To carb or not to carb?
Carbs are the devil! Yes? Probably... But the thing is I cannot survive without carbs, but I can admit that my eating habits are pretty terrible at times. I truly am regularly surprised that I do not weigh 500 lbs. I think the ONLY reason is that while I make poor eating choices (Carbs everyday), I do not eat very much in one sitting. I can eat ten times a day, but not a lot during those ten times, so yay for small mercies.
Lately though, I've been realizing, as my metabolism slows down daily it seems, it's sooo easy to put on weight, and hella difficult to get if off. I popped a button on my pants last week, so yeah that was the point where I decided I need to lose a few inches, because..a new wardrobe is more expensive that changing some eating habits.
I've decided that I need to incorporate better eating habits into my diet, not just to lose those few pounds, but if I want to stay healthy, keep energized, and look younger. Looking at these celebrities and fitness personalities who are in their forties, fifties, sixties, and looking better than me is well...shameful, but excellent motivation.
I also realized that the only way to do this is to meal prep, meal prep, meal prep. It's the only way to prevent hunger, tiredness, and just life from derailing the process.
When I was living at home with my family and my mum, I never bothered to find the willpower it would have taken to eat healthy, when I was surrounded by fresh homecooked food daily (rice, ROTI, pasta, etc.) and then more in the fridge, snacks, and everything yum, but not always healthy. It was near impossible (outside of Carnival season) to resist these delicious goodies. But now that I live on my own, I’m in control of my food..what's in my cupboards, what's in my fridge, and what I cook. So I should have no more excuses now right? Ha. Excuses can be found around every corner, but at least now it won’t be taunting me in my refridgerator.
Every journey has to start somewhere, and I'm not gonna lie to you and myself and say I'm gonna go on a low/no carb diet because that would be a crash diet that would not only make me miserable but would be something I cannot maintain. I'm trying to embark on an overall healthIER lifestyle, which means still enjoying everything I love (CAKEEE!), but not as often, and not letting the bad carbs always be centre stage.
Now...to start this I've done some research, and this is the most simplistic version and what has stuck with me about what I need in my diet...essentially much less simple carbs (sugar), and more complex carbs (including lots of fruits).
Carbohydrates are made up of three components, fibre, starch and sugar. Fibre and starch are complex carbs, while sugar is a simple carb.
Complex carbs, because they have more fibre and starch contain more nutrients, and digest more slowly. This slower digestion process also means that you feel full for a longer period (Less hunger pangs = less chance to binge eat everything!) The complex carbs I am going to be aiming to incorporate in my meals are oatmeal, brown rice, corn, potato, quinoa (never cooked this before so it should be interesting), beans, peas, lentils, starchy vegetables (corn, peas, pumpkin,etc), etc.
Simple carbs are often softer in nature - white bread, white rice, baked goods, soda, sugar, etc. Simple carbs are faster to digest because they have been refined and stripped of some of their fibre content, and while this gives you a quick energy boost, it is short lived, and does not provide the maximum nutritional benefits. So, the plan is to stay away from simple carbs. It should be noted that I am addicted to Coca-Cola, cake and chocolate, so this is not going to be easy.
***Fruits, vegetables and dairy are technically simple carbs, but because of their nutrient content (fibre, protein), they act more like complex carbs and can/should be consumed daily.
Non-starchy vegetables (lettuce, broccoli, pepper, tomatoes, etc) would also fall under this category.
Fun fact: non-starchy vegetables are typically flowering parts of the plant.
Now the above is based on my research (from the ever trusty interwebs, and from discussions with some persons who are more knowledgable than me) and understanding, in the most simplistic terms. I need simple for this journey, because it's already a change, and the easiest way to ensure a change is successful is to be realistic, and not try to make it too drastic all at once. I could do elaborate meal plans but to me, that's pointless because it just won't last. It's a learning process, and while I always appreciate everyone's comments, and advice, everyone's goal is different, so please respect that. This is step one. The goal is to do this for one month (August 2016), and then evaluate, and make changes as necessary.
Oh..and the answer on whether to carb or not is a big fat YES to complex carbs, but PISS OFF to simple carbs!
Surrounding yourself with likeminded individuals who are striving, and struggling just like you is the best motivation. You get to celebrate each other's successes, and support each other through the rough patches.
Let's make a positive change today darlings.
This #fairytalekindagirl is on her way to meal prep...let's see how this goes! Will keep you posted. :)
I’d love to hear about your diet, your goals, how has it been working, cheats, recipes (please recipes), whatever else you think I should know. Leave a comment or email me. Looking forward to hearing from you.