diet disasters in disguise.

by Janetha on October 26, 2011

in body for life,deep thoughts,recipes

hola amigos. how was your wednesday?

mine was full of a protein shake, work, lots of spaghetti squash, a lower body workout, some new and fun supplements i will have to tell you about, grocery shopping, halloween costume accessory purchasing, an orange dream bar and a (super late) tasty dinner that is perfect for this week’s cooler temperatures and can be made in thirty minutes flat…

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turkey noodle soup

serves four side dish sized servings or two entrée sized servings

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ingredients:

  • 8 oz turkey breast (you can sub chicken)
  • 6 cups low sodium chicken or vegetable broth
  • 5 stalks of celery, diced
  • 10-15 baby carrots, diced
  • 1/2 of a medium yellow onion, diced
  • 2 tsp trader joe’s 21 seasoning salute (or other all purpose seasoning)
  • 1 tsp minced garlic (i used jarred)
  • 1 tsp dried basil
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 1/2 tsp granulated garlic
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 3 oz no yolks wide noodles
  • lots of fresh ground salt & pepper
  • parmesan cheese for garnish (optional)
  • whole wheat saltines to crumble and sprinkle on top (recommended)

directions:

  1. place turkey breast in a medium pot and cover with water. bring to a boil and until turkey is cooked through.
  2. meanwhile, combine broth, celery, carrots, onion, garlic and all seasonings in a pot. bring to a boil for 10 minutes.
  3. remove turkey from heat and shred with two forks.
  4. add noodles to the broth pot and stir to combine. bring back to a boil and let cook through until noodles and vegetables are tender, about 5 minutes.
  5. remove from heat, stir in shredded turkey and season with copious amounts of salt and pepper. just add, taste, add, taste.. you get it.
  6. serve with a sprinkle of cheese and a sleeve of saltines. enjoy!

based on four servings, here is the nutrition information per serving (before cheese or crackers): 180 calories, 22g carbs, 20g protein, 3g fiber, 5g sugar, 1g fat.  this was calculated on thedailyplate.com.

balanced AND body for life friendly.

since this was our dinner, marshall & i split the pot of soup and split a sleeve of saltines and called it good!

who needs canned soup when it’s so quick and easy to make homemade?

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don’t worry, i haven’t forgotten about the pumpkin sage pasta recipe i still have to post. i’ll get there!

****************

so, about the title. i recently came across an article on the fit stop that listed five healthy habits that may actually be keeping you from reaching your weight loss goals. i thought the article was pretty accurate and interesting, so i wanted to post the five habits here.

written by JJ virgin, taken from the fit stop:

  1. You eat too much healthy food. “When it comes to your calorie intake, you have to think of your body as a bank account,” Virgin says. “Just because strawberries are healthy doesn’t mean you can eat 4 pounds of them. The same goes with nuts — yes, they are healthy but eat too many and they’re not. People I work with often experience the halo effect — they know they are eating something healthy so they eat more than they should, which counteracts eating healthy in the first place.”
  2. You’re eating healthy foods, but they might not be healthy for you. Your body has an inflammatory reaction to hold on to weight when you eat some staple items such as eggs, dairy, and soy. “When my clients pull these foods out of their diet, they lose 5 to 10 pounds almost instantly,” Virgin says. Try swapping coconut milk (she likes So Delicious Coconut Milk) instead of soymilk and start to see a difference in your middle.
  3. You skimp on breakfast. Not having a big enough breakfast sets your metabolic tone for the entire day. In a recent study, people who ate a larger breakfast (approximately 600 calories) lost more weight and kept it off than people who only had a 200 calories breakfast. Virgin recommends starting the day off with a shake for a healthy start. “Having a latte and a muffin will send your blood sugar crashing by 10 a.m.,” she says. “I tell my clients to make a pea rice protein shake with berries to keep your blood sugar stabilized and help you stay in fat-burning mode.”
  4. You’re snacking. Though many experts recommend snacking every few hours, Virgin believes in a different school of thought. “You should eat within an hour of waking up, and every four to six hours throughout the day, stopping three to four hours before you go to bed. This means you’ll eat a total of three times, with maybe one snack in between. If you find yourself snacking, then you didn’t eat the right combination of foods for your meal, and that’s the real issue.”
  5. You use artificial sweeteners. If you need a sweetener, Virgin recommends the tiniest bit of raw honey. “Artificial sweeteners cause calorie dysregulation, and you’ll end up overeating because your body can’t correlate the level of sweetness to calories. Plus, if you eat sweet, you’ll crave sweet. You might have been born with a sweet tooth, buy you can retrain it to crave healthier options, like blueberries, or almond butter with cinnamon.” Virgin also warns against using the latest sweetener craze,  agave. “Agave is a huge halo effect food,” she says. “It has the highest level of fructose over any other sweetener, and is a straight connection to insulin resistance (making it more difficult to lower your blood sugar).”

my thoughts/experiences:

  1. this was my DOWNFALL back in 2009. i lost a bunch of weight on body for life and i was in the best shape of my life! i continued my healthy habits, started this blog and ate waaaaayyyy too much food. not necessarily bigger portions—just more to the meal. instead of having a bare bones bowl of protein oatmeal, i added fruit and peanut butter and flax and glitter to the bowl. gotta make things sparkle, right? for the blog! lame. no. don’t do this. just because something is healthy doesn’t mean it’s calorie free, and it’ll still make you gain weight if you eat too much of it.
  2. this is one i am dealing with right now… well, one i should be dealing with, but so far i have done nothing because i am lame. it’s obvious my body hates certain foods and these foods cause me to be bloated, gassy and in lots of pain. however, i haven’t hopped on the elimination diet train just yet. i am waiting to see if the prescription medication my doctor put me on fixes my woes. i wouldn’t eliminate ANYTHING from my diet if i didn’t absolutely have to.. but i realize that i might be forced to give some things up if i discover they are giving me a problem. we are all SO different—i think this point is a very important one. it is so often too easy to look at a blog, see that the blogger is fit and healthy, eat like them and wonder why the hell you’re gaining weight. well, chances are that specific diet isn’t cut out for your specific body. it happens. trust yourself and eat for you.
  3. well i have no problem here. i agree with it 100%, though. on days i miss breakfast (that happened to me on monday because i was SO late for work and ended up with nothing at the office. it blew) i am definitely more ravenous and end up eating way too much the rest of the day. it’s funny that the author recommended a pea protein shake with berries—that’s exactly what i had today! raspberries and pea protein along with carrot juice, spinach, almond milk and ice. kept me full for hours and i ate like a normal person the rest of the day.
  4. i am on the fence with this one. i am a firm believer that eating every 3-4 hours is necessary to keep my metabolism running like a well-tuned furnace. there’s nothing wrong with a snack if you are truly hungry and need a snack. however, if you are snacking just for the sake of snacking because you are bored, sad, happy, tired, awake or breathing.. then i agree—stop the snacking and go for a walk.
  5. i definitely agree with this! i never have been big into artificial sweeteners, i think they taste bad, but i do know lots of people who are addicted to them and the more they consume, the more they want. that is an interesting bit about agave.. i didn’t know that prior to reading the article.

Q~

what do you think of this list? what other healthy habits can be diet deal breakers in disguise?

xo. janetha g.

p.s. happy birthday to my sister, suni!

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Jess@atasteofconfidence October 26, 2011 at 11:12 pm

Eating breakfast has made a huge difference for me. But I do eat every 3-4 hours or I crash.

Abby @ Abz 'n' Oats October 26, 2011 at 11:14 pm

First off, I will be making that soup ASAP. It sounds so incredibly comforting. I think the tips are very interesting. I have always tried to eat the smaller meals throughout the day because I am a snacker. Snacking has been going WAY to far over the last few months for me and is more like binging than snacking in my opinion. Number one definitely applies to me–especially with things like nuts, dried fruit, nut butter. Yikes. I feel like I’m having a hate fest on myself but I need to get it together!

Haley @ Health Freak College Girl October 26, 2011 at 11:14 pm

i totally agree with #5. artificial sweetners are never the way to go. and of course i agree with #3. breakfast is too good to pass up!

Toronto Girl West October 26, 2011 at 11:16 pm

Totally agree with this list!!!!

And your whole sparkle on the oatmeal thing made me laugh! :P I’m a big believer that way too many bloggers have drank the cool aid and only do things because they see popular bloggers do it. For example, load up their oatmeal with way too much stuff.

As for the breakfast thing – I struggle with that one because although I know I need to eat a good breakfast I get antsy if it starts to go above 300 calories. I’m not sure I’ve ever really had a 600 calorie breakfast when trying to be healthy!

Janetha October 26, 2011 at 11:19 pm

Agreed. My breakfast is typically around 400 cals. 

Ashley October 26, 2011 at 11:22 pm

I definitely need a big breakfast. Typically around 500-550 cals if I actually calculate it out. The smaller breakfast plus morning snack, never worked for me. :) Everyone varies so much!

Krystina (Organically Me) October 26, 2011 at 11:26 pm

I agree! For instance, if I have a serving of cereal and coffee, I feel like a ravenous beast an hour later. I need a stick-to-your-ribs breakfast!

Casey @ Pocket Full of Sunshine October 27, 2011 at 3:51 pm

On Toronto Girl’s comment—I agree, I never would have thought about adding peanut butter, fruit, etc to my oatmeal if I hadn’t started reading blogs. But let’s face it—oatmeal is boring without them! The toppings are the only reason I look forward to it! Breakfast is too good to be boring. :) I just make sure to only use a few “condiments” on one bowl—PB, banana, and maybe a little bit of cream cheese (SO GOOD) and use only a teaspoon or so of each topping.

Elizabeth @ reads recipes runs October 26, 2011 at 11:16 pm

This list is amazing!! I always eat too much “healthy food” which I think has a huge affect on my fitness goals. I totally agree with eating foods that are good for you, not just “good for you”. I’ve noticed a HUGE difference in not eating wheat vs. eating wheat regularly. I get so bloated and gross, but the funny thing is I didn’t even realize how bad it was until I stopped for a significant amount of time. (I need to cut back again)

Ashley October 26, 2011 at 11:20 pm

Great post girl!! Such great tips. I’ve had to make so many changes over the past few years and finally feel really comfortable with how I’m eating. Obviously the meat thing is a choice, but the gluten is not. I’ve experimented with the smaller meals + snacking a few times a day, and did that for a long time. However, while that works for some, it made me overeat. I never felt completely full. Now I eat 3 normal meals and snack 1-2x per day, but it really just depends on how I feel. I’ve also changed up my breakfasts a bit. Still eating oatmeal most mornings, but amped up the protein more and now use 1/2c of oats instead of 1/3c. Huge difference! Still top it with banana + nut butter..mmm I know I didn’t answer your question, hehe…whoops! And I’m totally against artificial sweeteners, even stevia. I can detect it in anything and am not a fan. Bring on the honey! :)

Krystina (Organically Me) October 26, 2011 at 11:21 pm

I’m glad he mentioned agave – once I learned more about it, I stopped using it completely. Honey and maple syrup are all I need in terms of liquid sweeteners.

Amanda October 26, 2011 at 11:31 pm

ugh, I need to work on eating a bigger breakfast. Lately my stomach is weird in the morning and all I can handle is a protein shake. I’m glad you posted this list, made me think about my own habits. (Eating too much healthy food…almonds especially!)

Jessiker October 26, 2011 at 11:37 pm

This is interesting.
I know #1 is probably my biggest downfall. For about a year, I have been eating oatmeal almost every single day for breakfast. Finally, I just had enough!!!
I went through tuna phase for a few months.
I went through a egg thing for a few months every couple of years.
I eat pretty healthily but I end up becoming obsessed with certain foods and eat them until, I literally, cannot choke them down. I have a really hard time putting variety into my diet. I get weird about flavors and become attached to certain foods and turned off by others. Super easily. I need to work on eating less food and more variety.

I love Agave, that is interesting. I can see how it is true though, it has a higher concentration and if you’re not measuring.. it’s easy to put just as much agave in your coffee as you would of honey. But it’s almost twice the sugar.!

Brittany October 26, 2011 at 11:57 pm

Thanks for posting the article from the fit stop. I agree with you on all of them, especially the snacking – if you’re hungry have a snack, if you’re just bored at work, don’t.

I’m still in the process of figuring out what foods cause the stomach pain I have on occasion, but I know for sure that I’m very sensitive to sugar alcohols.

Ashley @ My Food 'N' Fitness Diaries October 27, 2011 at 12:06 am

I think she makes a lot of good points, and I agree with most of them. I thought the one about your body not liking certain healthy foods was interesting. I also, like you, am on the fence about her thoughts against snacking. Obviously it’s important to not be snacking incessantly, but a few healthy snacks throughout the day can be a good thing. I am one that eats smaller meals so I like to eat something every 3 to 4 hours. I know some people that like to eat bigger meals though, but they aren’t big snackers. I think it just depends on your personal preference.

Averie @ Love Veggies and Yoga October 27, 2011 at 1:53 am

Great article and I pretty much agree with everything. To the point of #1..”healthy food”. I cringe when I get comments from people who like my “healthy desserts”…but I want to scream, no!! they aren’t healthy!

Just b/c I can make something vegan and not use animal products does not make it healthy. It’s still dessert; it still has a boat load of cals and fat in it. It may someone be ‘healthier’ than a Twinkie, but barely. Dessert is dessert. So even if it’s a ‘healthy dessert’, it still is not broccoli.

To the point of #2…new raw foodies and new vegans tend to go overboard with nuts. In everything. They are high in fat/cals, and for me, my body does not digest them well and I have all kinds of fallout. So yes, nuts can be healthy. But not 2 c of cashew a day. And not for me and my gut, for sure :)

Deb (SmoothieGirlEatsToo) October 27, 2011 at 2:04 am

When I first started reading the ‘typical’ blogs, I’d look at those bowls of oatmeal and add up the calories rainman style in my head and scream “that’s a 500 calorie bowl of fricken oatmeal! That’s insane” Yah, the toppings look great on a blog but not on your ass.

I was going to disagree with the ‘must eat breakfast’ point, but then she went on to recommend the exact breakfast I have every day! A smoothie~! Not to mention for the past 2 months i’ve had pea/hemp powder which is now my absolute favorite, with some sort of berries or rhubarb or something. For some reason I find that if I start the day with that type of shake: green etc, I don’t seem to have a sweet tooth for nearly the whole day- plus I get in a ton of veggies before lunch!

lindsay October 27, 2011 at 7:20 am

i call that front loading with veggies. Nicely done Deb. I will take that shake!
:)

Aleks October 27, 2011 at 7:30 am

I admit to loading the ‘healthy stuff’ in my oatmeal to amp up the nutrition. I actually want to get more calories in (I don’t count any more, but it’s 400 kcal easily). And I do it exactly because of #3: more calories for breakfast = less chance of snacking on biscuits before lunch at work. So it doesn’t have to be a bad thing!

I haven’t had a shake for breakfast in ages, maybe it is time to invest in protein powder (though I don’t think I can get pea protein in Ireland :()

Deb (SmoothieGirlEatsToo) October 27, 2011 at 2:22 pm

I wouldn’t discount that- I’ve found lots of very cool stuff in the UK that I was surprised to find. And it’s shockingly tasty!

Aleks October 27, 2011 at 7:01 pm

Yeah, it seems the easiest way would it to get it shipped from UK… But I agree about surprise finds, so far I’ve found kale, quinoa, liquid free-range egg whites in regular supermarkets, chia seeds in a health store, etc. I lived in Dubai before, so I only knew about all those gems from reading blogs, and now I’m thrilled I can get this stuff myself!

Thanks!

Erica October 27, 2011 at 2:28 am

I m so obsessed with soup right now! Yours looks awesome-protein packed! I am a big mini meal fan. I can see how it doesnt work for everyone and can turn into non stop snacking

cathy@1970kikiproject October 27, 2011 at 6:13 am

these are five very valid points. my take is that we’re all experiments of one and it can take a lot of trial and error to find what is right for you. it’s good to read up on healthy ideas and then try them/modify them as necessary. also, we change over time or even season to season, so what is working now, may not work six months from now, and again – it’s all about experimentation!
thanks for sharing the article, j! interesting read!

Brittany @ GOtheXtraMile October 27, 2011 at 6:28 am

I love soup this looks so good! I agree with the breakfast. Whenever I don’t have enough for breakfast I am ravenous later on. It definitely sets the whole tone of the day!

Donna @ Life of a Happy Blonde October 27, 2011 at 6:44 am

I love reading this because i was just thinking yesterday that since i’ve cut out snacks and just eat my 3 meals i have been losing a few more pounds then when i ate snacks throughout the day and i wondered why because i thought you had to eat smaller meals!
And i totally agree with #1, i find blogging has made that one harder for me :)

lindsay October 27, 2011 at 7:18 am

i think these are all good tips but number 2 stuck out to me the most. Our bodies are constantly changing due to stress, hormones, etc and we need to find what foods are BEST for US! I totally agree with soy milk versus coconut milk, etc. This is now better for ME. And actually right now, goats milk is working the best. So i guess its about finding balance and staying in TUNE with your body, hunger and all. Am i rambling now?

Pure2raw twins October 28, 2011 at 6:47 pm

Lindsay we agree with what you said for #2, we are all different and at different times in our life we need different foods to help us. we are on the same path of figuring it all out. we do not mind taking things out of our diet at the moment, if in the end it makes us feel and ‘look’ better then yay, haha
we have been enjoying goat kefir and goat yogurt and our body seems to be liking, but we are mixing in some coconut yogurt so our bodies do not get too attached to goat.

lindsay October 28, 2011 at 6:50 pm

haha, thats what i do too! mix it with coconut yogurt. Oh girls, we are on the same wave length these days.

Katie October 27, 2011 at 7:20 am

Loved this post! Especially the breakfast…I eat a huge breakfast to prevent over eating later in the day. After learning about artificial sweeteners in my Nutrition class, I’ll be using the real thing from now on! On the deal breaker idea… “Just because you workout, you can eat whatever you want”…We all know ABS are made in the kitchen ;)

Hope @ With A Side Of Hope October 27, 2011 at 7:23 am

That turkey noodle soup looks delicious! I must try making it! :)

This is an interesting article. I definitely don’t eat a big enough lunch. I feel like I need a snack immediately after I eat my lunch at work which could be a big problem depending on what I choose to snack on. I think it would be easier for me if I had a couple of little meals instead of 3 big meals a day.

Robyn October 27, 2011 at 7:34 am

hi there! been reading your blog for a few weeks and absolutely love it :) got the link for how sweets eats.
the article you just posted is so useful, you have no idea! actually you probably do which is why you posted it!! but i definitely feel like i usually tick all the boxes in terms of healthy eating, but the point about eating too much of the healthy stuff was a good reminder about what i’m putting in my mouth. also i didn’t realise that i should be eating slightly larger breakfast, i only have a bowl of cereal which is quite low in calories so will think about upping this now with some fruit.
thanks for the posting the tips :)

Heather (Heather's Dish) October 27, 2011 at 7:42 am

i agree with most of them, especially #1 – i have dealt with that before and it’s no fun to realize that you can’t just eat however much you want! i wouldn’t mind 4 lbs of strawberries right about now :)

Lee October 27, 2011 at 7:55 am

I feel like I am constantly dealing with #1.

Betty October 27, 2011 at 8:15 am

I usually try to make my second meal substantial (which is still only at 9:30) because I drink a protein shake after my workout and try to keep it simple and light. I usually have a nice bowl of protein oats at 9:30 at work and that keeps me regulated all day long (days when I don’t have it I’m starving all day longggg)

Lindsay @ Lindsay's List October 27, 2011 at 8:38 am

Totally agree with all of them, especially the bfast one. If I skimp early in the day, I end up SO hungry at night and eat anything within reach. And then THAT effects my sleep at night. So I’m tired. And more hungry the next day.

Deb (SmoothieGirlEatsToo) October 27, 2011 at 2:25 pm

And the irony: If I DO have breakfast, I’m starved the rest of the day- like it gets the ‘engines’ roaring. I have learned that I need to listen to my body- I’m best with just a smoothie (or two) plus scant toppings as my ‘breakfast.’ We need to experiment to find what works for each of us. Interestingly, my Dad used to say the same thing, and he had NO issues with food whatsoever.

Meg October 27, 2011 at 8:55 am

1,2 and 4 are my downfalls. I know I eat way too much dairy but it’s my very favorite! I crave cheese all the time, it’s ridiculous. I’m proud to say that I’ve worked pretty hard on snacking especially when I’m bored by finding something else to distract me.

I’ve never been much for artificial sweetener either. I know not everyone thinks this way, but healthifying sweets just seems so wrong, not to mention I feel cheated. That being said, I definitely have been trying to eat more fruit when I have a sweet tooth.

Tina @ Faith Fitness Fun October 27, 2011 at 9:08 am

I agree with all of them and have actually had results when I more closely honed in to each of those over time. Although, I’m with you. I still have to snack at least SOME. Girlfriend gets hungry!

sarah (sarah learns) October 27, 2011 at 9:16 am

number 1 is so true! my friend was struggling with her weight and asked me for help. i asked her to tell me her average day’s meals & in pretty much every meal she had tons of healthy “extras” that were adding unnecessary calories each day. so many people fall into that trap!

a huge diet trap has been living with my husband! what he can eat and end up losing weight would cause me to blow up like crazy! it’s not fair, but it’s important to be aware of. just because my portions look small COMPARED TO HIS, they’re the right size for me!

Kendra October 27, 2011 at 9:29 am

I eat a 600 cal breakfast but I work as a carpenter. When I tried following other peoples meal plans I didn’t take into account how many calories I burn at work. I was tired, cold and weak all day. Once I upped my calories my energy sustained, work didn’t seem as hard and I lost weight.

The trick is lowering my calories when I’m not working!

Cat @Breakfast to Bed October 27, 2011 at 9:39 am

Janetha! TJ’s has turkey stock right now! SSSSSOOOO GOOD!!! That is all.

Biz October 27, 2011 at 10:48 am

Happy bday to your sister!

I agree that eating too much healthy food is wrong – I have a co-worker who “thinks” she’s eating healthy – she brought in a container of hummus and said “I am going to eat healthy today – I have hummus and crackers!”

Um, she ate the whole container (which had a serving size of 2 tablespoons for 60 calories each) and the container had 8 servings – or 480 calories – and then ate half a box of kashi crackers! Her “healthy” lunch came in at around 800 calories!

Kat October 27, 2011 at 11:13 am

I love this article! A really effective break-down; I’m going to take a closer look to help myself “check in” with my eating habits.

Christina October 27, 2011 at 11:39 am

I agree 100% about eating a good sized breakfast. When I was in my serious “diet” days I would eat a small breakfast because I felt like all meals should be generally small. When I did this (and if I do this still) I am like a savage for the rest of the day. It definitely leads to those “bottomless pit” days.

emily (a nutritionist eats) October 27, 2011 at 12:11 pm

Ugh, I have gotten into a bad habit of not eating a big enough breakfast which I can totally tell leads me to snacking at night and craving dessert!
Once we get settled into our new apartment I think things should get back to normal.

Rose October 27, 2011 at 12:37 pm

I think eating breakfast is best for some people, but not everyone. When I’m in workout overdrive, I wake up starving, which is why I started eating mini meatloaf things for breakfast. But, when I’m just doing my regular thing, I don’t get hungry until lunch time, so I don’t eat until lunch time. It fits with my laziness.

Christin@purplebirdblog October 27, 2011 at 12:44 pm

I am in total soup mode lately, and this sounds perfect.

“trust yourself and eat for you.” I am so grateful that I can do this for the most part today. I may not be thin and probably never will be, but I know what nourishes me well, what makes me feel like crap, what kind of exercise my body likes and what hurts (in a bad way, not the awesome DOMS way), and I am happy I make the best choices for myself the vast majority of the time.

sarah October 27, 2011 at 12:57 pm

Great post, Janetha! I always try to limit my use of artificial sweeteners, though its hard when the local cafe has the beeest coffee with skim and sf hazelnut syrup! Haha, those are my exceptions :)
I had a similar occurence with milk too. Although it is healthy for some people, it just isn’t for me! It gave me terrible gas and always made me feel pretty bad. I eliminated it (which wasn’t hard.. just make a milk swap for my cereal!) and now I feel loads better :) Kefir doesn’t seem to upset me.. maybe because the lack of lactose.
These are great tips. I think the most important thing is for every body to find what works for them. It’s different for everyone! While there are certain guidelines that make nutrition easier to understand, these are flexible and meant to be adjusted!

Laurie October 27, 2011 at 1:26 pm

Janetha, thank you for this list!!! What a eye opener for sure! I struggle with #5 the most, because I have to have artificial sweetners in my iced tea, oatmeal, etc. But I’m going to try the raw honey approach to see if that will help. Thanks again!

Kathy October 27, 2011 at 1:26 pm

I totally agree with the breakfast thing. But not sure about not adding the healthy options to something like oatmeal. I like my oatmeal with flax, chia & hemp seeds. I also sometimes add extra things like pumpkin, or peanut butter, and/or maple syrup. I need the extra protein because I am vegan and that insures I can get it in my diet. I also think snacking is okay at times. (Though I usually snack simply because I am bored – which is not okay). I get up early and it is a long time between breakfast and lunch (at work), so snacking helps keep me focused. But again, unnecessary snacking isn’t necessary. I don’t use artificial sweeteners, but I do on occasion use agave. I had never heard that about agave, and I had heard that it was a good thing for people with diabetes to use because it is low glycemic. Not sure what to make of that. And very true about everyone’s bodies being different. What might be good for you, might not be good for me. We need to do what works for us, though I do like to study what people eat and what works for them. I may try it, but if it doesn’t work, I move on to something different. Interesting information.

Jillian @ sprinkle massacre October 27, 2011 at 1:30 pm

I was waiting for those tips to be the typical ones, but I was definitely surprised by them. I read something similar about agave recently, and that honey is the better choice.

The only thing I disagree with is not eating 3-4 hours before bed.
A. I cannot goto bed hungry.
B. I wake up at 5am and typically do not eat before working out so I’d be ravenous.

Heather @ Better With Veggies October 27, 2011 at 1:38 pm

I’ve been bad this past month about eating too much healthy food. With all the cooking in my house to celebrate veganmofo on my blog, there’s always way more food in the house than normal. I tend to munch more than I should – time to start scaling back a bit. :)

Naomi(onefitfoodie) October 27, 2011 at 1:40 pm

great points she made but I really am against what she said do nto eat 3-4 hours before bed?! whhat are you kidding me? I am in the utmost BEST shape of my life, and dropped 20 lbs and I eat 30 minutes before bed pretty much every single night. Of course this is different for everyone, but I do not believe time has anything to do with it-its about total calories in vs out. One diet disaster I hear people deal with way too often is that they ‘reward themselves with food’ after a workout. “oh i worked out today so I can have that extra slice of cake” well, if this person is looking to lose weight, then rewarding themselves with food is not the way to go…of course BALANCE, but for the most part we should find other rewards such as new clothing, manicure, new sneakers!

Lindsay @ biking before bed October 27, 2011 at 1:41 pm

What an interesting list. I think the snacking one is definitely a personal preference one. Some people just need to eat more frequently than others. I’d rather have slightly smaller meals and snack all day than eat more calories at meal time. And I am with you on the elimination diet. I know certain foods cause adverse reactions in my gut… but they are some of my favorites. I wish it were easy to pinpoint. I’d be happy to give up one or two things if I knew it would make me feel better, but I don’t want to have to give up whole food groups I enjoy!

Clare @ Fitting It All In October 27, 2011 at 1:57 pm

I’m definitely dealing with #1 – I eat healthy foods but way too much of them. Spoonfuls of peanut butter are my downfall!

Jen@FoodFamilyFitness October 27, 2011 at 1:57 pm

I posted something similar this morning, I was eating healthy foods, but eating way too much. I was maintaining my weight, but I’m not at a weight I want to maintain!!!

Lauren October 27, 2011 at 2:15 pm

I would LOVE to hear more about how the livefit trainer is going for you. I’m currently on week 2 and really liking it so far. I’m also not following her food plan so I was curious if you are already feeling/seeing results?

Andrea@WellnessNotes October 27, 2011 at 2:18 pm

Eating too much healthy foods is definitely my problem #1. I love to make “interesting” salads or side dishes, but “interesting” can be quite expensive calorie-wise…. I also just love food and have to make a very conscious effort to be mindful when I sit down to eat, or I’ll eat way too much.

Deb (SmoothieGirlEatsToo) October 27, 2011 at 2:28 pm

Like oatmeal, a salad can easily creep up to 500-600 calories with all the ‘healthy’ toppings. I suppose that’s fine if it’s a “meal” but is it satisfying as a burrito for the same calories? I’m experimenting :-) So far, the answer for me: no.

Janna November 1, 2011 at 11:47 pm

I need to gain weight, so I’m not exercising. I really really want to do the LiveTrainer stuff from Jamie Eason (for strength) but SO many of the exercises require a gym and I have NO gym and NO equipment (no money for it)…so I wish someone could design me a program that is the exact same but that I can do at home (and that is not complicated).
Since I need to gain, I’m thinking I need maybe 2000 cals. I’m having a terrible time with this because I’m 31 years old and I’m stuffed all the time. I have no appetite whatsoever, but I have to get this weight on. I look and feel like crap. But all food just sits so wrong for me.
Breakfast is the hardest. I’ve been having smoothies…and I use either a whey or brown rice protein powder. But I get all confused with the best ingredients. Too much fruit and I feel logged up. Too much fat (like if I use PB or flaxseed oil) and I feel all greasy. Then I can’t get the cals up and get all lousy all day trying to match together all those cals when all I want to do is…not eat.

If you have suggestions let me know. Maybe you know the perfect breakfast?

problem is that I tend to binge at night (emotional). Like tonight I had a huge bowl of yogurt with grapes, nuts, 1.5 oz dark chocolate and 1.5 cups quinoa cereal…and that’s only the beginning…and feel like crap. The LAST thing I want is breakfast or anything tommorow.

I keep screwing up.

A lot of foods mess with my body too, but I’m really really not wanting to eliminate any foods. I guess that seems silly, but I just can’t do it.

Nutritionists are useless to me and my doctors are pretty useless and guessing just like me.

If anyone has ANY advice, I’ll take it.

Janetha November 2, 2011 at 2:19 pm

I am so sorry to hear you are struggling with your eating habits. I have only been on the other end on the spectrum–needing to lose weight rather than gain it–so I am afraid I don’t have any good tips. I’m sorry!

Lara October 27, 2011 at 6:58 pm

I am the same way! This is basically 90% of all the weight problems I’ve ever had…portions. When I was overweight, I never really understood why. I didn’t buy candy, chips, twinkles….but I did eat seconds, thirds, and sometimes fourths. Duh!

Kait October 28, 2011 at 4:16 pm

A great solution is to invest in and/or use smaller plates, bowls, and silverware. It sounds silly but it seriously works! I never use anything but a teaspoon or salad fork, 6- or 8-in plates, and bowls that hold 2 cups or less. You can always always get seconds but if you heap that plate up, your brain is like, “HECK YEA look at all this food!”

TheHungeredOne@MovingandMunching October 27, 2011 at 2:27 pm

I definitely eat every few hours otherwise I feel like I’m running on empty. Good luck with your food issues. I was tested and don’t have celiacs, but cutting out gluten made a huge difference and my dr. said it was an intolerance/sensitivity issue.

Liz @ Southern Charm October 27, 2011 at 3:35 pm

I’m am guilty of eating too much healthy food!! I overload on salads and steam veggies sometimes … ok, a lot. haha.

Like you, I am on the fence about snacking. I’m a big fan of it, and it helps me to eat smaller lunches and dinners.

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