Food for thought – Craving

Something that I realised about cravings earlier , which happened again. Whenever I let myself get too hungry, I crave chocolates or some junk and then it is hard for my mind to get distracted and eat something healthy. Its kind of like, ” oh come one, I can have a chocolate today , it won’t change a thing”. But it adds up. Once a week is ok , but Idon’t think it stops there.

Like today, I let myself get hungrier than usual, and my packed lunch doesn’t seem appealing enough. I just wanted to go out and eat something else or grab something from the vending machine.  I thought for a while ”  Am I really craving it? Do I really want a chocolate now?” I waited for 10 more mins and grabbed my lunch and now I’m full, drank enough water along with it to fill me up and the cravings is gone for now.

I really need to keep this in mind everytime this happens.

Listen to your body

Long time back I used a site http://www.fitday.com to keep track of my calories. I tried to keep a track of all the calories and fat/protein/carbs breakdown.  It was good idea then since I started taking care of nutrition to match my workouts.

Few months ago, I realised that I can’t keep doing this forever. I can’t keep couting calories and fuss over it FOREVER. I’m not reaching for an end. Every time I reach a goal, I need to make new goals, this will be a life long journey to stay fit , healthy  and active.

Time for an attitude change, Now I listen to my body. I eat 5 meals a day, with about 3-4 hrs in between meals. when I start getting hungry my body asks me to feed it. Since my current goal is to lose some fat, I tell my body “wait for a while”. I don’t wait till I’m ravenously hungry. Just a little bit more hungry than before and then eat.

I have been eating 5-6 meals for about 3 years now , so I do get hungry every 3 hrs. It might not be the same for everyone. Start out by eating every 3-4 hours and then see how it feels. Slowly pace out and wait till ur actually hungry to eat something. Don’t go more than 4 hours without anything. Experiment with your eating habits and see what works and what doesn’t.

Theses 5-6 meals are not big meals, they are  mini meals consisting of lean protein, healthy fats and lot of vegetables or fruits.  Vegetables to fruits ratio should always be at 4:1 ratio.

My typical meals are

1) grilled or cooked chicken ( with less oil), nuts (cashew or macadamia), Steamed brocolli

2) greek yogurt with some protein powder and blue berries

3) 2 whole eggs and 2 egg white omlete with steamed brocolli, carrots and cauliflower

4) Bison stew with veggies

5) Tofu and Fenugreek leaves curry.

I’m trying to include atleast one veggie protein in my day .  Believe it or not there are very nice veggie protein choices , we just need to open ourselves to them.

Meat was only a sunday affair in our house, but since I started working out, it is cooked everyday. It is easier for me in the US to cook meat everyday, my family back home still frown at this extreme carnivoriness ( I just made up that word :D).

9 steps to healthy fat loss

For all those who are struggling nutritionally, I would like to introduce you to the 9 steps to healthy weight loss. This is for beginners to intermediate level. Infact everyone can benefit from these basic rules and will see some major changes just be adhering to these guidelines.

  1. Drink Plenty of water. Atleast 0.8 oz/body weight. So, if you are 130 lbs, consume 104 oz of water a day. This is the most important step in this whole process. Ditch all calorie drinks , including fruit juice ( eat whole fruits instead). Trade it for water or green tea.
  2. Eat small meals every 2-4 hours.  I’m sure many of you must have heard about this before “Eat 5-6 meals a day “. It varies from person to person. For me, 5 meals a day work better than 6. Listen to your hunger levels, and eat small meals accordingly. It will be tough in the beginning, I have been doing this for the last 3 years and it has become a habit now.
  3. Include lean protein in your every meal.
  4. Include Vegetables and/or fruits with every meal. Try to get atleast 10 servings/day and try to keep the ratio of Vegetables:Fruits to 4:1
  5. Carbohydrate Timing. Try to limit carbohydrates to pre, during and post workout.
  6. Fat. Yes, fat is very important, Good fats. Our body needs all kinds of fats, Saturated , Monounsaturated and polyunsaturated. Saturated fat can come from animal products or even cooking oil ( Prefer organic butter or coconut oil). Monounsaturated fat from nuts, olives, olive oil etc and Polyunsaturated fats from flax seed oil , fish oil and mixed nuts.
  7. Try to eat Whole unprocessed foods.
  8. Include lots of healthy variety of foods, don’t eat the same thing over and over again. (I’m guilty of doing this).
  9. Stick to these habits 90% of the time and eat whatever u want the rest of the 10%. ( For Example, u eat 6 times a day , 7 days a week. that is 42 meals/week . 10% = 4 meals. So, you can eat 4 cheat meals in a week., we are suggesting you to stay compliant to these steps 90% of the time).