It can be so confusing…
Not to mention painful.
Losing weight is already hard enough but now it’s also confusing.
You read one article online about how you should eat a low-fat diet in order to lose weight.
So you’re all set to change your diet plan but before you even get to buy one bag of rice cakes, you hear a news story that says a diet high in fat will not only help you lose weight but also help protect your heart.
Now you’re so lost you don’t know what to do.
I’ve been there. Sometimes I still get confused about some things.
Figuring out what to eat can be hard. I’ve gotten to the point where I’ve stopped trying to figure it all out. And I think you should too.
Because it’s impossible.
We’ll never figure it all out. So take some pressure off of yourself while you’re on this weight loss journey.
Enjoy the process of learning what you should and shouldn’t eat and forgive yourself when you “mess up”.
What I’ve found throughout my journey is that there’s some weight loss advice that just won’t work for me.
Sure, there are some weight loss tips that I’ve tried and maybe even followed for a few weeks or even months.
Then slowly but surely, I would start falling back into my old ways.
Example: I did a carb cycling diet for a while…probably about 6 weeks. I lost 12 pounds in one week.
It felt amazing.
I actually followed this diet for quite a number of weeks which at the time was unheard of for me.
Then the diet basically took over my life as I had to eat 6 times a day and eat specific things during each one of those meals (a carb and a fat for meal 3; protein only for meal 4; blah blah blah).
Yeah, needless to say for my free-spirited self, that kind of strict eating was never going to work over the long haul.
Eventually, I gained all of those 12 pounds back and then some.
It was so discouraging to gain that weight back but it taught me an important lesson. Stop trying things that you know won’t work for you.
Don’t go on a low carb diet if you know you are not likely to stay away from carbs for the long haul.
We have to follow the advice that we know is sustainable for us over time.
Otherwise, we will lose weight only to gain it all back again and nobody wants that.
So what should we do? Well for me personally, the following tips have helped me tremendously in my weight loss journey. No more unsustainable carb cycling for me.
Instead, on some of these tips, I went a bit rogue in the sense that they don’t necessarily adhere to all of the weight loss advice that you might see on TV.
However, I do have scientific backing for (most of) them so they aren’t too scandalous (although #4 might shock you just a little).
And as always, these are things that I do that I am sharing with you. I, in no way, am telling you you should do them
. Always consult with your doctor first to see what they would advise you to do.
Alright, let’s dive right into it, shall we?
5 Surprising Things You Can Eat And Still Lose Weight
1) Played Out: Don’t eat dessert.
You might be shaking your head right now but hear me out. If you know you can’t eat one cookie but will instead eat 4 then please just ignore this one and skip ahead to my second point.
You have to know your limits and your boundaries. Do what works for you.
However, if you’ve yo-yo dieted (ie eliminated all sugar and desserts, lost weight, only to gain it all back and then some) then maybe a new approach is in order.
The all or nothing approach works for some people but for some people it doesn’t.
It just makes them feel deprived and eventually they crack and they eat every unhealthy thing in sight (perhaps a slight exaggeration :))
If you know that this is you then don’t go to such extremes.
I believe the reason I’ve been able to lose weight and not gain it back is because I’m doing it in a way that is sustainable for me.
I don’t want to tell myself a lie that I will never eat dessert again.
Incorporating dessert into my “diet” (I hesitate to use that word since I’m not on a diet but hopefully, you know what I mean) all along my weight loss journey, has allowed me to stay sane and not feel like I’m missing out on life.
I by no means have dessert every night like I used to but I do have it every now and then and I also have a smaller portion than I used to have.
If you don’t have any medical issues or boundary issues like I mentioned earlier, I would highly recommend eating some dessert every now and then so you don’t feel deprived.
However, if you do choose to eat dessert during your weight loss journey please keep this very important thing in mind:
Eat high-quality dessert.
Dessert in and of itself is not evil (nor is it all unhealthy…dark chocolate certainly has health benefits).
I think what wreaks so much havoc on our bodies are these prepackaged desserts that have so many strange and unpronounceable ingredients.
These ingredients are not food but instead “food products” that are created or modified in a lab or factory (read Pandora’s Lunchbox: How Processed Food Took Over the American Meal to find out more about Franken foods).
Real food like butter, eggs, milk, etc come from the Lord and provide nourishment for our bodies because they contain vitamins and minerals.
I know that these foods are not as healthy as they used to be or as healthy as the Lord intended them to be because of changes in our environment and other issues.
However, butter, eggs, and even sugar are healthier than artificial foods like margarine, egg substitutes, and aspartame.
Our bodies do not know how to process so-called “food products” and there’s evidence that suggests that eating these fake foods contributes to the American obesity epidemic (https://theheartysoul.com/damage-of-fake-foods/)(https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18298259 .)
So if you are going to eat desserts please make them at home, go to a restaurant that makes desserts from scratch or if you do buy desserts from the store already made, check the ingredients on the label to see what’s in it.
If it has ingredients in it that you can’t find in your kitchen then it may not be good for you.
(Let me know in the comments below if you’re interested in me doing a post about how to tell whether or not a food is clean).
2) Played Out: Only Eat Organic Vegetables
Trust me, I hate the idea of GMOs (genetically modified organisms) too.
They’re like something out of a creepy sci-fi film except GMOs are real and scary. However, there is a way to avoid GMOs. Just make sure all the produce you buy is organic.
Easy enough right? There’s really only one problem with that.
Organic produce is expensive.
Who can afford that grocery bill? I know some people can but unfortunately, a vast majority of us cannot.
So obviously if you can’t afford organic produce just buy conventionally grown produce in all of its GMO “glory”.
Yeah, ok but who doesn’t know that already, I hear you ask.
Well me and my dumb behind that’s who.
For some reason, I got so caught up in the organic vs conventional debate, trying to figure out if organic produce really is healthier and almost wringing my hands about what I should do.
All the while I’d buy canned baked beans, sliced bread, and cereal without giving it a lot of thought.
Have you ever been there?
You get so caught up in the trees that you can’t see the forest?
Buying packaged foods that usually have been stripped of their nutrients wasn’t a big deal but buying conventional produce was?
Regardless of their GMO and pesticide status, regular vegetables still have lots of vitamins and minerals that our bodies desperately need particularly for weight loss.
Yet I’m eating packaged food with reckless abandon and giving conventional produce the side-eye. How silly is that?
Please don’t be as silly as me.
Eat vegetables, whichever way they are grown, over-packaged foods any day (even if they are organic packaged foods).
Your body will thank you.
3) Played Out: Only eat pasture-raised eggs.
Remember when buying eggs was simple?
When I was growing up there were 3 types of eggs: medium, large and extra-large (I forgot about jumbo, forgive me). Now there are so many kinds of eggs it can be overwhelming.
And if you’re trying to lose weight you want to eat the healthiest eggs you can buy.
But what is the healthiest kind? Is it free-range? Cage-free? Omega 3? Grain-fed? Organic?
This is yet another debate that I kind of got caught up in. I was buying organic eggs all the time.
Then I started buying omega 3 eggs because they were cheaper than organic ones.
But then I read that omega 3 eggs are really not all they are cracked up to be (please forgive the very intended very bad pun).
Then I started buying the natural eggs, whatever that means. All I knew was, I wasn’t trying to buy a conventional egg.
And while I firmly believe that organic free-range eggs are healthier than regular eggs, taste better, and the chickens the eggs come from are treated better, at the end of the day, those .49 cent eggs at Aldi started calling my name and I answered the call and guess what?
I’ve still lost weight because, while organic eggs might be better for your health, they probably won’t make you lose weight any faster.
Eggs of any variety are still packed with nutrients like selenium, choline, copper, iron, zinc vitamins D, E, and K.
Just to reiterate, if you can afford the organic free-range eggs then I would definitely recommend it (pasture-raised eggs, even better).
If we are going to eat animal protein then it is naturally better to eat those animals that are the healthiest themselves.
However, if you can’t afford organic eggs then get the cage-free non-organic.
If you can’t afford that then get conventional eggs.
Remember this is Healthy As You Can…get the healthiest eggs that you can afford.
Eating so-called “regular ” eggs is a far superior breakfast than donuts. If your income goes up then the kind of eggs you buy can be upgraded.
Either way, you’re still doing something healthy for your body when your eggs are prepared in a healthy way (unfortunately those IHOP omelets don’t count… sad face)
4) Played Out: Only eat boneless skinless chicken breasts.
Oh if I only had a dollar for every time I heard that we should only eat white meat chicken. Surely I could’ve quit my job by now.
And even though I’ve had this piece of advice flung at me from every direction, I still dodge it and run straight for the chicken thighs.
Because dry tasteless meat is not my bag baby (and apparently all the chefs agree with me).
But OK this blog is about health and as such that should be the foremost concern and white meat is clearly healthier than dark meat right?
Sorry for yelling but I’m serious about my dark meat. You see, white meat is not healthier than dark meat. And as you are recovering from your shock, I will tell you why.
If you compare the calories and fat content in 100 grams of white and dark meat chicken you will find that then yes dark meat has more calories and fat including saturated fat ( ok I’ll admit it’s looking grim).
However, even though dark meat chicken has more fat than white meat it also has more nutrients than white meat.
So yes white meat has fewer calories and fat than dark meat but it has fewer nutrients which is like a big part of why we eat ;).
In my book, that at least makes white and dark meat neck and neck in the health department.
Plus, if you have to add sauces to chicken breasts to make them edible, you’ve eliminated any caloric deficit white meat had over dark.
I’m not trying to justify eating dark meat (ok, maybe a little) but I’m just trying to get you to think in a new way.
Just take the skin off and your good to go (actually I found a study that says chicken skin is healthy too... see, you can find a study to make almost anything healthy).
5) Played out- Stick to a low-fat diet.
Even though things are changing, fat still gets vilified as being unhealthy. It’s sad that fat gets such a bad rap especially since it has so many benefits.
First things first, it tastes so good.
Chocolate, bacon, cheese, nuts, avocados, olive oil… these foods are beyond delicious.
That’s why it’s awesome that we really don’t have to avoid these foods because they are all healthy for us.
Eating fat also has these other benefits:
* Fat is satiating meaning it helps fill you up
* Helps to reduce inflammation in the body
* Helps with your reproductive health (that’s why I take fish oil supplements) to help ease my PMS cramps
* Helps improve your brain function and your mood which makes sense, since our brains are made of 60% fat (again another reason why I take fish oil... I’m thinking I need to stock up on this soon)
* Fats help protect our bones from diseases
* Fats make our skin look healthy and beautiful… so if you’re looking to have that glow get thee some avocados.
All these benefits, as wonderful as they are, will only come to those who eat the right kinds of fats that I mentioned above.
We can’t go eating French fries and cheeseburgers (the cheese is usually processed) and then expect that we are protecting our bones from osteoporosis.
We have to eat the so-called good unprocessed (or less processed…most food is processed in some way or another) fats like avocados, olive oil and pretty much all the foods I mentioned above.
Losing weight can be hard but does it have to be quite as difficult as it’s made out to be?
No, it doesn’t.
God made all of us unique individuals and cookie-cutter advice doesn’t work for us. Yes, we want to be healthy but the journey to health is going to look different for each one of us.
The key takeaway from this article is that on this journey to better health we will rebel, break some rules and make up our own along the way as that’s more than ok.
There’s so much health advice out there that there’s no way you can follow all of it especially since it oftentimes contradicts each other. I can no more eat like my nutritionist than she would want to eat like me.
We have to find the plan that works best for us, our bodies, and our lifestyles.
Oh before you go, please take a look through my free Healthy Body resource library.
It has all kinds of free resources like an exercise tracker, fitness goal tracker, healthy grocery printable, and more to help you in your weight loss journey.
Also, you can gain access to my resource library which has fitness trackers, a healthy restaurant guide.
Just click the link here and enter your email address. The password to the resource library will be sent to you once you confirm your subscription.