People often find me because they feel frustrated and confused by nutrition. They want desperately to lose weight, feel better, and more confident, but nothing they have tried has worked. The demands of most diets require them to abandon many of the foods they love and social activities they enjoy. These diets do not produce lasting results leaving a strong distaste for anything weight loss related.
I see this time and time again as I counsel people struggling with obesity. But I also see the same behaviors on repeat. Behaviors most obese people are not even aware may be sabotaging their weight loss goals. Behaviors that are being ignored yet are detrimental. Here are 5 bad behaviors to avoid:
1. Skipping Breakfast (and maybe lunch too)
I cannot count how many times someone has said to me, "I do not eat very much, there is no way I should be this weight!" What they do not realize is that they are that weight BECAUSE they are not eating often enough. When a person goes a long period of time without eating, the body compensates by increasing reserves of energy (ie fat) in case it happens again and decreasing the amount of energy it uses (ie lowers the metabolism). This is detrimental to weight loss. This is how sumo wrestlers keep their weight high despite their athleticism. It is recommended to eat within 30-60 minutes of waking up. This does not mean, you must eat 10 small meals, however eat often enough to stop the cycle of starving and binging. For most people this is every 4-5 hours or 3 meals a day.
2. Clean the plate
I first noticed this back in college working as a waitress. I started noticing that it was not the food choices that differed so much between different sized people, but those people who were obviously obese finished every bite on the plate. Nothing would be left at the end of the meal. Sometimes this originates from childhood being required to clean the entire dinner plate before being allowed to be excused. Adults still feel such heavy guilt over wasting food. The good news is your mom and dad are no longer keeping you at the table until it is all gone! In addition, most restaurants serve a portion that is enough for two full meals. Instead of making the plate clean, ask for a to go box and take it home to enjoy a second time!
3. Drinking Calories
These calories are so easy to ignore because they are quick to consume, available at every eating establishment and often accompany most social activities. For some it is the morning latte, for others it is the morning glass of juice. Others it is the afternoon pick me up soda or refreshing sweet tea or lemonade. Or the evening glasses of wine, beers or other adult beverages. And the most deceitful of all is the disguised "healthy" smoothie. Many obese people make a habit of consuming 200 or more Calories a day from beverages.
4. Ignore added fats
A common dangerous excuse I hear is "it is only a little." Ever found yourself thinking, "Oh it is only a little salad dressing or mayonnaise or creamer or butter or cooking oil" and on and on the lie goes. The problem is that fat is rich in Calories containing 9 Calories per gram as opposed to 4 Calories per gram in protein and carbohydrates. It only takes "a little fat" to equal a lot of Calories! Stop adding "just a little" and intentionally eat a small portion of unsaturated fats daily such as a handful of almonds or sliced avocado.
5. Consider normal daily tasks "Exercise"
Nothing screams obese like the person who says they exercised because they went to the grocery store this week. Normal daily tasks should not be viewed as exercise. Your body needs exercise in addition to the normal daily movement required for cleaning, shopping, walking the dog, and most jobs.
Hopefully knowing these five common pitfalls will help you achieve your weight loss goals. Avoid these 5 bad behaviors and begin your journey to a healthier you. I am cheering for you!!
I wish every day I could put on a fancy outfit and try a new lunch spot with a friend, but my life is hardly that glamorous. Most days, I eat leftovers for lunch. It is nutritious, economical and convenient. I make enough dinner for 4 adults which leaves us two lunches each night. I have discovered that if I package the leftovers immediately as single servings for lunch, it greatly increases the chance that food will get eaten. So what do I put these leftovers in? My absolute favorite container is too good not to share: Box Appetit!
A company that makes REVOLUTIONARY lunch containers. These containers are easy to use, well engineered and allow for the perfect lunch! The spacers and mini containers within the box separate your food so that it is just as good the second go around. They are microwave and dishwasher safe. The fork attaches to the top so you are not scrambling for utensils at work. Obviously I love this company, and they are not giving me anything for saying all this. I truly just love their product, however they have agreed to give away my favorite container to one of my readers! You can enter below to win this Bento Box! No strings attached!
Enter below for your chance to win a fabulous Box Apetit Bento Box!
Today we have a guest post from an orthodontist! I love to collaborate with other professionals that like to help our readers eat well, look good and feel great! Please welcome Dr. Kadan to Abrea Nutrition.
Dr. Sam Kadan has been creating beautiful smiles since 1997! He graduated Magna Cum Laude from the University of Pennsylvania School of Dental Medicine and was awarded the PASS International Dentist Award. He and his wife, Adele, have twin girls and one son. In his free time he enjoys skiing, traveling, reading, movies and classical music.
In a few short weeks, spring break will be here! Warmth, sunshine, water, and along with that comes time to get back into a swim suit! Those of us who have been bundled up for the last 4 months in layers upon layers might experience a bit of anxiety when it comes time to slip into your pre-baby bikini. Or maybe you have been hitting the gym like a champ and you would hate to make all those other ladies envious! Or maybe your role has changed from bathing beauty to circus master like mine and a little more coverage is totally appreciated for the ninja moves required to keep your children safe near water. Or maybe you just want to look super cute! Whatever the reason, check out Rey Swimwear. An adorable swimwear brand that I feel very confident wearing! Unfortunately, I do not get to take any sort of spring break, but I do get to enjoy our local YMCA pool regularly and love that I have a cute, modest swimsuit to wear.
Sweet, cold, refreshing and boasting with health benefits, or so I always thought. Jamba Juice, Smoothie King and Tropical Smoothie Cafe are some of the big franchises but even Starbucks, Duncan Donuts and McDonalds are trying to capture the millennials' love for the smoothie. The smoothie has marketed itself as fruits and veggies which of course must be good for you. It is perceived to be a quick alternative to a salad. Don't have time for lunch, "oh I will just grab a smoothie." An easy drink to get anytime of day to replace a meal or even compliment your meal.
Did you enjoy snopocolypse 2016? There is something wonderful about a few days of snow, everything shutting down and snuggling under a big blanket by a warm fire. The frigid temps make me long for soup, good soup. It can be hard to find. Soup is usually an after thought at most restaurants. It graces the menu for a select few who usually want a little extra to add to their meal. Not the case at Zoup! It is a restaurant all about good soup.
Baby it's cold outside! We recently moved back to the great northern state of Michigan. We loved our time in North Carolina and Texas, but it is time to be closer to family.
I only lived in Michigan for 3 months after I got married many years ago. This is all new to me! I am looking forward to finding new restaurants, a CSA, and learning more about local food trends. Keep checking back because this dietitian has lots to explore in the mitten!
Planning for the new year may have been on the to do list but never got done. This is your chance! Grab a pencil and paper or open notes on your phone and start jotting down some of your dreams! What gets you excited? If you didn't have to worry about bills and pleasing others, what do you wish you could do and be? What is your dream? This is part of your design, perfectly crafted by our Creator. What if your New Years resolutions were centered around your heart's desires? Rather than just eliminate soda and lose 10 pounds, what if you spell out what you really want? It can feel scary and a bit crazy. But it can also make you feel alive! Do not waste another year. Allow yourself to dream big and pray like your life depends on it. Then hold on tight because God is the ultimate dreamer. Plan resolutions that will sculpt you into the man or woman you were created to be. Ask one other person this week to tell you what their biggest dream is, and take the time to encourage and listen. I will share some of mine later. Happy New Year!!!
You body was completely overtaken by another human for the past 10 months. He or she changed what foods you liked, made you more hungry, gave you heartburn and maybe altered your exercise regimen. Now that bundle of joy has evacuated the premises but left a total mess behind! It can be terrifying to an emotional, sleep deprived new mom. The good news is, it is normal and natural for your body to change after 10 months of creating new life, your heart will change too. And although your body will never be the same again, it can be made into a comfortable place again: A strong, sexy body you vaguely remember.
Where to start? The first three weeks need to be for rest, bonding and healing. That sexy body has to wait. Eating for healing and milk production are essential and will assist in weightloss in the future. Also, in reality, you have no time for food prep you barely have time to use the bathroom and forget showering! Hopefully someone is bringing you food or making you something and this is a time to be grateful not picky! You need high protein and plenty of healthy fats. Proper nutrition at this stage is essential for optimal milk supply. A rapid drop in calorie intake these first few weeks can greatly hinder milk production. And great milk supply will lead to weightloss down the road. A hearty breakfast is essential. I love eggs, bacon, yogurt, oatmeal, berries, peanutbutter, flaxseed, and almonds.
After three weeks, if your milk supply is plentiful, baby is at or past his/her birthweight, and you are healing as anticipated, you are able to begin phase one.
Phase 1 is your first baby step to your healthy nursing diet. It is focused on eliminating the excess. Your brain is still sleep deprived and your body healing. This phase is going to draw in the reigns slightly but not increase your work load or stop your precious milk supply.
No calories in drinks.
Dessert 50% less often than before.
Always leave something on your plate.
Remember your body is still healing. You are sleep deprived. This is not the time for a crash diet. These simple rules are achievable at this stage and will get you headed in the right direction. Although excercise is strictly forbidden at this stage, remember to regularly do some easy walking. It can be easy to spend the entire day on the couch (especially with the first child). Hopefully you are able to do some light walking but remember no strenuous exercise yet.
Now grab your calorie free drink of choice (water is always wonderful) and snuggle that precious little one because he will be big before you know it.
It is truly miraculous to experience pregnancy. An entire human being is knit together in your own body. It is a privilege and honor to bring new life into the world.
As I await the arrival of my second son, it is easy to be frustrated with how he has completely overtaken my entire body. It is easy to forget the blessings that are about to be poured out as I wake up every two hours to use the restroom. However, I am graciously reminded with his little kicks that I am living a miracle. One that I cannot fully understand, but one I am honored to receive.
As I live my final days of pregnancy waddling about catching my breath as I walk up stairs, I am counting my blessings to be having a full term baby and not having to endure the trial of a premature baby. After my first baby, I wanted my pre-baby body back immediately. It was defeating. This time, I want to shift my focus to caring for my postpartum body. I want to regain my strength and energy. Baby weight does not stay forever if you return to regular exercise and healthy eating. The pounds will melt and the skin will tighten. Just as growing a baby bump is natural and beautiful, so is the postpartum period.
Nothing else in all of life comes close to the physical demands of pregnancy. Your entire body chemistry changes. Your stomach is not just a rubber band holding in a child. You have an increase in blood volume, more demands on your heart, hormone changes causing your pelvis to stretch and your breasts to produce milk! Running a marathon takes a few days to recover but pregnancy is so much more. It takes around 6 weeks for the body to heal from the trauma of child birth and longer if you require surgery. This is not 6 weeks and back to your skinny jeans, this is 6 weeks of healing the damage done. Six weeks for swelling and inflammation to resolve. Six weeks before you should even remember you used to wear skinny jeans!
In this postpartum period, focus on these goals:
1. Hydrate - you just lost a huge amount of fluid and if breastfeeding, you now need more fluid than ever. Avoid more than one cup of caffeine daily. Avoid sugary beverages.
2. Protein - delivering a baby is traumatic for your body anyway the baby comes. Provide ample building blocks for proper repair. Include a good source of protein with your breakfast and add protein to all your snacks.
3. Prenatal vitamins - trauma, stress, producing milk, and not sleeping make it hard to get everything you need. Cover your bases with a prenatal vitamin.
4. Walk - even though it hurts. Avoid blood clots and encourage healing with gentle, daily walks. Don't jump right back into your pre-baby work out routine, give your body time to heal. Be intentional about establishing a routine of gentle daily exercise in order to keep it a habit.
5. Rest - your body is spent. Your mind is overwhelmed and now you are responsible for another life. The birth announcements can wait. Your infant will grow up in no time and you will be chasing a toddler (or two!) so take some time and rest.
This is a season. A short one. The postpartum body is one to be celebrated! Marks of motherhood are badges of honor. Enjoy the miracle.
Nutrition from the dietitian
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