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Friday, January 14, 2011

WHAT SHOULD YOU BE EATING?


Hi there. 
Half of Gabby has moved to a new kickass website! 

Read this article, in it’s updated version, HERE.

The page that you are on right now (www.halfofgabby.blogspot.com) is no longer posting new articles and information. Half of Gabby has moved to www.halfofgabby.com and will continue to post new material regularly! In addition, all older articles have been updated on the new site!

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HERE'S THE DEALIO. You need to find a PERMANENT way to eat healthy. Don't waste your time going on a 'diet'. 

DIETS DO NOT WORK.

 If you start losing weight because you are eating like a bird, two things are going to happen:

1. You will NOT be able to sustain eating that way. It is impossible to stick to a bland and skimpy diet.

2. Once you quit eating that way, you will gain all the weight back that you lost.

 Here's why. Most of the weight you lost was not fat loss, it was weight loss. There's a big difference. Fat loss is fat loss, that's what you want. You want less fat on your body. Weight loss just means you weigh less. Crash diets usually only lead to water weight loss and lean muscle mass loss, not fat loss.  If you aren't eating enough, your body will make up for it. It needs energy and WILL take it from somewhere else. In times of restricted eating, your body perceives this as a threat to it's survival, so the fat stored in your body is held precious and protected by the body. Your body wants to conserve the energy in your fat cells but at the same time needs to desperately find nutrients and fuel to run it's countless functions. It searches high and low. And ya know what? It hits the lottery. The body quickly stumbles upon your muscles. Muscle holds some serious punch. You wanna guess what your amazing, resilient body will do? That's right, it will eat your muscle. It will burn it for fuel. Gross?? Well, what the hell do you expect your body to do? You aren't giving it what it needs. You want to see right? You want your legs to move when you tell them to, right? Every movement, every breath, every act of digestion, blood circulation, or any other function you don't even think about....it needs fuel to do it with. 

When your body eats up it's own muscle mass, you are left with an even HIGHER BODY FAT PERCENTAGE!!!  

So, RULE #1: You Need to Eat!

How much do you need to eat? Well, obviously, everyone has different needs but start with this, no more big meals.

RULE #2: Eat Small Meals!

You need to eat smaller amounts throughout the day. What has worked perfectly for me has been 3 meals (breakfast, lunch, & dinner) at around 400 calories each. In addition, I eat snacks in between every meal and in the late evening. I eat 3-4 snacks at around 100-200 calories each. 

You need to make your own adjustments, but never eat large amounts. 
Here's why
When you eat a large amount of calories at once, your body is overloaded. Your body can only process a certain amount of nutrients at once. So here's what it does. It does all that it can and uses up a specific amount of nutrients and energy from what you consumed. The rest, it's STORED AS FAT. 

Each and every one of your fat cells is like a storage unit, and it can stretch and grow, almost indefinitely! So, anytime your body has extra 'stuff' it can't get to processing, it dumps it all in the storage units. It's easy and convenient......and bad, bad news. 

Eating smaller meals and snacks ensures that everything you give your body gets used up and there's nothing left over to be dumped into your fat cells. It stokes your body and keeps it revved all day long. It's the healthiest way to eat and you MUST make the change. Give yourself the best chance at success. What is a meal? Well, honestly, as long as your making healthy choices, it can be anything. Some of my personal favorites are chicken stir-fry with brown rice, deli sandwich (with lower sodium meats and whole grain/wheat breads), wheat pasta, grilled chicken salad, tacos and fajitas (with whole grain taco shells and lean beef or turkey). But I eat just about anything I want, I just eat a reasonable portion and if it's traditionally an unhealthy food, I tweak it to make it healthy.

Whatever you do, DO NOT DEPRIVE YOURSELF! 

Remember, this is a permanent change. You need to find a way to live, forever. Deprivation leads to eating frenzies. If you want pizza, buy a wheat crust (Boboli has a delicious one) and top it with low fat mozzarella and load it with veggies, or turkey pepperoni. And don't eat 6 pieces, eat 2 but have a big salad with it. And every once in a while (every 1-2 months or so) when you just have to have Pizza Hut pizza, again 1 or 2 pieces with a big salad. Side note with salads: watch the dressing. Use dressings that have olive oil and watch the amounts. When I go to a restaurant, I stuff my big 'ole salad dressing bottle in my purse and whip it out at the table. I've received some weird looks, including from the Hubs. But hey, you do what ya have to do to stick to your plan. 

You can't worry about anybody else. Look out for you, you can bet your ass nobody else will. You can seriously waste your efforts by not being smart about your dressing choice. Don't make a regular habit out of succumbing to fast food and junk, but you don't have to avoid it forever, that is unrealistic. 

HERE'S SOME TIPS:

1. If you know you will be going to a restaurant or picnic, etc., eat before you go. 

It doesn't have to be a full blown meal, but eat something with some protein and fiber. And have a glass of water or skim milk. Don't show up at the event (or the grocery store) hungry. You will be less inclined to overeat (and overbuy). Also, if you are going to a family function, football party, or visiting friends, etc, BRING SOMETHING YOU CAN EAT. I always bring a shrimp tray, veggie tray, or a fresh fruit tray. That way I know there will be something there I can munch on. Make it easy on yourself.

2. Don't keep trigger foods in your house. 

If you are dying for cookies and cannot work past it and are going to end up eating 2000 calories trying to replace that food anyway, here's what you do. Eat a meal. A healthy well-balanced meal. Then wait twenty minutes. If you still want cookies, go to a local gas station and buy a single serving of cookies. You can find packages sold separately that have only 2-4 cookies in it. DO NOT buy a full-size package of cookies! You can tell yourself you'll be good and only have one once in a while. NO! It doesn't work. Do not bring that shit into your house. One weak moment can wipe out 3 days of hard work. And whatever you are eating, check the calories and figure them into your day.

3. If you're craving something sweet, try drinking hot tea or coffee. 

Use decaf if you are trying to limit caffeine. This has worked for me. I have been doing this for 2 years now, it has definitely saved me some calories. I use stevia for my sweetener. There's also tons of healthy (yes, healthy) dessert recipes out there. Google them and start learning the ropes of healthy cooking and baking.

Stevia needs a special mentioning here. 

Stevia is an all natural sweetener. It is absolutely the best sweetener on the market right now. My brother Cha got me and my mom on this stuff years ago. Here's why it's the best. All the artificial sweeteners out there right now, saccharin, aspertame, splenda, etc. ALL OF IT is harmful. Not only do some of them contain harmful chemicals and preservatives but they wreck havoc on your pancreas. 

Even though the artificial sweeteners have no calories, your body still recognizes them as a sugar, so your pancreas releases insulin to counteract the response. 

So now your body is being flooded with insulin to counteract sugar that ISN'T EVEN THERE. Stevia is the ONLY sweetener that does not elicit an insulin surge. So not only is stevia the right choice for everybody, but especially for diabetics! It took me about a week to get used to the taste, but I then quickly preferred it. NOTHING tastes right without it now. I keep a baggie of it in my purse for when I'm not home. There are several different stevia products out there. All grocery outfits carry them. Look for them with the other sweeteners. I get mine at GNC. You can also buy Stevia In The Raw. It comes in a green bag and you use it for baking, or anything else (maybe fill your sugar bowl instead of using packets).

RULE #3: Cut Out Refined and Processed Foods!

Again, it's not feasible to never have a potato chip or a cracker. But limit this crap in a big way. Check portions and do not eat regularly. My biggest cheat with this stuff is the 100 calorie snack packs. I don't eat them often. If I have it in the house, I'll eat it maybe 1-2 times/week at the most, but I admit, I do eat them. I'll have one pack with my tea or coffee, but I only have one and make a conscious effort to not keep too much in the house. Here's an easy guide, if you keep it in your pantry, it's probably refined.  Also, if it has an expiration date on it that is longer than a week or two from the present day, it's probably bunk. I mean anything that you can eat two years after you buy it is loaded with some serious preservatives. For reals. Stay away from it. The biggest exceptions (and actually should be a staple in your pantry) are brown rices, quinoa, oatmeals, canned tuna & chicken, and of course vegetables and beans. But if it has a crinkly wrapper, chances are it's bad news. You want to stick to as many whole foods as you can. For instance, instead of drinking orange juice, have an orange. Nature intended for you to eat an orange off of a tree, not down a glass full of sugar. The only thing beneficial in OJ is vitamin C and the sugar in it far outweighs the Vit C. You get enough vit C in your foods if you are eating healthy, not to mention if you take a multi vitamin, which you should!

RULE #4: Stick to Lean Meats, Fish, Whole Grains, Veggies, & Fruit!

These foods should be what you are eating, consistently and in every meal. You will not only begin to get used to them, they will be what you end up preferring and craving. You have been feeding your body such crap for so long, it has forgotten how much it wants and needs the good stuff. A few weeks eating the right foods and you won't miss a thing. One of my most favorite things in the whole wide world are clementines. Weird? Probably, but I can't get enough of them. Seriously, I have to buy 2 bags at a time, I would go as far to say I am a fiend. One day my husband Jason and Gia, my 6 year old, went to the grocery store. As soon as they got home, Gia came running downstairs, put her hand on my arm and squeezed it, and looked up at me like she was about to tell me something horrible. She hestitated then said, "Mommy, you need to know something...they didn't have your clemmys. I'm so sorry". LOL! Seriously, she thought I was going to have a nervous breakdown. Everyone knows in my house that mommy needs her clemmys. Do you think in my fat heydays I was craving clementines? Ha, hell no! They didn't even taste sweet to me. Bottom line: Make the changes. You will soon wonder why this stuff didn't always taste so good to you.

Should you count calories? I don't know. I didn't for long. I couldn't. For me, it felt like too much work. In the beginning of my journey to health, I wasn't losing weight. Turns out the reason I was having trouble losing weight was because I was insulin resistant. But before I knew that, I was writing down everything because I was trying to figure out the problem. So I had a pretty good idea how many calories are in most whole foods and for the rest, I pay attention to food labels and keep a running tally in my head. Is it an exact science? Hell no, but it works for me. Shows like the Biggest Loser as well as many other experts say you absolutely SHOULD keep a calorie log. I'm sure it is helpful to do so, but I was making so many changes as it was, it was just one more thing I didn't want to do. But I must say, it would be very helpful to look back in a calorie log if you have had a particularly successful month or in turn a particularly bad month to see what went right or wrong. So, it's your call. I did at first then felt I didn't have to continue it once I felt on track.

There really isn't any hidden tricks to what you should eat. Use your brain. Avoid low-fat, low-carb, low-anything. Your body needs everything to function properly and to help you lose weight. It needs fat, carbs, protein, fiber, etc. Eat the right fats and carbs.

Eating right might start out being a pain in the ass but only because it's something different. After a few weeks, it becomes a non-issue. You begin to wonder why you stressed about it in the first place.


"After living with their dysfunctional behavior for so many years (a sunk cost if ever there was one), people become invested in defending their dysfunctions rather than changing them" Marshall Goldsmith
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*The information on this site is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. All content in this article is for general information purposes only. I am not a doctor, nor am I a dietitian. Talk to your physician before making any changes in your diet or exercise regimen. The information found in this article is from various sources which include, but are not limited to, the sites listed above. I encourage you to do your own research and talk with your physician before making any changes in diet or exercise. What has worked for me may not work for you. This information in this article or on this website should never replace or serve as medical advice.

NEVER DISREGARD PROFESSIONAL MEDICAL ADVICE OR DELAY SEEKING MEDICAL TREATMENT BECAUSE OF SOMETHING YOU HAVE READ ON OR HAVE ACCESSED THROUGH THIS WEB SITE.

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