Hello hello hellloooo!
Damn. I just sat here for a while trying to think about how to even start this blog because today we’re talking about WHAT I EAT and when it comes to food, let’s just say…food and I…we’ve had a journey together.
I don’t know how many of you have dropped in my “about me” before but my relationship with food has had to go through an effing circus to get to where I am as of today.
Whenever I tell people that I used to be 25 pounds heavier than I am right now, they don’t believe me. I always ask my mom to go into the attic and grab old photos of me from high school and send them to me buuuuut to her defense, it’s probably a wreck up there and I don’t want to do it either, so here we are.
Before we get into what I’m doing today, I want to go over the habits that definitely DID NOT work for me in the past.
HABITS THAT DON’T HELP WEIGHT LOSS:
LACK OF MOVEMENT
– Quitting soccer and Taekwondo and continuing to eat cheese fries, subway sandwiches (foot longs), chocolate chip cookies and Eggo waffles did not work for me lol but eating all of those things while doing sports kept me fit AF. So no surprise there. Less movement + consuming more calories = WEIGHT GAIN. A nice 25 pounds. Awesome.
– ADDERALL did not help me. I got very skinny on adderall, had horrible headaches and an even worse attitude then gained 30 pounds after getting off of it and was LAZY LAZY LAZY.
– Stress did not help me. I’ve realized that I can easily be an anxious eater so once I moved to LA and started working in the restaurant bizz at high end hotels in Bel Air and Beverly Hills, I had so much anxiety that I would scarf down food. This had me feeling bloated, puffy, tired, irritable, and helpless constantly, which made me want to eat more.
– Not taking the time to meal prep and just eating work food DID NOT help me. I don’t even know what that shit was half the time but it was there, it was free, and there was a lot of it so I went for it. “I deserved it”…Right.
– Being vegetarian did not help me. I did this for about 4 years and as soon as I went back to eating meat I felt better than I had in YEARS. Literally after the very first meal I just kept telling my friend, “ I can’t believe how good I feel!”. Read more about that here, because it was scary for me to publicly talk about how I was a vegetarian/pescatarian that was going back to eating meat.
– RAW food diet, juicing, cleansing, eating every 2 hours, etc. Did not work for me.
Okay so yeah – I’ve tried almost everything. A lot of the things I listed above may have totally worked for you and that’s awesome! I’m not knocking any of these strategies or diets or whatever you want to call them – I’m just letting you know that they didn’t work for me.
5 Biggest Factors That Determine My Diet:
It took me like 10 years to realize that stress, alcohol, sleep, how often I work out and HOW I work out, are the 5 biggest factors that determine my diet.
So it’s really not about the food at all. It’s about the factors that determine what and how I eat so that’s where my focus needed to go. When I was SO focused on food I felt trapped. Every meal worried me, I was super restrictive when going out with friends then would go home and end up eating like 5 tablespoons of peanut butter, I was just a mess OK? Haha.
Fast forward to today – I’m probably in the best shape of my life and I am the least worried about food. So let’s go over those 5 big factors FIRST and how those have changed for me before we get into the food because you can EASILY eat “healthy” and still be overweight if those other factors are consuming you.
Like I said – I can be an anxious eater. I’ve practiced consistently for the last year to change my habits while eating and I teach the same thing to my clients. We need to slow dowwwwwn while we eat in order to help with digestion and avoid bloating. I did a whole post on that here. Once I was able to slow down while eating, and bring my stress down, I noticed that I ate less, got bloated WAY less, and gained more self control.
Oh maaaan girlfriend. I am your health and fitness trainer that supports a well done cocktail, an aperol spritz on a summer day, a whisky sour on a date night, beer pong, and a glass of wine on really any day. I noticed though that I was casually drinking WAY more when I was working late nights as a cocktail server. Probably due to a mix of hating my job and feeling like I had no life haha. I always tell my clients that I’m not going to take their wine away but I DO suggest trying to limit yourself to only a couple nights a week. I recently decided that I only get to have my fun juice on Saturday’s and it’s been a game changer. Just by having 1 glass of wine at dinner 3x’s a week and 2 glasses on the weekend, I was consuming AT LEAST an extra 625 calories in WINE. Not to mention the snacks I would have WITH the wine and the extra food I would have the following day if I felt hungover. I easily reduced my calories consumption by 1,000 a week by only drinking on Saturdays.
Lack of sleep is one of the biggest reasons for weight gain. It effects 2 hormones in the body called leptin and ghrelin which control our hunger and our fullness AND sleep deprivation causes the release of insulin which leads to an increase of fat storage. When I was working at my night job plus training in the morning and doing my internship, I felt like I just couldn’t keep up with my appetite. It was all over the place, even though I was eating healthy foods, I was still eating more than I was burning because my lack of energy made me feel like I needed it. Now I use the tool on the iPhones alarm that lets you set your alarm and set how many hours you want to sleep so that it notifies me at night when I need to get in bed based on how many hours I want to sleep. Since I wake up at 4:45 I need to get in bed by 8:45pm which I wasn’t doing for MONTHS. Now that I get my 8 hours of sleep I feel so much more in control of my appetite.
HOW OFTEN I WORK OUT –
How often I work out totally effects what I eat on a day to day basis. I think one of the best things I practiced over the last couple of years was becoming more in tune with my body and that meant recognizing when I was hungry and when I was just bored. At this point, if I work out with weights 5 times a week, I can truly FEEL that I am more hungry which I LOVE because it makes me feel like I’m really using my body. If I don’t go to the gym say on a lazy Sunday and I just sit at home all day, I try to get in more movement by cleaning the house BUT I can REALLY tell that I don’t need as much food.
I used to feel like I needed to eat every 2 hours in order to keep my metabolism going lol (just one of those things you read and decide to become married to it) but that just caused me to eat more calories and keep the weight.
HOW I WORK OUT –
This kind of ties in with #4 but I wanted to bring it up because this also isn’t something that I was always in tune with. I used to eat the same meal after a casual hike as I do now after working out with heavy weights because I figured “I worked out! I need to re fuel!” lol. BUT that’s really not the case. We need to change our mind set from thinking that it’s okay to go out to brunch and order a massive meal with bottomless mimosas because we walked 10K steps that day. Walking 10K steps should just be considered movement, not an intense exercise where we need to take in all the calories we just burned and more.
I can see now that I was holding myself back SO much when I had that mindset and I think it’s really common for other girls to do the same thing. I totally get it though, we’re proud of ourselves for getting out there and moving so we want to reward ourselves and what better way to reward ourselves than with a bomb ass dinner and some drinks right? Well that’s where our habits need to change. I tell all my clients to write down 15 other ways that they can reward themselves without food or drinks. Some examples would be a mani, pedi, massage, stay-cation, shopping for workout clothes etc.
OKAY SO with all of that said, let’s get into an example of:
What I Eat On A Workout Day And A Non Workout Day:
5:00 am – Small Dirty Chai Tea Latte with Almond Milk
11:00 am – Power Crunch Bar
2:00 pm – Homemade Salad (lately; large handful of arugula, ½ an avocado, 4oz ground chicken, ½ cup orzo, sauteed red onions, red wine vinegarette dressing).
4:00 pm – 1 cup cottage cheese with cracked black pepper and tajin.
8:00 pm – 4oz chicken + sauteed red onions and zucchini, ½ cup cottage cheese.
NON WORKOUT DAY:
5:00 am – Almond Milk Latte
11:00 am – Fruit (cherries + grapes lately)
2:00 pm – Arugula salad + ¼ an avocado + 4oz ground chicken, sauteed zucchini.
5:00 pm – Handful of nuts and seeds + veggie chips
8:00 pm – Zucchini pasta with marinara sauce, 4 oz ground turkey, ¼ an avocado + ½ cup cottage cheese.
So as you can see I don’t really go crazy on workout days, and I eat similar foods until I need to go grocery shopping again haha so it might seem boring but it’s all really easy, healthy and efficient. On my workout days I just have bigger portions when I feel like I need it and some more carbs compared to my non workout days.
How To Handle Cravings + Weight Loss:
I know some of you may be thinking well, WTF. What happens when I’m craving a couple tacos and a margarita or when I just really want some sliders and french fries? When that happens I look at my week and do a general assessment of where I’m at. Have I eaten clean for most of my meals already? Do I have to go to a birthday dinner this weekend? These things come into play when I have cravings because they’re important to pay attention to. I need to be in control of my food, my food cannot control me or that’s when I get into trouble and next thing you know, I’ve eaten bad for a whole week.
How Often Do I Need To Eat Clean?:
My coach likes to tell us that 18/21 meals a week should be clean. Make 3 meals a week a cheat and you’ll be getting better results than you have in years. It’s all about consistency and remembering that YOU are in control. If you get invited to a bunch of parties over the summer or holiday events, I’m sorry but that’s not an excuse to let your goals go down the drain. Life happens and life is awesome. You should enjoy it! But if eating poorly and drinking at every social event you’re invited to means that you’re ultimately unhappy with your body and lacking confidence because of it, then it’s time to reassess what’s important to you.
How To Eat Clean With A Social Life:
I had to start saying no to my friends that wanted to go out every other weeknight and get brunch after every night we went out, and guess what…we’re still friends! I went from drinking all night to getting mimosas the next day and a burrito to either staying home OR at least getting up and working out the morning after a night out. If i can then I know you can too!
Whoaaaa rant much?!
Okay well LOVE you. Leave a comment to let me know what you think about all of this 🙂