How are you doing on our Ten Pounds Down weight loss challenge? Well, I struggled a little bit yesterday with a voracious appetite. It came after an hour workout at the gym. I did a series of core exercises and then turned to arms and back exercises. Then I hit an elliptical machine for 30 minutes. I took dietitian Tara Wind’s advice and for the second day in a row had a whey protein smoothie with strawberries and banana. It was great. However, when I arrived at home my appetite was still sizzling. A handful of almonds didn’t do the trick so I grabbed a couple of slices of whole wheat bread and topped them with shredded cheddar cheese and popped them in the microwave for 20 seconds. That held me til dinner a couple of hours later.
We had a family meal at Carrabbas in Cary. I love their salmon and Caesar salad. I opted for roasted vegetables and stayed away from the bread and desserts. I think I’m doing okay for next Wednesday’s weigh in.
Here is some more advice from dietitian Tara Wind. She answers various questions you have posed.
(Question) I am addicted to sugar. I find it takes me 2 days to get it out of my system. Once it is out, then I am more successful at avoiding it. Why is this?
(Tara) Out of sight, out of mind? Sometimes the more we have sugar the more we want. Breaking the cycle - letting yourself know that you can function just fine without it is sometimes all we need.
(Question) I am trying to quit smoking but worried about gaining weight. What should I do?
(Tara) Start exercising at the same time if not already doing so. Keep healthy snacks on hand - raw vegetables, hummus, string cheese, whole grain crackers - reach for those when getting a craving instead of higher calorie and fat alternatives. Keep your body weight in check - hold yourself accountable by weighing yourself and keeping a food journal.
(Question) Fresh veggies or frozen veggies? Is there a big difference?
(Tara) No big difference - frozen vegetables are frozen at the peak of their ripeness. The freezing process does not destroy any vitamins or minerals. Also sodium is not a factor as it is with canned vegetables. If you are using frozen vegetables beware of those with 'sauces' which often contain high amounts of fat and sodium.
(Question) Are diet sodas okay?
(Tara) I guess so but like anything else, in moderation. I am personally not a fan of products that contain artificial sweeteners. For hydration I believe the best things for you are water, milk, and 100% pure fruit juice in limited amounts. To help you cut back, I would start by first cutting your diet soda consumption to half of what you are currently doing with the eventual goal to be to get to one or none per day. Also, if you are going to have a soda - drink it and don't sip for an entire afternoon.
(Question) What is a good starting point for exercise?
(Tara) Anywhere! If you are new to exercise or getting back to exercise after a hiatus ask a personal trainer to help guide you and avoid injuries that can happen to those who jump in too quickly. Goal setting and having a purpose behind every workout helps to keep you motivated. Join a group who share a common interest - run clubs, hiking groups, biking groups, lunchtime walk groups.
I hope you have a wonderful weekend! Next week I will share my food and exercise diary.
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