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Zen of Nutrition

Just Follow the Rules

Ok Over here at Black Girl Slim there are a few basic rules I want you to abide by. Start integrating these rules into your lifestyle and your weight problem will stop being a problem. These are the same rules I have used with my clients at my studio so I know they work.

Rule # 1 – Thou shalt not eat white, processed foods

Here’s the deal ladies, besides adding inches to our waistline and pounds to the scale, foods such as bread, pasta, muffins, bagels, cookies, etc. are NOT nutritionally necessary for our bodies. Anyone who tells you that you need these foods for carbohydrates doesn’t know what they are talking about. Now you might feel like you NEED a piece of bread, but biologically, you don’t. This also means sugar. Yep the addictive white stuff goes bye bye!

In fact, there are many digestive disorders caused or exacerbated from eating these foods including but not limited to celiac’s disease and gluten intolerance known to affect at least 15% of the US population.

Besides all of that, white foods spike blood sugar. This include potatoes, so you might as well wave bye bye to Mickey D’s now.  And unless you are getting ready to run a marathon, you’re not likely to burn off new sugar created in your body and thus it gets stored as fat.  So my young diva, please put the bagel down and back away slowly.

vegetablesRule #2 – Thou shalt eat your vegetables

I think I might have heard some collective groans with that one. But it’s true, eat your vegetables. In fact, I recommend you eat them first with your meals. Here’s why: I’m of the mind that you can only fit so much in your stomach in one sitting. If you fill it up with healthy vegetables first, you are less likely to eat as much of the “bad” things that might crop on your plate, simply because there’s not room for them in your belly. It’s called crowding out.

Get as many dark leafy greens such as kale, spinach, chard, lettuce, bok choy, etc. on your plate as often as possible. If you’ve got a sweet tooth, try adding in sweeter vegetables such as sweet potatoes, beets, or carrots.

Rule # 3 – Thou shalt eat clean proteinprotein sources

Make sure your sources of protein are organic, grass fed, antibiotic and hormone free whenever possible. This day in age, it’s harder and harder to know what exactly is going into your food, but make it your job to find out. Because your life is literally at stake. What goes into your food is just as important as the food you eat.

 

Generally, if you are following these rules, I recommend about a palm-size portion of animal protein for your serving. This of course can fluctuate with your goals. If you find yourself hungry, have more. If you’re stuffed, eat less. See easy.

 

Rule # 4: Cook your own meals

For busy New Yorkers, I find this one the hardest to implement, but if they can do it, so can you. Here’s why. When you prepare your own food, you know exactly what’s going into it. Restaurant food is notorious for adding way more salt than the average person would use, same goes for butter and oil. And you know what that means? More pounds on the scale and your hips.

 

This also prompts a sub rule: learn to cook as healthily as possible.

I will go into this in greater detail in another post, but those of us of color that grew up in the south, or carribbean or anywhere where our grandmother may have used a tub of lard in everything she made, may be paying the price now. We may also not know any better.  So learning to prepare food in way that is both delicious and healthy will be a key skill to taking your body back and being a better you.

 

Rule # 5: Drink water

I could go all day as to why this is so important, but I’ll keep it to the basics here:

    a) water has no calories, so you’re not drinking empty calories

    b) your body needs more water than you think – try to drink about ½ your body weight in ounces (oz.) of water every day.

    c) most people confuse hunger with thirst, so drinking more water will make you eat less

    d) you’ll have clearer skin and less cravings for sweets, promise 🙂

 

Rule # 6: Eat Breakfast

This is the one meal that most people love to skip. Don’t skip breakfast. If you want to find out why you shouldn’t skip breakfast, I did a complete webinar on it. Click here to check it out. This rule applies most of the time. If you’re unsure, err on the side of making sure to eat in the mornings.

But here are the basics:

 

-A high protein breakfast will not only keep you fuller longer, it will help you lose weight and keep it off.

-Eating breakfast boosts your metabolism and prompts your body to burn more calories throughout the day.

-Eat breakfast within 30-60 minutes of waking up for best results if your goal is weight loss.

Rule # 7: Keep fruit to a minimum

If you’re in a weight loss phase, you’ll want to eat little or no fruit. If you must, stick to the low sugar, high fiber fruits such as berries i.e. strawberries, blueberries, blackberries, raspberries, etc.

Only eat citrus fruits or bananas right before a workout.banana

Why you ask? Isn’t fruit good for me? And my answer, is sure it is. But only in very limited quantities. The sugar in fruit is called fructose. And fructose is a sugar that is processed by the liver and turned directly into fat.  That’s what we’re trying to avoid, here right? So yes, no more fruit.

Rule # 8: Cheat!

Holy god, the good news! I know this may seem counter intuitive to some of you, but here’s the deal, if you are following the rules above, I want you to cheat like you mean it.

Start off with a high protein breakfast and go crazy the rest of the day. If you want candied yams, mac & cheese topped off with a pint of Ben & Jerry’s, go for it. Just make sure that you limit this feasting frenzy to just one day. Don’t let it spill over into other days.

This is interval training for your metabolism. During the other 6 days of the week, you are naturally in a calorie deficit. We don’t want your metabolism to get too used to that deficit, so we need to spike your caloric intake abruptly and significantly. This also activates a hormone called leptin which tells your body how and when to burn fat. This brief boost in calories tells your body to keep burning fat. Yeah baby.

So there you have it. General rules to live by when it comes to food. You shouldn’t feel hungry, if you do, eat more as long as the food choices follow the rules.

You should feel cleaner, more energetic and lighter, eating this way. The biggest hurdle I think to eating this way is sticking to rule # 1. It’s usually the hardest, only because white processed food is so ubiquitous in our society and it’s the easier thing to go to. But really, that’s just laziness. Don’t be lazy. That’s not why you’re here.

Now go you Black Girl Slim woman, you. Go tell body. Hell, take them with you to the grocery store.
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