I have to be honest: Last week wasn’t great diet-wise because I ended up eating out A LOT more than I’m used to.
I had dinner out 5 out of 7 days last week (as opposed to my average of 1-2 days a week), and most of the meals I had ended up being pretty carb-heavy.
And because I hardly overeat these days, my body’s become really sensitive to imbalances in my diet.
I’m feeling VERY physically uncomfortable right now — I’m bloated, experiencing stomach discomfort (with bouts of gastritis pain when I wake up in the morning), sluggish, and feeling almost as if my body’s struggling to process everything I’ve eaten over the last 7 days.
However, I’ve been through this often enough over the years to know how to deal with it and not let it affect my weight and well-being for too long, so here’s what I’m going to do for the week ahead to balance things out and regain control:
- Cut out as much carbs and added sugar from my meals and drinks as possible. I’m usually OK with a reasonable amount of rice/pasta/noodles daily (and by reasonable, I mean a small bowl of noodles/pasta or a fist-sized portion of rice). Cutting them out temporarily will make sure my muscles and liver make use of all the sugar/carbs it’s got stored up from last week (this depletion should take between 24-72 hours, depending on how much carbs I cut out each day), and my meals will be primarily plant-based (salads and stir-fried vegetables will fill about three-quarters of my plate) to keep my total calorie and direct sugar intake a little lower than usual, with my recommended protein and fat portions.
- Increase the intensity of my workouts AND add 1-2 additional workouts throughout my week so that any excess energy my body’s got stored up will go towards performance and recovery. I’ll supplement this with additional protein and fat from my meals.
- Snack throughout the day (fresh fruit and nuts are my go-tos — they’ve got a good amount of fibre and fat to keep me fuller for longer) to manage my hunger pangs throughout the day. I find that when I eat more than I’m used to over consecutive meals, my appetite increases. Read: the more I eat, the more I want to eat, and the more I will be likely to eat if I don’t keep this in check.
These steps can apply to you too, if you find yourself slipping up now and then. But please note that these are short-term strategies that I use for no more than a week, and if you’re finding it very difficult to say “no” to certain foods (many of you have mentioned carbs and sugar as a major issue) that you know you’ll go overboard with, I highly recommend keeping them out of your home for now (you can always re-introduce them later on when your cravings don’t affect you the way they do now), and replacing them with substitutes that won’t trigger your binge eating.
- I often replace rice with quinoa, which has a similar ‘feel’ to rice, but doesn’t make me want more than one portion at a time.
- Noodles and pasta are danger zones for me. I love these (we’re talking BIG, BIG love here!), but I avoid cooking them as much as possible and have them only when I eat out or on days where I have an intense workout planned, so I don’t end up feeling bloated and sluggish.
If cutting back on the carbs and added sugar is working for you (as in, you’re seeing the pounds drop and eating this way is what you prefer), makes you feel great, and you’ve got a substantial amount of weight to lose, keep doing it. Tweak as you go along. Remember, how you eat should be a part of your lifestyle, not a magic weight-loss bullet.
Are there specific foods that you keep slipping up with? Share them in the comments below together with 2-3 potential substitutes you can think of—I’d love to know what they are.
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