Sunday, October 11, 2015

5 Signs You're Still on a Diet (and Not Living a Healthy Lifestyle)

Diets got you down? It's safe to say I've had my experiences with diets, and I confess I'm still working on abandoning that mentality and embracing intuitive eating. Knowing that it's a progressive journey to let go of the restrictions a diet life entails, I'd like to share some signs that you may not be living life healthy and free as much as you think.

1. You still eat more than you burn.

We've all seen the machines that count the amount of calories you're burning as you go, helping you feel totally accomplished, seeing you burned like 600 calories in 30 minutes! I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but you probably didn't burn that much on the elliptical while reading a magazine .... Everyone is different. You can't trust the amount of calories that machines, gyms or even higher-end boutiques promise you will burn. The only way to truly know how many calories you conquered would be to wear a heart rate monitor set up with your personal information. If you walk around thinking you have an extra 500 calories to eat since you worked out, but you really only burned 300, then you actually may be gaining weight. Now, I'm not an advocate for counting calories or measuring weight, but it's important to be educated on the science behind calories in/calories out. Physiologically, it depends on your goals. If you're looking to gain muscle, then it's not a problem to eat more, and especially if you're eating healthy. But, if your main goal is weight loss, then you might consider investing in a fitness tracker or logging your meals on a mobile app. For help on tracking your macronutrients (or explaining what that even means) read this article

2. You forget about the liquid sugar.

Despite your discipline to show the cold shoulder to frappuccinos and sodas, you may be falling prey to more subtly disguised "healthy" beverages. A wholesome cup of OJ at breakfast has around 110 calories, and a quarter cup of milk adds 20 - 40 calories to each cup of coffee you drink. You can't even pick up a natural "green juice" without consuming a significant number of calories — with the majority of those calories coming from sugar. I prefer to eat my fruit instead of drinking it. It's way more satisfying! As for coffee, it's best to drink it with stevia and some unsweetened almond milk. If you need the cream, opt for a tad of the sugar-free kinds. And we can't forget the most defiant of the liquids to try to slide in without being noticed: alcohol. I've found life is much better without it at all, but if you don't want to give it up, stay hydrated in between drinks and keep your cocktails simple.

3. You binge on diet food.

Ever picked up an item that promises to taste exactly like something like a donut, peanut butter or chocolate, but promises 0 calories, 0 sugar, 0 fat and actually has 0 nutritional value? Yep, we've all been personally victimized by diet food. Let me drop a truth bomb right on your noggin'. According to the FDA, if a product has less than five calories per serving (which could be much smaller than the amount you're having), the label can claim it has 0 calories. Think about products like nonstick spray, sweetener packets, and spray butter, which each require multiple servings; those stats really add up. Unfortunately, the FDA allows the numbers on nutritional labels to be inaccurate by up to 20 percent. If the nutritional stats seem too good to be true, they probably are. has more on this subject and you can read up by clicking here and here.

4. You eat quick, skip meals and possibly binge at times.

I'll be the first to admit that I'm still fighting to become an intuitive eater and gain the freedom necessary to eat what I want, when I want and how I want. However, what I'm learning is that there's value in slowing down to eat meals, contemplating on what my body's telling me (which foods I'm craving and why and what my body needs based on my activities and time of day). When I was following a strict meal plan (aka diet), I ate according to my plan without this self-reflection, and I found myself wanting the foods that were not off-limits. Usually, we all have a tad of rebelliousness in us, and if someone tells us we can't do something, that's exactly what we want to do. If all food is acceptable, and we're coached to learn how to train our body and listen to our body, then we can learn to have balance and satisfaction at the same time.

5. You feel guilty after eating.

The worst thing about diets is that they instill the idea that certain foods are good and certain foods are bad. It creates rules for nutrition, judging dietary actions as right and wrong. If you have the tendency to feel guilty after eating certain foods, you're most likely suffering from a diet mentality. It's important that you learn how to eat a balanced variety of foods and when you eat something less than healthy, be quick to move on with your healthy lifestyle, making the next choice based on what you're body needs. Often, having the flexibility of eating intuitively takes the urge to binge on "bad" foods away, and people eat until they're satisfied instead of indulging.

For more tips and resources, follow me on social media: FacebookTwitterPinterest and Instagram. Also, check out my Services to find out how I can personally help you get fit from the inside out. 

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