“You can never out train a poor diet.”
For years and years I justified my eating habits because I exercised so much. I could never understand why I wasn’t thinner or more toned with the amount of running and exercise that I participated in. Hearing and truly understanding this quote made me realize that unless I changed things in the kitchen, the hours and hours that I spent at the gym would be wasted for both my health and appearance.
I come from a family of BIG eaters. I remember being quite shocked when I would go to a friend’s house and they had five hamburgers for five people!! It was not uncommon for us to have upwards of 15 hamburgers for the six people in my family! Our ice cream bowls were more like soup bowls and our dinner plates were always piled high. By the time I reached middle school, I was definitely sporting a fairly portly shape. I was able to lose some weight in high school but portion control and making healthy food choices came back to haunt me after having my first child. You see, this was me about 3 months having my daughter…
Yes, I know I had just a baby but the sad thing was that I weighed more in this picture than on the day that I gave birth to that sweet little girl. I somehow thought that nursing would be like a “magic pill” that would allow me to eat whatever and however I wanted and still lose the baby weight. Needless to say, it just didn’t work that way for me.
I really do believe that 70-80% of your success in losing weight and getting healthy will be determined by the food choices you make. Yes, exercise is very important and will help to motivate you for the other 20-30% of your success, but only going to the gym and not watching what and how much you eat will leave you feeling very frustrated with your lack of results.
I wanted to share with you two things that I have recently discovered to help me with that part of the health equation. The first is a free website called My Fitness Pal. This site allows you to track your food intake and has a huge database of foods to pull from as well as a recipe creator for your own meals (There’s also an app for you smartphone/tablet users.) You can track not only total calories consumed but also things like protein, fat, carbohydrates, fiber, sodium, sugar, etc. so that you can get a really good idea of how your diet truly is.
I am also a big proponent of eating clean (more whole, less processed foods.) Sometimes it’s hard to come up with good recipes for this style of eating, but the website Emeals.com has made things just a bit easier. Basically for about $5 a month, they will prepare a food menu for your family for everyday of the week and also give you a shopping list on what to buy for all the meals that week. The exciting news is that they now have a “Clean Eating” menu (in addition to many others) that allows you to have a great source of meal ideas for each day of the week. We don’t use every recipe, but even just 3-4 new meals a week is pretty exciting. Look on my sidebar to see a direct link to this site and enter in the code CLEAN to save 10%.
Eating healthy will always be a challenge for me, but is so very worth it. I definitely have my not-so-good days and meals, but I try to follow the 80/20 rule where I try to eat clean about 80% of the time and allow myself 20% to splurge a bit. I definitely feel the difference in how I feel though when I choose to make clean choices.