I shared yesterday about how we often approach losing weight the wrong way.
We decide to temporarily cut back on all the things that we love so that we can reach some magical weight, because we figure weight is the problem.
I’ve even heard people say that: “he has such a great metabolism he can eat anything and not gain weight!”, as if as long as you’re not gaining weight, anything goes.
Weight is not the problem. Eating the wrong things that don’t actually nourish your body properly is.
When we focus on weight, then we take a short-term approach. We’ll spend this year getting down to our ideal weight, everything will be fine and then we can go back to doing what we want to do.
What if that’s totally wrong? I was sharing about the Ultimate Healthy Meal Planning Bundle yesterday, which is on sale RIGHT NOW, but which will go away forever on Monday at midnight EST. It’s over $2400 worth of ebooks and courses to help you get healthy, and it’s only $29.97.
I’ve been devouring the products over the last few weeks as Keith and I have been driving around in our RV, and I want to share a 8 tips I’ve learned that can help you!
1. You Don’t Have to Eat Less to Lose Weight and Feel Better
Sheila is a busy, working mom and she often neglects to take care of herself, as she is always tending to the needs of her husband and children. Because of this, she has been “borrowing” against her own nutritional bank account for years. Her body has even adapted to this by decreasing her appetite, which just perpetuates the problem. As a result, Sheila now has chronic bloating, is overweight, and has low energy. She restricts her food intake and counts calories to try to lose weight.
What is wrong with Sheila’s approach? She is trying to refill her bank account by restricting her intake of food, which restricts her body’s access to the very nutrients she most needs to heal. Something is fishy here.
When you’re trying to lose weight, you think in terms of “what foods won’t make me fat?” and “what foods are low calorie”? We don’t think in terms of “what foods are high in nutrients that my body needs?”
Your body DOES need food! Every single one of our cells depends on nutrients to function well, and if you’re not giving your body nutrients, then you’re going to feel lethargic, bloated, and achy all the time.
Tip: Stop working so hard on restricting calories and start working on eating foods that are good for you.
Sheila’s soapbox here: That’s why asking “how do I not deprive my family when I need to lose weight” is the wrong question! EVERYBODY should be eating healthy, especially kids, because they need the nutrients to grow.
2. When You Crave Something–Eat Something!
Here’s something important I’ve learned: when I crave chocolate and sugar, I’m usually just hungry. The craving is not bad; it’s my body’s way of saying “I need something!”
So now I just have seconds at lunch, even if it’s an hour after I had “first lunch” (I find I’m worst in the early afternoon!)
Nicole Jardim’s Ecourse “Fix Your Blood Sugar” talks about the importance of figuring out what to eat when and listening to your body. Too often we try to just punish our bodies and ignore them rather than listen to their cues. I’m not saying to eat every time you think of food; certainly make sure you’re not just stressed, sad, or bored. But if you are hungry? Eat!
Tip: When you’re hungry, eat! Eat more frequently, and eat a wider variety of things.
But that’s the hard part, isn’t it? What if the food that we love is really, really bad for you?
That doesn’t mean that healthy food tastes bad. No, it may not be a cheese-infused lasagna with grease pooling up on top that tastes so amazing. But a lasagna with less cheese, a better cut of meat, high quality ricotta cheese, and lots of real tomatoes and onions and garlic and even chopped up really small peppers, carrots and mushrooms can honestly taste amazing, too. And it’s so much better for you! The bundle has over 1,400 recipes that will help you see that eating well and giving your body what it needs isn’t about depriving yourself. It’s just about seeing food differently.
Tip: Don’t tell your family it’s healthy. Just start making real food recipes!
4. Don’t Eat Carbohydrates By Themselves
We need to stop thinking about calories and start thinking about body chemistry. My absolute favorite resource in the Ultimate Healthy Living Bundle is this great book: Secrets to a Healthy Metabolism. I learned so much about what to eat and when to eat it, and I’m starting to put it into practice now! Maria says,
So often we focus on calorie reduction for weight loss because we are told metabolism comes down to calories in, calories out. This is really only one piece of the puzzle. If you are eating 500 calories of carbohydrates at a meal you are going to be storing a lot more fat. However, if those 500 calories are a combination of protein, carbohydrates, and fat, you could actually burn fat!
5. Change the Oils You Use to Cook
This is the biggest change I made in my eating–and likely the most important one. I had learned in the 1990s that we were all supposed to move away from saturated fat and move towards “healthy” fats, like canola oil. So I dutifully started looking down on people who still bought butter and stocked up on canola oil.
And it really isn’t good for you.
I only use four fats: coconut oil, butter, beef tallow, and olive oil. In The Healthy Home: Transform Your Home Room by Room, Erin Odom explains how these are the only fats you need–and she warns you why you shouldn’t cook with olive oil!
Tip: Get rid of the margarine. Bring back the butter!
6. Let’s Embrace Fat Again!
The 90s were oh, so wrong. They told us not to eat avocados and nuts and seeds because they were high in saturated fat. They told us not to eat full-fat dairy products. They told us to stay away from egg yolks and almost all animal meats.
Turns out our bodies need fat! Fat isn’t the problem. Refined sugar is. In Secrets to a Healthy Metabolism, Maria explains,
If heart disease results from the consumption of saturated fats, you would expect to find an increase in animal fat in the American diet. Actually, the reverse is true. From 1910 to 1970, the amount of animal fat in the American diet declined from 83% to 62% [of all fats], and butter consumption dropped from 18 pounds per person per year to 4. During the same period the percentage of vegetable oils in the form of margarine, shortening and refined oils increased about 400% while the consumption of sugar and processed foods increased about 60%. WOW! I think we found the problem!
Tip: Don’t be afraid to put butter back into your diet. But try to use healthy baking recipes instead of those that contain a lot of refined sugar!
7. You Don’t Have to Cut Out All Desserts
Chocolate is amazing. And dark chocolate is heaven.
And chocolate can actually be part of a healthy diet! One of my favourite resources in the Ultimate Healthy Living Bundle is Living Healthy with Chocolate, a book of 103 chocolate recipes that are actually good for you! I LOVE chocolate zucchini bread, and her recipe is amazing. But there are also chocolate peppermint sticks, chocolate truffles, chocolate chip cookie dough brownie, and so many more!
Seriously, it’s just about the QUALITY of foods you put into your body. Stay close to real foods with real nutrients and minerals, and steer clear of processed foods and refined sugars with nothing good in them, and you’re fine.
Here’s how Adriana Harlan explains it:
By allowing delicious, typically “forbidden”, foods to be a regular part of the diet, it prevents feelings of deprivation from undermining your efforts. Better yet, the “treats” are just as healthy as the regular food, so even picky eaters, such as a child diagnosed with Autism or Failure to Thrive or an adult suffering from Alzheimer’s, are sure to find something that tempts the appetite.
But what’s healthy about chocolate? Raw cacao is massively high in antioxidants–rating 95,500, compared to blueberries at 2,400.
Tip: Experiment with some yummy chocolate recipes and then make a ton ahead of time and freeze them, so when you have a craving for sweets you can eat “healthy” ones!
8. Don’t Have “Empty Calorie Foods” Around the House
The only thing my daughters remember about a cruise we took when they were 5 and 2 1/2 is that the cruise ship had Froot Loops. That was such a huge deal, because at our house we never had “sugar cereals”. In fact, I never bought bags of cookies (I did occasionally bake some), potato chips, pop, or traditional snack foods. And my kids grew up just fine.
When we went to a party the other night, the girls and I all enjoyed some potato chips. In fact, we probably ate too many! And I don’t think there’s anything wrong with eating stuff like that occasionally. But let it be “special occasion” food. Keep it out of your house. It’s not like you’re on a diet, so you’re depriving your kids of potato chips because you can’t have them in the house. Your kids shouldn’t have them anyway.
There are other snacks to eat! So just don’t buy the stuff. If you want to help your husband lose weight, this is one of the best things you can do, too.
Tip: Think of junk food as “special occasion” food, and keep it out of the cupboard!
There’s actually a ton more in the bundle that I’m so excited to learn more about that I haven’t told you here. There are a TON of resources on “gut health”, and how inflammation can really hurt nutrient absorption. There’s tons on hormones and how to use probiotics. And for parents, there are a ton of books on how to get your kids to eat healthier!
If you’ve had a constant struggle with food, then the Ultimate Healthy Meal Planning Bundle is for you! You get 83 accessible-right-away resources and 16 physical bonuses (worth $250 themselves!) for just $29.99. And if you buy before midnight tonight, you’ll get a free upgrade to an ereader version of your choice (instead of all .pdfs).
I guess for me the biggest change is that I’ve stopped seeing food as a constant struggle that I’m always fighting against, and I’m starting to see food as a choice that I make to make myself feel good. Food is not anything bad; my body needs food. So what am I going to do to take care of my body? It’s a mind shift change, and it’s really helped me feel more energetic (without the use of caffeine anymore!) and far less lethargic. I hope it can help you, too!