healthy eating

Reverse Dieting-Why it Works

It’s common to think ‘oh I should just quit eating and I will lose weight’. That’s what we are taught even at a young age and grown up to know. If you want to lose weight, you eat like a rabbit and drop weight at the snap of a finger. But is it really all that simple? Are our bodies that easy to handle? And is this good for our bodies?

We are built and made to eat. And not just pecking at lettuce. Carbs are meant to be our fuel and we are to get nutrients from produce. The food that comes from the earth-not a factory or a box-is great for us, with so many benefits and vitamins to help our bodies function. And we think if we stop eating completely, this is a healthy way to lose weight.

WHAT IF I TOLD YOU THIS WAS BOGUS.

We are meant to eat, often and abundantly. Your body even tells you when it’s hungry and when it is not. Listen to it. If you are starving, you better eat more than a cube of cheese (cough cough, any Devil Wears Prada fans).

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I laugh everytime I think of this girl. But as I laugh, I know there are so many people out there who really do live and think like this. Do you know what is really happening? The body is holding on to what little food it does get, and storing it as fat and eating away at muscle and all sorts of terrible things. This isn’t what we are meant to live like. This is not the answer to losing weight.

If you are hungry, you should probably eat. And not just some lettuce. Try a protein bar. Try a rice cake and peanut butter. Have an apple AND a banana. A cube of cheese is not going to feed you, and the fact that this girl binges on rolls in the hospital after getting hit with a car kind of proves that this starvation diet will eventually in a carb overload-sooner or later. Because your body and your mind craves, no needs, carbs. It’s our fuel. Everything has carbs in it. It’s our gas to our engine. It makes us run. It keeps us going. Even your brain feeds off of carbs to work properly. By not feeding your body, you are do much more damage than good.

If you have been living like this and believing the starving diets are the only way to ‘skinny’, you not only will need to rethink everything, but you will have to literally reverse the damage you have done. You will need to slowly increase your calories, slowly incorporate more food and more substance to your diet. Stop spending 2 hours on the treadmill a day. You have to change your whole ways, but once you have, you will actually start seeing results-you will eat more and actually lose weight. You will be able to eat more and see changes because your metabolism will be working the way it should.

1200 calories a day is not meant for a person who is active, it’s hardly enough for a person who just lays around all day, so why is this a number we see too often as a ‘daily goal’ all over the place? Because someone who did not do their own research, someone who does not care about their own health nor the health of the other people they are influencing, someone who simply picked a number at random and thought it was a good idea. Quit with the 1000 or 1200 calories a day. If you go under 1500, you are probably not seeing results if you are wanting to actually have muscle and not simply be ‘skinny fat’.

1500 calories a day. That’s still not that much. I eat 2000 a day, I work out almost every single day of the week if you include the fact that I work at two gyms (an adult gym and also as a cheerleading coach). I lift weights five or more days a week. I hardly every do cardio (2-3 days a week maybe, and it’s HITT only for 15-20 minutes at a time). I eat what I want. I mainly want good foods, so I eat them. I eat when I am hungry. I stop when I am full. I even eat Reeses Oreos occasionally, as well homemade peanut butter cups (pretty much I have lots of peanut butter daily). Once you feed your body and get your metabolism doing what it is actually supposed to do, you no longer have to be so strict with what you eat (unless you are on contest prep or something).

So please, for the love of everything delicious, stop with the 1000 calorie days and start healing-and nurturing-your body.

 

-a

Staying fit and healthy-even on vacation

So I’m on vacation on the beach this week. Does this mean all my hard work goes down the drain? Of course not! If you really are committed to health and the lifestyle (that means this isn’t a diet or a temporary thing-you live this healthy way all the time) you know you feel best when you workout at least 20-30 minutes a day to get your endorphins raging, to lift your mood and give you energy. You know eating grilled or broiled versus fried makes you feel alive. If you go on vacation and have been living the healthy lifestyle a while, you don’t want to have a whole cheat week otherwise you’re in for some pain. You’ll feel bloated, tired, weak and miserable. Is that how you want to be? Didn’t think so.
So come prepared.
Just bring a cooler, book a room with at least a fridge and pack your fave health foods. Yes you can still eat out with everyone, just remember you’ll feel miserable if you don’t choose something broiled. But if you’re by the ocean, fresh seafood tastes better that way anyways. Yes you can still splurge. I’ve had froyo and other treats, but I’ve upped my water intake to help not feel so miserable from them and limit it to one treat a day ( froyo after dinner with cheesecake bites, get a small daquiri at lunch, have fries with my scallops). You should drink a lot of water anyways because you’re probably in the sun more than usual, you are walking a lot and you need to replenish and often. I brought my 1.5 liter bottles and bought 80 cent gallons of spring water to refill them. I’m drinking about 3-4 liters of water.
Sunscreen is your friend.
If you’re wanting to be healthy in life, its not just about what you eat and drink. Take care of your skin, too. I’m using 30 SPF sport. Putting it on every 2 hours. I’m getting a little color but not too much. I’m not burning. Which is key. Don’t come and get burnt your first day and be miserable the rest of your vacation. Each time you burn your also increasing your chances of skin cancer. Be cautious. If you want to be dark, I suggest faux tans. I personally use the Jergens lotion that darkens you over time. Its awesome and you apply it just like normal lotion. No skin cancer to be had.
Foods I brought
So here’s a list of the stuff I brought to stay pretty healthy plus save money:
Oatmeal
Greek yogurts
Babybel cheese minis
Light string cheese
Organic grapes
Mandarin oranges
Balance bars
Nut mixes
Veggie chips from whole foods (like vegan cheddar kale chips)
Whole wheat bread
No added sodium turkey breast
Thin sliced provolone
Laughing cow wedges
100 cal multi grain English muffins
Natural peanut butter
Natural jelly
Microwaveable brown rice packs
Tuna packs
Salmon packs
Gallons of spring water

Working out
You can run on the beach, find a gym that’ll let you work out for the time you are there, get a hotel with a gym or simply work out in your room. Where I’m staying has a treadmill and a Bowflex. That’s it. So I improvised and used the treadmill for intervals of 30 sec sprints 30 sec jogs for a 10 minute mile. Then I went to my room to do bodyweight exercises! Here’s what I did:

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Health is a choice. And its a lifestyle. Don’t stop just because you’re away from home. And you don’t have to deprive yourself of anything. Still stick to 80% whole foods 20% anything else.

Happy travels!

-a