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
Stress is an inevitable part of our modern existence. Whether you’re the CEO of a large company, a Kindergarten teacher or a construction worker, you have stress to deal with. We all have bills to pay, relationships to maintain and challenges to get through.
But you don’t have to let it get the best of you. How can you turn your stress-filled life on its head?
With one of the best weapons against stress: exercise.
When stress is getting you down, you need something to kick you out of your funk. You need something that makes you feel good.
Every time you exercise, you increase your body’s production of endorphins.
In case you have forgotten, endorphins are responsible for those good moods you get in after a race or the euphoria you feel while chomping down on a piece of chocolate.
However, before you grab a piece of chocolate and skip the gym, remember the end result of each and choose which one will help you battle stress in the long run. (Hint: It’s not the chocolate.)
Any and all exercise you perform helps you fend off the effects of stress. So whether you enjoy jogging, lifting weights, playing basketball, practicing ballet, swimming, yoga, rowing, or boxing, simply getting involved in your exercise of choice is sure to help reduce your stress.
Through the Brick Wall: If you are working out every day and not getting the relief you want then it’s time to do things a little different. If all you do is lift weights five days a week, you should add in tennis or racquetball a couple days a week. And if you’re all cardio all the time, it may be time to get off the treadmill and grab a dumbbell or two.
Still not working? Keep a diary of your progression. Write down how long and hard you exercise, the various weights you lift, and the steps you make toward whatever health goal you set for yourself. Take pictures along the way as well. Then look back over your journal on occasion. Seeing the progression when you feel you’re not making progress may give you the confidence you need to put stress in its place and move on.
My mission is to get each and every one of my clients the body that they desire and along with that a low stress lifestyle.
Take the guesswork out of planning your own workouts by joining one of my high-energy, fat-blasting exercise programs.
Dedicated to your health,
Daythan Nottke NASM CPT – Owner of Body Burn Women’s Fitness Ceneter