Eat! First Things First!
Breakfast is so important! I really do believe that it’s the most important meal of the day. If you fuel up first thing, you can function better from then on. It’s easy to reach for sugary kid’s cereals when we’re in a rush in the morning but sugar and simple carbs won’t get us going for very long. Shortly after eating those high sugar, low-nutrition cereals, you will crash and burn. The extra insulin that you produce to deal with all that sugar will cause your blood sugar to go low and you will be hungrier than ever. The lure of the office doughnuts or the drive-through window at the doughnut shop will be almost overwhelming. If you give into THAT craving, then you set the stage for an entire day of simple carb-sugar binge eating. You will get home exhausted and discouraged, thinking that you will NEVER lose weight.
Instead of blowing your whole day before finishing your first cup of coffee, how about reaching for something nutritious instead? I carried my oats to work recently, and a young girl looked at my bowl and said, “What is THAT?” Although I was taken aback that she really didn’t seem to recognize OATS, (OATMEAL)… I politely said, “Oats.” She looked incredulous and said, “OATMEAL?!?” After I confirmed that, she said, “My mom used to fix that when I was little.”
The problem here is that this young lady really did not recognize oats. She knows about every item on the menu at every drive-through restaurant in town. She can list every sugar-filled “coffee” drink at the local coffee shop and has brought most of them to work. If she can find anything sweet like carry-out blueberry biscuits or cupcakes, to pair with those sugar-bombs, she will. She believes that she has breakfast but she is never satisfied. All day, every day is spent moving from one carb fix to the next.
Carbohydrates are necessary, but make sure that the carbs you eat are complex. The first thing that I eat every morning is carbohydrates. I eat an apple. It’s got lots of healthy fiber to slow the absorption of the carbs into my bloodstream so I don’t get an insulin crash that will set me up for destruction. Oats are an excellent source of complex carbs. They are one of the most nutritious foods on earth and they are the second thing that I eat. If you like the convenience of boxed cereals, just put your oats into the fridge the night before with the appropriate amount of liquid and have overnight oats ready in the morning. You can add fruit the night before or in the morning. I like to add flax, chia and hemp seeds and almond meal for a powerhouse start to my day. I always have eggs in the morning so I prepare my oats fresh every morning with 2 beaten eggs added before I turn the stove on. This recipe makes something like an oat pudding. I add a 0-calorie sweetener, I like Swerve Brown, and my seeds and almond meal after cooking. My bloodwork at the doctor is stellar and I truly believe that this nutritionally dense breakfast is one reason. Oats are known to improve cholesterol levels and mine are Olympian.
Sometimes I want a dry cereal, so I put raw oats in my bowl, add almond flour, flax, chia and hemp seeds and a Tablespoon of pepitas or sunflower seeds for extra crunch and nutrition, cinnamon, 0-calorie sweetener and 8 ounces of soy milk. The full 8 ounces of liquid is important to make the dry oats easier to swallow and digest. Any liquid will work. I like soy products for the phytoestrogens. If you want to try this, choose whatever milk that you like. It’s a type of granola without all that sugar!
Eat a Hearty Lunch!
I know people who work through their whole shift without eating a meal. They scavenge office goodies all day and grab another sugary “coffee” during their lunch break. They may go for fries and a milkshake and think they didn’t eat lunch. While they didn’t eat anything of substance , they have eaten HUNDREDS of calories that they are not counting because it wasn’t a “real meal”. Make lunch a real meal to keep you fueled through the afternoon and stave off bites, licks and tastes that you think don’t “count” either.
While an occasional burger and fries is okay for most people, the sugar-filled sodas, coffees and milkshakes ARE NOT. If you can’t enjoy the burger without all the extra sugar, make your lunch at home. Although the classic “Grilled Chicken Salad” is fine, most people are sick of them. If you have to eat out and you can avoid the sugar-laden extras, the chicken salad is still a great option. You might also opt for a burger without the bun. All you have to do is ask for it that way and the restaurant will be glad to make it. Making your lunch at home to carry with you is a fantastic idea though. I carry a huge backpack full of food to work every day. I’m rarely without healthy food. Eat plenty of lean protein and fiber with some complex carbs. The protein and fiber will combine to keep you full for hours and the carbs will give you energy to get through your afternoon.
A high-protein, high-fiber afternoon snack will help to bridge the high-risk time right before dinner. I like apples with cheese sticks or Greek yogurt with fruit and/or pepitas and sunflower seeds. Stay away from the vending machines and the cookie jar. DON’T HAVE COOKIES AND OTHER TRIGGER FOODS AROUND YOU. Throw that stuff out in the garbage and cover it with dishwashing liquid when it goes in the trashcan. Don’t think for a minute that you won’t get it out and eat it otherwise. If you are at work and are assaulted with pastries and candy, immediately give it away or put it in the garbage. Today I walked into a platter of Rice Krispie Treats awaiting me. They were given away within 3 minutes. I will not have that stuff around me.
Eat Fast with Your Slow Cooker!
This took me a long time to finally accept. A slow cooker is really your best friend for a quick nutritious dinner! Put your meal in there before you leave for the day and arrive home with dinner ready and your house smelling wonderful! If you need to do a few things to plate your meal, munch on a single serving of almonds or an apple. Dinner is DONE! If you feel that you really need a dessert, we have many sugar-free recipes right here on the website that will NOT give you sugar cravings. Here’s a sugar-free Red Velvet Cake that is luscious!
And a Bedtime Snack!
If you think that you just have to have “something to munch on” in front of the T.V. , slice a single tortilla into triangles and bake in the oven at 425F until it is crispy and season with popcorn salt. You have instant portion control! You might want to add some salsa for a low calorie dip and you are set for the night.
You CAN lose weight if you make mindful decisions throughout your day. Leave NOTHING to chance! Failure to plan is planning to fail.
Be armed with healthy food and stay full and satisfied all the way to your goal!