The topic for this week is something that I really should have written a while back (probably in March?). Most of the time people gain weight because of not eating properly. I will enumerate what exactly has worked for me for the last 12 years since I have been able to keep the same dress size even after my pregnancies.
- Avoid eating grains. We basically do not need them. Grains are the result of domestication and farming, a change in the way of life that started around 10,000 to 12,000 years ago. Before that, humans used to be hunters and gatherers, and they used to collect wild fruits and vegetables, which means that our bodies are not good in digesting grains. The most well-known grains are corn, wheat, rye, sorghum and rice. Most people would find it impossible to give up products made of these grains, especially bread. Personally I can live without bread. However, I have a weakness for corn, so I eat it or any food made of it (tamales for example) once a week.
- Do not eat processed foods. In fact try to eat everything that is in its natural state. For example, I eat lots of baby spinach and cherry tomatoes in salad form. I do not boil or cook the spinach at all so the nutrients are intact. If you enjoy eating raw broccoli and carrots, please do so. I also eat fruits as snacks: apples, cherries, blueberries and grapes are my favourite. I have a weakness for muscat grapes. Decrease the consumption of yummy but sugary mangos and bananas (eat half of a banana instead of the whole thing).
- Do not eat meat one day a week.
- Eat the following fats: nuts, avocados and olive oil. I eat nuts often and my favourite ones are almonds. In fact if you are lactose intolerant, drink almond milk. What I usually eat as snacks are apples with raw almond butter. This combination cuts your sweet tooth for unhealthy stuff like cakes and ice cream. Keep in mind that nuts are a lot better for you when they are raw. However, I do also enjoy eating Trader Joe’s Simply Almonds, Cashews & Cranberries Trek Mix. If you are going away on a trip, take a few of these nuts with you. Similarly, if you are eating a salad, add olive oil to it. Do not put the sauces that are sold in the supermarket (they might contain soybean oil which has toxins and is fattening). You can add a little bit of apple cider vinegar to the salad. Add avocado slices to your salad. You can also make guacamole and eat it with celery or carrot sticks.
- Eat your meals and snacks with protein. Fish, organic beef, organic chicken and organic eggs are good for you. Cheese also has a lot of protein. I often eat cottage cheese with grapes and nuts. My salads have slices of boiled chicken breast, and sometimes I eat hard-boiled eggs for breakfast. In the weekends, I usually eat scramble eggs with bacon.
- Eat often. To keep the metabolism in fat-burning mode, one must eat small portions every two to three hours. If you go without eating beyond 4 hours, your body starts storing fat which is what you do not want.
- Drink lots of water. Sometimes thirst can be perceived as hunger. I drink one to two glasses of water between meals.
- Avoid coffee to avoid dehydration. If you really enjoy coffee, one cup a day is fine. Get into the habit of drinking green tea instead.
- Avoid soy and everything related to it. Here is a link to why you should avoid eating soy: Research on soy.
- Workout 45 minutes to an hour every 48 hours.
- Spoil yourself twice a week: drink alcohol but restrictively. My preferred alcoholic beverage is a nice cup of Merlot wine. I do not drink alcohol often anymore especially after having my boys (breastfeeding is the cause). Basically I drink probably 10-15 cups of wine in a year. My favourite “junk” foods are ravioli, tamales, bacon jerky (available at Trader Joe’s) and plantain chips. I eat them once a week, and I alternate them weekly.
If you are pregnant, eat what you feel like eating. Personally I did not gain much weight in my pregnancies because I felt nauseated for the first 4 months and a half (even with medication). I gained 25 pounds in both pregnancies, 3 pounds above the recommended weight gain. I recommend breastfeeding after birth since it is the most efficient way to lose weight. Milk production burns a lot calories.
The features image is my own.