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Friday, October 19, 2012

Measuring Cups = Healthier Me

I'm hesitant to write this post because it is about eating healthy and the weight loss that comes with it. If you know me at all you know that I have a serious addiction and an even more serious lack of self-control. I love all things sweet, especially chocolate, and I do not possess the ability to stop myself from indulging when a craving hits. I also have a real medical problem which does not allow me to have an empty stomach for very long. When I start to feel hungry I have a matter of minutes to eat something before I begin to shake, get dizzy, and eventually pass out. 

It's happened before.
With all that said you'll understand what I mean when I say healthy eating and maintaining a healthy weight have been difficult for me, especially these past 2 years. Sometimes I lose track of time and very suddenly I'm hit with hunger pains. I do not have time to grill some chicken or steam some vegetables. In those moments I typically eat whatever I have handy, no matter how unhealthy it may be.

I have tried dieting, eating healthy, and even exercising, but it never lasts longer than a month and I'll tell you why. 1. I don't see results and I get frustrated. 2. None of my diets have included Nutella, chocolate cake, or cookies. In fact, they usually included a lot of things like apples & bananas which are 2 things I only eat covered in Nutella.

Recently, however, I have been brainstorming for a way to make a healthier lifestyle stick. Crockett and I plan on starting a family within the next few years and I know that I need to be in good health to give my baby the best chance he or she can have at being born as healthy as possible. So I have started over. (Mind you I'm only on day 4.) I have realized two major things that are really helping me this time. 1. I have lost my natural sweet tooth. Meaning, I don't find anything in nature to be sweet. Did you know that an apple is supposed to be a sweet food? (According to Dr. Oz) I have poured countless amounts of sugar, Nesquik powder  Nutella, & syrup on my food and now nothing tastes sweet unless it's drowning in sugar. This is a huge problem!! The second thing I've learned is I have no idea how to proportion my food. Well, I do now, but I wasn't doing it before. If I wanted some Nutella I would grab the jar and a spoon and whatever I was smothering to death that particular day and have a seat on the couch. Do you know what the serving size of Nutella is? Well I didn't know there was a serving size much less that it's only 1 tablespoon. I was eating about 1 tablespoon per bite! Kinda crazy if you think about how many bites there are in an apple...

So my new, handy helper? Measuring spoons & cups!!
I even have these awesome collapsible cups I got from my aunt as a wedding gift. I love them so.

The other tool I'm using is Here's a sample of my profile.

(click to enlarge)

This awesome website is a place that tracks your health. You put in what food you've eaten and any activity you did and it breaks down everything for you. How much of each food group you've had, how many calories, sodium, oils, fats, etc. You can track your weight and it identifies a healthy activity target and you can set goals for yourself. So far, I'm in the middle of day 4 and I've already lost 3.5 lbs. I use this website to plan my meals for the next day that way I can adjust it to make sure I'll get enough of every food group. (Turns out I wasn't getting near enough dairy in my diet.) I'm also limiting my calorie intake and doing at least 30 minutes of Wii sports boxing and Just Dance every day. I've actually had a lot of fun tracking everything,  (That's the super organized nerd in me.) and I'm hoping this will stick because I can have the occasional sweet, just in the appropriate moderation. For example now I have 1 tablespoon of Nutella on my plate with my sliced up banana and the challenge to make it last is pretty exciting. I can also track that tablespoon and see that it is primarily empty calories and offers no nutritional value so I make sure I have it sparingly and on days where I'm eating less empty calories elsewhere in my diet.

I'm actually having a hard time eating everything on my daily list because I'm too full. By the end of every day so far there are at least 2 snacks on my list that I didn't get to. I try to eat a meal every 4 hours and a snack 2 hours after each meal, but I'm finding that I'm often full after only half my allotted amount. Not a normal problem for me! I'm also not allowing myself to stray from the food groups for at least one week. I want to push myself because I've been asking God to help me with my self-control. After one week I will allow myself the occasional sweet, but for now my dessert is 1/2 cup 100% grape juice! (Husband is thoroughly enjoying my daily excitement of, "Guess what time it is! It's snack time! I get 1/4 cup pistachio nuts!!" He's been asked to eat his Oreos away from me.)

If you're looking for a way to track your diet and ensure you are getting healthy amounts of everything I highly recommend this site. It even reports your nutrient intake and has an option for pregnant or breast feeding women. :)

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