Tuesday, November 27, 2012

8 Weeks to Clean Eating (Weeks 4 & 5)

Hi Folks,

I hope you and your family had a wonderful Thanksgiving! 
I missed week 4 due to my family traveling for the holidays so I am combining week 4 & 5 today!  In regards to my weight loss I don't have much to update as I completely failed with this clean eating challenge last week.  Traveling and not being able to cook in the comfort of my own home really through a monkey wrench in my week 4. The scale did not move in either direction which is great news since I pretty much ate fast food all week and some good ole soul food on Thanksgiving.  I also enjoyed desserts galore...shame on me, I know... I know but I am back now an ready to focus on last week as well as this weeks challenge.
Okay so where are we... no junk food, drink plenty of water, eat colorful low density foods and protein at every meal, eat small and eat often and find good carbs!

Week 4 Challenge:

Cook at home. One of the best ways to control your eating is to prepare all your meals yourself. Eliminate all fast food (which should have been gone in Week 1) and most other restaurant food. You may still eat food from certain restaurants where you can be sure of the ingredients (most will be savvy enough to make a point of how healthy their food is). But avoid all fast food chains, even ones that claim to be "healthy." Restaurants need their food to taste good, so they'll often use compromised ingredients, even when they list low numbers on fats and/or calories. Fast food can contain many hidden evils in addition to calories. For example, next time you see one of those nutrition charts, check the sodium levels; most fast foods use ridiculously high amounts of salt. Avoiding fast food alone will often bring your body closer to homeostasis (its desired state of balance). This can be hard for many of us because we now have to plan our meals and prepare ahead of time, but try and treat it like vocational school—you don't learn a new "job" without a little retraining.

Free Days: 1

Weekly focus: Fat is essential. Remember that fat is a vital part of your diet, not just something that makes you fat. What is not vital is a lot of saturated or trans fats. Trans fats are mainly those that are artificial, and hopefully they've been eliminated from your diet by this point, since they're generally only found in junk. Saturated fats are found in dairy products and meats, and you don't need too much. For cooking, try to use olive oil when possible. Also, the addition of either flaxseed or hempseed can have a pronounced effect on your health. These seeds are loaded with essential fatty acids (omegas 3 and 6). Be careful about that amount of fat. It is dense and has 9 calories per gram, as opposed to 4 for both carbs and protein. A tablespoon goes a long way!

Week 5 Challenge:
Reduce starchy carbohydrates. Starches include rice, bread, potatoes, corn, beans, and other legumes. While many of these are in no way bad foods, most people tend to consume far too many of them. So what you want to do this week is cut WAY DOWN on them, if not cutting them outcompletely. Then add them back in when your body feels like it needs energy, which it will at some point if you're exercising (and why wouldn't you be?). But don't add a huge plate or bowl of pasta; instead, add a small single serving. Starches are great energy food, but if you eat too many, they turn the tables and make you sluggish!

Free Days: 1

Weekly focus: Sugar is only beneficial after a hard workout. Your body doesn't need processed sugar. But if you really enjoy it and can't avoid letting some sneak into your daily diet, the 1-hour period after you exercise is the best time to indulge. During this window, your blood sugar is low, because you've used it up to finish your workout (assuming you pushed yourself), and sugar during this time will help you recover faster because it speeds into your system and initiates the recovery process. Adding a little protein, but not too much, will enhance your recovery even further. The best ratio is 1 part protein to 4 parts carbs, as in Results and Recovery Formula®. You should avoid fats during this immediate post-workout period, because they slow absorption—a good thing most of the time, just not during and immediately after working out.

Week 1: -2.5 lbs
Week 2: -3 lbs
Week 3: -1
Week 4:  0
Month 1 Sub-total: -6.5
Week 5:
Week 6:
Week 7:
Week 8:

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