hearing those growling bear noises or feel that ache your body is telling you to fuel up.

Hopefully, you’ll give it good quality fuel…

Ideally, we would all follow our bodies cues.

Hunger like this is really ok and very normal.

Eat just enough to satisfy hunger and be comfortable and go on with your day.

Realistically, I doubt a lot of people even experience true hunger anymore as we’ve made habits to eat whenever time dictates we should, regardless of our bodies cues.

Eating more than we need with poor food choices is quite apparent with obesity at an all time high, and unfortunately in kids as well.

We eat regardless if we feel hungry. We eat for a whole lot of reasons… the clock says to eat, or our emotions, boredom, loneliness, etc none of those associated with true hunger.

In a perfect world we listen to our body and eat when we are hungry. We would allow ourselves to become hungry 30 minutes to an hour out from meals so we truly appreciate what we eat.

It’s really ok to leave food when your hunger is satisfied

We would eat enough, but not over eat because it tastes good. We again would listen to signals indicating our hunger is satisfied.

I always tell hubby food tastes so amazing to me when I’ve finished a hard workout, and by the time I’ve cleaned up my hunger is in full force and food truly tastes so much better when I’m honestly hungry.

**being hungry is ok and a normal feeling for our bodies indicating we need fuel.**

The other side of hunger

I follow a womans page on Facebook that has discussions on various topics.

One day a post came up with someone asking for the “best appetite suppressant”

Me….being me….responded with this….

“Eat adequate food.”

Listen, if you feel you need to suppress your appetite because your hungry, something isn’t going right.

If you feel the only way to lose weight or keep a certain “number ” on the scale is to constantly be hungry and not feed your body, something isn’t going right.

If you need a suppressant ( that can look like alot of things: filling up on liquids like coffee or water, using mints or gum, or an over the counter drug) something isn’t going right.

If you seek to supress your appetite, you’ve not had adequate food to satisfy your hunger and nourish your body. If you are hungry a small healthy snack usually does the trick.

Then move on with life.

You should not be in a state of ongoing hunger thinking about food, or how you can’t “have” food in a quest to lose weight.

**being hungry and withholding food or feeling we need to suppress our appetite isn’t a healthy way to live.**

A proper balance

Yes, when we begin a plan to drop a few pounds and reduce our calories a bit and make other adjustments we will feel hunger. (Refer to part one of post)

This would be the normal signals our bodies give us to eat. You will go through a learning process as your body adjusts. You can lose weight, eat adequate food, and go between meals without being hungry.

If you are you may need to examine…..

1. How much did you eat? Was it enough?

2. What did you eat? A meal rich in protein and healthy fat will keep you satisfied a long time. Empty calorie foods or meals lacking adequate protein with healthy fats will leave you hungry, sooner.

You don’t need to…

Feed your body minimal food that doesn’t satisfy your hunger and leaves you feeling like you need to “suppress ” your appetite.

Greatly restrict your calories to have a slow and steady weight loss. In fact doing so may actually slow your weight loss efforts.

Ignore your bodies natural cues to fuel it adequately. This deprives your body, and leaves you without adequate energy from not fueling yourself effectively.

Once you learn to follow your body you will eat when hungry, you will learn to eat just enough to satisfy you without over eating ( this can take a bit of practice) and you won’t feel a need to find ways to supress a natural appetite or use other unhealthy behaviors for weight loss.

Your turn…..tell me….have you learned to listen to your body when it comes to eating and keeping it satisfied? Or do you feel you still need to work on it?

Saturday Snippets

In today’s installment of Saturday Snippets, I’m gonna just talk about numbers for a bit.

Ironic considering I don’t find numbers particularly interesting or remotely fun…. sorry you little math nerds out there who love them. ūüėČ

However, numbers do interest me when it comes to weights and seeing how much I’m capable of lifting, how fast I can ride, or row a mile and tidbits like that.

This weeks rounds at PT had my therapist commenting that the “165 lb. single leg presses were looking easy” for me.

Welllll…I’d never describe it like THAT….but I haven’t exactly mentioned to him I feel like I could probably handle more (I suspect that is coming)

You see, those things matter. It indicates where my strength is at and I will have a knowledge of where I’ve progressed from.

When numbers shouldn’t matter

I’ve been stalking….er…I mean…observing… this cultic diet group from afar. They place a whole lotta emphasis on their products helping people miraculously lose all kinds of weight and inches in only….8 days.

Yep you read right. There are tons of glowing life stories of consumers being transformed in these 8 days.

Almost makes me question my old school approach of healthy eating and purposeful exercise…not.

Of course they neglect to tell you that you largely do a starvation diet but hey! Food is overrated.

Of other short term glowing reviews there’s a huge focus on getting into significantly smaller sizes in a short time.

Here’s where I’m going

Wearing smaller clothes and losing weight is certainly not bad. Losing excess fat is good for the body and your overall health.

But who says it has to be attempted in a ridiculously short term manner? Why is the focus on those numbers instead of focusing on a slow sustainable loss of 1-2 lbs a week?

The reality is, even if you do lose a “big” amount in the first week it’s mostly water weight as you have greatly reduced carbs which hold water. Heck! With this plan you’ve pretty much reduced all food!

Successful long term weight loss isn’t a speed process, sorry, it’s just not.

And it doesn’t need to be.

Numbers that matter

Instead of focusing on perhaps, unrealistic or unsustainable numbers consider things like this on your fitness journey:

How many steps did you get in your day? Did you get more than the previous day?

Can you walk/run farther than previous weeks?

How many stairs can you climb?

Is your weekly weight loss a steady 1-2 lbs?

What about your body measurements? Often we will see those numbers change even if the scale doesn’t.

What about your blood pressure or lab results numbers? These are internal indicators of your health.

Lifting weights? Can you do more reps or have you increased weight you are using? Celebrate the strength of your body!

There are so many numbers that reflect our health and fitness, beyond the scale.

Attempting to do things “fast” doesn’t earn you extra rewards and if anything, potentially sets you back. You don’t become over weight “fast”, why is there a thought weight loss occurs that way?

Slow and steady weight loss, combined with consistent exercise will lead to long term success you can be proud of.

Why Diets Fail You

Before we get to the weird sweet potato photo…….

Often one of the hardest parts of writing a post for my blog is nailing a title. The idea for the post can come effortlessly and then the only thing remaining is a clever, witty, thought provoking title to draw in you, my 4.5 readers.

And that I can often spend more time pondering than you know….

Therefore, when I have ideas come to me that present me with the title first, I’m thrilled. I then quickly save it into my working folder as an idea to bounce on.

This is one that’s been patiently waiting in that folder. I figured I’d drag it out, dust it off and do something with it ūüėú

For the love of diets

If you’ve hung around me for awhile, you know I’m kinda “anti diet”. This is not to be confused with “anti weight loss”.

Why anti diet?

They just don’t work.

Oh now wait. I can hear you ready to tell me about Karen at work and how her keto plan has the weight falling off her.

Or maybe it’s someone else working Paleo or any one of the other current trendy things to follow.

There are lots of “vehicles” to get us started on weight loss. The more troubling issue is, which vehicle can get us to our destination and still be usable for us when weight goals have been attained? Which one can we follow for the rest of our life?

Calorie Deficit

I’ll say it again for the kids on the back row. There is no magical, miracle wonder diet that makes you lose weight. There are lots of programs to help you lose your money but you don’t need to spend a bunch of money to lose weight.

It’s simply science.

Expend more calories than you take in through exercise and what you eat, i.e. create a deficit, and you will lose weight.

You could do it with Oreos and milk but I don’t recommend it.

Sustainability

Diets don’t work long term because the large majority just aren’t sustainable. And by that I mean it’s not a plan you can or will do the rest of your life.

I cannot tell you the times I’ve heard someone reference looking forward to a “cheat day”. This means falling off plan to eat the things they have been withholding from themselves. It’s a grasp to feel “normal” and enjoy things that have been on a forbidden list. If you’re on a plan and you spend to much time looking forward to having restricted foods, you may need to rethink it.

For me, that’s not how I wanna live, and really, most people don’t.

It’s why they toss the towel on a plan that withholds enjoyable things.

Deprivation

When people think of diets, no wonder feelings of deprivation come to mind.

Eating less food, not having favorite foods or treats, not getting to have birthday cake, being hungry, eating boring flavorless foods….the list could go on.

No one, not a single one of us, wants to feel deprived which is another reason diets fail.

Lack of balance

Many popular diets totally cut or eliminate food groups. Where there are some people who need to for food allergies or health reasons, the majority of us don’t need to remove healthy and nutritious foods from our daily diets. However, demonizing food groups has become cool in some circles.

Demonizing food isn’t cool.

We love routine

Maybe you have certain things you like to grab for breakfast or you do your coffee in a special way. You have foods you enjoy. It’s all like….comfy…right? None of us want to give up our familiar routines. Diets really upset that apple cart.

Diets offer a quick fix…sorta

Let’s face it. How many times have you started a structured diet and were already longing to get back to normal life? You bite the bullet thinking you can get 6-8 weeks done. You jump into it, get excited over your big “loss” of water weight the first week and prepare for week 2. You’re all on fire and are excited for the weight you’re going to lose.

And then just like that…you’re done. Maybe a week to 10 days into it, you’ll take your few pounds you lost and call it a day. This wasn’t as fun as you thought it would be.

Sadly you’ll gain that weight back with a few more pounds too.

Now about the weird sweet potato pic…

I had gotten in from a sesh of physical therapy and dove into dinner prep. One of my favorite ways to eat sweet potatoes is to cube them, add some onion and a bit of olive oil and roast till they are soft with crispy edges.

Heaven.

Anyway, I had started writing this post earlier in the day and had the ideas bouncing around when once again I was reminded of this simple truth.

Diets will almost always fail.

However if we make our daily nutrition about eating real foods, preferably single ingredients or close to it, we will not only be satisfied but will provide our bodies with optimal nutrition. Eating real food is satisfying. Eating real food allows for special occasions and treats and removes feelings of deprivation.

By the way…. I did write a post called “The Single Ingredient Diet” a few months back be sure to check it out…

When we focus on each day, making healthy food choices, eating in balanced ways and allowing for treats, we don’t need to diet.

Learning to create a small calorie deficit in our day will lead to slow and steady weight loss.

Living this lifestyle is not only balanced, sane, and allows you to build your own routine, it is also long term sustainable which will lead you to lifetime success.

Tell me. Have you had success with a particular diet? Or do you find yourself back where you started when you get off it? Have you figured out now how to make it your lifestyle and not diet?

Saturday Snippets

Happy Saturday boys and girls!

Today’s post is short and sweet. This past week I hit on two pretty relevant topics that impact a whole lotta people.

Did you get to read them?

The first is called Diet Disasters.

https://sassyfitnesschick.com/2019/08/21/diet-disasters/

I touched on just a couple examples of extreme diets that people resort to in an attempt to lose weight.

Most diets attempted are failed with the person eager to get back to their normal way of living. Nothing extreme or depriving ever works long term.

I constantly preach an old school approach, but only because it’s true and works.

Consistency, with small daily, healthy changes lead to a permanent lifestyle change that is long term sustainable!

The other topic I hit was our relationship with food, The Emotional Impact Of Food

https://sassyfitnesschick.com/2019/08/23/the-emotional-impact-of-food/

This generated some interesting dialogue and I appreciate the feedback.

Whether we acknowledge it or not, we all have a relationship with food

Good or bad.

I took a hard look at how we can use it to support everything from our hunger to deeper unaddressed emotional needs and other issues. Understanding why we use food to medicate us is the biggest, most important first step to achieving permanent weight loss.

Tell me, are there other topics on food/nutrition/healthy eating/weight loss you’d like to see here?

Diet Disasters

One thing that’s for certain under the sun besides taxes and death, is the fact people will always be on some kind of diet.

The diet industry takes in billions of dollars a year from people desperate and willing to try the next thing.

Unfortunately, the majority of those diets are going nowhere fast leaving their fallen victims clutching their celery sticks.

Seriously though I’ve seen the usual ones roll through this week….everything from speed supplements to starvation diets.

Can I just mention again, you really don’t have to go to extremes, be miserable, suffer, starve, and deprive yourself to lose weight and develop of change of lifestyle.

Yet some persist with this idea.

Case #1

I guess for some reason ( maybe cause I write about it ) social media thinks I want to see all kinds of over hyped diet and nutrition “supplements” in my newsfeed.

Besides being annoying, they sometimes amaze me too ( and by amaze I mean at the outright craziness of what they sell) Mostly though, my heart hurts for those who will pay cash grasping at straws in an effort to ditch weight quickly.

With just a little research I learned some of the biggest complaints with this product was high blood pressure, nervousness, racing heart and other cardiac issues.

The FDA made them remove a “questionable” ingredient and it was supposedly replaced with something “safer”.

Hmmm. Ok.

The product is mostly ingredients that act like speed in your body ( is this what they mean by ” speeding up your metabolism ??) and it also suppresses your appetite.

So you’re a nervous, jittery ball of energy running on minimal food, always thinking about when you can eat again.

Hmmmm. Sounds fun to me.

Weird newsflash but….having an appetite, our bodies telling us they are hungry, is a normal, natural thing.

Feed it.

Feed it real food, enough of it, to actually satisfy your hunger.

Our physical needs are often treated like something freakish and weird instead of normal.

Love your body, feed it nutritionally good food. When you do that, and eat enough to satisfy your hunger, you’ll be amazed at how good you feel.

Case #2

I had heard about this diet before when a friend on social media started talking about their “diet” and that they were only eating 500 calories a day.

Mainly I perked up thinking “whoa a gerbil can’t live on 500 calories a day…like….how ya gettin’ outta bed??”

This diet is extreme and he was lured into a sense of…security? Cause it was under his doctor’s care.

Wait a second.

Wait.

What the hell kinda doctor prescribes, supports, encourages, someone to be on a diet where their daily caloric intake is 500 calories and whatever random supplements?

My mind can’t get there.

I don’t care if a person has alot of weight to lose, that to me, is pure craziness.

Crazy and totally not safe.

I didn’t know to laugh or cry when I started reading up on it and exercise isn’t recommended.

Ha…really? Probably because you have to reserve your very minimal energy to keep breathing.

Ever heard of something called your BMR? ( basal metabolic rate)

I’ll tell you. It’s related to the way your body uses energy. For all of us it’s different.

Men and women in general will be different measures. Your BMR is the number of calories your body needs to have just to maintain keeping you alive.

Ya know….breathing, beating heart, to name a few.

For men its roughly 1,662 calories, and for women it’s 1,493.

This is just the basics.

It doesn’t take in you working a full day, your extra activities, as well as purposeful exercise. All of those factors change your caloric needs.

See how it can go bad fast existing on such minimal calories? And yes, you are just existing because you will be dragging without a fuel supply. No energy and mentally foggy.

Not only that, rapid weight loss will consume muscle as well as fat, further affecting your metabolism. And who wants to lose muscle mass??

Recently, I was made aware of another person doing this. Without great detail I’ll just say they dealt with lots of negative effects, and suffered physical consequences like constant hunger, agitation, dehydration, passing out, and another unexpected doctor visit.

And one more point ( I could make a lot more ūü§£)

But this is a fact true to any diet, or stomach surgery, or really anything extreme.

If you don’t understand “why” you do what you do with food, if you don’t develop good “healthy behaviors” with food, if you don’t learn different strategies in the “how and why ” of your eating, you will be right back where you started.

Every single time.

Losing the weight may be fairly easy, however the mental shift takes much more time, discipline, and self awareness.

This is where so many people fail to follow through and really work on which is why there is a larger number of diet/ weight loss failures than successes.

In another post for another day, we’re gonna talk more about mental changes and self awareness to food and weight loss.

Again, I preach often, there is no “quick” way, nor should there be. Great weight gain doesnt happen in 7 days, great weight loss won’t either.

Daily, slow and steady, making good healthy choices always wins the race.

Tell me…have you ever tried any type if extreme diet? How did that turn out?

Saturday Snippets

Happy Saturday lovely people!

So it’s been a red hot minute since I ranted about some snake oil diet and “health” program.

You’ve been forewarned ūü§£

If someone offers you pie in the sky promises of ridiculous weight loss in a week ( largely done by starvation) and then tells you ( the victim) you will also have to pay 100’s of your hard earned dollars a month to buy all of their fabulous starvation….um….weight loss products… may I make a suggestion?

Take your 100plus dollars, buy some good running shoes, and run far, far away from it.

You’re welcome ūüėČ

I’ve seen one particular product circulating through and it’s just so unrealistic in what it offers.

I’m sorry, but losing big amounts of weight in 8 days is not only unrealistic, it’s also unhealthy. And the reality is all you’ve done is shed a whole lotta water in those days.

I’ve read enough on it to know you basically starve yourself most days of the “program” in that first week.

I don’t exaggerate.

On top of that you spend a good amount of money to be involved in this particular diet cult.

I know it’s super old school but really, if you want to lose weight, and keep it off you’ve got to manage what goes in your mouth, eat healthy nutritious food the majority of the time ( because chocolate ya know?)and get some good purposeful exercise in most days of the week.

It will be slow and steady ( as it should) you will eat foods you enjoy, without depriving yourself, and the money you save you can use towards that new exercise hobby you fall in love with.

Stay away from the diet schemes that require you to buy their products and promise you “to good to be true” results.

Really the only results you’ll ultimately have will be a lighter bank account.

Single Ingredient Diet

Raise your hand if you’re on a diet. I really don’t like that word because it often implies restrictions, deprivation, and doing without things that we love.

It’s a short lived cycle for many before they revert back to what feels “normal” or “comfortable” to them.

I know with the start of the year many people are looking for diet plans to help them get started on weight loss.

I’ve recently done one comparing two low carb diets since that is what many people seem to view as the magic potion right now.

Find it here.  https://sassyfitnesschick.com/2019/01/09/low-carb-diet-vs-keto-diet/

Like each one of us are unique, so will be the vehicle or ways that will help us live a sustainable, healthy lifestyle.

Personally, I don’t endorse anything that excludes food groups unless it is for health reasons, or if it overall makes you feel better by abstaining.

What I want to talk about today is learning to think about how/what you eat in the form of single ingredients.

single ingredient

There is a term spun around the fitness community referred to as “clean eating ”

Personally I’ve never liked this term as it seems somehow a bit elitist. Simplified, it really means trying to eat food closest to it’s original form without lots of other stuff added to it.

Just real food.

Mostly I try and eat foods that fall in this category.

Then I read an article recently¬†that made me realize I’m not alone in the idea of wanting to eat this way.

I love the idea of just making the focus on your “diet” single ingredient foods, while still being able to incorporate¬†and enjoy¬†those other things in life that are “extra”. For me, it is having dessert with the fam. For the guy writing the article,¬†it was occasional beer and pizza haha.

You get it though, right? Focus on healthy, real, “clean” foods majority of the time, eat in moderation, listen¬†to your body’s natural hunger and full signals,¬†and allow for some fun stuff in there too. And when I say “single” foods, I don’t mean just eating one at a time.

You can certainly mix up a variety of “single” foods. I make lots of one pan dinners ( these are the cat’s meow by the way….) and they contain assortments of veggies ( sometimes some fruit!) and lean protein. The idea is to build meals/snacks with a single idea in mind keeping you closer to eating just real food.

 

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How about a summery pic since it’s winter time right now ūüėõ Did you miss my “Spotlight on Apples” post? Find it below.

https://sassyfitnesschick.com/2018/06/01/spotlight-on-apples/

For instance, my breakfast may be eggs, sauteed veggies ( whatever is hanging in my fridge) usually spinach is the base of it, berries of some kind, and milk. Some times a slice of multi grain bread if I had a longer training session. That isn’t a single ingredient, but it usually falls under 5 or less. Most of the time the eggs, veggies and fruit adequately fill me up.

Or it could be a bowl of non-fat Greek yogurt with a variety of berries and raw almonds.

Steel oats with craisins and walnuts is a fav before longer endurance workouts

Lunch is usually a salad crafted up depending on my mood. It contains lots of colorful veggies, sometimes some fruit, and of course adequate protein. A few whole grain crackers can go with it if I’m feeling like a need them.

Snacks, I usually try and keep it with fruit or add some cheese cubes with it as well.

Hardboiled eggs, raw nuts, cheese sticks, fruit and veggies are other single ingredient snacks.

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A lunch made of single ingredient foods…..

And chocolate. Sometimes, I may just want something chocolate. And yes, it is totally off single or less than 5 ingredients and that’s ok too.

You see where I’m going right?

Balance and moderation lead to a sustainable lifestyle.

This approach really gives you not only great flexibility in what you can eat, it will ensure you gather plenty of good, healthy nutritious, from all food groups in your day.

How complicated is this?

Simply put, anything that grows from ground and isn’t tampered with will make it easy. Also sources like dairy, meat, eggs, grains, beans etc

Are you a label reader? Learn to be. The ingredient list will quickly tell you what’s in your food.

Does the box just say “brown rice”?¬† Or is it rice with other added things you can’t pronounce?

Focus and learn about new fruits and vegetables. Learn how to make new recipes with them and incorporate them into your meals. Be willing to experiment and explore new things.

I’m¬† not talking crazy or restrictive here…..

listen there are some things I happen to like occasionally and don’t plan on giving up because they will leave the minimal ingredient list…

Chocolate, French fries, pizza, a fun meal out with hubby….

I don’t eat these foods often, but when I want it, I’m not gonna feel bad about it or think I’m “cheating” on my diet.

I really honestly, just want that stuff less and less as time goes on.

My point is, if people overall made an effort to eat more natural, as close to real food as they could, they’d easily lose or maintain weight, look good, and their bodies would reflect the healthier foods they took in.

Remember that old “you are what you eat” saying?

Don’t think for a moment your body won’t appreciate those healthy foods you offer it.

Start simple

At least focusing on single ingredient foods is fairly easy, right? I say single, but really even 5 or less is good too. I know some people way more extreme who say 3 or less. The idea is to do what works for you, with a focus on healthy, balanced and sensible eating that allows you to feel energetic, not be hungry, and helps maintain a reasonable healthy weight.

Perhaps, initially, just focus on what you eat, the types of foods. How do they line up with the idea of being just five or less ingredients? Basically, take inventory of your eating habits.

Then challenge yourself to do it at one meal. From there it could be how or what you snack on. Each step will help you to make better choices for yourself in the long run.

Awareness is the key to getting started and becoming more successful at incorporating healthier foods into your daily nutrition plan, this in the long run, will help you live a healthy lifestyle and not the world of yo-yo dieting.

Tell me, have you considered single ingredient foods as a way of eating and a part of a healthy nutrition plan in your life?

Low Carb Diet vs. Keto Diet

With the start of a new year, I’ve watched with the usual fascination as all the diet plans and health products start making a new surge as people once again make a “resolution” to lose weight and get healthier.

I always marvel at how complicated people try to make it.¬† It honestly just doesn’t have to be so.

Anyway, one of the things I’ve been itching to get to is writing this post doing a little comparison of a low carb diet and the keto diet.

20190108_211941

Are they the same? What makes them different ? Is one possibly any better than the other?

I hope to offer some educated perspectives to this current trendy topic.

What’s the difference?

A low carb diet is simply that. You can make adjustments in your eating and modestly or greatly cut back on carbs. You become more selective about your carbs and where they come from.

For instance, I can really do without the carbs in cake or chips,  while the carbs in an apple or sweet potato offer my body lots of good vitamins and minerals along with those  complex carbs all for very few calories.

But hold up.

Not all carbs are equal as you may know. Simple carbs like the ones found in refined sugars meaning…. breakfast cereals, muffins,¬† pastries, chips, cookies, crackers, baked goods,¬† boxed snacks, sodas, sugared drinks, candy, alcohol¬†etc… are ones that should be looked at critically first.

Simple carbohydrates are made up of just one or two sugar molecules. As such, it doesn’t take much for your body to break them down and absorb them (as glucose) into the bloodstream. For this reason, simple carbohydrates¬†raise blood sugar much faster and usually higher than complex carbohydrates.

Often people may find with an awareness of exactly what they consume in a day they will realize those simple carb foods are the ones who need to be reduced in their daily diets. Doing so can almost painlessly lead to a slow steady loss of weight.

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Complex carbs ( starches made up of long chains of sugar molecules‚ÄĒare considered good carbs¬†because they take longer to digest and thus don’t spike blood sugars as quickly as simple carbs) are found in good foods like whole grains breads and pastas,¬†legumes, sweet potatoes, white potatoes, low fat yogurt, milk, ¬†and tons of good for you fruits and veggies. So many veggies…..

Not only are they good for supporting all systems of your body they provide crucial energy as well. Find my post on carbs here…… https://sassyfitnesschick.com/2017/04/11/carbs-are-not-the-enemy/

Being on a low carb diet doesn’t mean you are on a keto diet although some tend to think that.¬† I hear so many people say it but honestly, many are on just an extremely low carb diet.

That being said, keto is a low carb diet. An extremely low carb diet to the exclusion of many of those healthy, good for you good carbs I mentioned along with most fruits and veggies.

In order to truly follow a ketogenic diet you need to be in a state of ketosis. This simply means your body is burning fatty acids (ketones) for energy instead of carbohydrate stores (glycogen in liver, and glucose in blood) and your carb intake must be at, and stay at, a consistently  low level to achieve that.

The levels of ketones produced can be varied depending on daily macros. ( Macro nutrients are the daily protein, carbs and fats you eat)  And the amount of carbohydrates consumed is one of the big differences when looking at low carb vs keto.

a ketogenic diet demands specific changes to all three macronutrients. For this reason, it’s hard to recommend a keto diet to someone unless they know how to track their macros or are really serious about learning.

When you have normal levels of ketones in your bloodstream, your brain and the rest of your body are fueled by stored body fat. But the only way to know for sure if you’re in a state of ketosis is confirming it through daily testing.

This can be done through blood, urine, or a breath analyzer test.

Urine strips are perhaps least confirming because they merely show the excess that you’ve eliminated.

Blood and urine strips are also more expensive as they are a one time use.

Breathe and blood tests show more up to the moment ketone levels.

So to clearly state… you could believe you are doing a keto diet but without actually testing for ketone levels and tracking your total macros, you could just be doing an extremely restrictive low carb diet.

Saying you’re doing keto doesn’t really mean you’re actually doing that without evidence to show that you truly have your body in a state of ketosis, this is where your body is actually using the fatty acids for energy and not glucose. Just because you reduce the amount of carbs you eat doesn’t mean you are using body fat for energy.

Lowering carbs can help you lose weight.

If you’ve been consuming more food than your body requires, and a lot of it in forms of the simple carbs we discussed, then lowering those carb levels will contribute to weight loss.¬† You can reduce these carbs that contribute to spiking insulin levels and that produce wildly fluctuating blood sugar levels.

Cutting back can definitely help with those issues, but again, it’s lower carb, not keto, but you will lose weight. Learning to replace those carbs with healthier choices will keep you feeling satisfied while your body adjusts to not having those foods.

If you’re goal is to lose weight but not be in ketosis, then eating¬† plenty of veggies and a healthy dose of exercise will get you to your goals.

For me, when I want to lean out more, I stick to just tons of healthy veggies, fruits, some whole grains as needed and protein. I’m not restrictive and I’m not hungry.

As you can see the differences between low carb and keto is more than “just” carbs.

What can I eat?

With just a low carb diet you have the ability to manage your macros a bit more easily. Low carb with lots of healthy veggies and protein will keep you full and satisfied. You won’t necessarily be overly concerned at carbs in veggies because they will fill you up especially with added protein.¬† Not only that, your body loves all the vitamins and minerals that are loaded into veggies and fruits.

You will be more mindful of carbs found in grains, rice, breads, pastas etc. as well as your simple ( non-essential) carb consumption.

You can however, if you want to, have a small slice of birthday cake at grandmas 90th birthday and  know it will knock you out of ketosis because you did so.

That’s kind of a win ūüėČ

If you think the keto diet is something you must do, a typical macro breakout for your daily diet is 25% protein, 70% fats and 5% carbs.

Yes. You are seeing that correctly. 5%.

These are recommended macros for keto. Lowering your carbs to this level will force your body into ketosis meaning it will begin to use fat for energy.

Maybe unwillingly, but it will.

If you choose this path, ideally, you would want to do it in steps as drastically cutting all carbs will make you…. want to eat a wall…

well… maybe you wouldn’t but you might feel ridiculously hungry and all kinds of other awful things from immediate restriction. It’s best to do a gradual reduction to allow your body to prepare for what’s coming.

Another common mistake on this diet is to lower calories while cutting carbs which isn’t the best idea. Lowering carbs will lower calories. Don’t push for both.

put in my body

So what’s the best choice?

I have a personal opinion, for sure. I wrote a post comparing the keto diet and the DASH diet… you can get a lot of my thoughts and also the comparisons of these two diets in this post… find it here….¬† https://sassyfitnesschick.com/2017/07/21/keto-and-dash-diet-review/

I’m honestly not a huge supporter of the keto way for lots of reasons. It’s just a hard sell to convince me that a higher fat diet is better than the many, many veggies and fruits and food groups¬†that are eliminated on this diet.

And really, I gave up a long time ago following anything that tells me “foods I can eat and foods I can’t eat” plans. #rebel

And besides, I kinda like bread once in a while…and cake… and eating those things definitely wreaks havoc on the keto plan as it can knock you out of ketosis.¬† Not only that, to many people I know who are on it seem to live for “cheat” days so there’s that thought as well.

Don’t do a diet plan that you look forward to cheating on.

I think going a more low carb approach is less restrictive, easier to maintain, and has a broader range of foods you can consume which leads to less feelings having to do with out or deprivation. Not only that there isn’t the constant manipulation of macros and counting and all that other stuff which seems kinda tedious.

Maintaining a less restrictive diet will give you freedom and let you lose weight as well.

However, we’re all different. One method works for one and not the other. Find what is easiest to live, what let’s you still enjoy life, and what doesn’t leave you feeling left out because you “can’t have” what’s being served.

I still find at the end of the day, balance, moderation, and mindful eating are where it’s at when it comes to weight loss and no one thrives being deprived and hungry.

And don’t forget no matter what “diet” you may pursue, Paleo, Keto, Whole 30, South Beach, gosh there are so many, even my favorite, the old school sensible, moderate eating plan, at the end of the day weight loss occurs because of a calorie deficit and nothing else.

There is no magic diet.

Your best opportunity to be successful is to find the plan that you can easily stick to and is long term sustainable leading to a permanent lifestyle change while achieving weight loss.

Tell me…do you have experience with either of these options? If so, did you have success or have tips to someone considering it?

 

 

Science Or Snake Oil

As a writer, there are many paths my mind goes when it comes to sitting down and deciding what I want to let out of my head. Sometimes I just feel like talking about life and things going on. Other times, because my blog is about health, fitness, living well and maintaining a healthy lifestyle, my focus is zeroed in these areas.

One of the topics I haven’t written on lately is the ongoing, ever present, collection of products to “help” people lose weight.

Ya know, gimmicks and what not. People happily, willingly, fork their hard earned money over for the latest smoke and mirrors in an attempt to unload fat magically overnight.

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I hate to break it… but it just doesn’t work…or maybe for awhile they are encouraged and see some initial water weight loss and that can spur someone on to keep going… but it’s rare.

Most of the time they just have lighter bank accounts once the novelty has worn off.

So I’m on my soapbox again….

in the mega million dollar “health and wellness” industry, there’s always a new kid on the block. There’s always some product¬†that makes people hopeful that maybe this time, this new thing, will do the trick.

There’s one that recently caught my eye and of course I’ve started digging and reading on it.

I love when the … what do I call them? the sellers? business people? distributors? boldly post the ingredient list as if to proudly say “SEE this is what’s in it. All good and natural ingredients”

It just helps me so much. It helps my research to ferret out all those magical ingredients that lead to sweet dreams of health and being goal weight thin.

Gosh one ingredient, I do not exaggerate, has as many letters as the entire alphabet.

For real.

It should also be noted that the person writing the¬†review and nicely breaking down all the ingredients ( they obviously sold product X) first off mentions (that this product¬†that contains all the letters of alphabet) is chemically demonstrated….

So¬†there’s that, whatever that is.

Let’s establish this….

Just because a product tells you it’s made of “all natural ingredients”¬† doesn’t really mean squat.

The term “natural” is common in the supplement industry, but doesn’t always mean it’s safe. In fact there is no legal definition for natural. Often many plants that grow in nature can be deadly and natural supplements can still have added unnatural ingredients.

All natural¬† supplements don’t always mix well with other medications we may be taking. be sure to consult with your doctor before taking any.

Pay attention boys and girls, the “all natural” thing is a huge marketing and selling gimmick designed to make you feel comfortable and good about using their products. It encourages you to buy them because, well gosh, it’s all natural so it’s gotta be super good for me, right?

Don’t buy the hype.

Diet+Snake+Oil+Cure+Take+Once+ver+2

 

Other things to consider..

Do you know the FDA ( food and drug administration in the U.S.) has actually banned many ¬†“natural” substances that were being put into diet and weight loss aids and products?

Why you may ask?

Oh because of pesky little problems like accelerated heart rate, shortness of breath or even heart attacks from the stimulants of¬†these “natural” products.¬† Many of these natural ingredients are actually mother natures version of “speed”. They can accelerate your heart and breathing, leave you feeling jumpy, nervous or agitated or provide an upset stomach and headache¬†as well as (maybe) have effects of curbing appetite ( most likely from other said issues it causes)

In the US, herbal products and food supplements are largely unregulated.

That is, the products are not screened or subject to FDA approval
prior to their going on the market.  Rather, it is the product
manufacturer that has the responsibility to make sure that anything
being sold as a food supplement is safe… or to determine how much of what to put in the mix of everything.

For that reason, you will often see statements on herbal products or weight loss supplements¬†sold in the US to the effect of:¬† “This statement has not been evaluated by
the FDA. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or
prevent any disease”.

Let’s look at a current example….

one of the “natural” products on the market today that everyone is jumping on is green coffee bean extract derived from unroasted coffee beans. It is currently among the worlds most popular weight loss supplements.

Basically, keeping it short, it’s claim to fame is supposedly to cause more fat loss by increasing body heat.

Green coffee bean extract comes from coffee beans that haven’t been roasted. Coffee beans contain compounds known as chlorogenic acids. Some believe these compounds have antioxidant effects, help lower blood pressure, and help you lose weight. Roasting coffee reduces chlorogenic acid content.

It’s interesting to note in all the articles I read it stated it “may” help with weight loss or lowering blood pressure etc.

There isn’t much testing or proof done on this topic to be totally conclusive and because of this there is always a lack of evidence on it’s safety. Studies are small, not long term and for the most part poorly designed.

Because there is no regulation on this manufactures can use the amounts they choose in their products. As mentioned previously, the jury is still out on the fact there isn’t enough evidence to support the claims for this product.

Speaking of evidence ….

As I read this glowing report on this particular product, she indicated “studies” had been done on the effectiveness of it. Well, of course I wanted to see who had done them and what some of the results were.

I mean, in all fairness, let’s see what they revealed. Maybe I was being a bit unfair.

Well, it turns out the studies were actually done by the company selling the product. I might be a wee bit cynical here but, I don’t see that as some kind of scientific, conclusive proof.

And of course the contestants who used said wonder product, were losing all the weight.

A company doing their own testing, to me, is not the most compelling evidence.

In summary….

not just this product but thousands  of others are not well tested, have limited evidence for their claims, and are not regulated by food and drug administration on any level.

It’s important to be mindful of what you take, especially if you already take medications.

Also understand¬†that as sweet, good or well intending your pedaling neighbor or family member is, they are simply regurgitating the company driven info that comes to them in their sales packets. The majority most likely know nothing of the effects of ingredients that ¬†are in products ¬†beyond what they’ve been told.

And of course there is the simple truth that you will not find a magic formula to help you quickly knock off the weight to get your dream body.

You just have to get that the old fashioned way. Sensible, healthy eating, the right amount of calories for your body and purposeful exercise, that and  that alone is your key to success.

food pic

 

 

 

 

 

 

Food And Guilty Feelings

Food and guilt. If there’s ever a time I hear people talking about what they ate and feeling guilty over it, it’s after a holiday.

We just wrapped up the big celebratory 4th of July here in the states on Wed.¬† A summer holiday offering all kinds of tasty food treats… everything from outdoor BBQ, hotdogs, apple pie, salads etc it’s a day built for family and food.

4th+of+july23

Now I’m not gonna verbally slap you if you are one of those who take on guilt for eating or eating to much or eating all of your favorite thing ( where DID those brownies go??)¬† but seriously, guilt and food do not and should not go hand in hand.

However it is a tendency for people to do so, especially after a holiday.

Why do we have those feelings?

Seriously. Why do we food shame? Why do we entertain thoughts of guilt when food is such a huge part of our lives and is enjoyed with family and friends?

If we indulge and we’ve labeled foods as “good” or “bad” and we indulge in the “bad” then we somehow have put ourselves into categories of good or bad, strong or weak, worthy or unworthy.

“I didn’t eat dessert while everyone else did. I am stronger than they are”¬†¬† or “I ate dessert and I’m¬† trying to diet. I’m so weak.

As if being strong, good and worthy somehow makes us better for passing on the food or eating that extra brownie makes us weak and unworthy.

Both ways of thinking are not right.

Both ways can lead to dysfunctional thinking with food. If you missed my post on food and dysfunctional thinking, find it here   https://sassyfitnesschick.com/2018/06/06/food-and-dysfunctional-thinking/

In some ways we are wired to restrict ourselves and when we let go of that “restriction” those negative feelings can come.

But hey… get this… our inability to resist “forbidden” foods isn’t a moral failing… ok?

It might not be the best for you to go back for a third serving or eat until your stomach is stuffed and tight, but it’s not a moral failing.

I hope in time, if over eating is a problem for you, that you can get balance to that in your life.

But feeling guilty when we are hanging with friends or family and eating food while having a good time, well it’s not right.

I mean at Christmas when I make my famous cut out sugar cookies that I adore ( seriously they are¬† made with a whole pack of real butter, and a package of cream cheese) I eat them… and I don’t always keep track of them either.

Does anyone really NEED a sugar cookie… or 12… ?¬† I’m not that bad… but you follow.

It’s all about that balance…..

When we put those foods into “good” or “bad” groups and restrict ourselves, the more prone we are to want to eat what we’ve deemed “bad”. Then when we give in and eat them ( maybe at a holiday ) then we tend to over indulge, over eat, because of the restrictions we’ve placed on ourselves.

I mean, isn’t a holiday the perfect time to take the brakes off and just let it all go? Ugh.. the times I hear this at the approaching “holiday season”

Then enter our friend, Mr. Guilt, who is there to remind you of what a failure you are and how you’ll always be weak to doing this and you might as well give it up and forget about it..

But here’s a novel thought…..

When you have balance to your eating, you don’t have the good food/bad food game going on.

Food is just food.

Some foods definitely do not support an overall healthy lifestyle and shouldn’t be heavily indulged in, for sure.¬† On a daily basis our eating should reflect good, natural, healthy foods to maintain a¬†balanced weight and health.

A current example in my life I can share is this. The other day I really, and I mean, really, wanted French fries.

french-fries

 

They are hands down at the top of my “favorite non-essential foods” list.¬† I rarely eat them.¬† Why? Because I know (overall) a frequent intake of them does not support my health and fitness goals.

I also know, having them occasionally won’t sabotage my fitness level or overall health.

So I went to a place I knew wouldn’t disappoint ’cause if I’m gonna eat them, they better be good.

They were amazing. Hot, crispy, salted just right. Totally worth every useless calorie.

I enjoyed them, no guilt attached.

So how do you make the guilt stop?

Ok let’s be honest, at a point, you know you’ve had more food than what¬†you really need, right?¬† Unfortunately those feelings just become a vicious circle of feeling bad, then eating again to feel better about feeling bad.

The reason we feel this way is what I mentioned above, the place of restriction so many keep themselves in.

When you don’t restrict yourself it means all the food is available to you. It takes power away because it’s no longer in the “off limits” section.

That may seem scary to some of you… I mean… nothing restricted? what if I just go crazy and eat it all the time?

What if you do? I don’t think you will though.

I tell you,¬† even if you may be tempted to have your favorite thing for days, the novelty will wear off. You may not want it at all because now you won’t be thinking of it as something you “can’t” have.¬† In time those foods will have less and less pull on you, meaning when you go to a holiday meal you can enjoy the things you love without going crazy because well, you haven’t long term restricted yourself.

It’s a pretty free place to be.

How to stop food guilt.

My mom used to say “what’s done is done”

If you’ve had a moment and you know you went overboard, nothing is gonna change that.

You CAN however learn from it.

Forget the whole “negate what you ate” nonsense by thinking you’re gonna workout extra hard the next day. You can’t undo what you ate. You can get up and go workout as you always do and that will be fine.

Think about how you feel afterwards. Do you really like the feelings that come with it? Now days, I tend to get annoyed with myself for mindlessly eating something that offers no benefit to me. I know better and therefore, get frustrated that I didn’t do what I know to do, which is walk away.

Stop restrictive thinking and behaviors.¬† So what if you might have a day or two where you slip or make choices you aren’t happy with?

Welcome to the club, we all do it.  The key is to keep moving forward, learning from the choices we make and growing in positive ways.

Don’t quit. For heavens sake don’t quit.

Stop shaming yourself. Own what you did and move on. Like anything, with repetitive practice, the things we do become new habits. In time you will learn to eat with a healthier balance and check system.

Make a list of five foods you enjoy but feel guilty about eating.¬† Write down the reason why you feel guilt over it. Is it rational or irrational? Is it scientifically true?¬† Then for each of those write something positive about it. It’s taste, nutritional value, how it smells, feelings it evokes. There is no right or wrong answer to this.¬† Then allow yourself to pick one of these at a time, eat it, think about it, enjoy it.¬† What do you enjoy most about it? If any guilty feelings come up, use your positive statements to push them away. In time you might determine some foods on your list aren’t worth keeping and that’s ok too.

Guilt and eating do not need to go hand in hand, it is another form of how our thinking has become disordered with food.

Remember food guilt at it’s best is emotional baggage. Learn to let go of it.

Your turn. Have you ever struggled with guilty feelings and eating? How did you overcome them? Or do you still struggle with those feelings?