I love pizza. I love beer. I love pizza and beer. But in all traditional methods of diet, neither is allowed. So, let’s talk about “diet”, shall we? The word in its verb form is where you lose me, “a regimen of eating and drinking sparingly so as to reduce one’s weight.” Um — sparingly? My friends who are reading this blog know that when I go all in, it’s everything but sparingly. In the fitness industry you often times hear things like, “abs are made in the kitchen” and “you can’t out work a bad diet” and both are true. So, although I love pizza and beer — I know to get where I’m going, there has to be a balance and moderation.
The word diet has been something that has long made me roll my eyes up in my head, and sometimes even make me nauseous. As I mentioned in my first blog, I have done it all when it comes to trying to lose weight. Even as a teenager I was buying over the counter weight loss supplements with the paychecks from my weekend job. I was far too immature and uneducated to know that no matter what pill I took, the cycle of binge eating and restriction would always hold me back from my goals. I have worked very hard over the last ten years to stop the cycles – and believe me, they are far less frequent. Very simply, I had to stop seeing food as a means of emotional release, especially when it took me further from my goals, as that only sent me into another binge. Now that I’m seeing food for what it is – fuel – I that I don’t have to restrict myself from my favorites (pizza and sometimes beer), I just have to when to use it!
So, let’s talk about what’s in
pizza and beer… err, food. Food is made up of some very important macro- and micronutrients. Macronutrients are better known as carbohydrates, fat and protein. Micronutrients are chemical elements or substance required in trace amounts for growth and development, also known as vitamins and minerals. Contrary to many diet approaches, all of these nutrients are required to lose weight, build muscle and be generally healthy.
Disclaimer: I am a fitness nutrition specialist. I am a woman who has experimented with her nutritional intake for better than 20 years. I am not a physician. I am not a registered dietitian. If you have a chronic condition that needs management (i.e. diabetes mellitus), you should continue to consult your physician or dietitian about your daily intake. If you think you suffer from an eating disorder, please seek available resources – you don’t have to go it alone.
There are probably thousands of theories on how people can lose weight – some even claim “fast” (I won’t name them by name), but many are no fat – low fat, no carb, no eating after dark, no carbs after dark, and on and on. The more I have experimented and learned, the more I see it’s so much more basic than that. It’s science! Our bodies require a certain amount of these nutrients to just live – to sit in a chair and breath and blink all day. Then, there’s an amount required if we want to maintain our current weight at our current levels of activity. Finally, (the good stuff) there’s an amount that our bodies need to either lose fat and/or build muscle at an increased level of activity – and this is the sweet spot for me.
I have learned that I can leave behind the days of binge eating and restricting because I know where I need to be with my macronutrients to maintain my weight or lose fat. Now, this is not to say that it’s all fun and games because who doesn’t want to eat pizza and drink some beers everyday? I mean, right?! If by some strange chance you don’t fall into that category, insert your two favorites – snickers or texas hots, riesling or whatev! But the truth is, I know that I don’t have to cut them out forever because I can make them fit in moderation. I have adopted a lot of clean eating practices but don’t claim to be a clean eater. I try to refrain from as much processed food as possible, while still using some things out of convenience. I’m sure to keep my fiber intake up with greens and legumes in at least two meals a day – note: I usually eat 5 or 6 times a day, it’s what works best for me. I try to fill up the majority of my day with things like fruits, vegetables, egg whites (and at least one whole egg – the yolk is good fat), lean proteins like chicken breast, ground turkey, and lean beef. When you do this, it makes it easier to fit in your favorites!
As with everything that I’ve written about before, I believe there is a sustainable approach to losing weight without feeling deprived – just as I think you can put weight on, or build muscle without eating egg whites and chicken for every meal. Moderation. Balance.
If you’re looking to get started cleaning up your nutrition or lose some weight, you need to log every bite that goes into your mouth for a day, or two. And I mean every bite. If you’re on myfitnesspal, look me up – you’ll see there are days that I enter a quarter of a grilled cheese sandwich – why? Because I ate my 4-year old’s left behind grilled cheese crust (which is the best part in my opinion)! Once you get a handle on where your current daily intake is, and assess what kind of level of activity you get each week it’s much easier to figure out the adjustments to get you closer to your goal.
P.S. Although I mentioned alcohol about six times in this post, you don’t need to worry about me! I promise!
Next time I thought I’d share “a day in the life” kind of post – you can see my eats for the day, and I’ll share my workout.