Welcome to our get ready for summer challenge! I’m excited for you to learn or apply some new healthy habits into your lives. Stick to the guidelines of this challenge and you will see and feel results. Keep in mind, especially for those of you over 40 and wanting to lose the last 5lbs, there are many factors involved (stress, hormonal changes, allergies, thyroid malfunction)in weight loss, and you may have to pay more attention to your measurements than the # on the scale. Still, if you experiment with various foods, increase your veggie intake, and watch your portion sizes, I’m confident you can lose the last 5lbs or so.
Before I give you the guidelines of the challenge, I want to mention 2 common nutrition/diet blunders- sometimes I’m guilty of the first one!! Oftentimes, we women are so busy during the day, we tend to NOT fuel our bodies with enough calories. You may eat a greek yogurt here, and a handful of nuts there, and maybe a half a sandwich a little later, but often times, it’s not enough calories, so we tend to eat MORE from the time the kids get home from school to dinner. I do this when I’m at the gym all day. I bring a ton of healthy and quick snacks, but don’t eat enough to hold me over until dinner, when I will sometimes overeat to compensate for my lack of calories earlier. What you want to do is make sure you’re eating MORE from wake up through lunch than you do in the afternoon and evening (when metabolism is slowing down). Just something to be really aware of if you are one that is starving at 3 or 4pm.
The second blunder is thinking during the week you are “being good”, only to celebrate your “goodness” by going crazy over the weekend. The statement “I was good” means “I’ve deprived myself with this healthy food all week and I can’t wait until Fri so I can drink and eat whatever I want.” Healthy eating isn’t about what is “good” or “bad” It’s about making the choice to fuel your body with foods you enjoy that also do something positive for it. I’m not saying to never drink or eat pizza, I’m saying to choose it on your own terms and enjoy it occasionally, instead of mindlessly rewarding yourself, only to feel guilty on Monday.
Ok- with those 2 points in mind, here are the guidelines of the challenge.
1.Eat whole foods-Susanna will be sending an email with a healthy meal plan attached
2.Drink water! Cut out the soda–even diet soda. Water, green tea even a cup of coffee all provide some benefits. Soda and diet soda may give you some caffeine, but they are also loading you up with sugar or artificial sweeteners, among other things, that often invite the sugar-y types of cravings we are trying to avoid.
3.Avoid doing the whites: white sugar, flour, pasta, rice, crackers, etc. Experiment with whole grains.
4.Avoid hydrogenated oils and products with high fructose corn syrup: they have not one redeeming value! They are creating a longer shelf-life for nutrient-deficient foods and taking away from your ‘shelf life’ in the process! Remember that even products that are labelled “Trans Fat-Free” are allowed to have up to 1/2 gram per serving. Check the ingredients for anything hydrogenated or partially-hydrogenated. If you see those words, leave it on the shelf.
5. This goes along with #4-Avoid processed snacks-(things in bags, boxes, ie chips, donuts, crackers)most contain hydrogenated oil or high fructose corn syrup -no nutritional value-find healthy alternatives you really enjoy (Susanna will be listing many choices on the meal plan)
6.Avoid frozen meals they are loaded with sodium and other additives to give them flavor. Plus, whipping up a simple meal on your own often takes about the same amount of time.
7.Reduce/Eliminate Added Sugar-sugar is in almost everything we eat! To start, just be aware of how much added sugar you eat in your diet- a little packet or spoonful here and there really adds up by the end of the day. Try reducing the amount you use little by little until you are satisfied and don’t feel deprived.
8.Eat smaller portions- protein (size of palm), veggies (fill 1/2 your plate), whole grains,quinoa, whole grain rice, bulgar (1/4th plate)
9.Get rid of trigger foods- hopefully you have already taken this step as you prepare for this healthy challenge! Clean out the cupboards of anything that tempts you to overeat-especially during times of stress or pms! Instead of turning to food for comfort, try exercising, calling a friend, or getting active in any way that you enjoy. Food should definitely be enjoyed, but on your own terms…not to fulfill an emotional need.
If you are currently in my classes, you will receive an email from Susanna tomorrow, with the meal plan, grocery list and recipes attached. If you have any questions about what you have read, feel free to email me @ firstname.lastname@example.org.