Why diets don’t work

Hello my lovely readers,

Today is day 3 of my 5 day juice cleanse. I know what some of you are thinking; cleanses don’t work because the body naturally detoxes and it’s not permanent weight loss. Well, I’m not doing this to lose 6 pounds in 3 days or permanently remove a major food group out of my diet. Truthfully, I needed to up my veggie intake and I wanted to see how the power of juicing veggies/fruit has on the body. After the half way point, I feel more alert, less bloated, more energetic and I have even lost 1.5 pounds (which is huge because I’ve been plateauing lately). I simply juice twice a day using fresh produce like spinach, kale, ginger root, apples, lemons, mangoes, carrot and cucumbers and then I eat a bowl of homemade mixed veggie soup with spicy tomato sauce. I also throw in beans, nuts and a little yogurt to keep me from becoming ravenous during the day and also replenishes my protein. I am eating the same amount of calories in a day as I did before–no, I am not starving myself, just experimenting with more nutrient-dense food.

I got to thinking today that there are SO many diets, cleanses and fad detoxes out there. People want a quick fix and they don’t want to work hard for it. So yes, cutting out an entire food group like carbohydrates, protein or fat will most likely lead to initial weight loss. What people don’t know is that that most of that weight is water weight and that 10 pounds they magically lost in a week will come back–and in some cases are accompanied by even more.

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Many of today’s popular diets are too low in fat, which leaves people hungry right after eating. These kinds of diets don’t work because you eventually overeat to keep from feeling like you’re starving. Same goes for diets limiting carbs– these usually can’t be maintained for long because our bodies need a certain amount of carbohydrates to function properly. Diets limiting carbohydrates leave your body feeling fatigued and usually puts you in a bad mood. This is because carbs are the body’s main form of fuel needed for energy.

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Another reason diets fail is because they’re way too low in calories. Your body needs a certain number of calories each day just to maintain normal day-to-day functioning. Diets that drastically cut calories puts the body in starvation mode by downgrading how many calories it needs at rest because it’s trying to conserve energy. The pounds people lose from cutting calories are most likely lean muscle mass rather than fat because muscle burns more calories so your body wants to rid itself of that and hold onto fat for energy. Then, when people return to their old habits, their weight skyrockets and piles back on plus some.

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Although all food groups are essential for well-being, some foods are more important that others. This doesn’t mean you need to completely remove it from your diet, just keep that food item as more of an occasional treat. Red meat, eggs, sugar, good fats (oil, avocado, nuts) and wheat are just a few examples of items that are fine every once in a while. Just because it’s a good fat or natural sugar doesn’t mean you can eat twice as much–sugar is still sugar and fat is still fat–just remember moderation is key.

Simply put, a diet or fad detox doesn’t work long term and neither do magic shakes or weight loss pills. Losing weight should never be advertised as an immediate result. If so, run far, far away–it’s a scam! Weight loss takes time and patience. Fat in your body didn’t accumulate overnight, so you can’t expect to lose it overnight. Eating clean and committing to your lifestyle will give you the results you are looking for if you stick to it and follow it truthfully.

Here are 5 ways to embark on a lifestyle change (instead of a diet):

1. Start a food journal. Be honest. What you eat in private shows in public.

2. Find an accountability partner. Friends, partner, family–doesn’t matter–just make sure you keep each other on the bandwagon.

3. Plot out your goals and envision your success. Make short-term goals and reward yourself with items other than food like a massage, new shirt, shoes or a weekend away.

4. Don’t get too down on yourself. We all fall sometimes, we’re only human. Getting back in the game makes you stronger and you will be happy you didn’t throw in the towel

5. Be your own cheerleader, but share your journey with others. Don’t expect others to motivate you, but who knows, maybe some day you will be the one motivating others.

I hope this helps answer questions about the difference between a diet and a lifestyle change. Anyone can go on a temporary diet, but it take guts and willpower to pursue a lifestyle change and I’m here to tell you–YOU have what it takes, don’t give up on yourself!

-Kailee

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Get in my belly!

Hello readers,

I’ve done a lot of talking about clean eating and how to go about it, but I have neglected to post some of my favorites recipes as well as give you some ideas to make your favorite foods healthier ones. You can make ANY recipe a healthier substitute–that is the good news! Bad news is, if you are not a good cook, you may want to brush up on your skills!

I was strictly a microwave and ‘just add water’ kind of cook for most of my college career. Once I started my new lifestyle, I learned more about ways to cook my food in a more healthy way and how I can make fresh, healthy meals while I’m on the go. Don’t fall in the fast-food trap! Fail to plan, plan to fail!

I started food prepping in January and it’s been a godsend! I no longer have to rush home at 5 o’clock and be a slave to the oven for two hours+. Food prepping saves me time, money AND helps us measure portions. 

I usually use different kinds of lean meat like extra lean ground turkey, chicken breast, salmon and tilapia (cook them by baking or grilling) and I pair them with an assortment of frozen mixed veggies like broccoli, cauliflower, green beans, peas, corn and carrots and sometimes I add black beans, kidney beans, mushrooms, spinach, quinoa or brown rice. With those ingredients, the possibilities are virtually endless. I prep all my meals on Sunday nights for the week. I measure them and put everything into Tupperware containers, put half in the fridge and mark their dates. The ingredients usually last at least a week and a half, so I try to put some in the freezer if there are extras. 

Buying a huge pack of chicken, fish or veggies saves so much money because 1. things don’t spoil as fast and 2. fewer trips to the store (less gas!) and 3. buying in bulk actually is cheaper!

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Using the list of foods I mentioned in my last post give so you many options for meals. You can put your twist on anything! Here are some of my favorites that I have made:

Quinoa and turkey stuffed peppers:

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I used red/orange peppers for this delicious and filling dinner! I carve out the insides of the peppers and stuff it with cooked quinoa, ground turkey, mushrooms or beans and top it off with slices of string cheese. Cook in the oven for 15-20 minutes on 380 and voila!

Pineapple and turkey pizza:

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This is so easy and tastes delicious! For the crust, I use rolled oats, greek yogurt and 1 egg. I mix them all together until it is a dough-like consistency. I spread it onto a baking sheet and then pile on the low-sodium tomato sauce, pineapple, slices of organic turkey (or turkey bacon) and I grate some almond cheese on top. Bake for 15-20 minutes on 380 and you have yourself a healthy, low fat pizza!

Protein pancakes:
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Normal pancakes are so carb-filled and unhealthy. These bad boys have 3 ingredients and are just as easy to make!

For 4 pancakes: Mix 2 eggs, 2 egg whites and banana in a blender or Magic Bullet until all chunks are mixed up. You can add peanut butter or protein powder if you would like a different flavor. Pour onto skillet and cook just like normal pancakes. Usually 1-2 minutes per side. Add Walden Farms syrup and you’ve got yourself a healthy, filling breakfast!

As you can tell, I am all about easy and simple. My recipes aren’t fancy and are totally do-able and affordable…and they work (cue Pinterest ‘nailed it’ posts)! I’ll be posting more later this week.

Next week, my husband and I start our juice cleanse so I will be sure to blog about our experiences with that. We will be juicing twice a day and eating homemade veggie soup for our healthy meal. We don’t get nearly as many vegetables as we should, so this will be a great experiment! Super excited!

Have a great week, you all!

Time for a change!

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I was feeling ambitious this morning so I decided to fill you all in on ways to eat healthier, shop smarter and live happier.

Most of you have an idea what clean eating is. It is defined as cutting out as many processed foods as possible and eating foods in their rawest form. Think apples for applesauce, raw almonds for nut butter and whole wheat bread for white bread. Take a look at the ingredient list of foods around your home. You’d be surprised the items listed! A good rule of thumb is if it has more than 6 ingredients, don’t eat it. The more things listed, the more processed it is. Also, if there are items you can’t pronounce or wouldn’t shop for separately, don’t purchase it. Looking at the serving size is also huge. If more than 1/3 of the calories come from fat–put that crap down! Food companies are tricky in that they will make their serving sizes super small so the calories listed on the label look manageable. Most times there are at least 5-8 servings in frozen dinners like bagel bites, barbecue wings or pizza. If you have half of them or worse–all of them–you’re looking at quadrupling your calorie intake. Same goes for teas like Arizona tea and even Snapple. They are two servings, so if you’re enjoying the entire bottle, double those calories.

The first step to eating healthy is purging your fridge and pantry of processed foods. Stay away from canned items like soups, vegetables and fruit, boxed flavored rice and ‘just add water’ meals as well as processed meats like bologna, salami and other deli meats. Getting those items out of the house will rid you of temptation and force you to eat the foods your body truly needs.

According to studies, most Americans are starving nutritionally. We eat and eat, but it’s the wrong kind of food. Your body is your buddy, listen to it! Treat it right and it will treat you right. Tired of feeling sluggish, bloated, constipated? What if I told you that was all because of your diet? Just making a few simple changes in the foods you eat will not only give you more energy, it will improve awareness, eye sight, reduce bloat and clear up skin! No pill, cream or magic shake will do that for you. It’s all about food–the right kinds of food.

Did you know that 60% of the food we eat is processed? It’s cheaper and easier for big companies to sell mass quantities of crap than good food that spoils. Most of those foods are pumped with artificial fillers, sweeteners and other carcinogenic ingredients that would make you cringe. Then they see people trying to eat healthy so they slap “fat free” on the label and people eat twice as much than they would have before. Little do people know what they are really eating. Why do you crave certain foods? Why are they so addicting? I’ll tell you why: MSG and sugar. Would you be surprised to know there are more than 70 ingredients in a McDonald’s hamburger? MSG is one of the main ingredients which has been linked to diabetes, cancer and morbid obesity. I consider sugar a drug. It is addicting and when people don’t get it, they get irritable. People also consume more than two times the amount of sugar required a day. Eating clean can be a challenge cutting these deadly ingredients out your daily diet.

Going to the store soon? Here are some tips:

1. Shop on the edges of the grocery store. The outside edges are most times filled with fresh fruit, veggies, meats, yogurts and cheeses. Things that spoil=good. Things that have a shelf life of 5 years=bad.
2. When shopping for items, check the ingredient list! If you are buying beans, beans should be the only thing listed on the label. If you must be canned items or packaged items, go for the reduced sodium or reduced sugar.
3. Watch out for fat free! Fat free usually means ‘more sugar’ but not always. Full fat yogurts are actually better for you than fat free versions because it’s lower in sugar.
4. Go to the store with a list and stick to it! Also, try to go alone. Kids and boyfriends/husbands won’t help the cause! It will save you money and time!
5. Sign up for coupons either by mail or online. There often aren’t many deals for healthy food (surprise), but sometimes you’ll get a deal on fresh fruits , veggies and meats. Try to buy things that are on sale and STOCK UP on them!
6. Most time the frozen isle is full of processed foods, HOWEVER, frozen fruit and veggies are often times just as nutritious as fresh and lasts longer. Stock up on them!
7. Ingredient lists on food will show the most prevalent items first. If salt, flour, corn syrup, sugar are listed first–don’t even think about it!
8. Stay away from flavored foods like rice, nuts, popcorn, some kinds of yogurts etc. Flavored usually means added sugar and salt. You can add your own flavors to it like parsley, cilantro, fruit, honey and other spices.
9.  Don’t shop when you are hungry. You’ll end up buying more food than necessary and it will most likely be crap food.
10. If you can afford organic, spinach, apples, strawberries, grapes, celery, peaches are just a few foods that you’ll want to spend a little more on as these are the foods with the most pesticides.

Here is also a list of 15 items all clean eating households should have on hand:
-Almond milk/soy milk
-frozen or fresh fruits and veggies
-Raw almonds/walnuts/pistachios
-sweet potatoes
-spinach/kale and leafy greens
-apple cider or balsamic vinegar
-black/pinto/kidney beans
-whole wheat pasta or brown rice
-old fashioned oats/rolled oats
-Stevia
-egg whites
-Mrs. Dash or other no MSG/salt spices
-greek yogurt/kefir
-seeds like chia and flax
-whole wheat flour/coconut flour

But, Kailee I don’t know if I can give up my favorite fried and processed foods! Don’t tell yourself you CAN’T eat it. You can eat anything you’d like. It is your choice not to eat it. You will say ‘no’ a lot. Heck, I’ve been clean eating for 5 months and my family and friends still make cookies, cake, french fries, pizza and are surprised when I say ‘no thanks’. The way I look at it is flavor lasts a few minutes, but the fatty crap you put in your body is hard to get rid of and will only continue piling up. So, is it worth it? For some, yes, it is. Those people give in super easy by saying “a bite won’t hurt” and “I ate healthy today so I can have this 5-pound Cinnabon for desert”. Don’t reward yourself with food. We tend to do that–it’s Sally’s birthday, it’s _________ holiday weekend, let’s go on a date night, let’s go out with friends. What does that mean? Food. Usually bad food at that. Restaurants are notorious for huge portion sizes, salt and fat-laden foods and enough sugary treats to put Hershey’s out of business. No one is saying you can’t go out and enjoy the foods you did before, but be smart about it. Go for foods with names like saute, fresh, baked or steamed instead of fried, crispy, battered or creamy.

This lifestyle change isn’t easy. It takes work and it’s something that doesn’t happen over night. Once you start, it is the most rewarding experience ever. You will receive so much support and respect for starting and sticking with it. You CAN do this, just remember that.

“If you don’t go after what you want, you’ll never have it. If you don’t ask, the answer is always no. If you don’t step forward, you’re always in the same place.”