Yesterday started something new for me…
Perfecting my nutrition.
I know what you’re thinking: “Don’t you eat crazy healthy already?”
Well, yes and no.
After dealing with my bladder and kidney infections I started to analyze my own health. I place everyone else’s in front and these infections were enough to deliver a “ah-ha moment”.
For the past 3 weeks or so:
- I have had frequent headaches
- I’ve been moody (poor Dan)
- I’ve been extremely tired (so much so I started crying while filming a workout)
- I just haven’t felt like me.
The infections were the icing on the cake to make me really sit back and look at my lifestyle.
An Iron Cocktail Please?
I have a slight iron deficiency.
I guess you could assume it’s from my vegan diet, but the truth is that I’ve had anemia before (when I was a full meat eater), so it’s really hard to pin point the cause.
What I do know is that nutrition is crucial in keeping the body feeling it’s best.
One thing goes down, and the whole system can crash.
I really think this is the reason that I’ve been on the brink of breaking down lately. But, having this knowledge makes me happy and motivated. Motivated to take control of my health and get it back on track to 100%.
I know Dan will be happy too when my mind is able to focus again (he’s noticed that I’ve been “foggy” for a week or two) and when I am no longer biting his handsome head off for no reason.
What Does This Have To Do With Weight Loss?
Well, it’s my personal nutrition battle and it’s one of hundreds that women suffer from.
A few weeks ago a client confided in me that she wasn’t losing weight, despite being a “very” healthy eater.
She just couldn’t understand why the scale wasn’t budging and her pants weren’t fitting looser.
Then I asked her…
“What have you done differently to try and lose weight?”
“Nothing, I’m a healthy eater, I always have been so what do I need to change?”
To Lose Weight, You Have To Set The Elements Up In Your Favor
Losing weight doesn’t just happen. It’s not as if all of a sudden you wake up and you’re 10 pounds lighter (wouldn’t that be nice!?).
Instead, you have to make a change and push your body into the direction to make weight loss occur.
First – All natural doesn’t mean all you can eat.
There is no way around it, to lose weight, you have to burn more calories than you take in. And taking in healthy foods can still lead to over consumption of calories.
Did you know that a banana has over 100 calories? Pair that with a heaping spoonful of nut butter, some protein, and some blueberries, and you could potentially have a shake that has over 400 calories. Of course that’s not crazy high, but it might be higher than you were accounting for a mid morning snack.
Healthy foods and all-natural foods doesn’t equate to “all you can eat”.
Second – Write down nutrition for 3 days straight.
Even people who swear they eat healthy are often surprised to learn just how unhealthy their diets actually are. A snack here, a harmless snack there can really add up.
Or mislabeled foods… remember just because a food says “organic”, “gluten-free” or “made with quinoa” doesn’t make it healthy. Foods can still be filled with sugar, calories and processed ingredients. Flip it over and read the nutrition label.
Third – Are you balanced?
I eat extremely healthy (as stated above) however when I used MyFitnessPal a couple of weeks ago to track my nutritional profile, I learned that I eat about twice the amount of sugar than I should.
Thanks fruit. I love fruit. I could live off fruit. No. Seriously.
But it was throwing off my diet and making my carb intake too high, while my protein and fat intake was a little low.
Everyone is different, depending on goals, activity levels, and starting point on where their macronutrient range should be (the amount of protein to carbs to fats) but it makes a difference.
A fellow trainer and colleague was having issues losing weight after having a baby. She was calorie counting and yet the baby weight refused to leave. When she tracked her macros she discovered she was way off balance.
The first week she made a change, 5 pounds came off.
My Fitness Pal is a great free resource to help find your balance.
Fourth – Burn it off.
If you know you’re a super clean eater, your calories are spot on and you’ve got a great balance of nutrients… then look at your fitness regiment.
Can you increase the amount of calories you burn with your workouts by either adding in an extra workout day, upping the intensity of your workouts, working out longer or perhaps trying a completely different workout program (such as one of the Pay What Fits programs here).
Now on the flip side… if you’re working out to the max already then it’s likely you’re over doing it and that could slow down your fat burning ability. Read here to see if perhaps you’re over training.
Fifth – Be honest.
Are you really a healthy eater?
Don’t confuse this with: Are you a healthy eater compared to your husband or your best friend? But are you really a healthy eater?
Denial is easy.
We want to think we’re the best we possibly can be and sometimes we “choose” to glance over details if they make us look or feel weak.
Best honest with yourself. If you feel there is room to make some smart changes, then do what you need to do.
Don’t change over night, but by making small tweaks to your diet, you’ll see huge results.
Iron Iron & More Iron
I started taking an iron supplement yesterday. I’m normally one to brush my own problems under the rug with the idea that, it’ll take care of itself.
I’m done with that thought process. I am done being in denial of my health and I am ready to take the reins and make myself #1 in my life. This is the first change, and I’m not opposed to making others if it means improving the quality of my life.
Question: On a scale of 1-10 how healthy of an eater are you?