Clear the Clutter, Weigh to Goal

How to STOP Sabotaging Your Diet

Christmas is over and if you are like me…. you have eaten so much over the last few days (okay so maybe it has been the last few weeks).  Now there are leftovers to deal with and the last push to enjoy all those treats before we hit the New Year’s resolutions.  Doesn’t everyone’s resolution include eating healthy or hitting the gym?  Yes, I squirreled.

I have been struggling for several months to maintain my goal weight or even stay within the 2 pound range given by Weight Watchers when I stumbled on this article.  Now I have been told these misconceptions many times, reading them again always is a good reminder…

“Skipping breakfast is harmless and a smart way to cut calories.”

I am definitely a breakfast skipper!  I am usually up early and always say “it’s too early to eat”  or “I’m not hungry.”  It is time to re-train my brain.    Studies show people who eat a smart breakfast daily are less likely to become obese. Your body functions more effectively when it’s well fueled, so you’ll actually burn more calories throughout the day if you feed it in the morning. Plus, you’re more likely to make poor food decisions if you let yourself get too hungry. So start your day with a light healthy breakfast.  Not hungry first thing in the a.m.?  Why not keep a piece of fruit and protein bar handy for a mid-morning meal.

“Eating gluten-free/vegan/insert-buzzword-here foods will help with weight loss.”

No hate mail, please.  I know there are some who need to eat gluten free or vegan for health reason.  I do gluten free to help manage MS symptoms BUT there are some who thing it will help with their weight loss. The simple fact is eating like this does not guarantee weight loss. They can be loaded with calories and fat. Gluten-free foods are sometimes just as carby as their gluten-containing counterparts, and vegan goods may be full of fatty calories. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with sticking to foods which work for your personal needs and lifestyle, but some choices are better than others. That’s why it’s so important to check the nutritional info before you order or buy. Pay special attention to calories, serving size, and servings per container!

“On workout days, I can let loose and indulge at meal time, and it’ll all balance out.”

Even if your spin class promises to burn 800 calories, don’t treat yourself to fettuccine Alfredo and cheesecake just yet. It’s common to overestimate the number of calories we’ve burned — everyone burns calories at a different rate — and you could unintentionally negate your hard work. Even if your estimates are spot on, do you really want to cancel them out entirely? If you’re aiming for weight loss, you still need to take in fewer calories than you burn. Either way, you’re better off just increasing your portion sizes to replenish yourself, not reaching for junk food or totally overdoing it. Check out these ideas for what to eat before and after a workout.

“As long as I stick to a clean diet of all-natural whole foods, I don’t need to worry about calories.”

If weight management is a priority for you, then yeah, you’re going to want to keep tabs on your calorie intake. YES, eating whole natural foods is good for you. But it’s completely possible to consume way more calories than you burn in a day by eating these foods. Plenty of natural foods are calorie dense — think avocados, nuts, grains — meaning a small portion has a large calorie count. Eat too much of those, and you could pack on the pounds.  Believe it or not, the same thing can happen with fruits which are packed full of natural sugar.  So eat the good stuff, but watch the portions.

“I’ll order a salad for dinner to save calories for dessert.”

No judgement call here – I’ve done this. Although, it may seem like a smart choice, restaurant salads often pack WAY more calories than you think. So if you’re blindly assuming the giant Cobb salad is a better option than a lean petite filet and a side of veggies, you might want to spend some time checking out the restaurant’s nutritional facts.  The salad dressing alone often contains hundreds of calories! And when it comes to dessert, treat yourself… but split one with your dining companions. Studies have found we enjoy the last bite the most anyway!

What is your best weight loss tip?  Share them with us as we get ready for the New Year…

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!

Tasty Tuesday Recipes

Tasty Tuesday: Buckwheat And Brussels Sprout Salad

I LOVE brussels sprouts.  I know for some it may be a weird veggie you never wanted to eat but we do like it in our house.

Brussels sprouts are really nutritious veggies with complex flavors and a subtle, crunchy texture. They also have some antifungal properties, so they might even help to keep your gut flora in balance.  Thank you to Candida Diet for this recipe.

I like this because it can be served two different ways. Warm side dish or eat it alone as a salad tossed with a bit of extra virgin olive oil.

Prep time: 10 minutes     Cook time: 30 minutes     Total time: 40 minutes     

Yield: Serves 4

INGREDIENTS

2 cups water
1 cup whole buckwheat groats
Pinch of salt
2 Tbsp. oil, such as extra virgin olive or coconut
¼ cup shallots, thinly sliced
¼ cup celery, thinly sliced
1 clove garlic, minced
8 Brussels sprouts, cut in half lengthwise
1 Tbsp. fresh thyme leaves (or 1 teaspoon dried thyme)
1 cup vegetable broth or water
Salt and pepper to taste
2 to 3 leaves Swiss chard, cut across into ribbons
Fresh herbs, such as thyme or parsley, minced
Crushed, toasted nuts, such as hazelnuts, pecans or walnuts

DIRECTIONS

  • In a medium saucepan, bring water and salt to a boil. Add whole buckwheat groats, cover and simmer for 15 to 20 minutes. Remove from heat, let rest for 5 minutes, fluff with a fork.
  • While buckwheat groats are simmering, heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add shallots, celery, garlic, Brussels sprouts and saute until vegetables begin to soften and brown (about 5 minutes). Next, add fresh or dried thyme leaves, broth or water, salt and pepper to taste and simmer covered over medium low heat for about 10 minutes. Then add the Swiss chard, stirring to wilt for about 1 to 2 minutes.
  • Lastly, add cooked buckwheat groats to the skillet, and stir to combine.

To serve, you can garnish with fresh minced herbs and crushed, toasted nuts. For a salad, cool it to room temperature and toss with 2 to 3 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil and 1 tablespoon of lemon juice (I leave out the lemon juice).

If you decide to have this as a salad, take it with you in one of Thirty One’s thermals.  Great for the beach or when eating light during the warmer (yes is it coming) weather.

Try Thirty One’s NEW Cool Cinch Thermal.  You love our Cinch Sacs and now it is a thermal.  The best of both worlds in one bag!  

The Cool Cinch Thermal makes packing meals or snacks wherever you go easy and fun. Its spacious thermal compartment keeps food and drinks cool and fresh. This style comes wipeable and machine washable, making it easy to clean! Dimensions: Approx. 18.5”H x 14.5”L

Have a recipe you want to share with us?  I would love to spotlight your favorite recipe in our Tasty Tuesday column.

Have  a ThirtyOne-derful day!