I have been meaning to scribe and give you my (obviously important) opinion on FOOD for quite some time. A minefield I am sure you will agree.
So, let’s talk about me just for a minute. I am a woman, a real woman – a woman that eats a little, eats a lot, eats because I love food, eats because I am tired, because I am sad, because I am bored. I have to be careful with what I eat because I will pile on the pounds with the click of a finger and just a sniff of a doughnut! What I want you to know is, I am just the same as every one of you and I know the struggles, the pressures and the temptations are all too real.
The only difference there might be between you and I is over the last few years I have been educated in Nutrition. I have a nutrition qualification but I have also spent a lot of time educating myself, experimenting with food, learning what works for me and what I can eat to get the most bang for my buck!
I would much rather eat a HUGE plate of good, nutritious filling food than a chocolate bar, a bag of crisps or a few biscuits with my tea! It is about learning what gives you most whilst still giving you less!
It has taken me a long time to change my attitude towards food – I used to see how long I could go without eating. I would feel weak, moody, lethargic, depressed. I weighed myself every day, I liked the feeling of being in the smallest clothes and it became almost an obsession. The truth is though, this didn’t make me happy!
The truth is –
I like to eat
I like to work out
I like feeling strong
I like to have energy
I have learnt that More is Less – I have taught my body to efficiently burn what I am inputting. In doing this my body is now less inclined to store fat, which happens from over-eating sometimes and under-eating most of the time. The majority of what I eat is good, nutritious, tasty food.
I am eating BIG portions, I eat 6-7 times per day, I am NEVER hungry.
My blood sugar levels are even, my moods are better managed (my kids & Ria will tell you hangry I can get), but above all else my physical performance is improving and I am building and maintaining strength and muscle.
You’ve heard it everywhere – strong is the new skinny! I love this – but how do we get strong? It isn’t just exercise and gym – it’s learning what to put in your body to get the most out; it’s knowing what to eat to aid repair; it’s knowing what food is going to give us the energy to fuel our workouts. It’s being sensible with what we eat and ensuring it’s balanced so we minimise those crazy cravings!!
So why is eating less not less?
Simply – Your body needs a variety of things to keep it working efficiently. It needs vitamins, minerals, protein, fat and energy from carbs. Carbs fuel both our brain and our muscles. Many people when they diet feel the need to under-eat, fast or cut carbs. The stored fat on our body will unfortunately not provide these essential nutrients so our bodies will become run-down, damaged and not work to their full potential.
After time on a calorie restricted diet, without stores of sugar and fat your body will search to get energy from other sources. It will start to use protein reserves stored in our muscles. Eating less isn’t really less in this case because it actually causes you to hang on to your body fat. Muscle burns calories just by being on your body – when we lose muscle, our metabolism slows down.
‘If you put $1,000 in a bank account and keep making withdraws without adding deposits, you’ll eventually wipe out your account. It’s just simple math, right? Well, our bodies aren’t quite that simple. It would be awesome if all we had to do to slim down was stop “making deposits” (e.g. stop eating) and withdraw fat from our energy reserves, but it just doesn’t work that way’. shape.com 2018
Science Talk – When Carbs enter our body, they are converted to glucose before being used by the cells. The stored form of glucose is called glycogen and it is stored in our muscles and liver. When these glycogen stores are depleted through long activity, starvation or a calorie restricted diet then the body is forced to ‘manufacture carbs’ from amino acids. Amino acids are the building blocks of protein so to ‘manufacture carbs’ and to find energy from other sources our muscles will be forced to break up to release the amino acids.
To lose weight, what we want is to eat enough so that our bodies find and use energy in our fat reserves and not from our muscles. The body’s ability to burn fat actually decreases without carbs. It is a hard one to get your head around – eat more, lose more!
Don’t for one minute think I am suggesting a new routine of pizza, chips, pasta and rice!!... don’t even get me started on Slimming World 😊
What I am suggesting is that you eat good, honest, uncomplicated, unprocessed food. That what you put in is plentiful and balanced. The aim is to change your lifestyle to not focus on how much you eat but focus on what you eat!
Ditch the diet mindset, introduce yourself to your new relationship with food and start reaping the rewards.
What happens if I eat & drink EVERYTHING in sight?
At some point, this will probably happen – after all, you are only human! Don’t let this throw you off course. Be kind to yourself, don’t give in & remember why you started in the first place.
I like to follow the theory that if you are craving something so badly & it’s been playing on your mind for several days then your body must need it. Just try & be intuitive about your cravings. Is it boredom? Is it emotion? Is it your time of the month? Knowing why we are craving can help us understand how to react.
Allow yourself to fuel your body through what you desire every now & then. It’s normal, natural & completely expected.
I know I am not in the smallest clothes anymore and I am heavier than I once was but sometimes living is way more important than being so hard and restrictive with yourself! That extra dress size is my life, it’s my happiness, it is my smiles!
How can I start my new relationship with food?
We are so excited to be bringing you Think Kitchen as part of the Think Fit offering, it has been a long time in the making.
Just remember, there is no diet that will do what healthy eating does and you don’t have to eat less, you just have to eat right.
Get in touch for more information on how Think Kitchen can help you!
* Photos courtesy of Instagram #caloriefixes