When we do something or are exposed to a certain thing enough we become desensitized to it’s effects. This is especially true with food. As a society we have become used to convenience and flavor developed by over processing, loads of fat, incredible amounts of sugar and enough sodium to drown a horse. The results are evident when we look around. The epidemic of obesity in our country and other first world nations is more than apparent – it’s overwhelming.
We have gotten so used to the taste of fast foods that we have forgotten the pleasure of single ingredient foods and the delight that spices bring to your palette. Being on a calorie restricted diet you learn to be creative and educated in your choices of food. You won’t find me eating plain rice cakes, but you will find me eating a hearty serving of brown rice with my slow cooked chicken doused in hot sauce along with a hefty serving of steamed veggies and a reasonable amount of home made gluten free, dairy free cheese sauce. Oh, yes, I said CHEESE. I LOVE cheese. . . and butter. I just have to make sure my choices are wise because every calorie counts. Eating a tablespoon of butter or 2 ounces of cheese that may satisfy my tongue, but leave my belly aching for more food is foolish. Two ounces of extra sharp cheddar cheese has enough calories to equal almost 6 cups of steamed broccoli – SIX CUPS. It’s much smarter to have a cup of steamed Normandy Blend vegetables, Broccoli or Cauliflower sprinkled with 15 grams of shredded cheese than to eat just the calorie dense cheese and still be hungry.
Learn To Enjoy Your Food Again – Re-train Your Tongue
Learning to love food again is all about improving the quality of what we eat. What most of the world outside our front door offers is massive quantities of food devoid of true nutritional value. Lacking in stick to your ribs fiber, good fats and properly prepared proteins we are left still hungry after wolfing down the super convenient sauce doused hamburger, extra large fries and massive sugary soda. There is a better way. It just takes time, patience and education.
Don’t think that dietary fat is evil – in moderation it can be incredibly pleasurable without any guilt. Butter, olive oil, coconut oil, nut butters, cheese, nuts and even meat fats can add a wonderful satiating quality to a meal even if used sparingly. We need certain amounts of dietary fats for proper nerve function AND, believe it or not, weight loss.
Season your food well. Salt is not the only seasoning there is!!! Use curry, cinnamon, onion, garlic, parsley, basil, rosemary, marjoram, oregano, fennel, anise, cayenne pepper, Tabasco sauce, lemon, lime, capers, olives, citrus zest and many, many more. These strong flavors work on many levels to improve satiation – through your taste and smell.
Reduce the amount of sugar you eat. This is one of the most difficult – right up there with reducing salt. The rewards are incredible though. After several weeks you’ll start to notice not needing to sweeten your foods as much and that sweet treats seem even sweeter than normal. Where this will impact you the most is on the scale. It’s amazing how such a small thing can really make body fat disappear when it’s reduced in your diet. You can use some non-sugar sweeteners without ill effects. I’ll explore that more in my next post.
Switch to whole grains. Refined, polished and germ free (not bacteria, but the outer coating of the seed) grains may be easy to eat, but they are devoid of much nutritional value and necessary fiber. The first few weeks on my diet I had cut out most of my carbs and ate very little in the way of oatmeal, bread or rice. This worked well for about 2 weeks until I ran into a digestive brick wall. I needed to up my fiber intake – more water was not enough to “get things moving”. Now in addition to my daily eggs, lean meats and veggies I make sure to have steel cut oats, brown or wild rice, legumes of some kind and an apple. Properly working digestion is key to continued weight loss. Higher fiber whole grains do tend to be high in calories, but because of their increased bulk they keep you satisfied for longer. The less processed they are the better.
Fill up on fresh vegetables and fruits. Though chucking your greens and fruits all in a smoothie might sound like a good idea and easy way to get the nutrients, you will be ruining one of the benefits of eating them whole, fresh and/or lightly cooked – fiber! A smoothie with juice, nut butters and protein powder will provide plenty of nutrients AND CALORIES plus it lacks the sticktooitiveness of whole foods. Having your digestive tract do the mashing and squeezing for you will keep you satisfied much longer. I’m speaking from experience. Though fruits are wonderful snack and accompaniment choices because of being jam packed with vitamins and antioxidants remember that they are also high in natural sugar thus making them very caloric. Berries, especially strawberries, are a perfect way to get your fruit fix with very little calories.
Make room for lean protein. Protein along with fiber from vegetables and good fats in moderation is what will keep you from feeling hungry too soon after eating. Your body will need the protein to build new muscle, repair your body and even help your relax. Chicken, turkey, fish and even some cuts of pork are all great sources of lean protein with loads of potential healthy ways to prepare it that don’t require deep frying ;).
Water, water, water! It can be incredibly easy to drink all your daily calories. It’s just that much harder to burn them off too. Eliminate or reduce the sweeteners you add to your coffees and cut out soda. That’s not to say you can’t enjoy the fizz of a carbonated water with a squeeze of lemon or lime and a little stevia. Just remember to give your body the hydration it needs without too many artificial additives. Herbal teas are another flavorful way to get the water you need without caffeine or artificial flavorings. My favorite is Bengal Spice from Celestial Seasonings. It’s very spicy with cinnamon and so naturally sweet it doesn’t even need sweetening at all.
Don’t eliminate your favorite treat. The whole purpose of dieting is to lose weight – not deprive yourself. Like I said before you have to eat smart. Educate yourself on what a serving size is for your favorite treat and make room for it or even just half of it. If not every day, then maybe a few times a week. This will help you to feel happy. My husband was making fun of me the other day because I had 250 calories left in my quota for the day and it was like they were burning a hole in my pocket. I’d eaten to satisfaction on healthy things at supper and I wanted something sweet. I was really craving a little bit of ice cream but I couldn’t find any so I had a fudge dipped granola with a half tablespoon of peanut butter. It wasn’t ice cream but it was the chocolate and peanut butter taste I was craving. Plus, I didn’t go over my calories for the day!
There are some days that I feel like I’m obsessed with food. I know you’d think being on a diet would be the opposite. The fact is being on a diet is more than just not eating. It’s educating yourself about what foods are best for you and eating them in the right amounts. Like the other night I showed my husband my plate of food and he was amazed at how jam packed it was considering I was on a diet plan. The whole thing was only 260 calories and was complete with cheese, gravy, chicken, rice and veggies. Prepared and seasoned well even food on a “diet” can taste great.
By the way, so far using Venus Factor which I received for the purposes of review I’ve lost 12.8 pounds. This program specifically formulated to produce weight loss for women is really working! These last two weeks have been dedicated to teaching my body how to burn fat more effectively and it seems to be working. My clothes feel looser and I feel smaller. Yesterday I started working out finally despite my back feeling a little sore still. Believe it or not after my 20 minute workout my back actually felt better. Imagine that. I can’t wait to see how my body start to tighten up with my new found impetus to exercise.
I received complimentary access to Venus Factor for the purposes of review. This site makes use of affiliate links. Clicking on those links may result in compensation for this website.