We all know about this right? You either have experienced this weight gain first hand or have seen the chatter about it online. While some of us hoarded toilet paper, others decided to stock up on food or go heavy on the take out. This led to some unfortunate consequences to our health, none of which are actually helpful in our immunity either!
I was asked over the weekend about what you could do for blood sugar regulation and simple weight loss. This is NOT my focus area with clients. I generally work with people who have a complicated history of digestive distress, autoimmunity, auto inflammatory or even UNKNOWN conditions or causes for complex health issues. However, if the adults that I see come in with a need to lose weight (or an ability because they are a bit overweight) they end up losing weight. My children I see they GAIN the weight they so desperately need from “failing to thrive.”
What can we do then?
1- Swap out cereals and bars for breakfast
Despite what you have been told in marketing through media – these are NOT complete breakfast. They DO NOT start your day our right. These actually tank your day to begin with. These are made with processed and white flours, sugar, and many have dyes and other chemicals in them. The list of ingredients is long and has no nutritional value for your day. This causes a blood sugar spike, and then a crash and by lunch you are HANGRY!
These have been stripped of B vitamins, essential fatty acids, and minerals.
These type of processed carbs also feed abnormal gut flora, which creates more growth and toxins. Fiber is widely touted in cereal, however, this is not the type we want for most of our situations. These cereals have many phytates. These bind essential minerals and carry them out of the system. This can contribute to mineral deficiencies.
Some healthy options may exist, but you have to be quite the detective with food to find them. Reading ingredient labels carefully is important.
What can you do then?
- Eat whole foods daily for breakfast. Avoid the packages all together – think things like eggs, protein/meat, grain free breads, homemade items.
- Be sure to get some healthy fat, protein and healthy carbs in the way of vegetables each morning.
- Create or seek recipes for your own healthy recipes for smoothies and grain free pancakes, muffins and more.
- Find the clean brands and stick with them, and remember a box will not contain all of the balance in nutrients you need, but may be a small portion of a breakfast.
2- Increase VEGETABLES at ALL Meals
This is the BIGGEST deficiency I see in EVERY client that comes on board. You need protein and animal meat for proper digestion and protein to help body function but you need a BOATLOAD of vegetables for fiber, as well as nutrients. Look at each and every meal and make sure you have it loaded with vegetables. If you are doing breakfast how can you add more to that egg or casserole? Could you have a side of crunchy veggies with some dressing or dip as a snack? Can you replace that white processed item at dinner with a zucchini noodle or a spaghetti squash instead? Or even a swap to rice is a better option.
You are struggling to like the taste of vegetables? This is common for those who eat a highly processed and highly sugar filled diet. The gut flora have changed, and so have the taste buds you have. You are used to those chemicals and sugar items and your gut begs for those and you have lost your natural taste for real food. It’s how real food addiction has happened to many people. Those additives in processed foods light up the brain and gut yells more more feed the poor bacteria more. You will need to work on adding GREAT healthy fat to your vegetables, lots of spices and even sauce them from a homemade sauce or a clean sauce that has no processed ingredients. Nobody really eats plain raw (or even cooked) veggies. They NEED fat and spice.
3- Ditch Processed Breads, Pastas, Boxed Items
These feed the poor bacteria in your gut, cause huge blood sugar spikes and contain no nutritional value to your body. I mentioned pasta as an example above to replace. Let me know show a really common pasta brand in the nutrient calculator I use.
Now here is the replacement spaghetti squash:
There is a huge difference in the nutrient value from fiber to vitamins and more! The caloric value is HUGELY different as well. You can have one 2 oz. serving of the white pasta and it is 200 calories! And look at how little nutrition comes out of those 200 calories. The spaghetti squash on the other hand – you can eat 3 CUPS (and that is A LOT) and ONLY consume 125 calories! And LOOK at all the nutrition in those 3 cups! You will be full before you hit the 3 cups I can tell you that as well. Or you eat all that pasta and you are still hungry (that is due to it having low to no nutritional value).
4- Balance Proteins at Each Meal
The next most common thing I see is a fear of eating meat and a lack of protein in meals. You need protein at each meal as well. All of these nutrients should be in balance at each meal. The amount of the on the plate varies to reach that percentage but they should all be present. In the morning – eggs are a great source of protein. You can add a little bit of pastured bacon, or grass fed cheese, or other meat to breakfast as well. Salmon is a fantastic – so high in omega and a clean large fish so it doesn’t hold the chemicals like other smaller fish.
The best thing you can do is to be sure you are eating some type of wild caught seafood or fish for 2 meals a day. Chicken is the crutch of meat. Although it is fine (if pastured and raised properly). But this shouldn’t be the MAJORITY of the meat that you eat for every meal all week long. If you just LOVE your chicken, make that your lunch meat. Cook a whole chicken a week and use it as your salad topper at lunch. You get your lovely chicken but also get balance at other meals!
Need to learn how to get the cleanest, best sourced food? Check out this post here.
This is rarely on point. This means JUST WATER! Nothing else counts as “water” except for … WATER! I say this because it is also one of the main questions I am asked. What else counts as water?! Nothing!
Your baseline is half your weight in ounces. You shouldn’t ever be below that or you will end up dehydrated no doubt. Most people need MORE because they like to have a cup or two of coffee a day, or black tea, or work out, or live in a hot climate. So for every 8 ounce beverage like coffee or black tea – it’s another 12 ounces of water! Just PLAIN water.
Water helps flush out toxins, is needed in body function and cell building, tissue repair and more. If you retain a lot of water – it is likely due to a lot of processed carbs and sugars in your diet. Water will help with this balance as well.