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How to know what food or diet is right for you?

Thank you for all your support, orders and shares! I truly appreciate each and every one of you! Everyday getting to work my business is a day I am grateful and blessed! I have so much I want to do and share! Thank you for coming on this journey with me!

 

New Year’s Resolutions – Get Healthy or Get Fit

This topic comes up a lot. Most people get conflicting information on what we should be eating or not eating. How should we take care of our bodies if there are 100+ diets and workout plans out that claim they “work” or are the best! How do we discern what is actually for us and what is probably just a fad diet to get your money.

As the New Year starts most people want to get fit or eat healthier and soon afterwards give up or start to slowly decrease their efforts because it becomes hard to maintain or they feel like they are missing something and give in to eating cake or cookies and never get back on.

This happens because we start an unsustainable journey to getting healthy or fit. We pick up a diet plan or promise ourselves to go to the gym (or workout) 3 to 4 times a week. While we have great intentions for it and of course we want to feel healthier, look better or get to a certain goal, it starts deeper than we think.

Side note: I have been here too many times. I would start wanting to get healthy and eat better or I would join a gym and be consistent for a few months. I would always end up back on the same track. Repeating the same behaviors that kept me in the repetitive cycle of not eating well or not being fit.

We are never alone in the fact that it can be a struggle. Sometimes it’s about needing someone to be accountable with on the days that we don’t feel like doing it . Sometimes we get busy with life and things start to fall off. Sometimes we have jobs that vary in demands so we can start off great, then work gets more imposing and stressful.

No matter what the reason we can make, it is all about our internal story. One, what is the true desire to be healthy or fit? Two, what is actually holding me back? Three, Its suppose to be hard, right?! Lastly, what story do we tell ourselves about where we are right now?

How can we change this? How can I change the way I think or feel about eating well or working out? How can I go from my resolution/ goal to actual reality? I think there are a few things that factor into it: mindset, inner work/healing, food and exercise. If you journal or even want to just think on it. Go back to my above questions and really start to look at your desires or stories you tell yourself. Then, let’s start reframing them with positive questions!

Try asking yourself:

What if I chose to make it easy?

What if eating healthy was great and felt amazing?

What if working out was a fun way to get my day started?

Or to release the stress from a day at work?

Let’s start changing the way we view our health and wellness!

 

Ingredients, Nutrients and Diet Culture

I wrote a post about INGREDIENTS about a month ago. It goes into the beginning steps to understanding what foods to buy and things to look for on labeling. Food’s flavor, presentation, tastes, and smells all play into what we eat and why we eat. So quality is always better when it comes to great foods. Think of it this way if you go to a fine dining restaurant portion sizes are typically smaller (actual portion size we should eat) vs a fast food restaurant who piles up on “carb” dense items like fries, buns and breading.

The quality you receive plays into how nutrient dense your food is.

The amount of food you eat plays into how nutrient dense your food is.

The flavor plays into how nutrient dense your food is.

Nutrients are the most important thing to understand for health and wellness. Diets are limiting because they use a specific thing to “help” you lose weight. While they can work in short term most people don’t want to commitment to a restrictive diet for life. Also being on a restrictive diet might actually cause long term harm to you.

So why are there a thousand different diets out there? Why would they say this is better than that? Why would they sell me stuff that really isn’t real or good for me?

A lot of things are based on keeping people down and not teaching us that our bodies self heal. We can heal the majority of our health issues just using food. Food is meant to nourish and feel our needs, though it can be for pleasure also! If we were taught that we were able to control our body by what we put in then we wouldn’t need 10 pills a day to relieve pain or nausea or whatever other ailments we have.

First, we need to touch on understanding nutrients and how those things help us get healthy and well from the inside out.

 

What are nutrients anyway?

Our macronutrients are Carbohydrates, Fat and Protein. Our micronutrients are water-soluble vitamins, fat-soluble vitamins, microminerals, and macrominerals. Water & Fiber are essential nutrients.

Each of these things play a role in the health of our bodies. Each one’s purpose is different and they all are extremely important for your body.

Macronutrients are where we get our calorie counts from. Carbs and Protein equal 4 calories per gram. Whereas, Fats are 9 calories per gram. (Alcohol is 7 calories per gram.) Some people love to count calories and knowing what each thing is worth is essential. Some diets limit or eliminate macronutrients and to be honest if that is the case you probably don’t want those diets. All nutrients are essential.

The biggest thing that opened my eyes around how much I eat (or actually don’t eat) was keeping a food log on my phone. It would give me an estimated calorie count on what I had eaten for the day as well as a macro breakdown to show me what I need more or less of. To be honest, it was probably the best I ever ate because I actually started eating more and so I had energy and felt better.

You see when you don’t know what you need for your body be it nutrients or amount of food (calories) then our bodies either feed off our stored nutrients (which can help for a short period to lose weight) or it starts to store more which has the opposite effect as we start to put on weight. For those of you who are unsure on where you fall on the scale of enough nutrients or calories, try an app for a week or two and track your meals and drinks. At first, it might feel intimidating, yet once you start to see where you fall you will feel better about what steps you personally want to take to get on track. Most nutritionists or personal trainers have you keep a food diary so they can help you better understand what your body is doing.

Weight loss and getting in shape are so individual. I can’t say everyone should do this one thing and that will work for every single person. Some people might need to watch calories, some might need to add calories, some might need to cut carbs and some to cut fats. We also have to really look at where this is coming from. Stress can make people crave sweets for comfort, yet sweets can cause fatigue or overstimulation. Our food habits are more than just one thing, it is the sum of many parts (calories, marcos, micros, lifestyle, etc).

 

How to get started?

I am not the person that is going to say don’t eat pasta or cake or hamburgers. The more we restrict the more our bodies want that thing. Now of course if it is health related like an allergy or diabetes or celiac or something like those, you have to understand that those restrictions are for your body’s health. And if you follow those guidelines you can get your body to heal itself. As when it heals you will feel better. This really is for everyone, while those on restricted diets tend to have to live that way for the remainder of life, when you actively choose to take your body down the road of healthier foods and eating; you will be able to see what foods don’t make you feel good after eating and then that’s when you have a choice to eat them or not.

For me, its dairy whether it be cheese or half & half, I know that consuming large amounts will make my stomach hurt. So I choose to limit it. I love pizza and I love gelato. I also find alternatives to some things in order to enjoy them still.

It is about looking at your habits right now and seeing what 1 or 2 things could help you progress to the next level of your journey. For me, tracking my food is almost essential because I know I don’t eat 3 meals a day so I need to hit my minimum calories and macros to stay healthy. For you, it could be committing to working out once, twice or three times a week or maybe choosing to make 3 new healthy recipes to try and see if you like them.

Trying to take on going to the gym 3 times a week, eating healthier, changing your diet plan, or tracking your food. Doing a lot of things makes it easier for us to give up because it gets hard to integrate all these new things into our already busy lives! Starting at one thing will ultimately help you reach your end goal.

 

How to get away from diet culture and find what’s best for you?

I am sure if you are on facebook or instagram, you can see people that are fit or making healthy foods. It’s hard not to compare and look at what others are doing when you want to be skinny or fit or just in better health. I think we as a culture have driven this image of two extremes now. One, being you need to be skinny, fit and eat healthy every minute and second, love your body as it is and don’t worry about changing it.

To me, they are both equally good and equally bad. On the first one, sitting and stressing about getting to a certain size or weight is only going to push you farther from it. Eating healthy every minute is great IF it is sustainable for you! No one else is in your circumstance so make the decision based on you and not others. This has some hard negatives because people on this path tend to be restrictive and unhappy.

Personally, this was a big one for me. I would look at these girls that were a size 6 or smaller, or had fit bodies and just be like ugh I wish I looked like that. I got to my heaviest weight (185 lbs) and I couldn’t stand it. One, because I was the farthest off track that I had ever been and two, because I was a size 14. I was uncomfortable in my body and the way clothes fit. I remember trying on a pair of pants size 14 and they didn’t fit too small and I just couldn’t I lost it crying. I was so mad at myself for getting fat. I was mad because I had all those knowledge on food and health and I still was overweight. I would look back at my pictures when I was thinner and remember how I thought I was overweight then. One toxic thought I had was I would hate myself if I ever got fat. I don’t even remember what I thought was fat when I had that thought, yet it stuck with me for so long. I had a negative image around my weight for a long time.

*For those of you who say a size 14 isn’t fat or big. On my body it was. I was uncomfortable, my body ached, I felt older. Everyone’s body has an ideal size range and for me at my healthiest I am around an 8 to 10.*

On the second one, you should love your body! No matter what size you are and if you don’t want to change today that is totally acceptable. The biggest thing I see with this is that in a way it could push people to the extreme of eating whatever whenever and them getting terrible health problems because of it.

This for me was, as you read above, a huge factor. I didn’t love my body. Period. I didn’t love it when I was thin. I didn’t love it as I gained weight. I definitely didn’t love it when I would look in the mirror. I didn’t have any kind of love for my body. And honestly, I think that is the saddest part. I was so mad about being fat or not looking a certain way and I didn’t even understand all the many beautiful things my body does for me everyday no matter what I look like.

Body love is I think the most important part of our mindset piece. We can tell ourselves positive affirmations around getting healthy or being fit. But if we don’t love the very body we are in then those things will likely do little good. This wraps back around to when I was talking about the stories we tell ourselves. The story I told myself and I am sure many others do to is that if I don’t look a certain way, no one will love me or I am unworthy of love. It is one of the things that the diet and fitness culture feeds on, the insecurity around our bodies.

When we start to show up for our body and love it at this moment as it is then we can get to a place where getting healthy and losing weight can be an act of love for you and your body, instead of a way to get validation or be loveable. When we love ourself and our bodies, we naturally want to take care of it be it with food, exercise or other things. Self love if such a broad topic when you look at it and yet at its core it is about you loving you right here in this moment. It’s about showing up for you when you need it. It’s about choosing to take care of yourself because of the love you have for you and the people that love you. This is not about your ego and being selfish.

 

In conclusion

The best ways to get away from this negative culture around our bodies and mindset is:

  1. To find like minded people

  2. To change your self talk and self love practices

  3. To let go of those that bring the negative perspective in every time they are around

  4. To focus solely on you and turn off the external noise

  5. Set small attainable goals and build to your larger goal

  6. Remember our bodies do so much for us everyday so show it love and it will give it back

I love nutrition and all of these topics so much and more will be one the way as I want to dive deeper into how to support and nourish our bodies on every level! I will also do a post on how I went from a size 14 and 185 lbs to a size 8/10 and 150 lbs.

If you have any questions or comments please feel free to reach out!

If you would like any pastries, check out what is available!

Sending you love and positivity until next time!

Alexia

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