5 Healthy Foods We Overeat

My husband gave me this blog post idea when he ate almost the entire hummus container… (sorry to throw you under the bus john haha).  BUT WE ALL do this, we all tend to overeat on healthy foods.  First off, let me congratulate you on choosing healthier foods options! Fueling your body with healthy fats, greens, fruits, lean proteins are only going to leave you feeling more energized and recovered.  Overeating healthy food is better for you than unhealthy food however, it is still in our best interest to not overeat any type of food.  The body can only handle, use, absorb etc. so much food at once, the excess food and calories will only hinder progress and goals.  First step is to realize you CAN overeat healthy foods, and then find ways to decrease this from happening.  Could any of these food be on your list?

Hummus / Guacamole:

The two famous healthy dips.  With any dip, it is easy to you continue that motion of dipping and eating, even if its with raw veggies.  Then…all of a sudden, half the container is gone.  Who doesn’t love guacamole? Avocados are a staple in our house (thank you Aldi).  Loaded with healthy fats an avocado or avocado dip (Guacamole) with raw veggies and a few corn tortilla chips can be a healthy snack.  Because of the healthy fats guac packs a punch not only with nutrients but with calories.  3/4 cup of guacamole is just under 300 calories and 25g fat.  If you are a big dipper eating 3/4 cup can be easy. Chipotles guac on bowls is roughly this amount as well.  Tip: of course eat that guac, but try to keep avocados to one 1/2 a day.  Get guac on the side from Chipotle (1/4c) and be aware how many chips and veggies you are dipping in.  If four avocados makes eight servings of guac, we should really only have 1/8 to 1/4 the guac.

As for Hummus, this is another great plant based source of healthy fats, protein and fiber.  Chickpeas are delicious in a dip (hummus, baked in oven or in a salad).  The Hummus package has 2 tbsp as one serving.  Who has ever only eaten 2 tbsp of hummus? It is only 70 calories so in the realistic world lets say 1/4 cup is a serving aka 140 calories.  Paired with some raw veggies, twp piece of deli meat, or triscuit crackers I think that makes one heck of a snack.

Popcorn / Skinny Pop

Skinny pop and other popcorns have gained incredible popularity for being a healthier lower calorie option to chips.  Just like chips however, we can easily overeat popcorn.  You’re watching TV or working on the computer and you continue to enjoy handfuls of popcorn until you realize the bag is half gone.  I’ll raise my hand on this one as I have done this  many a times.  My trick… I buy the portioned bags of Skinny Pop or I portion out two cups of skinny pop into a bowl and put the bag away.  On other note, popcorn can be a harder food for our bodies to digest, so give your GI system a break and don’t go over 2 cups.

Nuts / Nut Butters

I used to eat peanut butter by the spoonful… yeah, my relationship with the food wasn’t the best, but we are great friends now.  Just like avocados, peanut butter is a fatty “dip” or spread.  As many of you already know, it is delicious on bananas, apples, toast, in oatmeal, on pancakes, graham crackers….can you think of anything else?  Well, as good as peanut butter is, 1 serving is only 2 tbsp.  That really is not a lot, hence why it is REALLY easy to overeat this stuff.  When the peanut butter jar comes out (Organic Smucker’s All-Natural FYI), I am conscious of the amount I use.  Trick: to flavor oatmeal, over-night oats, shakes etc. I use Peanut butter powder.  It is much lower in fat and thus calories.  I save the actual peanut butter for my toast and fruit,

Similar to peanut butter, a little amount of nuts goes a long way.  A serving is only 1/4 cup.  Thats 4 tablespoons aka not a lot at all given that many people will eat an entire bowl of nuts like popcorn or chips.  A serving of nuts is more like a small handful (half a handful…).  Trick: I love the pre-portioned trail mix products as well as pistachios in the shell.  It takes you longer to eat and thus you do not have the tendency to grab and shuve in the mouth.  

Bananas

“What, bananas? But it’s a fruit and I only eat one a day or every other day…” I love bananas, another staple in my house, HOWEVER the bananas we buy in the store aka large bananas, most likely can be counted as two servings.  Buy one get one free peeps.  Bananas and mangos are fruits higher in sugar and thus calories.  Trick: Cut or rip banana in half and save the other half for later (in fridge) or share with a spouse, child, friend etc. This ALSO helps me not go CRAZY on peanut butter since I love the combo.  1/2 banana with pb, by itself, sliced on peanut butter toast, in oatmeal, overnight oats…you decide.  Only having 1/2 is a simple change we all should start doing. 

Protein

Yes, yes, yes, everyone thinks to lose weight and gain muscle they need to increase protein and decrease carbs.  Not so much friends.  It is important to have a protein or fat with snacks in order to make them more satisfying and nutrient dense i.e. a small apple with 1/4 cup nuts rather than the apple by itself.  However, the majority of the US is eating WAY too much meat, protein bars, shakes, dairy and moreover protein.  Trick: Instead of increasing protein, think about increasing vegetables 🙂 I promise you will feel more energize and your gut will thank you. Aim for protein making up 25% of your plate.

 

Again, continue to eat these delicious foods, just know that there is such a thing to overeat healthy foods.  Eat mindfully.  Eat when you’re hungry and push that plate or bowl away when you start feeling full/satisfied.  Would love to hear from you, what other healthy foods do you think we overeat!?

 

How to Transition after a Diet (Successfully)

We are about 6 weeks into 2018 which means many diets and nutrition challenges are close to or have already ended.  I will be very clear with you and tell you I am NOT a fan of diets, the diet industry, fad diets, how society tells us we need to look a certain way or be a certain weight etc etc.  BUT of course, I have dieted before, participated in nutrition challenges, restricted and deprived myself of various foods leading me to binge and then feel guilty of my food choices and behavior.  This is not to shame you for trying a diet or challenge but to HELP YOU transition from a temporary “solution” to lifelong habits and lifelong health.

 

Reflect

I already told you dieting isn’t my thing, however, one thing I DO like is the knowledge and experience one can receive from them.  Although, to make it a worthwhile experience we need to reflect on the experience.  What did you learn, what did you like, love, hate about the diet/challenge? For example, did cutting out dairy make your feel less bloated? Maybe you realized the amount of access sugar you consume or that you really do not need that drink every night to destress?

I remember when I did my first paleo challenge.  I thought the amount of allowed food was super tiny.  No dairy, grains or processed foods?! 😮  What I took away from the challenge was the amount of (refined) grains I ate: cereal, bread, chips, crackers, pasta etc.  After the challenge did I continue to deprive myself of grains, heck no! BUT I did realize that I didn’t need a large amount of grains, which ultimately led to me to decrease the amount I bought and consumed. At breakfast, I chose eggs over cereal, opted for open-face sandwiches for lunch, and added more vegetables then rice for dinner.

Moreover, in order to get the best bang for your buck when it comes to challenges and diets reflect on it.  Write it down, talk about it with a friend or spouse.  Not Reflecting means not progressing.

 

Limit the Post-Diet Binge: RESPECT your body and self

We’ve all been there, following a challenge/diet you go eat an entire pizza, a half-dozen donuts, a package of cookies, anything and everything you were not “allowed” to eat to past few weeks.  Then the guilt sets in and you think all is lost from what you may or may not have accomplished.  STOP right there.  Of course, we are going to get excited to eat the foods we deprived ourselves of so X number of weeks or day HOWEVER we NEED TO REMEMBER to have respect for our self and our body.  Enjoy a vanilla long John donut, savor a piece of Portillo’s chocolate cake, OR a slice of Lou’s deep-dish pizza.  All foods have their place in the world.  It’s a balance of 1) knowing we have freedom to have whatever food WHENEVER we want and 2) respecting our body and self.  We know how certain foods can cause havoc on our mood, digestive track, and energy levels.  Make peace with the food, know that you can have that food again and show love to yourself through respect.

Add Foods Back in without Guilt

Many diets remove entire food groups, claiming food X is “good” while food Y is “bad.”  Do not feel guilty by adding any of their “forsaken” foods back into your routine post diet/challenge.  If you do not have an intolerance to a food there is no need to eliminate for there is a place for ALL food in our lives.  If you truly want and enjoy a food/meal yet deprive yourself of it, you’re not only taking about happiness J but most likely will end up binging on it sooner or later.  Just like children, us adults want what we can’t have, so stop restricting things short-term and rather incorporate all foods for long-term health and healthy relationship with food.

Add foods back in but in an appropriate and respectable way.  You weren’t allowed to have dairy but enjoy cheese.  I recommend choosing high quality dairy sources: Siggi’s Yogurt (5-6 ingredients and 1:1 carb to protein ratio), 4% cottage cheese, a slice of cheese on a sandwich, crackers or sprinkled on top veggies.

As for that scary macronutrient “carbohydrates,” go for whole wheat sprouted bread, brown rice, oatmeal, lentils, and beans the majority of the time.  Trying to keep these starches to take of 25% of your plate.  Of course, donuts, cookies, a pretzel bun and chips sneak their way in here and there but that is a small minority of the time.

Add foods you enjoy back in while also continuing the healthy practices the challenge taught you.  It is important to pay attention to how your body feels or reacts to certain foods.  Listening to your body is the only way to know if certain foods might have an adverse effect to your body and or mood.

 

It’s a Marathon not a Sprint: Think Long-Term

“Slow and steady wins the race” It doesn’t sound sexy but it is key to lifelong healthy habits aka a healthy lifestyle.  The busy, fast paced society we live in make us want the quick fix, the magic pill, but just life diets this is a TEMPORARY answer which can only make achieving a healthy lifestyle further out of grasp.

My relationship with food, just like any relationship is an ongoing process, working at it every day to achieve lifelong health.  With anything you omit, ask yourself if you truly want it or if your depriving yourself due to something you heard on the news, from a friend, on a blog etc?  A donut is part of a healthy lifestyle (did I just say that) when you practice respect for yourself (have it every so often) and do not feel guilty about it afterwards.

One meal, one day will not ruin you.  Just because you went out last night had a few too many drinks and pizza slices does not mean you are back at zero and throw everything you have learned about a healthy diet out the window.  Reflect and focus on PROGRESS NOT PERFECT.

Write Down Some Goals

I always like to end a session with goal setting.   After we reflect, our journey to progress is not over.  Writing down goals, whether for the next week, month, year, decade, it is important to write down your thoughts and your goals in order to move forward and onwards.  Reflecting on the challenge is a great goal brainstorming tactic.  As you write your goals, remember to make your goal realistic and attainable.  Keep the tips above top of mind as we continue on your journey of lifelong health.