Good Monday morning, everyone! I hope you’ve all had a great week. Now for the portion of class many students dread…..who did their homework from last week? If you did, you’re at least a little more aware than you were before of how many calories you need based on your daily activity level and intensity, and about how many calories you’re burning with your everyday activities. This is important because most people underestimate how many calories they are taking in, while vastly overestimating how many calories they are burning during their daily activities.
For instance, one glazed donut is about 190 calories. A 120-pound woman would have to walk at a brisk 4 mph pace for 40 minutes to burn off 180 of those calories. That’s A LOT of work for one donut, and honestly, who ever eats just one donut? Furthermore, it’s not just about calories, sugar, and fat, but I look at it as a lost opportunity to build your body. In fact, you might as well say that donut is part of the demolition crew when it comes to your body!
I don’t know about you, but I consider my body a temple, and I want the best construction crew in town working on my temple. That means REAL FOOD because real food contains the building blocks your body needs to replace what you use daily. You want most of your food to be as close to the way it was found in nature as possible, so ditch the processed foods. While many diet programs mass produce packaged foods, please remember that the number on the scale is not the only thing going on in your body.
While we all want to achieve and maintain a healthy weight for our height, it’s also important to remember that a healthy weight is not the only indicator of health. You can be a healthy weight and not be enjoying good health. This is especially true if you’re relying on pills and packaged foods and drinks to achieve a healthy weight. The main thing I want to impress upon you here is don’t be afraid of REAL FOOD, and don’t let someone who has something to sell you convince you otherwise.
Other than telling you to eat real food, I’m not going to tell you what to eat. You know what real foods you like, so start eating them instead of the packaged junk. I will give you the following 10 to Win tips:
1) Set yourself up for success by getting rid of all the junk in your house and workspace today. You want foods that build.
2) Make a list of your favorite fruits and nuts, and create a healthy snack station at home and work.
3) Design a weekly menu plan and make a shopping list. Be consistent with this every week. Success takes planning.
4) Ditch the drinks…..fruit juices, sodas, energy drinks, and alcohol.
5) Water is your bestie; it hydrates without adding calories or robbing your body of vital nutrients or spiking blood sugar or heart rate. Drink lots of water every day.
6) Diversify your diet, so that your gut has more varieties of healthy bacteria which are vital for optimum health. Eating a wide variety of plant foods while avoiding alcohol, sugar, and processed foods are all ways to love your guts. To learn more about how to love your guts, read this article: “Love Your Guts & Your Wallet”
7) I say this all the time, but it’s worth repeating often: Eat a rainbow of colors from the plant kingdom every day. For articles on what the different foods of different colors do to build your body, you can go to my website and read my “Eat the Rainbow” series, starting with “Seeing Red”
8) Add whole grains to your diet – if you’re gluten intolerant, there are still grains you can eat because they provide important nutrients, fiber, and resistant starch – more on that next week!
9) If you’re not already, start eating beans as a healthy, low fat source of protein that is cholesterol-free and full of fiber and other great building blocks for your body temple.
10) There’s an app for that – I know many of you don’t want to hear this, but you may need to start tracking your calories to make sure you’re not one of those people going over every day because little by little, those overages add extra pounds. If you have been tracking them, and based on your calories eaten and calories burned you should be losing weight, you may need to adjust the sources of your calories and start counting macros – carbs, protein, and fat. Sometimes adjusting your ratios of these nutrients a bit can make a big difference in how your body uses fuel, and you’ll begin to see weight loss. Follow this link to find out about some apps that can help you count calories and macros.
The fact that you are moving/exercising on a regular basis is a great place to start, but if you’re serious about building a better body, you need to know more of the nuts and bolts of replenishing nutrients lost each day if you’re going to build your best body possible. Disclaimer: I don’t count calories or macros. However, even though I don’t count calories or macros, I am very careful about what I put into my body. You guessed it, only real food for me.
I eat a vegan diet that is mainly whole foods, plant based and have no trouble getting enough protein, having enough energy, or maintaining a healthy weight. The only time I have trouble is when, like some of you, I venture into the processed junk food. I see it on the scale, and I feel it in my body. I’m not saying a vegan diet is right for everyone, but I am saying that eating real, minimally processed food is for everyone. What are your building materials?
If the majority of your diet is processed, it’s time to make a change. Not only does your waistline depend on it; your life and the quality of that life depend on it too. Real bodies need real food. If you want to look and feel your best, eat the best. After all, you’re a masterpiece of creation, and you’re worth it. I encourage you to start today making the changes necessary to construct an amazing body temple that will serve you well for many years to come!
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