Mindset over diet

I am a stress- and emotional eater. I eat fast, I eat a whole lot of bad stuff in as short time frame, I eat when I’m not even hungry, I grossly overeat when I really am hungry. When something that’s unhealthy in my mind touches my tongue, I go overboard and think ‘what the heck’. I anxiously try to eat healthy and try to keep count of everything I eat in a kind of obsessive way, to make sure I eat healthy all the time. My thoughts about food are really black and white. In my mind, I know it’s nonsense, but changing the way you feel about something is really hard. Last year I decided I needed to seriously change my thoughts and behavior, because just following a healthy lifestyle or a diet didn’t change that for me and I ended up relapsing and gaining weight again.

My current method is to stop and stand still. I try to do yoga regularly, I meditate, I have therapy and I think everything together is working for me. I’ve watched a TED-talk about addiction some days ago, which I also thought was really helpful. I thought it was a bit like mindfulness, the speaker talked about letting cravings or bad thoughts be there, accept that they’re there, but you don’t have to act on them. It works better than fighting the thoughts or cravings, because it’s like the ‘don’t think about a pink elephant game’. It only makes you think about it more! So here’s the video, I hope you guys get the same out of it I did:

 

 

Mealprep week 11

Many people tell me that eating the same thing for a couple of days is boring to them. I can imagine that, personally, I don’t find it boring, but that’s just me. This week, I want to show you that by just some minor adjustments, you can make it less boring. Let’s start with an overview of this weeks food:

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  • Breakfast: superseed oats with pb and fruit
  • Snack: 4x protein-bananabread, 2x bellpepper and cucumber, 2x radish and carrots
  • Lunch: 4x sweet potato, 2x chicken, 2x sausage, 2x broccoli, 2x cauliflower
  • Snack: 2x apple, 1x pear, 1x orange
  • Dinner: 4x yellow brown rice, 2x chicken curry, 2x Indonesian chicken liver, 2x sweet/sour salad, 2x veg stir fry.

Breakfast: Many people eat the same breakfast day after day. A way to make oats a bit different is adding different types of fruit. Personally, I always add a banana with some berries, but you can mix and match different types of fruit and add cinnamon/vanilla or other flavors to spice it up a bit. A great thing about this is, that you can prep a basic oatmeal breakfast and still safe time, but have different toppings every day. (Recipe for this oatmeal breakfast is over here)

Snacks: Making different types of bananabread could be possible with using small trays and adding different ingredients. Personally that’s too much work for me, so I stick with the same (yum) bananabread every day (recipe is over here). I tried to have some variation with the veggies and fruits, which doesn’t cost extra time at all. (It does cost extra money, because buying 1 orange and 1 pear etc. is relatively more expensive than buying it in bulk and eating the same fruit every day).

Lunch: I chose to keep my carb source the same, but to mix up the meat and veggies. I chose the meats that are easy to prepare, I always pop the chicken in the steamer and the sausages are fried with some turning over from time to time. I eat cauliflower raw and I lightly steamed the broccoli in the steamer at the same time together with the sweet potato and chicken (I love that machine!).

Dinner: Again, kept the rice the same for all the meals, but chose different meats and veggies. My mom has Indonesian ancestors and has the best Indonesian chicken liver recipe (yum!). It goes well with sweet and sour cucumber/orange pepper/tomato salad which I’ll make when I’m going to eat it (cut tomatoes don’t stay well, I didn’t show the cucumber in the picture, because it messes the beautiful balance, lol!). The other dish is chicken curry with vegetable stir fry. I fried the chicken with some onion and garlic and added a bit of red curry paste and 3 tablespoons of coconut cream. I fried the veggies with onion and garlic, spices and mustard seeds. I love my non-stick Stonehenge pans, because you really need almost no oil!

I prepped everything in about 1 hour and 45 minutes! I went like a tornado through the kitchen, but what really helps is planning ahead. So for example; start with making the bananabread, because it needs some time in the oven and also needs cooling down before the cutting. I always start with that, then I’ll pop my stuff in the steam cooker and move on to the next thing. If you think about your planning before you start, you can safe so much time!!

Mealprep week 8

If you want to start mealprepping/mealplanning yourself, I uploaded a printable mealprep planner on my mealprep page for you to use, have fun!

Another week, another mealprep! I´ll write something about my experiences with the raw vegan week soon. To be short about it: I loved the meals I made, but totally binged in the weekend. I find that restricting myself too much leads to the opposite! IMG_20150216_135528

So now about this week: I wanted a simple, but nutritious mealprep with a bit more vegetables and fruits (one of the things I learned from my raw vegan week). I always eat extra food on the days I go to the gym! If you want to calculate your exact needs, go to http://www.iifym.com.

  • Breakfast: Superseed oats with raspberries, blueberries and a banana
  • Snack: Questbar, carrots and cucumber
  • Lunch: steamed sweet potato, steamed chicken breast and steamed broccoli
  • Snack: walnuts, 1/2 bell pepper, apple
  • Dinner: yellow spicy quinoa, minced lean beef with mushrooms, onion and kale, sugar snaps and grape tomatoes
  • Snack: a pear

I took it super easy, not making bananabread and chosing meals that are cooked quickly. This way it is possible to make it really fast. This is how I did it:

I started in the morning making the breakfast oats, for the recipe look here. I always make it for 5 days and eat one right away. I divided the berries so I won’t be left with only a few on friday 😉 I shopped for my groceries which were super cheap this time! I started with putting the chicken, sweet potato and broccoli in the steamcooker. I cook the chicken for 60 minutes, but remove the layer of broccoli after 15 minutes and the layer of sweet potato after 20 minutes (I really adore this machine). In the meantime I cook the quinoa with maggi, curry powder and tumeric powder. I fried the onion in a nonstick pan together with the mushrooms. After this, I added the minced meat and only in the end 2-3 hands full of kale. When everything is cooling down I cut the veggies and put them in the tubs. Divided the rest of the meals in the tubs and of course made pictures!

I’m so looking forward to spring/summer! 20150216_113024I’m going to have a vegetable and herb patch on my balcony, I will keep you people updated! Here is a picture of my broccoli seeds getting ready to sprout! 🙂 Have a nice day everybody!

Clean eating

So what is this ‘clean eating’ everybody is talking about? It certainly isn’t cleaning your food really well before eating lol! But I’ve found so many definitions and ‘rules’ for clean eating, it kind of gets a forest of information out there and you’ll not know what to follow. In no way I say my own vision is the right or correct one, I’m just going to say something about how I envision clean eating (aka just healthy eating in general).

Paleo-vs-Clean-EatingWhen  you look up clean eating on the internet, you’ll find a lot of lists of food to avoid, or even worse, food that’s forbidden. You’ll find a 30 day clean eating cleanse or the ‘whole 30’, which is practically the same to me, or the Paleo diet. Personally, I believe in moderation. Yes, of course, I would love to be able to eat clean 100% of the time, but then life happens and social situations occur and there’s also the inner fat girl that just wants to eat pizza and drink wine. So I’ve learned the hard way that by forbidding myself to eat something ‘unclean’ I will end up eating a truckload of it, so that doesn’t work for me personally.

Of course, there are foods that I’d rather not eat and are ‘unclean’ in my eyes, which is to me simply everything that’s been processed. It comes down to: all types of bread and pasta, white rice, all types of dairy, processed meats like burgers or sausages, all ‘diet’ products, anything with white flour or sugar in it, like cookies or nutella, fast food and probably some other things I forgot to mention. I’d rather not eat dairy because it seems unnatural to me to take another species mother milk that’s meant for its baby, but that doesn’t mean I never take it, because cheese is one of my weaknesses. (I know generally dairy is allowed in the ‘clean eating society’.)

So to me, it’s all about that balance, I try to eat as natural as possible, but allow myself to eat certain unclean things on a daily/weekly basis.

So why is this important?

Well, to start, clean and whole foods contain a lot of nutrients. Yes, a nice big steak contains more calories than a skinny chicken sausage, but have you read the labels of those sausages? Most of them only contain 40-50 % meat, they add all kind of things (mostly white flour and other unclean things). In the end, you’ll get more nutrients (protein, healthy fats, vitamins, minerals) from the steak than you’ll get from the sausage. If you look at losing weight, people might choose the sausage because it contains less calories. I think this is a very important mistake many make! We are surrounded by ‘diet’ products, low fat this, sugar free that….. and they all try to convince us it’s healthy. You might be able to lose weight with it, but at what cost? It’s time for us to stand up to those big brands and say: NO! We want real food and if I decide to take something ‘unclean’, I’ll go for the real deal, full fat/sugar dark chocolate and wine, or a really cheesy pizza.

Basis for a clean and healthy lifestyle:

Vegetables, fruit, legumes/beans, whole meat, whole fish, eggs, nuts/seeds, whole grains (including brown rice) and starchy veg/roots like (sweet) potatoes.

Mealprep week 6 breakdown

I always start with the fact that I don’t think everybody should mealprep, I’m writing this because I want to show people a way that most think is impossible or very hard. It can be done and it’s not even that hard! For more tips go and check out this mealprep 101 post. I kept it relatively easy during this weeks mealprep. So what did I make:

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Breakfast: superseed oats with pb and a banana (and I add blueberries and goji berries): With pb:7 pp, 275 kcal, 23 gr carbs, 13 gr fat, 16 gr protein. Without pb: 5pp, 224 kcal, 22 gr carbs, 9 gr fat, 14 gr protein. Check out this post for the exact recipe.

Snack 1: carrots and 1/2 bell pepper. 0pp, 64 kcal, 1 gr fat, 12 gr carbs and 2 gr protein.

Snack 2: banana-protein bread, The whole bread contains 1441 kcal, 30 gr fat, 179 gr carbs and 101 gr protein. A 1/6 slice (which is BIG) contains 5pp, 240 kcal, 5 gr fat, 30 gr carbs and 17 gr protein. Check out this post for the exact recipe.

Lunch: sweet potato, chicken, tomatoes and sugar snaps. My serving is 8pp, 408 kcal, 6 gr fat, 37 gr carbs and 47 gr protein.

Snack 3: 2 clementines. 0pp, 54 kcal, 0.4 gr fat, 11.2 gr carbs and 0.8 gr protein.

Dinner: yellow brown rice, cauliflower and a pork sausage (100% clean). 7pp, 348 kcal, 11 gr fat, 30 gr carbs, 28 gr protein.

Nutritional information of 1 day: 27pp, 1389 kcal, 36 gr fat, 143 gr carbs, 110 gr protein.

IMPORTANT: this is a VERY basic mealprep. I will add at least 1 questbar to get to my daily allowance, but will add more food on the days I workout. This is meant for an average women to lose weight when already close to goal. This will NOT be enough for an average male or female who doesn’t need to lose weight or for a very obese person! Calculate your specific needs on www.iifym.com.

Instructions:

I’m not going to write a complete shoppinglist anymore, because the chance somebody wants to do this exact prep is very small and it’s a huge time investment on my part. So generally, I do my preps like this:

I wake up Monday morning and start with the breakfast prep (recipe over here). Sometimes I already put everything in the pan on Sunday evening for easy and fast cooking. I eat 1 of the breakfast, then I’ll go shopping for the rest of the ingredients. When I come home, I pop the chicken (4 200gr pieces of boneless chicken) in the steam cooker, while I peel and cut the sweet potato (4×125 gr). I add those in the top layer of the steam cooker. Total steam cooker time is 60 minutes. Meanwhile, I preheat the oven and make the dough for the banana-protein bread (recipe over here). When the bread is in the oven, I wash the brown rice (4×30 gr) and boil it with tumeric, salt and hot curry spices for about 30 minutes. I also throw the sausages in a pan and fry them slowly for about 30 minutes (turning them from time to time). Usually around this time I have some waiting to do, I’ll use this for cutting/cleaning my veggies and put them in the tubs. Now some of the things are finished, I’ll let it cool down before I put them in the tub. I let the bread cool down partially and slice it into 6 pieces (eat 1 right away, nom nom). Let everything cool down properly before you put the lids on! Divide your portions using the weighing method I describe in my mealprep 101 post!

Enjoy!

How to get abs…..

ab-abominations-1Surprise, you already have them! Or you are some kind of freak of nature, born without abdominal muscles, which would really suck, sorry! Look at this hot example of abs, click on it if you want, it takes you to a great article that I also refer to later in this post.

I read the sentence ‘I just want abs’ all the time and it always creeps me out. Why? Because there is a whole industry based on a lot of nonsense ways to ‘get abs’. The abroller, abtronic, even my gym has its hourly ab-15 minutes. You go to fitness sites and they’ll tell you to do a certain amount of exercises for a certain amount of days and you’ll get abs as a result. Let me tell you, this is all BS!

First of all, by saying ‘I want abs’ most people mean, ‘I want to have a flat and tight stomach with some visible abdominal muscles’. Most abs are covered by insulation (aka fat) so they’re not visible. Training your abdominal muscles till you drop will NOT automatically melt away your stomach fat and show some shizzled abs. Why? Well, abdominal muscles are just like any other muscle: you give them regular heavy training and in time (yes, time….) they will grow a bit and get more definition. Bigger muscles burn more energy, that’s true, but in comparison with the whole body, the abdominal muscles are just tiny and won’t contribute that much to fat burning. You will need other ways to lose your fat and show off your amazing midsection!

Abs are made in the kitchen

Many people write this and though I understand and agree with the thought behind it, technically it is not correct, because you already have abs. The thing is, you need to eat healthier and less calories to lose your fat and at a certain fat % your abdominal muscles will show. This is different for everybody, the same can be said about the way your abdominal muscles look (4pack/6pack)! A much better sentence would be: Abs get trained in the gym and will show itself when you stop putting so much crap in your mouth.

Personally, I would rather call it ‘core muscles’. A strong core is very important for a fit body! Having a strong core will give you great posture and prevent injuries. Training lower back and side muscles is equally important as training your abdominal muscles! Did you know that by doing a lot of free weight and (standing) single arm/single leg exercises, you already train your core? Did you know that doing endless sit-ups doesn’t really take you anywhere? You can read a great article about ab-mistakes over here. If you ‘want abs’ go and read it!

Oh, and if you don’t feel like doing those exercises and reduce eating crap, you can always get ab implants:

AOGe4Ad

 

Plantain-peanutbutter patties

I’m trying out other ‘clean’ carb sources and though plain fried or baked plantain is already really tPicsArt_1422432782215asty on itself, I created this recipe to have some variation in my repertoire. It also makes a yum snack! Just so you know, these patties stay kind of soft and don’t get hard and crispy. This recipe makes 4 servings.

Nutritional information:

Weightwatchers: 5pp per serving. Per serving: 206 kcal, 4,5 gr fat, 112 gr carbs, 6 gr protein.

Ingredients:

  • 300 grams of plantain (it doesn’t matter if it’s getting a bit soft or growing legs like mine)
  • 1 big or 2 small onions
  • A piece of gingerPicsArt_1422432879341
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 25 gr natural peanutbutter (mine has no additives)
  • 30 gr natural peanutbutter powder (mine has no additives)
  • Salt, pepper, chilli and curry powder
  • Optional: non-stick spray or some oil to fry (not calculated in the nutritional information)

PicsArt_1422432846892Instructions:

Throw all the ingredients in a food processor! Yes all! Process until its smooth-ish. Take a non-stick pan (I have a Stonehenge pan which I adore because almost nothing sticks to it!). Bake/fry the patties on low-medium heat. They WILL burn if you use high heat! When the top is starting to look a little bit dryer, flip them gently as they are still a bit soft. Heat for another minute or so and remove from the pan.

Enjoy! PicsArt_1422432813801

Swimming makes you fat??

Today I want to write something about swimming. To start, I LOVE swimming, always have and always will. My mom called me a water rat when I was young (in a loving way of course). On holidays I could spend hours in de pool, playing, swimming, doing water ‘acrobatics’. Later on in life, I started speed-swimming when I had my knee injury and couldn’t do normal sports out of the water. I was actually not bad, but stopped due to time and motivational problems.

Last year, when I started my weightloss and getting fit journey, I started swimming once or twice a week before work. I did it for 45 minutes and then felt really accomplished. Until I read an article with the title ‘swimming makes you fat’. I was like: What?? I thought I was being very good by swimming, it’s easy on the joints for a very obese person, but if it makes you fat then why should I do it? I read the article and did some of my own research and found the following:cust_bg_87_1399620442455

Swimming on itself doesn’t make you fat, BUT: most people who go swimming to lose weight, do it in a slow pace and because of the weightlessness you actually don’t really get your heart rate up so you don’t burn more than when you sit at your desk. The problem is that people THINK they had a great workout, and tend to eat more to compensate the calories they never burned, so they can actually gain weight.

I wanted to see if this was true, so I bought a heartrate monitor that could get wet and works in pool water. I measured my heartrate during my 45 minutes in the pool and guess what, I didn’t even get into the first zone on the monitor. I was shocked, I thought I had some great workouts in the water, meanwhile I could’ve just laid in my bed (ok, I admit, I’m a lazy person). So instead of quitting swimming, I changed my routine. I did some reading and read a lot about HIIT (high intensity interval training). I did the following: I started with 5 minutes higher tempo swimming, the kind that will raise your heartrate to level 1. Then I did 30 minutes of HIIT. Normally you use the clock for HIIT, like 30 seconds fast and 30 seconds slow, but that’s kind of difficult in the pool. I chose to swim my fastest (the type that will leave you out of breath) from one side to the other and then swim medium speed back to my starting point then did this until 30 minutes were finished. After 30 minutes I did a 10 minute cooling down swim. This way, I burned about 300-400 kcal during this 45 minutes.

Currently I don’t swim anymore as weightlifting and climbing takes all of my time. I do think swimming can be a great cardio workout for very obese people or people who have injuries (and the elderly), because it’s easy on the joints, tendons and muscles. What you need to remind yourself of (if you want it to be a workout), is that it’s only a real workout when you raise your pace and get a bit out of breath. Personally, I’ve stepped away from the cardio-only view and started weightlifting to aid my weightloss. You can read about it in this post. I also wrote something on how to start weightlifting in this post. As you all know, exercise is great, but if you don’t control what you put in your mouth, it won’t make you lose weight: you can’t outtrain a bad diet!

The scale…. and why it´s not the scale but the mind that needs a change!

If you’ve ever followed a diet, you know the detrimental effect the scale can have. Getting on that scale after a week of very good behavior and a lot of exercise, only to see that you’ve gained a pound. Angrily, you walk to the pantry, get out those cookies and eat the whole package, because that healthy eating doesn’t even make you lose weight. Been there, done that!

OMG Scale

So what is weight exactly? Weight is something that’s a man-made agreement, measuring the gravitational force that’s pulling your body down on this earth. So, if you read this again, you see that it says nothing about the amount of fat, bone, muscle, water, other tissues or intestinal content (lol haha, I’ll talk about poop a lot in this post). We tend to zoom in on that fat, so  when we lose weight we think we lose fat and when we gain weight we think we gained fat. Fortunately, it’s not that simple!

Nowadays it’s popular to say ‘Oh, that’s water weight’, or ‘muscles are heavier than fat’. The last one always makes me lol, gaining a pound of muscle in 1 week…. really…. tell me your secret, because no bodybuilder on the heaviest schedule ever gained a pound of muscle in one week! There is some truth to it though, a very muscular person weighing 150 lbs will look much thinner than a non-muscular person weighing 150 lbs. Muscle doesn’t ‘weigh more’ than fat, muscle is denser than fat, so 1 lbs of fat is much bigger than 1 lbs of muscle. Ok, so let’s get back to the scale and your bodyweight.

Your body doesn’t have a calendar. It doesn’t know it’s weigh-in day. The body only cares about surviving and having homeostasis. Homeowhat? Homeostasis is a difficult way of saying: the body wants the internal conditions to remain stable and relatively constant. Examples are temperature, acidity, amount of salt dissolved etc. So, for example; you ate a lot of salt, the body wants a certain amount of sodium to water percentage, so to be able to maintain that percentage, your body will try to retain more water and you’ll weigh more. How to get rid of water weight? Why? Why do want to get rid of water weight? The body will autocorrect and automatically in a day or two it’s gone. It’s not fat, it doesn’t cause any harm, just relax, move on and let your body take care of itself!

So now let’s talk poop! This is a big contributor to weight fluctuations. How? Well, food eaten travels through your intestines until all nutrients are taken from it and you finally excrete it like poop. This doesn’t happen in a few hours. It differs from person to person and from time to time within the same person. It’s influenced by what you eat, how much you eat and how much you drink. Sometimes food takes more than a week to finally end up in the toilet. Did you know that carbs need a lot of water to digest? So if you’ve eaten a carb heavy meal, there’s a lot of water inside your intestines. No worries, when it’s digested, it’ll also leave again! A lot of women are obsessed by going to the toilet. They feel like they need to go daily or else something is wrong and they say they’re constipated. Actually anything between going 3 times a day and twice a week is normal! You don’t need extra stuff like those intestine improving yoghurts… Just eat enough fiber, fresh fruit and veggies and drink enough water, it will come! And go if you feel like it, because keeping it inside because you’re at work actually does create constipation….. So how does it affect your weigh ins? Well, if you just had a great, nice and big poop, of course you’ll weigh less than before you pooped. Does that affect your weight loss progress? Not at all!! The same can be said about eating something. You´ll weight more after a big meal than you did before you ate the meal. Does that make you instantly more fat? No! I sometimes read stories of people who weigh in at night and don’t eat anything during the day, only water and tea. That really sounds silly to me, because the weight of the food in your stomach doesn’t make you fat, and don’t you want to measure fatloss?

Ideally, weight shouldn’t be measured weekly if you can’t handle these fluctuations! Weekly weigh ins are great to track your progress though, I do it too, sometimes even daily! But I don’t let it ruin my mood, it’s just like that, the body takes care of itself and will regulate perfectly without us stressing about it! The long term progress is what counts, so please, do yourself a favor and don’t stress too much about those fluctuations. They are very normal and natural and sometimes don’t show the fat you’ve actually lost. Don’t worry, go on, you’re doing great!

Nutrition is the key to weight loss!

Nutrition is such a big and important subject in weightloss! You can’t lose weight without changing your eating habits! Really! I know all these extreme weightloss programs focus on exercise, you©2010 Nicolle Clemetson see people running and jumping all day and losing weight fast. Why? Because it’s good and fun television! It’s kinda boring to watch somebody eat their healthy food every day, saying no to cake at work and doing their healthy groceries. I do really love how motivating this Chris Powell is! And not to mention the amount of eyecandyness 😉 The same counts for those online fitness profiles. Don’t get me wrong, I love them too, like Katyhearnfit and followthelita on IG. The thing is that it’s just really exciting to see somebody build their body with exercises. Don’t forget me when you look at their vids!

As you might know, I follow the Weightwatchers program to lose weight. I love it and it really fits me, but other programs can also work. Losing weight is actually really simple, eat less energy than your body needs and it will burn your body fat to compensate for the amount of energy it still needs to function normally. There are so many ´rules´ people came up with and they really complicate things, like: don´t eat after 8 pm, don´t skip breakfast, don´t eat too many carbohydrates (I’ll refer to them as carbs from now on), don’t starve your body, eat more protein, don´t eat carbs for dinner, don’t eat gluten, don’t eat soy, don’t eat lactose, take vitamins, take meal replacements, eat every hour, eat 6 small meals, eat clean, eat paleo, don’t eat sugar, drink applevinegar every morning, don’t use light products, do intermittent fasting, make mealpreps, eat 10 bananas a day, stand on your head while drink a glass of cold water…. All these opinions makes me nuts and really confused. What to do??

Well, for starters, I’ve tried sooo many of these things. I really think some stuff might work for people, but I gotta tell you, most of these things don’t work for me. I like to keep it kind of simple, because if you give yourself so many rules, then there are also so many ways to fail and for most obese/overweight people failure leads to overeating/emotional eating and self hate, so my first advise is: set up something that you cannot fail! How do I do it? Well, I actually IMG_20150110_182441allow myself to eat everything. Yes, I can eat cookies, ice cream, pizza, wine, whatever. So, by allowing myself to eat everything, I cannot be mad at myself when I do J You can hear a big but coming… BUT: I track everything and I try to plan it and of course not every day and not in the amounts I used to eat them. I also don’t give myself time restrictions. If I want to eat something at 11 pm, I eat it. If I want to eat carbs at dinner, I eat it. There are some rules I gave myself though, the most important one is to eat enough protein. When you’re losing weight, your body is struggling to get energy and the stuff it really needs. If you don’t eat enough protein, your body might get some of its protein from your muscles and really, that’s the last thing you want when losing weight (less muscle=less energy burned). Protein is also necessary after weightlifting, because your muscles need it to build and get stronger. I also gave myself a ‘1-banana (or any other type of high kcal fruit) a day’ restriction. Weightwatchers lets you eat fruit and veggies without counting them, but some fruits like banana’s can contain a lot of kcal, so I try to eat only 1 a day. The last thing I try to do is to refrain from light products and try to eat as natural as possible (but enjoy my non-natural foods when I eat them!).

What I also learned during my journey is that not everything that makes you lose weight is healthy, and not all healthy things makes you lose weight. You get me? Let me give you an example: Avocado’s are healthy, they contain a lot of unsaturated fat, fiber, vitamins etc. One avocado contains roughly 230 kcal. So, if you normally eat IMG_20150121_1220262000 kcal daily and you maintain your weight like that, and you add a daily avocado, you’ll eat 2230 kcal daily, which will be more then you need and you start gaining weight. So now another example: You eat 2500 kcal daily and you are overweight and maintain your weight with this intake. You want to lose weight and decide to eat 1800 kcal daily. You start making different food choices and take light products to reduce your energy intake and get to the 1800 kcal daily. You’ll lose weight. But… is it healthy? Personally I believe light products are generally unhealthy as they add a lot of chemicals to it and sometimes uses sugar as fat replacement (I’ll talk more about sugar later). With this ‘diet’, you can also eat cookies and donuts every day, as long as you stay under your 1800 kcal goal. So, to conclude, by only eating foods that are considered healthy, it’s still possible to not lose weight and even gain weight. The other way around is also possible, you can lose weight while eating unhealthy things.

There are a lot of opinions and only a few scientific papers about the fact that not all calories are created ‘equal’. I think I’m kind of leaning towards this, instead of ‘a calorie is a calorie’, whether it come from an apple or a burger. Many people follow IIFYM (If it fits your macro’s). Macro’s are macronutrients, in other words; fat, protein and carbs. You count your daily intake and count kcal, fat, protein and carbs. So if a donut fits into your daily macro allowance, you can eat a donut. The same counts a bit for weightwatchers, if you have points for a donut, you can eat a donut. Though I like this idea of eating a donut daily (nomnom), the problem is that it is full of refined sugar and carbs. I’m not a carb-hater, really, but refined carbs I try to avoid as much as possible (but again, enjoy them thoroughly when I do eat them). Why? Well, it used to be a real popular opinion that we should avoid fats and dietary cholesterol to keep our arteries and heart healthy. Guess what, lately more and more research is showing that the beginning of atherosclerosis actually starts by small inflammations caused by fast rising bloodsugar levels (which you will get from eating refined carbs). Fast rising blood sugar levels also creates fast rising insulin levels to bring down the blood sugar. It sometimes ‘overshoots’ so the insulin rises too fast and the blood sugar falls too fast, creating hunger and feeling lightheaded, leading to eating more!

Did you know eating artificial sweeteners can also make the insulin levels rise? Our body is such a great working machine, when you taste something sweet, automatically, there are hormones produced to induce digestion, making the enzymes and making insulin to prepare for the coming blood sugar rise. BUT, if you only take something with artificial sweeteners (like diet coke), there is no rise of blood sugar, so your blood sugar will get lower because of the already made insulin, again creating hunger and lightheadedness. I sometimes do use artificial sweeteners, I just always combine it with something that contains complex carbs (like oatmeal), so I won’t get IMG_20150119_131222that blood sugar drop.

So again, I’m not a carb-hater paleo eating health nut. I do think that eating healthy is more than just reducing your calorie intake! It’s all about that balance, eat healthy on a daily basis and enjoy your indulges when you decide to take them.

Soon I will post something about vitamins, superfoods and supplements for weightlifting. Next post will be about that damn scale and why we should avoid standing on it!