Recently I have had a handful of friends ask me my opinion on a “cleanse” that have heard of and considering trying. Personally, I am not a fan of any extreme diets, workouts or cleanses & I think there is a much easier way to jump starting weight loss. I am encouraging EVERYONE to read this and educate yourself on the facts. If you want to get yourself on the right track, I will share with you my best strategies and what has worked for me.
1. Avoid sugar, processed empty foods and even the first few days not having too much fruit, 1-2 servings a day. This will help balance your blood sugar to reduce cravings, feelings that your crashing and keeping steady energy. It is esitmated that Americans eat an average of 100-200 pounds of sugar a year. Visualize lifting that much weight over your head, now picture eating it. Yuck. (I can tell you from experience that I feel incredibly better when I don’t have sugar-like candy, even crackers that are whole wheat because it gets me eating mindlessly. Think this, boxes=binges, I avoid the box I avoid the binge)
If you are used to starting your day with high carb meals, like cereal, bagels, english muffins, my suggestion is to try starting with a high protein meal. Eggs are quick and one of the healthiest ways you can start your day. Scramble with a small handful of your favorite cheese and 1 slice of whole grain toast if you must.
2. Don’t tell yourself your doing everything right on Monday. Putting too much pressure on yourself to do everything perfect on the beginning of the week is setting yourself up for failure. You can’t change your entire lifestyle in one day and it is likely that you will slip up eventually. For me I know that in the past when I would do this, if I made a mistake on Monday I thought well there goes the whole week and would throw in the towel now pass the chocolate. Start by making 1 small change after you read this, whether it is drinking more water, having 1 cookie instead of 2, just make a change that you know is do-able and that you can stick with. Make one small change every day, that add up, just take baby steps.
3. When you do eat, think more mindfully. Think am I really hungry? Is what I am about to eat going to nourish me or make me feel guilty? Did this come from a tree, the ground, or a box? When you eat take your time, savor your food, don’t rush.
4. Last, but most importantly, don’t deprive yourself. You can eat anything you want. Seriously. If you want chocolate cake, then eat it, just don’t eat the whole thing. I have heard about the “two bite rule” in that you don’t really taste and savor desserts behind two bites. It feels so much more empowering when you are satisfied by two bites than feeling guilty and beating yourself up because you let the cake win.
Think about foods that you really can’t give up, and eat them in small amounts if they are dense in calories, or remember that it is calories in and calories out. Find your recommended daily amount of calories and budget in your absolute can’t live without meal. For example if you must have a 600 calorie big mac, then keep the other 2 meals of your day around 400 calories, which would still allow you to have a snack of around 150 calories if you are following a 1600 calorie diet which works for a lot of women.
Foods that balance your blood sugar:
Blueberries, almonds, quinoa, avocado, walnuts– and many more. Foods with fiber are key. Your body releases the food more slowly and you are fueled for longer without feeling hungry. Fats are your friends, well MUFAS and PUFAS not saturated animal fat.
If you have anything that works for you, or any recommendations/opinions/thoughts please feel free to share.