I love to read about nutrition and ways to achieve a healthy and SUSTAINABLE diet (a lifestyle, as opposed to a 'diet' that is short-term and unrealistic). I wrote this HUGE post and then decided to break it up so it's not so much info at one time. So today, I'll share some tips for a good diet. One that will keep you from having cravings.
First off, how often should we be eating?
-Every 2-3 hours. It keeps you going. The days I struggle with getting my 6 meals are the days that I have a hard time making it through the day.
What kinds of foods should we be eating?
-Meals should be balanced, consisting of veggies, protein, complex carbs, and healthy fat. Here are some links to some pins on my Pinterest. I love all three of these, to give you a visual of what your plate should look like.
I especially love the 3rd picture because it specifies 'low-glycemic' carbs, 'organic' protein, and 'non-starchy' veggies. It also reminds us that we need (healthy) fats in our diet. I have learned that we actually burn fat by eating GOOD fats. It also gives examples of foods in each category, which is awesome. Study that picture until you have it memorized. great info! I believe that if we can eat this way daily, we'll have a lot less cravings for junk.
I've been trying to eat this way for at least a week and I feel really good. It hasn't been nearly as hard as I thought it would, because I have an outline for myself to stick to (see above). So, when everyone was eating dinner the other night and my in-laws brought delicious smelling rosemary bread and soft-looking rolls from kneaders, I actually said no, and stuck to it! Because I already had a balanced meal with my grilled chicken, wild rice, green beans, and water. And herbal tea for dessert! And guess what! I was completely satisfied after my meal and so proud of myself for not eating the bread. And when we went out the next night to the park and they brought a pizza to share, I passed on the pizza and had a protein shake with lots of spinach and avocado when I got home(i'll put the recipe in another post).
-drink water. LOTS of it! If it's been two hours since you ate, and you were trying to make it to two and a half or three, guzzle the water. A lot of the time we're just thirsty. Pay attention to your pee. I NEVER used to think about this until marrying B. He's big on staying hydrated. Any HINT of yellow, drink more. You want it to look like you didn't pee, like there's just water in the toilet. sorry if that's too personal. ; )
-have dark chocolate on hand for a little treat, when you need it. (and when i say 'treat' i mean like one square of chocolate). I get the Lindt 90% cocoa. It's not sweet, like you want it to be (it's actually quite bitter tasting) but you get used to it.
-plan your meals. have leftovers in the fridge for lunches. this SAVES me. i'm so so bad at making lunch. if i don't have something easy, i'll either eat junk because it's fast, or i won't eat at all, and that's just a recipe for disaster. i end up exhausted, overwhelmed, and short tempered, and can hardly get through the day. if i have a leftover piece of chicken in the fridge and some already cooked rice, and some salad, it's so easy.
-have frozen avocado and spinach in the freezer for smoothies. I separate avocados into 1/4s (chopped into small bites). put them in baggies in the freezer. adds the good fat to your smoothie and makes it creamier. for the spinach, I just buy a plastic container of organic spinach and put the whole container in the fridge.
-frozen bananas are good too (for smoothies). peel, cut and put in baggies in whatever portions you want. (maybe 1/2 a banana in each baggie)
-limit the fruit but don't beat yourself up if you have some. Fruit is sugar. Yes, it has vitamins but you can get those from veggies too. So we don't want too much fruit but I don't like to ELIMINATE it. Maybe limit yourself to one piece a day. The BEST fruits are dark berries, kiwi, and grapefruit. Have a piece as dessert or a sweet snack during the day. Definitely beats having a bowl of ice cream. (apple with almond butter or peanut butter is so yummy! green apples are better than red, health wise.)
-after your 6th meal, no more eating. try to go to bed an hour or two later. don't stay up so late that you end up starving and needing more food.