Why eating “healthy” doesn’t work…

You’ve got a few pounds you’d like to lose…
So you wanna start to “eat healthy”?  or you HAVE BEEN eating healthy, and it doesn’t seem to be making much difference in weight or pants size?

Brutal truth:   Eating healthy is NOT the same as eating to lose weight.  They sound the same, but I’d bet it is one of the main reasons people finally just GIVE UP!  When they make big efforts to eat healthy and it does nothing to change their figure, they wonder “why the heck am I doing this – I am just gonna enjoy life and eat this here tub o’ ice cream!”

I did this… many times over the years I ate salads for lunch and vegetables for dinner, even ordered that weird vegetable-only sub at Subway a couple times only to find myself a few weeks later at the same exact point as I started!  I became totally convinced that there was NO way I was going to be able to lose weight and eating healthy wasn’t worth the effort.  It was getting me no where, and I was resigned to my destiny as a “big girl”.

Well, as you know, I did finally end up losing weight by learning (the hard way) to eat, not “healthy”, but to lose weight :)

So what is the difference?
Well we know that cakes and cookies and that whole bag of Lays chips aren’t helpful in losing weight, but what about HEALTHY foods?
Let’s start by looking at a few things that ARE healthy, wholesome foods that are great for you when you are AT a weight you desire, but need to be carefully moderated to GET you there.  (You do want to include small amounts of these in your diet)
Just to name a few:  Almonds, walnuts, nuts of all kinds, butters made from those wonderful nuts, olive oil, coconut oil, chocolate, avocados, beans, cheese, whole grain cereals, potatoes, honey, and even fruit (esp juice or dried fruits).

These foods contain fats and starches, which while good for you in small doses, can add significantly to your calorie intake if you are not careful.  Some also contain sugar (like fruit) which again we should keep to small amounts.
The confusing part is all of these are a healthy foods, but you really have to watch and control how much of these you get during your fat loss phase.
For instance I was totally frustrated that I was eating salad day after day and not getting anywhere… now I know, I was topping my salads with dressings, cheese, nuts… and again, while still healthy it was adding way too many calories to have an effect on my weight.

Here’s a good article on my very FAVORITE pancake recipe showing how I nearly doubled the calories by adding a few extra HEALTHY ingredients!pancake1

No matter what you are eating, healthy or not, if you eat too many calories you will not lose weight – in fact you can gain weight! – by eating healthy foods!!

Calorie content of your foods is something you need to become intimately familiar with.  Otherwise it is difficult to make decisions about what belongs on your salad or in your dinner skillet.  (ie, a “small” a

mount of oil in the bottom of your pan can add 100-200 calories to your 300 calorie meal – you can add 20-30% more than you intended!)  If you need a refresher on how those “just 100 calories” adds up – here’s the math.

As I said, you do need fats (and carbohydrates) so if you are missing fats one day and make a conscious decision to add 100 calories of f

at to your meal that is perfectly fine.  But the truth is we make a lot of these decisions out of habit – when you are cooking dinner you put a little oil in the pan, when you have potatoes you put a little butter on them, when you have a salad you put a little vinegar and oil… by the time your habits catch up to you you’ve added 500 calories to your day and 1 pound of fat to your behind in a week’s time ;)

You probably know my stance on calories – count them! at least until you are comfortable and familiar at which time you’ll be able to make a good food choices by habit!  But if you just don’t like the idea of tracking every single thing you eat, I urge you to at least become familiar with the calories in the different things you eat so that knowledge gets tucked away in the back of your mind for decision making when you need it :)
Ya know – like when the butter gets passed around the table ;)

icecream

do you really need that scoop of ice cream? maybe you do – and that’s perfectly fine – BUT be aware and do it consciously!!

 

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