Many of us try this dieting thing without really learning about our bodies, the food we eat, and how physical fitness plays a part in our overall health. Approaching any kind of fitness regime unarmed is setting you up for failure.
What you need is a little education and a plan.
For a little starter on understanding how your body reacts to the food you give it read my previous post here.
For now, lets focus on a plan. This plan needs to include counting your calories. And don't give me this line that you don't have time to count all this up. You obviously have time to stuff your tummy with whatever you want.
I was like this for years. One day, I just had the thought that if I can set around and eat crap, junk food, all day, then I can get up off my lazy butt and go workout. Psst: I don't want my kids to have to take care of a beached whale. I want them to be proud of me instead.
So, if you are ready to face that truth, keep reading.
What's this plan look like? We won't over-complicate things, okay. Take the time to go back and read my previous post about our body and the foods we eat. This will set up your mind for tracking.
Grab a decent calendar or if you are creative, fix one up online. You want to track some basic things and if you have to follow a doctor recommended diet, you'll need to include that as well.
Basically, what you want to keep track of is calories, fat calories, and carbs. You'll need to educate yourself on reading food labels. Learn some options to reduce or eliminate all forms of sugars. And don't get bent out of shape over this. Before long, you'll be able to know what's in the food you eat and control your portion sizes accordingly.
On your ordinary, daily calendar, just write in your calories and carbs. Ladies, if you want to make this really fun, go to Mardels and snatch up one of those beautiful planners and select an assortment of stickers to make tracking all these things fun. I use a planner from Mardels, but I also include stickers from The Happy Planner series. The Happy Planner has planners available and they've recently come out with some fabulous fall stickers.
Here's the planner I use from Mardels. Scroll down to the 5th line, 2nd one from the left. It's a beautiful light grey with pinkish flowers. I love my planner.
It really doesn't matter how you keep track of what you eat, what matters is that you just do it. If you follow a keto way of eating, make sure that 80% of your calories come from the good fat twins mono and poly unsaturated fats and that you keep your carbs at least below 50 grams a day. For some, you may need to drop to 20 grams a day.
Take note, don't just drop your carbs and not take in a sufficient amount of the fat twins, you'll find yourself without mental clarity and focus, energy, you'll want to crawl back in bed so be careful. If you get this low, without going into ketosis (the process where your body uses ketones to burn stored fat on your body by allowing your liver to rid itself of stored sugars called glycogens) your body won't have sufficient energy to fight off common colds or other illnesses. And this time of year is especially important to keeping a strong track of your calories and carbs. For an extra benefit, grab yourself some vitamin D3. We have a flu season because it's the time of year when our earth turns just enough away from the sun. Strengthen your immune system with vitamin D3 this year.
If you've been encouraged to track your performance, please share with me and help motivate others. I'd love to hear your story.
The key to understanding any diet regimen is to know how your body treats the food you feed it.
Your pancreas and liver work closely together to determine what your body should do with the food you eat whether it's good food or not. These two vital organs determine whether to store the food you just ate as fat or if it can be used as an immediate source of energy. I apologize early for making this a lengthy post but it is important when making food decisions.
Here's how this process works.
Say you've just eaten a delicious plate of spaghetti, which is full of simple carbs. Simple carbs are found in everything white. Noodles, pastas, and potatoes are all sources of simple carbs. Once you eat those simple carbs, your body quickly turns the carbs into sugar. Sugar causes your pancreas to release insulin. This insulin looks to the liver, which stores sugar in the form of glycogen, to see if it is full of glycogen. If your liver is full, then the insulin stores this excess sugar as fat on your body. Note that it doesn't take a lot to fill the liver.
Simple carbs are absorbed quickly, this allows your pancreas to work easier to quickly process the excess sugar. But you can slow this absorption down by eating an equal or greater amount of good sources of proteins.
Even better, drop your carb intake to 20 grams or less a day. The body doesn't bother with this little amount so the pancreas is not engaged.
Enter the low carb diets. Dr. Atkins nailed this low carb high protein diet but he didn't dig deep enough. This diet will work for most people, though.
If we dig deeper, what would we find? We find the keto system. And, before you give up reading this let me explain something about keto. This, unlike many other diets, is NOT a FAD. Keto has been around since the 1920's. That era was not plagued with things like cancers, diabetes, joint inflammation, and many other illnesses more prevalent today.
In the 20's work was scarce. There were no grocery stores as you and I know them today. Folks mostly ate right off the farm. People were not as overweight, and they were far more healthier. Now, I dare say, that the folks back then probably didn't know they were following a keto way of eating. But that's how they stayed full most all day long, and stayed slim.
Are you interested? Keep reading. You can burn off excess fat without stepping foot into any gym by going keto. But, why would you not want to develop a fitness regimen? Understand this: getting fit and healthy begins in the kitchen. The gym is where you get strong. You want both. You want that fit body that is strong.
Keto, or Ketosis is the process of burning off stored fat by using ketones. This happens when the liver is depleted of its glycogen stores and the carb count stays at 20 grams or less each day. It can take several days for the liver to actually empty itself so one must meticulously watch the carb count. At the same time, one must take in good fats which are the unsaturated fats: monounsaturated and polyunsaturated. I call these the good fat twins. These guys will actually help clean out plaque build up which causes heart attacks, and it's these good fats that create the ketones necessary for burning off that stored fat as energy.
In general, keto, is described as a high fat, low carb diet. While doc Atkins emphasized a low carb, high protein diet, he didn't see that using high amounts of good fats could actually create ketones in the body. Although you can lose weight on Atkins, the health benefits that keto offers is far greater. That's keto in a nutshell.
How do you use all this info to put together a keto friendly plate? Divide your plate into thirds. One third needs to be 80 % calories from good fats, 15% of your calories on good sources of proteins, the rest in carbs as long as your count stays under 20 grams. So it requires a little math, but you want to get fit, right? With a little practice, this will become natural to you and you won't even give it a thought.
While this is simple, the process isn't. Many folks find keto very limiting. I do, but I still use it to my advantage. For those who like cream cheese, yogurts, sour cream, avacodos, you'll love going keto. Me, I won't let that stuff cross my lips. But I don't care, I will keep doing keto off and on until I reach my fitness goals.
For more information on going keto, finding delicious recipes, and getting fit, follow me on Pinterest. See you there!!!
Happy Fool's Day!
Rewarding ourselves over good eating habits is no April Fools Day joke. It should be taken seriously. Allowing ourselves to indulge in the wrong rewards can undo every moment of discipline we have poured into our fitness journey.
So, how do you reward yourself for those measurable benchmarks?
Of recent years, it has been an acceptable practice to allow oneself to indulge in a sweet treat for good behavior while "dieting".
We reward dogs with food for good behavior. But, hold on here. We are not dogs. I encourage you to establish other non-food rewards such as a new top or cute shoes. If money is tight, pull out that cute summer dress you haven't been able to wear in a while.
Now, if you're a man, cute shoes won't work, lol. But you might consider a new fishing pole, or that deer rifle you've been looking at.
What eating plan do you follow and why? How has it benefited you? What benchmarks do you go by such as dropping another size or every 10 pounds? What is your favorite way to reward yourself?
That being said, happy eating!!!
I look forward to your response. Just hit the red Comments link below.
Have a great month.
I hope your new year is off to a great start and I hope that includes a quality decision to learn to eat clean and get fit.
One of the best things I ever did, nutritionally, was to decide to listen to my body. I am so glad I did.
I used to workout all the time when in high school. Because I lived so far out in the country, I would be up at 5:00 am working out then get cleaned up to catch the bus at 6:40. Haa, 4 kids later, not a chance on getting up that early now.
But I have learned to listen to my body and it was telling me I had better start working to get back in shape before my body broke down too much to talk to me anymore. Do you follow me?
So, in my fitness journey, I took to eating the keto way and I've lost about 4 sizes and have aged about 4 years, lol. I've had to slow down because I was losing too fast but I still mind what I eat.
I recently met up with Ken Bell of East Valley Nutrition, who has much to offer on nutrition.
Of nutrition, Ken says: "Nutrition is a key component of your mental and physical well being. Whether you prescribe to a blood type, paleo, vegetarian, or other lifestyle, it is essential to fuel the body with the proper Macro, Micro, and Phytonutrients it needs.
What you eat, how you eat, and when you eat all have a huge impact on metabolism, energy, and how you feel."
Find Ken on Facebook and on his website at East Valley Nutrition.
I also want to add that for those of you who would like to learn the craft of meal prep and general healthy lifestyle changes, you should visit JenniferWagner's blog and follow her on Instagram as well.
I've recently signed up to learn from her meal prep class and I encourage you to do so, too.
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