I love food. I mean, look at me- food is awesome. Food is fuel, it gets me through my workouts, but I also want it to taste delicious. Not like cardboard. And I have tried different diets. Atkins (no bread killed it), The grain-free diet (no grains=no bread, killed it), and the Paleo diet (what is it with you people and no bread??!!)- none stuck with me. But I do have food advice, and here it is:
1. For those of you who know me, you may know that I like my food spicy. But not just a little kick in the pants spicy. I mean so hot you sweat and cry spicy- this is also how I like multiple other things in my life, but this isn’t a forum on Angela’s personal life. One thing spices do for me is slow me down- eating slower helps me recognize I’m full before I overdo it, and I savor my meal. Yes, SAVOR. According to a study by Purdue University (yeay smart people!!) capsaicin, the component that gives chili peppers their “kick”, can reduce hunger and burn more calories. Wanna read about it? http://www.purdue.edu/newsroom/research/2011/110425MattesPepper.html One of the things they did say is the more you do it, the less effective it becomes. So I’ll just keep upping my dose to kick my butt!
2. I love foods that are the bane of dieters everywhere- candy, ice cream, anything fatty, etc. I’m logical about these things. I don’t cut myself off from anything- but I don’t keep it in my house either. I know I’ll eat a whole bag of candy if I have it, so I don’t keep it where I can eat it for every meal every time. I enjoy things in moderation, and I can stop myself if it isn’t there to stuff my face with. All things in moderation.
3. I snack. I have a morning snack, an afternoon snack, and sometimes a bedtime snack. At 4 years old I was diagnosed as a Type 1 diabetic. Being insulin dependent (translation= i need to give myself insulin injections because I don’t produce any insulin on my own), I was put on a strict diet to help control my blood sugars. Going too long without food makes my sugars crash, and eating too much makes them spike. If I have a snack in between breakfast and lunch, I won’t eat an entire tub of Crisco, or drink a class of delicious liquid sugar. It helps keep my blood sugars steady, and me less grumpy (not completely, 100% happy- what’s life without a little sarcasm and self-deprecating?).
4. I count my calories. I write them down, and I total out what I eat each day. I can see patterns, and target when I overdo things. I know how many calories I burn in a day, and if I ate more than that I know I have to burn it off. It’s humbling, but it helps me stay honest.
5. If I love a food, and there’s a more healthy version, I try and switch it out. I like pasta, so I do whole wheat to get the fiber. Rice- why not brown rice? There are also small switches you can make in baking. Applesauce instead of oil when baking (not always, but it’s an option), plain yogurt instead of sour cream- small changes that cut calories. But there are also things that I will not do. Banana in anything? No, that’s disgusting. Give up meat and do “soy steak”? What do I look like- a non-bathing hippy? Some things are better the original way.