We need to talk about the elephant in the room, our eating habits. Believe me, I’ve tried to exercise my way thin. That alone won’t fix the problem! After I took inventory of my eating habits and looked hard at my health, I came to realize how I got myself in this predicament. Years of poor eating had taken its toll and I was going to fix it. Problem is I hated vegetables. Yes, as discussed last week I was slipping some into a breakfast shake, but that alone was not going to be enough.
After running, going to they gym, walking, biking and not losing a ton of weight, I decided to work with a nutritionist. I walked into the first one and was shocked to see a less than healthy looking woman. She sold me a bunch of Isotonic and handed me a piece of paper with a menu. The Isotonix was OK, the menu was helpful in that at least I had a guide for the “What’s for dinner question” I faced every night. I questioned some of the food choices on the menu as eating chips and chocolate cake, while appealing, was not really what I wanted. My biggest learning in the month I spent with her was the concept of portion control. In weighing my food to match the serving size indicated, I learned that I was eating way too much at my meals.
My second nutritionist was a beautiful, fit, healthy Doctor. I was feeling better already when I walked in. This lady practiced what she preached and her outer self reflected that. She sold me a bunch of Paleo bars, shakes and supplements. I wondered, does everyone want me to get my nutrition through powders and pills. What happened to the food? In my month with her my biggest learning was that people’s bodies interact with different food in different ways. I was introduced to moving away from our dairy industries hormone laced milk and cheese. I learned about goat milk and cheese products and how to make my own ricotta.
My third nutritionist was a beautiful yogi I met at my studio. She is amazingly fit and knowledgeable about food and the body. She actually did a lab test on me and found that my body doesn’t interact well with sugar. I told her I don’t eat or use sugar. I learned to better understand what was really in food. What a surprise to see that sugar is in everything. I learned how to read labels and understand what they meant. She did sell me a bunch of enzymes and shakes and powders. My biggest learning was I was going to have to be more selective about my food choices. I also learned that the red wine I so loved was full of sugar and likely a cause of some of my issues.
My final nutritionist, yes I’ve been to many, took the approach I appreciated the most. Fit and healthy and well versed, she didn’t sell me a single thing other than the fact that, “you can’t exercise away a bad diet.” I learned the fallacies of carb free, gluten free and other fad diets, unless of course you have gluten sensitivities. We did a complete work up of my lifestyle, health and food habits. She taught me about different food groups and how many servings of each my body would need each day. She told me I wasn’t eating enough! Imagine that! She also taught me it’s best to get your nutrients through food, not pills and powders. Finally something I can agree with.
I’m at the point now that I no longer need a nutritionist to tell me what I need to do. I wish I could say I do it right all the time,but the reality is it’s a life struggle.
Our small step this week is to think about our portion size. I used to think if I ate “one plate” with no seconds I was dieting. When I weighed my food on a scale, I realized even though it was one plate, it was way too much food. Use the idea of a typical frozen weight watchers or Jenny Craig dinner to visualize the size. Typical serving size of meat is 4-6 oz for me. One piece of filet mignon can feed both my daughter and I. Typical pasta portion for me was 9 oz. That’s not a lot, but using elbows made me feel like it was. Typical fruit serving for me is once per day, one small Apple, 1/2 banana, 4 oz grapes, berries. No, you don’t get to eat a whole huge bowl of fruit. Healthy, but sugar level is high, albeit natural sugar. Use the serving size recommended on the package label if you aren’t sure of portions. Another small change I made was to eat on a smaller plate. It truly made me feel like I ate more. I was not hungry, so don’t worry. We will talk next week about eating throughout the day to balance our hunger.
Make one change this week, smaller plates and using a food scale. These small changes will have big impacts on your journey. Remember to journal it and share. I’d love to hear from you. Enjoy the week.
Here’s a great scale to use:
Information on serving sizes: