Fitness

Back on track

I’m not sure if any of you ever have this problem, but sometimes when I start eating chocolate or high-sugar foods, it’s like my body takes that as a cue to have another just keep going all day long. I’m all about building in sweets and foods you enjoy into your diet… the key is building them in occasionally, not making them the main thing you eat (which seems to be what I did this week). Good thing I can’t get a percentage of how much of my body was sugar this week… it would probably have been 90%… or 450% Smile

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Definitely how I felt this week!

I did run outside earlier this week, though! It was so beautiful out and a welcome change. I went for a run right after I work off work on Tuesday, and decided to take advantage of my school’s central location, running around the town nearby. I love the feel of small towns with shops along the street, where you can take your time browsing in small shops, where people all know each other; it’s more than just a quick glance as you pass each other on a crowded street. I’m definitely planning on running here more often as the weather stays warmer!

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But back to the chocolate topic at hand… serious business, people. I’m not going to beat myself up over it… it happens! I do want to get back on track with healthy eating, though, and cut as much sugar as I can out of my diet for a little while (not going to put a time limit on it… we’ll see how it goes!) I say “as much sugar” as I can because if you look at the ingredient list for anything, sugar can be found in just about everything! If I asked you to name the first few foods that came to your mind when I said the word “sugar,” chances are ice cream, soda, or candy would pass through your mind. Sugar can be found in desserts, yes, but also in many foods that we wouldn’t expect or that we view as healthy. Just because a food is considered healthy or nutritious doesn’t mean we’ll be able to avoid the sugar content completely. Granola bars, pasta sauce, cereal, and even fruit all contain sugar. Some foods are made with added sugar, while others contain only natural sugar (such as fruit). And, just because an ingredient list doesn’t have the word “sugar” listed, that doesn’t mean that it doesn’t have any! Check out these many names that sugar has:

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So what are some tips to get back on track?? Here’s a few that I came up with! Feel free to share your ideas as well.

  • Preparation is key

Set aside snacks ahead of time! That way, you can measure out more realistic portion sizes. I’ve done this a few times recently and it’s always interesting to see what a serving size is! I like to take almonds to work during the day for a quick source of protein at lunch or before my workout, so I’ve been measuring them out lately. This also helps so that I don’t eat the entire bag in a week! I’ve also measured out cereal a few times lately to see what a serving size actually is. Anyone that knows me knows I could easily eat cereal for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and snacks. Seriously, the stuff is addicting! Kashi is my current favorite.

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  • Out of sight, out of mind

You can’t eat what’s not in front of you, so not buying unhealthy foods at the grocery store automatically eliminates your option to eat them! On that note, don’t go to the grocery store when you’re hungry. I speak from experience… you’ll end up leaving with way more than you planned on. It’s like the classic “I just need to pick up a gallon of milk” story- “And your total is $82.95 today.”

  • Be picky… or maybe just selective

If someone offers you cake or apple pie, and you don’t really like either of those things, you don’t need to eat them just to eat them. Pick and choose what’s worth it to you! Would you rather have those chips, or a brownie? If you’re going to splurge on dessert, don’t waste those calories on something you don’t even really like. You could also choose to have 1 sweet thing a day (most of my examples revolve around chocolate/sweets because those are my favorites. But when I say one sweet thing a day, just exchange that for a soda, chips, cheesecake, etc… whatever you like!) Or you could eat clean during the week, and have a dessert on the weekends. No matter what order you follow, it’s all about balance.

  • Don’t be too hard on yourself

One healthy meal won’t make you drop 3 jean sizes, just like one unhealthy meal won’t make you instantly gain weight. It takes 3,500 calories to equal one pound, so all those thoughts of “I’m sure I gained 5 pounds last night” can just be erased right now. Don’t be so hard on yourself that you set unrealistic goals. Better go on a juicing detox for the next two weeks. That’s it, I’m not eating dessert for seven months. Alright, time to go run 14 miles. At least. Those goals aren’t realistic for most people (if they are, and you can find someone that can not eat dessert for 7 months, please direct them my way so I can learn their secrets!)

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  • Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate

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Drinking plenty of water throughout the day has numerous benefits: it will help to flush out the toxins in your skin, your face will look clearer, it can aid in weight loss, provides more energy, can act as a natural remedy for headaches, decreases fatigue, increases productivity… and those are just some of the benefits! I am awful at remembering to drink water. I drink coffee every morning, and before I know it I can look at the clock, it will be 2pm and all I’ve had so far was coffee, which can actually dehydrate you. Drinking water doesn’t seem like it would be a hard thing to remember, but it is for me for some reason. Filling up a water bottle (like in the image above) can help you keep track of how much you are drinking to make sure you are getting enough. I’ve also heard that lots of times when we think we are hungry, we are actually just dehydrated- so get a drink first before you decide you need another snack!

  • Don’t skip on breakfast

You accidentally overdid it last night, and the last thing you want to do is eat something else when you wake up. But eating breakfast can actually be beneficial. Your body will respond to a more normal schedule, your metabolism will kick start, and you will feel better by starting the day on a healthy note.

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Oatmeal with pumpkin seeds, walnuts, flax seeds, and peanut butter- yum!

  • Use your resources

The app “My Fitness Pal” is an easy way to keep track of what you’re eating in a day, as well as quickly look up nutritional stats and information. I don’t log what I eat on a regular basis… 

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… but I do use it to look up nutritional information on occasion. I love that picture- even though I’ve seen it so many times, it still makes me laugh!

My Fitness Pal also provides you with:

-Calorie breakdown into carbohydrates, fat, and protein daily percentages

-Progress reached so far

-Reminders (for example- you can set a reminder on your phone to go off if you haven’t logged anything by dinner, or haven’t logged for 5 hours, etc.)

-Search for foods to add to your daily log (can log an item under Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner, or Snacks), as well as add in Cardio or Strength workouts you completed

For example, if you’re stopping by Starbucks and want to compare two different drinks, just search and compare. This is what a search looks like when I put in “Starbucks lattes.” You can keep scrolling down on the app to see many more different options and kinds, I just took a picture so you can see what it looks like!

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When you click on a specific one, you get a more thorough breakdown of the calories, fat content, protein, sugar, etc. 3-14-14 014

Lastly, I also wanted to share this article from Shape.com with you all! I stumbled across it earlier this week, and thought it went along with my recent post, You’re Beautiful. This picture was in a Target ad online, but clearly they had a few issues photoshopping!! Her left arm is waaay thinner than her right arm, and an entire chunk of her swimsuit bottoms was accidentally cut out. Target did apologize for their mistake and removed the image from their website. But still. If you’re going to photoshop, at least do it the right way! I think this picture goes to show even further the unrealistic expectations for beauty that exist today, so maybe the image will even do some good and show how frequently images are edited.

I’m definitely thankful it’s the weekend! I don’t know about you, but it’s much needed in my life. I’m looking forward to the Ocean City St. Patty’s Day 5K race this weekend!! All ready with my cheesy decorations Smile

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Questions of the Day

  • What are your weekend plans?
  • What are your tips for getting back on track with healthy eating?
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