If you feel like you have hit a plateau in your weight loss efforts, you are not alone. It is not uncommon to lose several pounds and then suddenly find that those numbers on the scale have turned stubborn. They aren’t moving up, but they aren’t moving down either—in spite of your best efforts to be healthy.
When this happens it is necessary to look for hidden sources of calories in your diet. Often, the culprit is your beverage choice. What you drink can have a profound impact on how much you weigh.
Proceed with caution
You may be surprised to learn how many calories your favorite drinks are hiding. That 12 ounce can of soda has 124-189 calories! Love your Latte? The 12 ounce nonfat Caffe Latte at Starbucks has 120 calories. And even fruit juice is guilty—a 12 ounce glass of apple juice will set you back around 170 calories.
Those calories quickly add up. If you are on a 1,500 calorie diet, you can drink away almost one fourth of your daily calories in just a couple of glasses!
The problem is that many people do not stop to consider the calories in their beverages when they are calculating their calorie intake for the day. What this means is that those liquid calories end up being extra—and therefore can bring your weight loss to a grinding halt, or worse, reverse your hard work.
The trouble with drinking calories goes beyond a few pesky pounds. The source of the calories in beverages is usually sugar. Many beverages contain sugar. And it’s not just a little sugar. It’s a lot of sugar, to the tune of 10 teaspoons per 12 ounces of both Orange Juice and Coca-Cola classic! And don’t turn to Vitamin Water to reduce your liquid calories. It delivers a surprising 4-5 teaspoons of sugar! Trust me: there are better ways to get your vitamins!
Sugar causes weight gain in a couple of different ways. The obvious way is by slamming your body with extra calories. But there is a more sinister way as well. When you drink that sugar, it ends up in your bloodstream as glucose and raises the glucose level in your blood. Your body recognizes this as dangerous, so your pancreas starts working overtime to release insulin to clear out the extra glucose.
But that extra glucose has to go somewhere! And that is why insulin is called the fat storage hormone. Insulin sweeps the glucose out of your blood and stores it in your cells as fat.
Therefore, if you are drinking your calories, your weight loss plateau may be the unhappy consequence.
The solution is to train your taste buds to enjoy less sugary beverages. Water is the best choice. This summer, try putting slices of lemon or lime in your water. You can also freeze fruit in ice cube trays and let the fruit slowly flavor your water as the cubes melt.
Learn to drink unsweetened tea and coffee as well. Just be patient with yourself—it may take a few weeks for your taste buds to stop complaining and begging for sugar! Decrease the sugar in your drinks gradually, for a painless transition, and get ready to break out of your weight loss plateau!
As a firm believer in REAL FOOD (that means that it was alive recently) I love rice as a healthy carb choice and recommend it to all of my clients.
However even simple food choices can be confused by all of the misinformation that is force fed to us about what “healthy eating” really is.
So let me clear this one up for you….
Aside from being easy to prepare in bulk, rice is fantastic with pretty much any protein choice.
But what makes rice so special is how it reacts in your gut….or more specifically, doesn’t react.
You see, an alarmingly high percentage of our foods go through a disgusting amount of processing before they ever make it to our table.
( I could go on for days about processed foods but i’ll stick to rice for the time being)
Luckily rice is already a food that has very little reaction in the stomach ( that means it won’t make you bloat) and if you’re diligent when you shop then you can find a variety that is not only super tasty but also relatively unaltered since the day it was harvested.
So let me clear this one up for you….
First thing- THERE IS A DIFFERENCE!
Like I said rice is great, I eat it literally every single day, but if you’re not careful you may be walking into a trap. Before I get into the different varieties let me give you the primary rule:
THE FEWER WORDS IN THE “INGREDIENTS” PANEL THE BETTER!!
I’ll show you what I mean.
Next time you are browsing the bottom aisle of your favorite grocery store and you come across the bag that says “white rice” flip it over and read the nutrition panel. Chances are it says something about being “bleached” or “enriched” (sounds tasty, huh?) Listen there is a reason that it only costs 1$ for 5 pounds.
Now let’s look at the Jasmine Rice on the shelf above. Flip that bag over and what do you know? The ingredients label reads “Jasmine Rice”. This is an example of what we mean by “real food”. Your body will recognize those unaltered nutrients and use them for energy.
Like I said I could go on and on about the real food thing but I think I have made my point. Now let’s talk about RICE 🙂
I always describe our starchy carbs as either “brown, dark” (the slower digesting variety) such as brown rice, sweet potato, oatmeal, quinoa etc, all being darker in color. or “white, light” (the faster digesting carbs) such as white rice, white potato, pasta, etc, all being lighter in color. As a rule of thumb we want to stick to our slower digesting carbs as they take longer to broken down in the stomach and released into the bloodstream.
The Idea is that if your carbs are released slowly the they will be easily burned for energy before they can become fat cells. If the carbs you eat are quickly digested, however, then there is a chance that they will be released into the bloodstream before they are needed, which means that your body will HAVE TO store them as fat.
(There is no backfeed on the human body, if you eat it you will hold it until your body uses it, period.
So let’s take this logic and apply it to rice:
Brown Rice: With almost no bloating effect to speak of for most people, this variety of rice has been a staple of healthy eaters for decades. Slow digesting and full of usable carbs.
White Rice: This one can be a tricky one. Your run of the mill bottom shelf rice is, well, on the bottom shelf for a reason. The sterilization process leaves it void of nutrients and usually full of foreign toxins.
As far as rate of digestion, white rice naturally tends to be a little quicker
As an alternative I like Jasmine Rice. It is clean, has a light fluffy texture and a distinct, delicious taste.
As far as rate of digestion, white rice naturally tends to be a little quicker, and therefore leads to a greater spike in blood sugar. For this reason I prefer to see it eaten at the first big meal after a vigorous workout, when your body is wanting to absorb nutrients as quickly as possible.
Another great alternative is Basmati Rice. This too has a distinct, earthy taste that I love. It doesn’t digest as quickly as other types of rice so you can really work it in any time of day.
Alright I don’t think that there are any more words in the English Language about the subject of rice, but let me point out that we covered much more than just rice. If you apply the practices of:
1) Choosing Real, Clean Food
2) be mindful of the rate of digestion when it comes to your starchy carbs. Then you will find that the battle of the bulge isn’t much of a battle at all
At Body Burn, we specialize in helping busy ladies age 30 and above get lean, fit, tone, and to feel strong , energized and confident once again. If that sounds like you-Let me ask you something….
Ever heard someone give themselves permission to eat whatever they want just because they just had a great workout? It’s a common excuse. Many people believe that because they exercise, they’re in the black as far as their calorie input/output. But in reality, this sort of thinking is a sure road to failure. Most people with a lean body and a 6 pack didn’t get that way by rationalizing their poor diet.
Many people have no idea how many calories they take in on an average day, often severely underestimating when asked to take a guess at it. But they also overestimate the number of calories they burn. The truth is, 30 minutes of the best boot camp in town will not cancel out that burger and fries!
Do the math
Let’s look at the hard numbers. An average, moderately intensive workout will burn 300-400 calories in about an hour. That’s an hour of hard work with plenty of sweat and hard breathing.
Now say on the way home from the gym, you decide to grab a couple of donuts from Dunkin’ Donuts. After all, you’ve earned it! In the 3 minutes it will take you to put away two chocolate frosted cake donuts, you’ve consumed 720 calories. All your hard work is wasted, plus you’ve provided your body with several hundred extra calories to store as fat!
Or maybe you just want to have some pizza and soda with friends. You consider the 600 calories you burned running on the treadmill for an hour today (at 10 miles per hour—that’s a really fast run for a really long time!), so you eat 4 pieces of pizza and a coke. No problem, right?
Wrong. You just downed 900-1,000 calories in about 10 minutes!
Is it really worth it?
Face the facts
The bottom line is you simply can’t out train a bad diet. If you try to spar a bad diet with exercise, the exercise will lose every single time. The only way to lose weight and get that lean, sexy, healthy body that looks great in anything (or nothing) is to eat a healthy diet AND exercise.
Your weight loss is driven by diet and maintained by exercise. The only way to get ahead in the calorie game is to eat fewer calories than you burn. Only then will you begin to see the fat melt away. Exercise builds muscle and can rev up your metabolism, but you won’t lose weight if you continually eat more than you can metabolize.
This is not to say that exercise is not important. It is! In fact, according to Barry Braun, associate professor of kinesiology at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst,
“When you look at the results in the National Weight Control Registry, you see over and over that exercise is one constant among people who’ve maintained their weight loss.”
Want to keep the pounds off? Exercise! Exercise is crucial. And you must combine it with a balanced diet if you want to shed pounds.
Have you been trying to out exercise your diet? Don’t be discouraged; many of us have been guilty of this. It’s time to rethink your weight loss strategy. Try the following tips to start fresh and recreate your body!
- Plan, plan, plan. The only way you are going to get control of your diet is to plan ahead. Do not let yourself get hungry with nothing healthy prepared to eat; your will power will plummet and you will reach for a snack that will set you back. Keep food ready in your refrigerator that you can grab and heat quickly. And don’t leave the house without cool water, nuts, fruit, whole grain crackers and cheese. Make things really easy by using a service like Lean Eats.
- Lift weights. When you start losing weight, you must protect your muscle. If you begin to lose pounds without adding in weight lifting, you will likely lose up to 25% of your muscle mass. Also, after an intense weight lifting workout targeting at least 3 big muscles, your metabolism increases for up to 39 hours after you are finished. And repairing that muscle tissue after lifting requires energy! Energy=calories burned.
- Get some accountability. We’ll strike this note again and again: you need a partner.And for our ladies at Body Burn Women’s Fitness Center-they need to be scheduling their accountability meetings with their coaches.
(As a part of our Program every member gets to meet with a coach 1 on 1 so that we can make sure she is on track, understanding her program, and moving forward towards her goals. Remember, the single biggest determining factor of your fitness success is whether or not you have someone to help you stay on track. For the ladies in our program, that person also happens to be able to answer their questions and help them formulate a plan for success. Find someone to trade food journals with and report on how you are doing with your will power.)
You need a healthy diet to be lean, strong and healthy. You will feel better, and look better!
You’ve considered it for weeks, months, years even. And now is the time that you’ve decided to make a change and go on that diet. But don’t just dive in feet first. First, take a long, hard look at the diet you’re considering and answer five questions before proceeding.
Only then can you be sure your diet is not going to land you in the land of diet failure.
Question 1: Does it make you hungry all day every day?
When you’re on a diet, it’s normal to feel the occasional tinge of hunger. Much of those light hunger pangs, however, should be done away with by drinking a glass of water. And if you stay busy enough with life in general, you ought to be able to ignore some other hunger. But if your diet has you feeling hungry at all times, you’re not going to last long.
To avoid falling into the pit of hungry despair, go with a diet that lets you eat protein, fiber, and healthy fats. Also, as stated above, drink plenty of water to avoid confusing hunger with thirst.
Question 2: Does it force you to drop food groups?
A healthy diet is one that incorporates appropriate amounts of food from each food group. When a diet cuts an entire food group from your eating options, you’re going to have a hard time surviving your diet for longer than a week or two.
One of the most popular food groups to cut is carbohydrates. While not eating carbs will indeed help you lose weight, carbs are what make it possible to store energy to make it through the day. No carbs, no energy, no willpower to maintain your diet.
Question 3: Is your mood suddenly unpredictable?
Everyone gets metabolic every once in a while, but if your diet is too restrictive, you may find your mood swings coming with greater regularity and severity. This happens because excessive caloric restrictions messes with the chemicals in your brain. When this occurs, there is no telling what direction your mood will go.
Before letting your diet ruin your relationships and put your job at risk, reconsider your diet and find one that helps you be cool, calm, and collect.
Question 4: Does it insist there is no need to exercise?
There are some diet plans that promise plenty of lost pounds without the addition of exercise.
If this is the type of diet you’re considering or are in the midst of, beware! Exercise comes with countless health benefits that will make your weight loss all the more beneficial. From preventing chronic pain to improving your energy level and sleeping better, exercise is a vital component to any diet
I say this phrase almost EVERYTIME I do a workshop or talk to a group about nutrition.
“Failing to Plan is Planning to Fail”
If you are really SERIOUS about making a change in your nutrition then meal planning is a must.
Think for a moment about the areas in your life that you excel at… Maybe you run a successful business or household, you have a successful career, you exercise consistently, [insert your thing]. Whatever it may be, my guess is that the success you are experiencing didn’t just happen, there was a lot that went into getting where you are right now…including planning.
When I made the conscious decision to start preparing the large majority of our meals and changing the composition of those meals, I had to make some tough decisions. You see; we all have the same 24 hours in a day. We have to choose wisely how to spend it. If eating nutrient dense whole foods is a priority for you then you will make the time to plan your meals and prepare them.
The things we spend our time and money dictate what are important to us. If you are not spending your time and money on things that are moving your closer to your goals, then it’s time to make some changes.
I used to really enjoy mindless time in front of the TV several nights a week and on the weekends watching the newest version of “Real Housewives” or “The Kardashians.” But I quickly realized that my screen time was going to need to go if I wanted to make the time to plan and prepare my meals. Please don’t think that I am looking down on you or that it’s “bad” if you enjoy TV, but for me it was no longer serving me in a positive way and it wasn’t moving me closer to my goals of a healthier and happier me. Individuals have to take a look at what is important to him or her and choose how he or she is going to spend their time.
Once I made the time in my calendar to plan and prepare my meals, I started looking better, feeling better, and performing better.
Now, I know that we are all busy, we all have different demands on our time, and we may not have the luxury of simply changing up how we are spending our leisure time in order to have the time and energy to prepare nutrient dense whole food meals. However, here are a few timing saving tricks when it comes to meal planning and food prep.
Time Saving Tips
* Schedule a time each week to plan your meals for the following week. Once you have your meals planned, make your grocery list from your meal plan.
* Schedule a specific time to go to the grocery store.
* Upon returning from the store take some time to wash, peel, and chop vegetables so they are ready to go.
* Post your meal plan in a place you can easily see it so that you know if you need to pull something out of the freezer or prep something ahead of time.
* Use a crock-pot to have dinner ready on the evenings you are very busy.
* Cook in bulk and plan for leftovers or freeze meals to pull out when you may need them.
Some of these tips may seem simple, and they are but I promise you if you implement them you will save yourself time, energy, and decrease your stress level. Stop and think about how many trips you make to the grocery store in a week, if you could make 2 trips versus 4 or 5, how much time and energy would that save you? By having your meals planned, you don’t have to make the decision at any given meal about what to eat. That will not only save you energy but also keep you on track with your supportive nutrition plan.
Take some time to evaluate your current meal planning and prepping strategies and if they are working for you.
* Are they moving you closer to your goals?
* Do they enhance your quality of life?
* Do they decrease your stress level?
If you feel compleatly lost when it comes to HOW you should be eating and HOW you should be exercising then you may qualify for a 3 DAY VIP PASS at Body Burn Women’s fitness center – if you’re interested then email me back to find out more 🙂
Dedicated to your health,
Daythan Nottke NASM CPT – Owner of Body Burn Women’s Fitness Ceneter
Let me see if I can sum it up in 2 sentences:
>If the food looks like a plant or an animal – YOU CAN EAT IT!
>If the food comes in a plastic wrapper , if they sell it at the gas station, if it contains ingredients that YOU CANNOT PRONOUNCE-DON’T EAT IT!
Seems simple enough right? Well, if you have ever made an honest attempt at removing processed, unnatural foods from your diet then you know how difficult of a task that can be!
-Check out these 3 easy tips we use with our ladies at Body Burn to make shopping for and preparing healthy meals quick and simple:
1)Stick to the edge of the Grocery store: When shopping for healthy food choices it is key to remember that your body is nourished so much better by food that is fresh. Now I’m not getting on a soapbox for all organic – farmed raised – non GMO everything….but I will say this: the food that was recently alive i.e.: Plants and animals will give your body more nourishment, energy, vitality, and health than things that come in a can, box, or wrapper.
2) Don’t be fooled by Pseudo – Health foods: Many food will be presented as healthy foods DON’T BE FOOLED! Remember if it is full of ingredients that you can’t pronounce than you can be sure your body won’t know what to do with it either. Unfortunately it has become popular to advertise foods (especially to women) as “Low Fat” or “High Fiber” or “High in Protein” but again if your diet is properly balances with Whole Food Choices then you will have no need to turn to these so called “Health Foods”
3) Supplements will NEVER REPLACE real food! : That’s not to say that you CAN NEVER have a protein bar, or that Women shouldn’t be using a protein powder (we can cover that in another article) but my point here is this: THERE IS NO Powder, Bar, Shake, Pill, Drink, Flush, Cleanse, (fill in the blanks from here) that will ever replace the power of of Whole Food in the human body. Mother nature has done a beautiful job of providing all that the body needs to stay energized, healthy, lean and strong in the fruits, veggies, and produce that are so abundantly available to us.
Make it work for you: Let’s think about this in simple terms- most women know WHAT NOT to eat. Like drive through fast food and gallons of Soda aren’t gonna cut it when we are trying to lose weight and tone up. The problem is that most ladies just can’t get their minds around how SIMPLE healthy eating can be. Instead we look to pre-made, low -carb, quick fix health foods that may help us shed an inch or 2, but can never truly create the leaned,toned physique we work so hard for in the gym. It doesn’t have to be hard, but you do have to be committed. Committed to making the time to Buy, Prepare, Keep on hand, AND EAT the real whole food that your body want.
Listen, I know how tough it can be when you ARE TRYING YOUR HARDEST to lose weight and tone up but you just CAN’T FIGURE OUT how to make it work for you: So We are launching our Toned in 28 Day Transformation program on Saturday for the ladies who want to take a Short period of Focused time to figure out how to get UNSTUCK and start seeing results again.
All the info on this program can be found at the link below – if it looks like something you would be interested in, there is a button at the bottom of the page where you can sign up at a HUGE DISCOUNT! Plus anyone who signs up online will get an extra week added to their program -FOR FREE!
Check it out and let me know what you think : http://bodyburnwomensfitnesscenter.com/28day/
Dedicated to your Health,
Daythan Nottke – NASM CPT Owner of Body Burn Women’s Fitness Center