Eat Smart. Live Right.

Disclaimer: This topic is about my personal experiences and choices. I am not a nutritionist/dietitian. Losing weight requires healthy diet, exercise and commitment. If you are serious about shedding those extra pounds, consult your healthcare professional or fitness expert as our nutritional needs differ. These are the ones that worked for me. Whatever manner you choose, remember that losing weight should never be a vanity issue. Love your body. xoxo

 

In my previous blog, I mentioned some fat-busting tricks I have been doing through the years. It wasn’t easy in the beginning. Procrastination is my number one nemesis. How can you resist that fresh-from-the-oven pepperoni pizza? or the mouth-watering German chocolate cake sold in your neighborhood bakery? What about the quarter pounder double- stacked burger topped with mozzarella cheese? Diet begins tomorrow. Maybe next day. Nope, this coming week. Months passed and the thought of healthy diet was just a dream, a plan. “Diet” to me meant limited food choices and euthanasia by starvation. I am genetically sweet toothed- does it mean au revoir to hot Krispy Kreme? Tough decision but things need to change especially when I discovered that my blood sugar was borderline high some years back. Rain check be gone.

Eat smart. Live right. One cannot be a slave to food. Mind over stomach! I need to learn to respect my body or face the consequences later. With a renewed spirit, I begun my journey towards healthy diet. I am a still a work in progress but so far, here are my little self- discoveries:

 

1. Listen to your brain, not to your tummy. Science taught us that the brain governs all body organs. If the body needs to rest, it sends signal to make us feel sleepy and take a well deserved nap time. Same is true with hunger pangs. Eat when you’re hungry or when it’s time to eat, not with the sight or smell of deep fried chicken cooking across your office building. When you listen to your brain, you snip the unnecessary snacking of calorie-packed chocolate bars or a bag-full of greasy potato chips, just because they’re in front of you. Think of these unhealthy food choices as a temptress wanting to distract you from your goal. Eat when you’re hungry not because you’re tempted to.

 

2. Never skip meals. Again listen to your brain, eat when it’s time and never get to the point of feeling  so hungry  that you want to devour anything within your reach. The logic behind is darn simple- you will end up eating more than your usual capacity. Our body is programmed to have three major meals in a day and maybe some  two or three snacking in between meals. Remember, the key to losing weight is healthy food choices combined with exercise. Skipping meals will put your health in jeopardy.

 

3. Put that fork down when you’re 80 percent full, not when you’re tired of eating. This sounds ridiculous but did you ever have that experience of feeling too tired to even chew that last one piece of meat? You are not alone. I had that feeling many times in the past I could literally pass out. You have probably heard the Japanese diet “Hara hachi bunme” or stop when you’re 80 percent full. It makes sense considering that the Japanese diet is one of the healthiest in the world. So where does the other 20% go? H2O! Drink water before and in-between meals, it is good for your body and it also prevents you from over-stuffing yourself.

 

4. Give drive-thru’s and fast food a break. We all have hectic schedules and the quickest way to satisfy the growling stomach is to drive by the nearest McDonalds or KFC. Do yourself a favor and check out the calorie content of that Angus beef burger. Add a large order of french fries and soda, and you are way over 1,500 calories in one meal. If you have been watching Style Network’s  Too Fat at 15, you will understand why these teenagers are morbidly obese – their parents fed them fast food since childhood. If you are serious about losing weight, experts recommend at least 1,500 calories a day for women or 1,800 calories/day for weight maintenance. So how do we solve this fast food frenzy? I cook it my way. I strive to use the healthiest ingredients and methods possible. I shy away from frying; I avoid anything with animal and its by- products; I satisfy my sweet tooth with a bite- size dark chocolate bar; I feast on oat meal, and a whole lot more. It takes discipline but once your body is accustomed to this lifestyle, it becomes second nature.

 

5. Cook your way, the healthy way. I am neither a chef nor a food guru. Although I know a thing or two about cooking, I am no way near expertise. I started by reading cook books and watching shows like Rachel Ray’s 30 minute meals, Giada de Laurentiis’s Everyday Italian, Paula Deen’s Home Cooking, and other more shows airing over The Food Network. Of course, I choose to cook only those that are within the level of my comprehension and available resources. I also use cooks.com when researching for easy and healthy recipes. Who would’ve thought I can even bake a cake? Cooking the healthy way means being resourceful in food substitution or method of preparation.

The bottom line is simple- We eat to nourish our body, not to abuse it. We eat to live, not to die from it.

I have been a slave to food. But now I’m a master over it. If I can do it, so can you!

Try some home-cooked meals today. That’s what the kitchen is made for.

 

My version of pineapple and carrot cake. The proof is in the eating.

 

Move, stay active. Burn calories baby!

 

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