Only need to think about 3 things this week:
[learn_more caption=”1) Meal Timing – Eat 5 Times A Day (click the arrow for more details)”]
Balance your energy intake by having a snack between breakfast and lunch and lunch and dinner. Snacks will help keep your energy flow constant between meals. The bottom line is that you want your energy to be constant throughout your day, starting out strong at breakfast and trending down as you go into the evening.
The way I used to eat was the exact opposite of what my body required. I would eat a small sugary breakfast (or skipped it all together). Then, a heavier lunch and, finally, a large dinner.
Our bodies actually need the most energy throughout the day while we are at work or school or whatever. So, it makes absolutely no sense to eat our biggest meal right before hitting the couch for the evening!
Generally, you should target eating about every 3 hours. Depending when you start your day, the times you eat may vary slightly. The main point is to eat on a regular schedule. This will help keep your energy constant and you will not have the ups and downs throughout the day that most people go through and fix with stimulants, such as coffee, sugar and/or energy drinks.
Here is an example of my eating pattern:
- 6:45 am – Breakfast
- 10 am – Mid-Morning Snack
- 12 pm – Lunch
- 3 pm – Mid-Afternoon Snack
- 5:30 – 6 pm – Dinner
- *9pm – Optional (depending on your goals)
Again, every person is different. Listen to your body. I have some clients that eat every 2 hours and I have some that only eat three times per day and they all are just fine. The point is to try and level out your energy intake and provide your body a good constant source of fuel throughout the day and not to overload it at any given feeding. This is what will help get your biochemistry in line.
For most of us, it is not practical to have 5 equally caloric meals throughout any given day. The point is not to have 5 full meals, but more practically to have a snack between breakfast and lunch and one between lunch and dinner. This will even out your energy and you will not go into any given meal overly hungry.
You should find you have a more constant flow of energy throughout the day.
Our bodies metabolism naturally peeks between 12-1pm and starts to trend down as you move towards bedtime.
Your body needs the most fuel in the morning and should trend down towards the evening time. Dinner should be smaller than your breakfast and lunch.
- Continue with eating a strong breakfast, this will set the stage for constant energy flow.
- Snack ideas
Green Smoothie (would have to bring extra from home)
Raw veggies and hummus
Fresh fruit (grapes, apples, …)
Mary’s Gone Crackers
GO Raw snacks
Homemade protein bars
Think Thin Bars (back up plan)
- Atkins Bars (back up plan)
[learn_more caption=”2) No Eating After Dinner (click the arrow for more details)”]
No eating after dinner.
If your goal is to lose weight, you will want to cut off food intake 3 hours prior to bed.
You will be hungry because it will have been about 3 hours since you last ate and your body is expecting food. This is the perfect time go to go to bed. While you sleep, your body will be switching to a different method of burning energy. It will be working off your stored energy, which if your goal is to lose weight is a good thing. The worst thing you can do right before bed is eat a sugary dessert (something I used to do).
Remember your metabolism is slowing down so you will be burning the food you eat in the evening at a much slower rate. There have been many studies done that have shown that simply shifting calorie intake earlier in the day people lose weight. The weight loss occurred not by changing food amounts or types, but just timing.
- Brush and floss after dinner. The bedtime routine for most people takes some time. If you do this directly after dinner, you are more likely not to eat again (because you do not want to have to do the night time routine again).
- IF you have to snack, avoid sugars, breads, crackers, chips, and these types of things. Here are some ideas that might be a better choice:
- Fresh veggies, carrots, bell peppers, celery
- Raw nuts
- Nut butters
[learn_more caption=”3) Eat In For 1 Week (click the arrow for more details)”]
Avoid restaurant and prepared foods as much as possible this week. The ultimate goal is for 1 week to make all your own food.
The Problem with Eating Out
Restaurants are in the business to make food that tastes great so that you will want to come back again.
They are NOT in business to help you lose weight or to make you healthy. Even if you make great choices, eating out multiple times per week will make it harder for you to reach your goal.
I have seen this time and time again. The more times someone eats out in a week, the less weight they lose. Restaurants add in more sugar, fat, and salt than you would when you cook at home. This adds up over the week. We understand you cannot eat in all the time, but minimizing this as much as possible will help you lose weight and maintain the weight you desire. We have gotten to the point where the food we make at home is more desirable than eating out. This is not something that happens overnight. It will take some time.
One of our favorite fast food restaurants is called Chipotle. We like how they source their food and make it fresh. Even this restaurant adds extra sodium and oils that are unnecessary. Every time I eat there, I am up on the scale the next day due to the high sodium they use in their food. (If that’s what happens when we eat at what we consider a very conscious-eating establishment, you can imagine what a restaurant that is not ‘conscious-eating’ would be like.)
We had a client that the only change we made with her was to make her lunch instead of going out for lunch. In the very first week, she dropped over 5 lbs! This was a simple change that helped her lose weight and save a ton of money.
- Plan your dinners. If you plan all your dinners in advance for the week, you will not be stuck trying to figure out what to have for dinner.
- Do your shopping for the entire week. If you buy all the ingredients for your planned dinners, you will not only know what you are having, but you will know you have all the ingredients to make it.
- Write out your dinners and put them on the refrigerator. This way you will know and your family will know what is for dinner so they won’t be asking you that dreaded question, “What’s for dinner?”
- Bring your lunch to work. Here are some ideas:
- Chili – this chili is a very convenient thing for lunch. It makes a good amount and will last you a few days. Even if you have it for dinner and use the leftovers for lunches.
- Quinoa Salad – this quinoa salad you can make in advance and will last a few days. Easy transport and you just eat it cold.
- Burrito Bowl – you can prepare this in advance and either make a bowl in the AM or you can just take the ingredients to work and build it on the fly.
- Enchiladas – Ezekiel has a gluten free tortilla, you will want to use those. You can make this in advance and wrap them up individually and take them to work or just stash them in your refrigerator at work.
[learn_more caption=”What to do if you have to eat out (click the arrow for more details)”]
Tips and Tricks for eating out
When I was a kid, going out to dinner at a restaurant was a treat.
It was something we did maybe once or twice a month – usually to celebrate a special occasion, like a birthday, graduation, anniversary or something like that. We got to enjoy some good service, good food and the company of our family.
- the eeny meeny miny moe – It all starts with picking the right place to eat. By making the right choice of restaurants, you really open up more options once you are in the restaurant. Ideally, finding a restaurant that serves fresh, locally grown, organic food is the best option. But if that is not an option, stay away from places you know have a lot of fried foods and pick ones that you feel at least have some healthy choices.
- the menutranslatenator – Okay, obviously I’ve been watching too much Phineas and Ferb, but that Dr. Doofenshmirtz has got some awesome lines. So, let’s say you could not find a healthy restaurant and you ended up in a chain restaurant or something along those lines. No problem, you will just need to translate the menu. Stay away from words like fried, breaded, battered, buttered, gravy, creamy, saucy…and, for heaven’s sake, please stay away from words like big, large, grande, hearty, huge and ginormous. Stick with things like fresh, seasonal, light and steamed.
- the rico suave – So you could not find anything seasonal, fresh and light on the menu? Well, you may need to move to the “the rico suave tip” (formally known as “be a pain in the butt” tip, but it went through a name change, for obvious reasons). It is about charming your server. They are there to make you happy, so you will give them a nice big fat tip. So they should be open to any questions about how their food is prepared. But be nice about it, you don’t want them spitting in your food because you are being a pain in the butt (not that that ever happens). Anyway, I would not nit-pick about everything, just see if they can slightly alter or substitute some of the bad for good. Usually, all restaurants will have some sort seasonal vegetables (if they don’t, go back to the eeny meeny miny moe and start over) and I am sure they will substitute your greasy fries or fatty saucy side dish that comes with what you are eyeballing with some steamed fresh veggies or a side salad.
- the chop su·ey (CHäp ˈso͞oē) – Still no luck? Well, maybe just go for “the chop suey.” Nope, not the dish, but the karate chop method. If you are with someone, order something close to being healthy and just split it. Or order it split and take the other half home or just leave it there (better there than on your hips or stomach or butt or where every you carry your fat reserves). Sometimes we will order a side of steamed veggies and another dish and then just split the two dishes. Either way, you are cutting the bad in half.
- the vegas baby – Don’t want to share? I see how it is! Okay, so they say when you go to Vegas you can be whoever you want to be. So, pretend you’re in Vegas, pretend you’re a vegetarian. Most restaurants will have at least one vegetarian dish and that will most likely be a healthier option than the others. At least you are cutting significant caloric intake and animal fats by ordering in this fashion.
- the when harry met sally – Okay you’re a tough cookie. Still have not found anything? If all else fails, I go with what I call “the when harry met sally” – order a salad, but with the dressing on the side. Generally, salads should be healthy, but restaurants can take something healthy like a salad and destroy the calories, sodium, fat and sugar content through the dressing. So just order it on the side and dip your fork for some flavor now and then. You won’t use even a fraction of what they bring you.
Final tips, stay away from the bread & appetizers and order unsweetened tea or water to drink. And, if you need dessert, fresh fruit is a great option.
How to Lose Weight Without Losing Your Mind
Presentation by Doug Lisle, Ph.D. He appeared in Forks Over Knives, is a psychologist, director of research at TrueNorth Health, and co-author of “The Pleasure Trap.” This will give you some great background on weight loss and will help support you with your goals.
If you want some extra credit, rent the movie Food Matters. Here is a link to the movie on Netflix.