It seems like it should be easy to figure out what to eat to be healthy, right? It turns out there is a lot of mis-information out there. There are so many quick-fix diets and 30-day eating plans that, in my humble opinion, can do more harm than good.
I'm here to free you from all the anxiety and stress that you have been carrying around for probably most of your life! I know conventional wisdom tells you to eat less and exercise more, and of course the result will be six-pack abs. This just isn't the truth.
Building a healthy lifestyle is about consistently making healthy choices over and over again. It is about making the best choice time after time. Not perfectly, not all the time, but most of the time! You can only make the best choice for every given situation. This is why setting yourself up for success at home is so important. This gives you a safe space where it's sure to be easy to make healthy choices. Sometimes it's just about being 1% better today than you were yesterday.
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Taking a break from eating is a good habit to adopt
I love the practice of intermittent fasting for many reasons. First, it takes all of the stress out of meal prep because you don't have to prep a single thing. Second, it gives your body a break from the work of digestion, so that it can perform other functions like cleaning up trashed cellular debris. Most of all, intermittent fasting helps to reset our appetite control center, and helps us to get more in tune with our hunger and satiety.
Eating only if you are hungry is probably the single most important habit to adopt if you want to be at a healthy weight. The second most important habit is to stop eating when you are no longer hungry. This doesn't mean full!
If you haven't read The Obesity Code, by Dr. Jason Fung, you really need to pick up a copy. He does a great job of explaining why eating all the time is a bad idea. (This post contains affiliate links. I receive a very small commission if you purchase through the links on this page.)
What you eat and drink is the next part to finding your perfect healthy weight
When you aren't fasting, you are feeding. And when you are feeding, it is important to be feeding yourself with the right foods. But first let's talk about drinking.
Water and more
Did you know that all cellular metabolism occurs in an aquatic state? When we are even slightly dehydrated, our metabolism doesn't work the way it should. So the number one thing you can do for yourself is to drink enough water everyday. What does "enough water" look like? A good place to start is to drink the number of ounces of water equal to your body weight in pounds – if you weigh 140 pounds, drink 140 ounces of water each day.
Grab the perfect water bottle and start making water a priority.
Alcohol and Caffeine
We already know this but we don't want to hear it – if you want to lose weight, you have to ditch the alcohol! Remember: the belief that calories are the only things that matter is a lie. There are studies that show very strong evidence to support the idea that reducing your calories is not linked to successful long term weight loss. Now I'm not saying that eating 8,000 calories a day is something that you should do. What I am saying is that the kind of calories you eat is more important that the number of calories you eat. Also, the amount of time that you are in a fed state has more impact on blood sugar and weight gain than the amount of calories you eat.
While one glass of wine may only have 100 calories, alcohol calories are in the category of "not the best choice" calories. Those 100 calories will shut your metabolism down in a hurry! Your body treats alcohol like an emergency – it shuts down its fat-burning and protein-synthesis pathways so that 100% of metabolic processes are focused on ridding you body of poison. I know that is an unpopular opinion – I don't like it either because I love a few glasses of wine. But, sorry sister, it's the truth! It doesn't mean that you can never ever have a glass of wine again, but while you are trying to loose a few pounds even indulging just on the weekend can really sideline your progress.
Caffeine is okay in moderation, but drinking too much caffeine raises cortisol and acts as a diuretic which causes dehydration. Have coffee or tea if you want to, just be mindful not to over indulge.
This is how the Beast Bowl was born. First of all, stop counting calories right now! Stop weighing and measuring everything that you put it your mouth! Please!! I know it is a hard habit to break, but weighing and measuring everything you eat just causes food anxiety. This practice also puts you in the good food vs bad food patrol.
Rule number 1: Eat real whole food, mostly. A huge clue that you are not eating real food: if you had to open a package, it's not a whole food. (Even if a manufacturer labeled it as a "whole food" bar!)
Rule number 2: Use a loose and casual approximation when you are building your plate for each meal. I teach my clients how to use their hands for portion control. Each meal should include 2 to 3 large handfuls of non-starching vegetables, 1 palm-size portion of protein, a thumbs-size amount of fat, and up to a cupped handful of either a starchy carb or fruit.
This Steak and Sweet Potato Beast Bowl is the perfect example of eating the right ratios of whole food!
If you need more cooking options...
You can grab the recipe for the Steak and Sweet Potato Beast Bowl HERE. This is just one of the recipes in the Cookbook. If you want to order the digital copy you can grab it here. The print copy is on its way very very soon! My final edits are on their way to my editor next week, and then we are going to start the presses! Woohooo!
When you're changing the way you eat, it's a good idea to find a few go-to meals. Don't try to build too much at once. For example, I have a core group of veggies that I put in almost every Beast Bowl – they include romaine lettuce, spinach, and red cabbage for some crunch. Then I pick a few flavor booster herbs and alliums like cilantro or green onions. Then I will add colorful veggies like carrots or cucumbers, whatever I am in the mood for. Fat is usually some avocado and a healthy dressing. I can top this bowl with eggs or steak or chicken. So yummy, and the right amounts of everything!