I’d like to focus on one of the biggest struggles I’ve had in my weight management and living a well balanced life….and that’s counting calories! Way back in high school were my dark days where I went through a period of time where I severely cut calories and was miserable! (Seriously like 1000 calories a day and exercised on top of that) I dropped 10 pounds BUT was tired, sluggish, constantly hungry, angry, and depressed. The anxiety that calorie counted gave me consumed my life. If I ate what I thought was “too much” I cried, or did lunges, jumping jacks, sit-ups, or anything that I thought would help get rid of them.
Thankfully, my sister helped me snap the F out of that crazy period. She saved me from practically becoming anorexic, love her. But I continued to struggle with the fact that each day we consume calories to survive and I still had trouble not becoming anxious about food.
Finally, these days I’m more relaxed about the things I eat, to an extent of course because I enjoy eating well and maintaining my figure, and you could probably still quiz me about calories and serving sizes of many things haha, but here’s what I can share with you. We DO need to be calorie conscious, but not neurotic. You simply cannot eat a huge meal and convince yourself it was 200 calories. You need to be realistic about what your eating and how much your consuming. Do we deserve rewards? Yes, but how about we make those rewards a shopping trip or a massage or mani/pedi. FOOD rewards shouldn’t always be your go to because then we will constantly be sabotaging all the good things we do throughout the day because we think we should reward ourselves with a big ole Dairy Queen. Bottom line is it is a delicate balance of recognizing changes we need to make in our eating and how we go about doing them.
Here’s some tips of how I stay calorie conscious:
Read labels! Anything that has a high fat content, carb content, or sugar content, I avoid. Sometimes the calories can be low, but all those other factors really come into play! For example, any type of smoothie, yogurt, or even Naked juices need to be monitor for their nutritional content. I’ve seen Naked juice have up to 37g of Carbs and like 27g of sugar! Might as well have that ice cream!
Cook for yourself! When preparing your own meal, you can make wiser decisions then going out to eat and when your starving make poor decisions. My boyfriend makes fun of me and says my meal choice when we do eat out saying they are “boring”… He has an insane metabolism, wish I did, but I’ll stick with my grilled chicken salad thank you very much 🙂 Whether your cooking solo or with a significant other, choose meals which are healthy for you! I often utilize the website allrecipes.com where I can look for dishes which both my boyfriend and I will enjoy and are healthy for us. Again, thank goodness he enjoys eating healthy when I do cook so that makes things easier, but if you have a sig fig who’s difficult, compromise!
Look at the menu AHEAD of time! Another thing my boyfriend loves to make fun of me for lol. In today’s age, many restaurants post their menu’s online! Therefore, once you’ve decided where you’ll be eating, you can go online and give yourself an idea of healthy meals you can have when you go out! I usually pick three items from the menu, I’m extremely indecisive, and once I get there I ONLY look at my pre-decided choices and choose one. This way your hunger pangs won’t be the ones making the decisions for you! P.S. sometimes restaurants even give you calorie counts…SCORE! lol
Try to eat CLEAN! Recently I’ve been attempting to get away from a lot of processed foods, because so many are bad for you and who knows what those chemicals in there do! So throughout the day I suggest that you pack yourself healthy snacks! Carrots, celery, nuts, berries, dried fruit, grapes, other fruits, are a great way to curb hunger by the fiber contents many of those items have. Having a couple snacks a day can help you avoid over eating during meal times.
Cut out DIET products! Oh boy here has always been my downfall. I was a Coke Zero fanatic, however, I found that on days that I drank a lot of it, I was hungrier than ever! This is because the artificial sweetener in these beverages tricks your body into thinking it has consumed something with calories. Therefore, it produces insulin to digest the food intact, but when it’s not there, it sits in your stomach and causes more hunger pangs! It took me a while to stop drinking these, and honestly I still do on occasion, but I feel soooo much better when I don’t have them! No empty hunger or bloated feelings. So for real, ditch this stuff!
DRINKING! If I was a fitness freak, which I’m getting pretty close, I would cut out alcohol from my diet completely. It has no nutritional value and can actually take nutrients from your body which we obviously have to replace! So all of these empty calories add up and since I don’t want to give up my Saturday nights out here are some solutions I’ve found. !. Cut down on the amount of days you drink per week. I don’t have alcoholic beverages with my meals during the week and I offer to DD at least once a weekend leaving myself the other night. When I do drink, I opt for light beers, or mixed drinks with seltzer and a splash of cranberry. Obvious light beers are lighter in calories, I do like my Stella’s though so when I get those I have max 2. Seltzer has no calories and that splash of cranberry helps cut the alcohol. Because honestly ladies, when you go out to drink and are having crazy mixed drinks they are filled with sugar and empty calories! Plus can lead to a wicked hangover! Every once in a while OK, but go lighter every once in a while and see how you feel!
Desserts! I love my desserts so I’ve learned to choose wisely in recent years. If I’m really craving chocolate I allow myself a small handful of Brookside’s Dark Chocolate covered blueberries. They’re delicious and not too awful for you. Other than that, I’ll really portion on a half cup of ice cream. If you stick to the serving size, your still fulfilling you craving, but not killing all the hard work you’ve done all day! I’ll alternate allowing myself to have dessert every other day, or opting out for a glass of chocolate milk instead of dessert. It’ll all how you perceive your cravings. If you trick yourself into thinking its the most delicious chocolate milk you’ve ever have, maybe your brain will chill out and cravings subside. Silk chocolate soy milk is also awesome.
Well that’s all I can think of for now, definitely have more where that came from!
Be strong, believe in yourself, stay fit for life!
Until next time,